So, whence comes the name of our fifth month? Turns out there’s a bit of a Greek vs. Latin brouhaha going on over this. The Greek partisans claim that the name of the month of May derives from that of the Greek goddess of fertility, Maia. No, no, no, say the Latin faction. The name comes from the word “maiores,” meaning “elders,” as the month is followed by the month of June, which comes from the word “juniores,” meaning “young people.” Exciting stuff, no? Well so are these excellent forums occurring in the month of May, wherever the heck the name comes from.
Foremost forums upcoming
• New York Ideas (May 6; New York). Event aspires to "draw out the strands of genius from leaders whose work and passion are changing our world." Program is designed to "showcase the trends, innovations, and technologies driving the business, political, and cultural landscape." Representative topics include: Whether cities are the new global building blocks; what must be done to save the US and global economies; and the future of healthcare policy.
• Wired Business Conference (BizCon) (May 13; New York). Conference is self-described as a venue "where the world's most innovative executives come together to share their ideas about how technology is propelling business into the future." Program focuses on how executives can use the energy from disruptive ideas and technologies to transform their companies and careers. Program addresses such topics as new business of social gaming; using big data to enhance international security; and delivering innovation.
• Forbes Women's Summit (May 14 – 15; New York). Summit is designed to bring together seasoned professionals and Millennials to "help solve society's most critical issues and redefine the notion of power through innovation and disruption." Event is unique in that "all participants [are] invited specifically because they have something to add to this high-level peer-to-peer discourse, and everyone participate[s] in the dialogue and innovative actions." 2014 theme: "The Entrepreneurship of Everything."
• Fortune Brainstorm: Green (May 19 – 21; Dana Point, CA). Event has a focus on "the opportunities, risks, and impact of environmental issues on business and economy," and addresses going "beyond incrementalism and bring about the transformational change the world needs." Program addresses such representative topics as how companies can grow revenues and profits while reducing their environmental impact; myths and realities of green buildings; and pros and cons of water privatization.
• Responsible Business Summit (May 19 – 20; London). Summit aspires to provide "one-stop shopping for CSR professionals – the only conference that they need to attend to learn about the sustainability and CSR challenges facing European businesses over the coming year." Representative topics include: How to build a resilient supply chain; changing behavior in senior management positions; how to integrate product sustainability into R&D; and engaging consumers in behavior change.
• Energy Efficiency Global Forum (EE Global) (May 20 – 21; Washington, DC). Forum is self-described as focusing on "integrating effective policy with efficient business practices to create change on a large scale." Event aims to bring together "high-caliber industry professionals, academics and policy makers" to "exchange the latest technology and information, forge partnerships, and develop best practices policies and strategies for global implementation of energy efficiency." Representative topics include: Powering an energy efficient economy; energy efficiency as the foundation to building smart grids; and changing the world through social media and communication technologies.
• Seoul Digital Forum (SDF) (May 21 – 22; Seoul, South Korea). Forum’s self-described mission is to "promote greater knowledge and understanding of issues pertaining to the digital era" and examine issues related to the "T.I.M.E." (Technology, Information, Media, and Entertainment) industry. Representative topics include: Opportunities and challenges resulting from developments in information technology; understanding political, economic, social, and cultural paradigm changes; and the future of the digital world.
• Women's Forum for the Economy and Society Women's Forum Brazil (May 26 – 27; Sao Paulo). Event focuses on "the crucial challenges for Brazil," with an aim to "give new perspectives to key issues in our present and our future; to create a powerful, global network in order to strengthen the influence of women throughout the world; to draw up innovative and concrete action plans to encourage women's contribution to society and promote diversity in the business world." Representative topics include: Next generation engagement; raising the game on the social investments in women; and goal setting and strategic planning.
• TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investment) Conference US (May 29 – 30; New York). Conference is described as a "global networking and learning event on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing." Representative topics include: Promoting energy efficiency and alternative energy; fund performance and strategy; and global trends in impact investing. The 2014 theme is "Connecting the Dots."
• Sustainable Brands Conference US (June 2 – 5; San Diego). Conference is self-described as "ground zero for sustainability, brand and innovation professionals who come together from around the world to be inspired, engaged and equipped to succeed by building the better brands of tomorrow, while building a network of likeminded colleagues who can help." Event aims to provide attendees from the areas of brand management, sustainability, and design with tools and strategies for sustainable brand building. Representative topics include: Big data to the rescue – new tools for visualizing complexity; creating shared value in the supply chain; and developing purposeful partnerships between brands and for-good organizations.
• Green Week (June 3 – 5; Brussels). Event, self-described as "the biggest annual conference on European environment policy," presents "a unique opportunity for debate and exchanges of experience and best practices." Representative topics include: Sustainable development goals; evidence on health effects of air pollution; and innovating for sustainable food systems.
Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month
• SharedXpertise Media has issued a call for papers for its Commit! Forum scheduled for October 8 – 9, 2014 in New York, with a proposal submission deadline of May 30, 2014. Forum takes its name from the fact that it "calls on individuals and organizations to make commitments that change the world" and focuses on the power of CSR "to create competitive advantages for superior corporate citizens." Representative topics include: Environmental compliance; affordable sustainability; green power; responsible sourcing; and social entrepreneurship, from a variety of stakeholder perspectives.
• TCI (The Competitiveness Institute) Network has issued a call for papers for its annual Global Conference being held November 10 – 13, 2014 in Monterrey, Mexico, with a proposal submission deadline of May 31, 2014. Conference focuses on advancement "on a global level towards joint projects, collaboration, and the triple helix synergies." Event aims to gather "cluster practitioners, policy-makers, researchers, business executives and academics" to "create an expansive discussion platform for the future of clusters." Program addresses such topics as enhancing productivity; configuration of value chains; and climate change and competitiveness.
• Bloomberg will begin developing the agenda for its Year Ahead Conference taking place November 13 – 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Event focuses on "the year ahead from the CEO's point of view." Representative topics include: Rethinking the conglomerate; transition in leadership; disrupting global industries; and banking and mortgages.
• Kiel Institute for the World Economy will begin finalizing the agenda for its Global Economic Symposium (GES) being held September 7 – 8, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Symposium is self-described as bringing together "leaders from the world's policy-making, business, academic and civic communities to find new ways of tackling major global economic problems." Program addresses such topics as balancing risk taking and financial regulation; content and limits of corporate social responsibility; and the future of global financial governance.