The March of the leadership forums

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

They call John Philip Sousa “The March King” because he composed more than 100 great march tunes, including Stars and Stripes Forever. So, when it comes to anything having to do with the word “march,” a lot of folks think of Mr. Sousa. Not us. We think about the splendid conferences coming up this month, such as those highlighted below.

Foremost forums upcoming

London Business School Women in Business Conference (March 1; London). Conference is self-described as “the leading women’s conference in Europe” with an agenda designed to address “how to succeed in a rapidly changing global business environment.” Topics include business, economic, political, and social issues that impact the career development of women executives.

MIT Energy Conference (March 1 – 2; Boston). Conference aims to bring together “current and future leaders in energy technology, policy and business” to “deliver critical knowledge and independent analysis on emerging trends in energy technologies, policies, and markets.” Representative topics include: Energy in emerging markets; managing the shale gas revolution; water limitations in low-carbon electricity generation; and grid-scale energy storage – overcoming barriers to widespread adoption.

CERA Week (Cambridge Energy Research Associates) (March 4 – 8, 2013; Houston). Event aims to bring together “senior energy executives offering new ideas, insight, and discussions on the major strategic issues facing the global energy industry.” Program focuses on issues impacting businesses engaged in global oil, natural gas, and electric power. Representative topics include: Corporate responsibilities; changing investment dynamics; and coping with high and volatile prices.  

Wall Street Journal‘s ECO:nomics Conference (March 20 -22; Santa Barbara). Invitation-only event aspires “to address the most urgent issues in energy, clean tech, public policy and corporate initiatives.” The program’s motto: “No PowerPoint. No pontificating. No hot air.” Representative topics include: Extreme innovations; the natural gas bonanza; the brighter side of solar power; and the connection between sustainability and private security.

Economist Big Rethink Summit (March 21; London). Summit aims to provide “answer some of the biggest questions companies have about consumers.” Program addresses such topics as new competitors; how the consumer is changing everything; and innovative thinking about business models.

Economist Ideas Economy Series: Innovation (March 28; Berkeley). Event aims to “expand and possibly overturn established thinking about what innovation is, where it comes from, and how to make it work.” Program addresses such topics as better ways to nourish entrepreneurial activity inside large and small organizations; how to understand the risks associated with innovation; and what systems and structures needed to fuel innovation. 

Noteworthy conferences beginning agenda planning this month

Babson College will begin agenda development for its Entrepreneurship Forum being held November 15, 2013 on the college’s Wellesley, MA, campus. Forum was developed as a means to highlight “Babson’s reputation for global leadership in entrepreneurship,” with the self-described mission of “showcasing entrepreneurship from every angle.” Representative topics include: Startup fundamentals; entrepreneurship: a global perspective; and putting the “act” in impact.

• Frost & Sullivan will begin finalizing the agenda for its Growth, Innovation, and Leadership (GIL) Global Congress on Corporate Growth/North America, scheduled for September 8 – 11, 2013 in San Jose. GIL Global is self-described as Frost & Sullivan’s “flagship client event” and focuses on strategies and best practices for companies to achieve their growth objectives. Event addresses such topics as tools and processes for business growth; capitalizing on growth opportunities through competitive intelligence; and customer-driven product innovation.

Ethical Corporation will begin agenda planning for its Responsible Business Summit US, taking place September 18 – 19, 2013 in New York. Summit aspires to provide “one-stop shopping for CSR professionals,” where attendees can learn about the sustainability and CSR challenges facing US businesses in the coming months. Representative topics, developed from EC research, include: New models for advancing social innovation and implementing shared value; can corporations influence and drive customer behavior on sustainability; how to use social media to engage with stakeholders on sustainability; the business case for social investment and community outreach; and using materiality to target CSR effort where it matters most.

Social Enterprise Alliance will begin finalizing the agenda for its National Summit, which is being held May 19 – 22, 2013 in Minneapolis. Summit, a biennial event, brings together “social enterprise practitioners and experts who are using business methods to solve the most pressing human, social and environmental problems” with a focus on producing “massive social impact through successful social enterprises.” Program addresses such topics as the social enterprise ecosystem; navigating into social enterprise; and green economy and the greening of social enterprises.

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