As soon as Social Media Week wraps up in New York, I'm headed to GreenBiz's annual conference The State of Green Business Forum 2011 in Washington, D.C.
Why this conference in particular? There are several reasons, but mainly because this event promises not just some incredibly important conversations on the future of a "green economy," but also key insights into how companies like Wal-Mart, Sodexo, Johnson & Johnson; EMC and Campbell Soup are leading their sustainability efforts—and how we can learn from them and implement our own strategies in 2011.
Clean Energy & Green Jobs
And the future of clean energy and green jobs—which President Obama touched on during the State of the Union—isn't going to be the only topic on the agenda of this two-day conference.
An expansive lineup of speakers including representation academia, industry leaders from the private and the public sector, the media, and thought leaders who have emerged as important influencers in the past year, will analyze issues that beg for clarity in a year beset by a struggling economy.
Sustainability & Your Career: Why Should You Care?
Most importantly, I will be there to report because it is crucial to understand that the essentiality of all these discussions impacts each and every one of us, regardless of our definition or stand on sustainability.
Don't believe in climate change? That's fine, because clean and alternative energy, sustainability reporting, and energy efficiency still mean new career opportunities and avenues for innovation.
Fail to connect corporate social responsibility with your entrepreneurial bent or business acumen? Don't see how a conference on sustainability matters to your job? It's simple: As companies embed the tenets of CSR and sustainability deeper into their corporate culture, all of us will be affected by the changes this will dictate.
This progress will chart new expectations in the workplace, new relationships, different sets of skill sets and tools, a more holistic job profile, and a new way of thinking about work and bottom line decision making.
What's In Store @ The State of Green Business Forum
So, without further ado (because if you're still reading but don't understand we should probably talk) here are just some of the great speakers you can expect at the D.C. forum:
• Don Knauss, Chairman of the Board & CEO, Clorox
•Jeffrey Swartz, CEO, Timberland
•Martha Johnson, Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration
•David Crane, President & CEO, NRG Energy
•Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft
•Paul Anastas, Assistant Administrator & Science Advisor, EPA
•Lorrie Vogel, General Manager, Considered Design, Nike
And here are a few of the workshops that are on my must-attend list:
• How to Make Sustainability Everyone's Job: Presented by Campbell Soup's VP for CSR Dave Stangis, who besides being a pioneer in sustainability, is a frequent commentator on Vault, most recently discussing a a new initiative that introduces CSR to all new hires.
•When Metrics Undermine Sustainability: Presented by BT America's Kevin Moss,a vocal advocate for CSR on Twitter.
•Inside the Sustainability Consortium: A deeper look into Wal-Mart's consortium (What are they doing, what will these standards look like, how will they be applied, etc.)
•The Sustainable Workforce: Presented by EMC's Chief Sustainability Officer Kathrin Winkler, who I had the opportunity to profile last year, and Sodexo's Talent Acquisition Senior Director Lisa Garden
•Building a Sustainable Economy Through Public Policy: Presented by another frequent commentator on Vault's CSR blog, Jeffrey Hollender (Reflections of an Ousted CEO), along with David Levine, the cofounder and executive director of the American Sustainable Business Council, and Director of Social Investing and Strategic Outreach for Green America Fran Teplitz.
For folks who cannot make it to D.C., the conference will first travel to San Francisco (February 2-3) and Chicago (February 9-10) as well.
And for the first time, GreenBiz is offering Vault readers a discount to any of the forums! Just plug in STATEVAULT when registering and you'll shave $400 off the registration price.
Get more information at GreenBiz. And if cannot make it to any of these, stay tuned to Vault's CSR Blog for after-event highlights and in-depth analysis and to @VaultCSR for live updates. And join in the conversation: Only an informed dialogue can lead us all into the next decade.
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