Every BSR Conference is different, and this year’s event—taking place November 3-5 in San Francisco—comes in the midst of a consequential year for sustainability. In September, the UN will approve new Sustainable Development Goals, and in December, the world will gather in Paris for COP21, which many believe is the last chance to develop the international framework needed to keep global warming to below 2°C.
In a year when much of the world’s attention is focused on the need to build inclusive prosperity in a climate-constrained world, the BSR Conference 2015 is more crucial than ever as a platform for insight, action, and collaboration. We have chosen “resilience” as the theme for our event because business today is navigating economic, cultural, and technological forces that disrupt existing models at warp speed. In this context, company leaders that “keep their eyes on the prize” of long-term value creation are most likely to succeed.
This is where resilience comes in. Companies that prepare for fundamental change (both expected and unexpected) can benefit from what one of our keynote speakers, Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, calls the “resilience dividend.” Ideas on how to create a truly resilient company will be at the core of the entire Conference.
Resilience is often viewed as a means of preventing—and preparing for—climate change, which threatens our infrastructure. But resilience also takes a human form, whether through new approaches to leadership that support truly resilient companies, or investments that create resilient communities, where human rights are protected and where all can thrive. We also will explore resilient systems—including natural ecosystems, markets, and political systems—that are essential building blocks for a just and sustainable world.
Throughout our three days in San Francisco, we will offer powerful, inspiring speakers and exchanges exploring resilience in multiple ways. We will welcome several high-profile speakers as well as approximately 1,000 attendees from more than 30 countries. In addition to Rodin, confirmed plenary speakers include Henri de Castries, CEO of AXA, and Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company. Our first Innovate and Inspire speaker is Pascal Finette, who heads Singularity University’s Startup Lab.
And just as change is essential to create a resilient business, we have changed several aspects of the BSR Conference to deliver a truly compelling event. We have added formats that will bring new ways of engaging with a diverse array of thought-provoking leaders and encourage learning and collaboration. These include:
- Idea Busters—a Spotlight on Silicon Valley: Bay Area entrepreneurs working for a sustainable future will share their ideas on the plenary stage, while attendees vote for the most visionary.
- BSR Book Club: Authors of newly released publications will share their insights on innovation and resilience.
- 3 Under 30: In three 10-minute presentations, we’ll hear the best ideas for a sustainable future from the next generation.
- BSR University: We are offering eight pre-Conference trainings and off-site visits this year, including Trends in Sustainability Reporting, Human Rights Integration, Public Speaking Demystified, and a Sustainable Food and Farm Tour in Marin County.
Our Conference offers unparalleled opportunities for networking with global leaders from business, civil society, and government. Even the informal conversations you have at our event can spark new ideas and collaborations, and we have built an agenda that is designed to maximize your opportunities to do exactly that.
Just as San Francisco is a powerful hub of new ideas that can change the world, the BSR Conference 2015 will provide a space for the innovation, connections, and momentum we need to create a just and sustainable world. I hope to see you there!
Register for the BSR Conference 2015 by July 1 to receive the best rates.