SRO in September

Lots happening—and lots more in the works—in the world of leadership forums this month.

Summer is almost over and for gridiron fans that means a full platter of school, college, and pro football games. But for conference fans, it means a return to a chock-full schedule of outstanding events such as these upcoming in September. Siss-boom-bah!!

Foremost forums upcoming

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) Corporate Citizenship Conference (September 8 – 10; Washington, DC). Conference examines social and economic issues impacting emerging markets and 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 the practical actions companies can take in more effectively managing their corporate presence in emerging market countries.

World Economic Forum Meeting of the New Champions (September 10 – 12; Tianjin, China). Self-described as "the foremost global gathering on science, technology, and innovation," event aims to bring "the next generation of fast-growing enterprises shaping the future of business and society together with leaders from major multinationals as well as government, media, academia and civil society." The 2014 theme is "Creating Value through Innovation."

Google Zeitgeist (September 14 – 16; Paradise Valley, AZ). Google publishes an annual "Zeitgeist report" that purports to show "what captured the world's attention the past year." The report is based the company’s accumulated mass of user search queries, with “zeitgeist” defined as "the spirit of the times; the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era." The annual invitation-only Zeitgeist forum is a live-discussion extension of the report, centered 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."

Do Lectures (September 18 – 21; Hopland, CA). This event was founded on the premise "that people who Do things can inspire the rest of us to go and Do things, too." Event aims to "gather a small number of outstanding human beings to share their story" and allow those in attendance "to observe and reflect in a way that invites new possibility." Topics fall into the general categories of business, design, environment, and food.

New York Forum (September 21; New York). Forum is self-described as "a call for action by the business community to reinvigorate the economy and to find new confidence and credibility." The one-day agenda consists of a series of solo presentations in the morning session by eminent government officials, corporate executives, academics, and others, followed by an afternoon of taskforce meetings designed to identify "a set of practical, actionable steps for organizations' leadership teams that will be prerequisites or catalysts for success in the near and long term."

Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting (September 22 – 24; New York). Event brings together current and former heads of state, top CEOs, and leaders of non-profit organizations, major philanthropists, and Nobel Prize Laureates. Plenary sessions, the central meeting component, introduce and detail contemporary challenges related to the annual theme in practical terms, setting the stage for small group discussions and breakout sessions where small groups "debate and determine the best way to take action…[producing] innovative ideas, new partnerships, and impressive commitments."

Blouin Creative Leadership Summit (September 23 – 24; New York). Summit is self-described as bringing together "leading figures in the areas of science, technology, culture, business, and politics" to focus on "the critical threats and opportunities presented by globalization at the local and global levels." Program addresses such topics as globalizing the mind; political leadership in the twenty first century; and partnerships, power and potential.

Sustainable Brands (SB) New Metrics Conference (September 24 – 26; Boston). Conference aims to aid businesses in demonstrating their "ability to create value of various forms for all stakeholders – rather than simply profit for shareholders" and to "address the question of how this value is identified, measured, and communicated." Representative topics include: Updating the meaning and measure of value for the 21st century; creating shared value and measuring impact in the supply chain; and identifying materiality in corporate sustainability.

Nantucket Project (September 26 – 28; Nantucket, MA). Event is self-described as a "gathering of visionaries, business leaders, and innovators with an intent to create a powerful distillation of ideas that will influence the national dialogue on important issues." Representative topics include: Experiencing gratitude; this ain't capitalism; is science the one true God?; and the art of surviving prison.

Business for the Environment (B4E) Climate Summit (September 29; 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." Representative topics include: Transport and mobility; agriculture and forestry; IT; renewable energy; and consumer goods.

Womensphere Global Summit (September 29 – October 1, 2014; New York). Summit is self-described as convening "global leaders and women leaders of companies and organizations, venture owners, and innovators throughout the United States and around the world" with a focus on women's leadership, innovation, ventures, economics, and sustainability.

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

The Climate Registry, Association of Climate Change Officers, and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions has issued a call for speakers for its Climate Leadership Conference scheduled for February 23 – 25, 2015 in Washington, DC, with a proposal submission deadline of September 5, 2014. Event is self-described as "dedicated to professionals addressing global climate change through policy, innovation, and business solutions." Representative topics include: Operating in a low-carbon economy; making the business case for climate mitigation; incorporating climate metrics into sustainability programs; and the growing cost of extreme weather.

Ceres will begin developing the agenda for the Ceres Conference taking place May 13 – 14, 2015 in San Francisco. Conference focuses on "the integration of sustainability into business strategy and long-term shareholder value" for an audience of corporate executives as well as representatives from labor, public policy, and the investment community. Representative topics include: The advantages and challenges of federal climate legislation; the environmental, social, and financial benefits of sustainability; and the economic opportunities afforded by the global corporate transition to energy efficiency and lowered carbon footprint.

Ethical Corporation will begin agenda development for its Responsible Business Summit, tentatively scheduled for spring 2015 in 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.

Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) will begin developing the agenda for its Annual Conference being held April 30 – May 2, 2015 in Phoenix. Conference seeks to bring together women executives and entrepreneurs from the US and Canada "to share experiences in business." The overall focus of the conference is on business trends, planning for the future, operations enhancements, and re-energizing personal goals.

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