November means Thanksgiving is coming, and Thanksgiving means the traditional big feast. But November also means that the excellent forums listed below are also coming – and there is not a turkey in the bunch!
Foremost forums upcoming
• BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) Conference (November 5 – 8; San Francisco). Conference is one of the most long-established and well-respected forums in its field, focusing on innovative strategies for businesses to implement and maintain successful sustainability and CSR structures and management systems. Program examines the full range of CSR issues, including governance, ethics, accountability, work place practices, environmental sustainability, human rights, community investment, and global business conduct.
• Fast Company Innovation Uncensored/San Francisco (November 6). Event focuses on the "groundbreaking business solutions across every industry" that are regularly discussed in the company's magazine and on its Website. Self-described as being " for anyone with a mind for modern business," the program aims to "give attendees live access to top business visionaries and the companies to watch."
• Economist Global Agenda/Europe (November 7 – 8; London). Event is self-described as "a private gathering in which business leaders, senior policymakers, and influential thinkers from economics and academia gather to consider the business and economic issues of the day." Topics include the fate of global financial markets; India and China as agents for change; and the transfer of capital from energy-consuming to energy-producing countries.
• United Nations Climate Change Conference – COP 19/CMP 9 (November 11 – 22; Warsaw). Gathering is the 19th meeting of the governing Conference of the Parties since the UNFCCC adoption in 1994. The forum will also be the 9th Conference for the Meeting of Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, referred to as "CMP 9." Attendees will include senior government officials from the majority of the world's nations. Other attendees will include UN staff and representatives of NGOs, business associations and observer organizations "duly admitted by the Conference of the Parties." At the event, attendees convene in an assembly-format to discuss a range of climate change issues.
• Washington Ideas Forum (November 13 – 14; Washington, DC). Forum aspires to bring together a group of "newsmakers, industry innovators, and leading journalists for two days of debate, conversation, and idea-sharing." The forum's goal is to foster "creative thinking about critical issues." Topics covered at the forum include the current and future state of politics, business, media, education and the non-profit sector within the US and throughout the world.
• TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investment) Conference Europe (November 14 – 15; Zurich). Conference aims to bring together asset owners and asset managers for education and networking around sustainable investment issues. Representative topics include: Integrated reporting in Europe; integrating ESG into portfolios; how hedging can be ESG-compatible; fund performance and structure; post-Fukushima – alternative energy in Europe; and low carbon investment. 2013 theme: "Rethink The Past And Move On."
• Sustainable Brands London Conference (November 18 – 19). Conference focuses on "how better brands will shape the future by keeping tabs on the changing playing field, and how to make smarter strategic moves, and leverage game thinking and play to spur creativity and innovation, teamwork, customer engagement and loyalty, and behavior change for the better." Representative topics include: Growing shared value through collaboration within a value network; building business value while encouraging sustainable consumption; and sustainability disruptors look to reshape the future.
• Bloomberg Business Summit (November 20 – 21; Chicago). Summit focuses on "the forces transforming entire industries and look at what to expect for the year ahead." Representative topics include: Rethinking the conglomerate; transition in leadership; disrupting global industries; and banking and mortgages.
• Like Minds London Ideas Festival (November 26 – 28). Event has a self-described aim "to engage, debate, challenge and inspire you." Representative topics include: Finding your single organizing principle; fulfilling childhood dreams – 1000 hours to transform a business or life; and chief executive or chief entrepreneur – the future of business leadership.
Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month
• GreenBiz Group has issued a call for speakers for its GreenBiz Forum taking place February 18 – 20, 2014 in Scottsdale, with a proposal submission deadline of November 30, 2013. Forum "brings together thought leaders and sustainability executives to define the trends, challenges and opportunities in sustainable business today." Representative topics include: Big data meets the supply chain; the new realities of corporate energy management; the changing face of sustainability and transparency; the potential and pitfalls of corporate-NGO alliances; and the pathway to net-positive-energy buildings.
• Bēhance will begin agenda development for its 99 Percent Conference scheduled to be held May 1 – 2, 2014 in New York. Event takes its name from the adage regarding achievement, that it is the result of one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. The conference's mission is to "shift the focus from idea generation to idea execution [by bringing] together some of the world's most productive creative visionaries and leading researchers to share pragmatic insights on how ideas are brought to life." Representative topics include: How to create a product people love; key insights on making ideas happen; learning to embrace risk and take action quickly; and innovating in the real world.
• Global Initiatives will begin developing the agenda for its Business for the Environment Climate Summit, taking place May 27 – 28, 2014 in London. Summit aims to "gather thought leaders from industry, government and NGOs to share innovations and strategies for achieving zero-based targets and transformative climate solutions." Policy discussions are designed to lead directly to recommendations for action on the part of businesses and governments. Representative topics include: Accelerating net zero business solutions; building the low carbon smart cities of the future; and climate positive – global impact.
• Fortune Magazine will begin finalizing the agenda for its Brainstorm: Green being held May 19 – 21, 2014 in Dana Point, CA. Event has a focus on "the opportunities, risks, and impact of environmental issues on business and economy," and addresses the overriding question of "how can businesses help solve the world's big environment problems." Program examines the movement to sustainability by addressing such representative topics as sustaining green business models in economic hard times; myths and realities of green buildings; and pros and cons of water privatization.