In fall, a rise in leadership forum activity

Lots of events taking place in October—and conference planners seeking speakers.

By Terry Catchpole, Executive Chairman of the Catchpole Corporation executive visibility strategy consultancy. Visit

If you are reading this in the Southern Hemisphere, then October is bringing the first days of spring. Boy, are we in the Northern Hemisphere ever jealous!! On the other hand, our locale is hosting the following excellent forums coming up this month, and you’re not! So there (and don’t embarrass by asking whether we wouldn’t rather have spring!).

Foremost forums upcoming

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) Corporate Citizenship Conference (October 5 – 7; Washington, DC). Conference examines social and economic issues arising as a result of emerging market development and then examines the various strategic roles that businesses can play in the communities in which they operate. Sessions cover big picture approaches to global topics as well as hands-on/how-to sessions on what practical actions companies can take in more effectively managing their corporate presence in emerging market countries. 2015 theme: "Connect the Dots – How Businesses Solves Global Challenges Locally."

South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco (October 5 – 7; Austin). Event has a self-described mission to "create a space for business leaders, investors, innovators and designers to advance solutions that drive economic, environmental and social change." Representative track topics include: Architecture and the built environment; art and design; future of science and space; supply chain and product innovation; and water, marketing, and energy.

She Helps Empower (SHE) Summit (October 6 – 7; New York). Summit aims to provide "a global conversation and celebration of female potential and possibility that is accessible and relevant to women everywhere." Representative topics include: How to use speaking to grow a business; the power of women helping women – mentorship and beyond; and the new business model – social good required.

Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit (October 6 – 7; San Francisco). Event aims to present "a unique opportunity to hear from the pioneers, influencers, and disrupters who have driven the age of innovation" as they "engage in important, exclusive conversations about the future." Representative topics include: The state of digital education; women in politics; a new vision for philanthropy; and disrupting information and communications.

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit (October 12 – 14; Washington, DC). Summit evolves directly out of the magazine's annual listing of the 50 most powerful women in business, in an issue published the same week as the conference takes place. The Summit aims to provide these and other successful women leaders with the opportunity to explore key issues impacting business as well as subjects impacting their organizations and their careers. The 2015 theme is: "Leading with Purpose."

Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women In Computing Conference (October 14 – 16; Houston). Conference was co-founded by computer scientists, Dr. Anita Borg and Dr. Telle Whitney, to "bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront." Named after computer pioneer Admiral Grace Hopper, the conference "aims to connect, inspire and guide women in computing and organizations that view technology innovation as a strategic imperative." Event includes several tracks, workshops, student labs and a career fair.

Women's Forum for the Economy and Society Global Meeting (October 14 – 16; Deauville, France). Meeting aims to "create a powerful, global network in order to strengthen the influence of women throughout the world [and develop] action plans to encourage women's contribution to society and promote diversity in the business world." Discussion topics have included coaching; diversity; sustainability; rising talents; and women in education.

Wired Conference UK (October 15 – 16; London). Conference aims to "reveal cutting edge developments, from business to science, pop culture to technology, in a live environment designed to stimulate as much debate off stage as on it in an exclusive environment of like-minded individuals." Program addresses such topics as innovation for a better world; the future of interaction; and ideas are the power of the people.

Google Zeitgeist (October 18 – 20; Scottsdale). Annual invitation-only event is a live-discussion extension of Google's "Zeitgeist report" that purports to show, based on the company's accumulated mass of user search queries, "what captured the world's attention the past year." Event centers on "the belief that convening thoughtful leaders, in a uniquely open discussion, will lead to both innovation and inspiration." The program focuses on "topics that influence the global economy, creativity, digital technology, leadership and human rights."

World Knowledge Forum (October 20 – 22; Seoul, South Korea). Forum focuses on the "search for the 21st Century wealth creation equation," addressing such topics as the impact of fund capitalism; US policy toward North Korea; innovation as a factor in corporate growth; building global brand leadership; and creation of online distribution channels. 2015 theme: "Mapping the Zeitgeist."

Commit! Forum (October 21 – 22; New York). 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. The 2015 theme is: "Commit! To a Responsible Culture and Supply Chain."

PopTech (October 22 – 24; Camden, ME). Event explores the impact of technological advancements on society and focuses on dramatic transformative changes from a technological, cultural, and global perspective. Program addresses topics such as globalization, global warming, biotechnology, nanotechnology, ubiquitous computing, and the future of knowledge and intellectual property.

GreenBiz Verge San Jose (October 26 – 29; San Jose). Event focuses on the technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions across sectors in a climate-constrained world. Representative topics include: Day in the life of a smart building; preparing cities for electric vehicles; how the social web transforms real estate; and the city as an operating system.

Chief Digital Officer Global Forum (November 2 – 3; Half Moon Bay, CA). Forum has a focus on "the new and evolving role of the Chief Digital Officer across a variety of industries and verticals." Representative topics include: How to find, develop, and nurture great digital talent; the state of the economy; and digital engagement in a social and mobile world.

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

Babson College's Babson Energy and Environmental Club will begin agenda development for its Energy and Environmental Conference scheduled for April 1, 2016 in Wellesley, MA. Conference has a goal to connect attendees to entrepreneurial organizations that are "implementing sustainability in practical, actionable ways that drive profits [and] strengthen competitive advantage." Representative topics include: Cleantech innovations; securing funding for new ventures; and energy policy trends.

Gazelles will begin solidifying the agenda for its Leadership Summit, presented by Fortune, taking place May 24 – 25, 2016 in Atlanta. Summit focuses on how to "work smarter, think strategically, meet company goals, and achieve financial benchmarks through strategy and execution." Representative topics include: Tools of turnaround artists; coaching for behavioral change; how to achieve revolutionary results; and how to multiply success.

Harvard Business School (HBS) will begin agenda solidification for its Dynamic Women in Business Conference being held February 20, 2016 in Boston. Conference aims to "bring together 1000 women, including students, alumnae, faculty, distinguished business leaders, and community members, to explore the opportunities and challenges facing women in today's business world." Agenda focuses on topics such as best practices for managing work and family; developing networks and mentors; executing negotiating strategies; and accessing resources.

InnoTown will begin developing the agenda for its Innovation Conference scheduled for May 25 – 26, 2016 in Ã…lesund, Norway. Event aims to provide "motivational personal journeys and exceptionally practical business cases." Representative topics include: Five reasons why management myths persist; and mastering a new innovation reality.

Sustainable Life Media will begin agenda development for its SB (Sustainable Brands) Conference/US taking place June 6 – 9, 2016 in San Diego. 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.

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