In Brief: GreenBiz 17 has become the top annual gathering for corporate sustainability executives. Framed by the State of Green Business report, GreenBiz Group’s award-winning annual accounting of key sustainability metrics and trends, combined with the high-wattage stage presentations, workshops and networking opportunities that have become hallmarks of GreenBiz events, create a powerful event.
Where and When: February 14-16, 2017 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
Audience: Approximately 800 participants, including corporate sustainability executives, nonprofit leaders, policy makers, academics, entrepreneurs, and business organizations.
Format: Because of the high caliber of both speakers and attendees — sustainability professionals at the forefront of their fields — we emphasize peer-to-peer learning experiences, through workshops, tutorials and facilitated networking. Plenary sessions forego speeches in favor of engaging conversations.
The conference program features five different session formats:
- One Great Idea — a 10-minute solo presentation from the main stage, given by an innovator sharing a breakthrough, achievement, insight or other “great idea” that is inspiring, informative, and entertaining. We look for truly innovative ideas and engaging presenters, not the usual dog-and-pony slide presentations.
- Keynote Interview — a 15-20 minute mainstage one-on-one interview with a thought leader or C-level executive, moderated by a seasoned journalist.
- Keynote Panel — a 15-20 minute mainstage panel discussion with a group of experts offering diverse viewpoints around a particular topic, led by a skilled moderator. No slides or presentations — a talk-show format.
- Workshop — an hour-long breakout session that focuses on tangible knowledge and skills for sustainability executives. Workshop faculty come from a range of disciplines, but all are experts in their field.The best workshops are those that are highly interactive and facilitate peer-to-peer learning.
- Tutorial — a four-hour breakout session that, like a workshop, focuses on tangible knowledge and skills. The expanded time frame allows participants the opportunity to dive deeper into a particular topic of interest. Tutorials must include an interactive component and facilitate peer-to-peer interaction for at least part of the four-hour block. Tutorials will be held for all-access passholders on Tuesday morning prior to the start of the opening general session.
Topics: Overall, we are interested in topics that are relevant to environmental and social sustainability within the context of business, primarily aimed at large, mainstream companies. We also love to be surprised by fresh ideas that may not map exactly to our conference tracks.
The following six tracks frame the structure and content of the conference program.
- Design & the Circular Economy: How innovation and systems thinking are transforming products, supply chains, logistics and business models to be restorative and regenerative by design.
- Materiality & Metrics: Quantifying company operations to uncover opportunities, drive sustainability goals and cultivate buy-in throughout a company, its stakeholders and its value chain.
- The New Energy Landscape: Advances in technologies, policies and business models to achieve new levels of energy efficiency and renewables procurement.
- Purpose & People: Key strategies for individual and company effectiveness that can unlock opportunities to achieving sustainability and business goals.
- Risk & Resilience: How sustainability intersects with companies’ risk management and can contribute to creating resilience in supply chains and operations.
- Stakeholders & Storytelling: Understanding communications opportunities and overcoming challenges to engage customers, communities, activists and others on sustainability.
Who we want: We are open to speakers from all disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives. However, we give priority to senior executives from large companies — that is, to people who mirror our primary audience. We are also interested in hearing from C-level executives outside of the sustainability department, including CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and executives in risk management, marketing, IT, supply chain, human resources, legal and more. We understand how important it is for sustainability professionals to partner with other functional leaders in their companies to execute sustainability strategies effectively. We are less interested in consultants and other service providers. We also give preference to speakers who can attend most or all of the event, as opposed to those who will parachute in and out.
What we want:
- Creativity and interactivity: We want to expand our attendees’ minds and help them think differently. We also want to help them learn from their fellow attendees, particularly in our workshops and tutorials. We’ll give strong preferences to proposals that pay special attention to these goals.
- New and timely content: We are not interested in sessions that have been done at other conferences many times before. The event focuses on the latest trends and tools sustainability executives need to do their jobs.
- Diversity: We strive to foster dialogue and idea-sharing among participants with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.