Leadership forums: The fall catalogue

A rundown of October 2014 events, deadlines, and agenda planning cycles.

October is the serious start of the fall season … and also the start of a very busy conference season, including such excellent forums as the following.

Foremost forums upcoming

TED Global (October 6 – 10; Rio de Janeiro). Event is a variation on the venerable US-based TED Conference, and is self-described as "like TED, but with an even stronger focus on really big world-changing ideas." Program focuses on "dreams from the intersecting worlds of science, business, globalization, invention, and creativity." 2014 theme: "South!"

Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit: US (October 6 – 8; Laguna Niguel, CA). Summit is self-described as "the world’s most extraordinary leadership community, convening the preeminent women in business – along with select leaders in government, philanthropy, education, and the arts – for wide-ranging and inspiring discussions." Program addresses business topics such as global competitiveness; new media; technology trends; and management issues such as building great brands and mastering organizational change.

South by Southwest (SXSW) Eco (October 6 – 8; Austin). Event has a self-described mission to "evolve the environmental conversation beyond rhetoric and towards solutions" by bringing together executives and thought leaders from academia, government, and the private sector to focus on a creative cross-sector approach to solving environmental and sustainability challenges. Representative topics include: Cross-sector partnerships; global food security; smart grids; and climate change issues.

• World Business Forum (October 7 – 8; New York). Forum focuses on topics regarding the US position in the world, global financial markets, strategy, management, and the role of creativity in leadership. Representative topic areas covered include innovation in management practices; impact of demographic trends on global economics; energy dependence/independence; and talent management.

Commit! Forum (October 8 – 9; New York). Event takes its name from the fact that the forum “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 2014 theme is "Commit! To a Responsible Culture and Supply Chain."

Women's Forum for the Economy and Society Global Meeting (October 15 – 17; 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; Internet; sustainability; rising talents; and women in education.

PopTech (October 23 – 25; Camden, ME). Event explores the impact of technological advancements on society and focuses on dramatic transformative changes from a technological, cultural, and global perspective. Representative topics include: globalization, global warming, biotechnology, nanotechnology, ubiquitous computing, and the future of knowledge and intellectual property. 2014 theme: "Rebellion."

GreenBiz Verge San Francisco (October 27 – 30; San Francisco). Event aims to bring together "business innovators, entrepreneurs, and leading public officials to illuminate the opportunities for radical efficiencies created through technology advancements in energy, buildings and transportation." Representative topics here 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.

TBLI (Triple Bottom Line Investment) Conference Europe (October 28 – 29; Amsterdam). 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.

Washington Ideas Forum (October 29 – 30; Washington, DC). Forum's goal is to foster "creative thinking about the critical issues affecting our national identity, politics, and core values." 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.

Sustainable Brands London (November 3 – 5; London). Event 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.

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

The Alliance to Save Energy will begin agenda development for its Energy Efficiency Global Forum being held May 12 – 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. Forum has a self-described focus on "integrating effective policy with efficient business practices to create change on a large scale." 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.

European Business Summit will begin developing the agenda for its event scheduled for May 6 – 7, 2015 in Brussels. Summit aims "to help create a dialogue and action plan to boost business in Europe." Representative topics include: How skills can get Europe out of the crisis; new skills for the green economy; and activating untapped talents.

• Gazelles will begin solidifying the agenda for its Fortune Leadership Summit taking place May 12 – 13, 2015 in Orlando. Summit, which Gazelles manages under license from Fortune, 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 will begin solidifying the agenda for its Dynamic Women in Business Conference being held February 21, 2015 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 agenda development for its Innovation Conference scheduled for May 20 – 21, 2015 in Ă…lesund, Norway. Event provides "motivational personal journeys and exceptionally practical business cases." Representative topics include: Five reasons why management myths persist; and mastering a new innovation reality.

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