Platon began his career working for British Vogue and then for the late John F. Kennedy Jr.’s political magazine, George. While shooting portraits for a range of international publications, Platon developed a relationship with Time magazine, producing more than 20 covers. In 2007, he photographed Russian Premier Vladimir Putin for Time’s “Person of the Year” cover, which was awarded the World Press Photo Contest’s top prize. In 2008, he became the staff photographer for the New Yorker and produced a series of large-scale photo essays, two of which won awards from the American Society of Magazine Editors. Platon's New Yorker portfolios have covered U.S. President Obama's inauguration, the U.S military, portraits of world leaders, and the Civil Rights Movement. Platon later partnered with Human Rights Watch to highlight human rights defenders from Myanmar as well as the leaders of the Egyptian revolution. Following his coverage of Myanmar, Platon photographed Aung San Suu Kyi for the cover of Time—days after her release from house arrest.
From 2009–2011, Anne-Marie Slaughter served as Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. She received the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for her work leading the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, as well as a Meritorious Honor Award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and a Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award from the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe. Prior to her government service, Slaughter was the Dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 2002–2009, where she rebuilt the School’s international relations faculty and created a number of new centers and programs. Slaughter is a frequent contributor to both mainstream and new media, publishing op-eds in major newspapers, magazines and blogs around the world and curating foreign policy news for over 35,000 followers on Twitter.
From May 2007 through May 2012, José Ramos-Horta was the President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste—the fourth president since the country’s independence from Portugal in 1975 and the second since the restoration of the independence from Indonesia in 2002. He also served as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense from July 2006 through May 2007, and Foreign Affairs Minister from 2002 through 2006. In 1996, Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo "for their work toward a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor." He has also been recognized by the governments of Portugal, Brazil, Cuba, and Cape Verde, and he has received honorary doctorate degrees from universities in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Portugal, Thailand, and the United States. Born in Dili, East Timor, Ramos-Horta has studied at universities around the world, including Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Hague Academy of International Law, the International Institute of Human Rights, and Oxford University’s St. Antony College. He has written extensively on international affairs for the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and he is also the author of several books on East Timor.
As the head of Native Organic Products since 2011, Balbo has helped the Brazil-based organic food and beverage company become the world’s largest organic sugar cane producer. He first joined Native, his family’s business, in 1984. With a strong conviction to take the company’s production system to a higher level of sustainability, he developed the Green Cane Project, which realized the ecological potential of the sugarcane crop. Since 1995, when Native’s sugarcane fields were converted into an organic production system, the use of all synthetic chemical pesticides and fertilizers has been stopped. The Green Cane Project has been recognized by the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Appointed to his current role in May 2010, Marc Bolland began his career at Heineken NV in the Netherlands in 1987, occupying several marketing and sales management roles. In 1995, he was appointed Managing Director for Heineken in Slovakia, becoming Managing Director for Heineken Export Worldwide in 1999. Bolland was then appointed to the Board of Heineken NV in 2001, with responsibility for global marketing, as well as the regions of Western Europe, the United States, Latin America, and Northern Africa. In 2005, he became Chief Operating Officer and then joined Morrisons as Chief Executive Officer in September 2006. Bolland is currently Non-Executive Director of Manpower Inc. U.S., and has previously held the same role at Hotel de I’Europe in the Netherlands and at Quilmes, Argentina.
As the 16th Administrator of USAID, Rajiv Shah leads the efforts of more than 8,000 professionals in 80 missions worldwide. Since taking this role in December 2009, Shah managed the U.S. government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food-security initiative. He is also leading “USAID Forward,” an extensive set of reforms to USAID's business model focusing on procurement, science and technology, and monitoring and evaluation. Previously, Shah served as Undersecretary for research, education, and economics, and as Chief Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where launched the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which significantly elevated the status and funding of agricultural research.
As President of the nonprofit organization Ceres, Mindy S. Lubber leads a national coalition of investors, environmental organizations, and other public-interest groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges such as climate change and water scarcity. She also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a group of more than 100 institutional investors managing US$10 trillion in assets focused on the business risks and opportunities of climate change. Under Lubber’s leadership, Ceres launched “The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability,” highlighting critical corporate environmental and social-performance improvements for integrating sustainability across capital markets and the economy.
Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp is widely recognized as a pioneer in harnessing market forces to protect the environment, from the acid rain reduction plan in the U.S. Clean Air Act to strategic partnerships with FedEx, McDonald’s, Walmart, and others. In 2011, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu appointed Krupp to the panel charged with recommending measures to reduce the environmental impact and improve the safety of natural gas production. On the panel, Krupp was a powerful voice for greater oversight and enforcement, strong regulation of air and water pollution, public disclosure of chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluids and wastewater, and reduction of methane leakage. Krupp is coauthor, with Miriam Horn, of the New York Times bestseller Earth: The Sequel—The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming.
Aron Cramer is recognized globally as an authority on corporate responsibility by leaders in business and NGOs and by his peers in the field. He advises senior executives at BSR’s 300 member companies and other global businesses and is regularly featured as a speaker at major events and in a range of media outlets. Under his leadership, BSR has doubled its staff and significantly expanded its global presence. Cramer is coauthor of the book Sustainable Excellence: The Future of Business in a Fast-Changing World in which he examines the corporate responsibility strategies that drive business success. He joined BSR in 1995 as the founding director of its Business and Human Rights Program, and in 2002, he opened BSR’s Paris office, where he worked until becoming President and CEO in 2004. Previously, Cramer practiced law in San Francisco and worked as a journalist at ABC News in New York.
For years, the media has helped “break” sustainability stories—from investigative pieces on labor practices to naming and shaming the companies with the highest carbon emissions. Today, the media is increasing its coverage of corporate responsibility, with some major outlets creating unique channels to deliver this information. There’s no doubt that high-profile reporting has the power to influence consumers’ opinions and change what happens on the ground—from company decisions in the boardroom to what happens on the factory floor. Is the growing media coverage helping or hurting progress? How do journalists view their own responsibility in reporting on these issues? And what role does business play in getting the story right?
Humanity faces enormous challenges related to providing food, water, and energy for the 9 to 10 billion people projected to be living by 2050 while also conserving natural capital and enhancing social justice. While positive incremental steps have been taken all over the world, it is time to move beyond incrementalism and start accelerating more transformational solutions. Justin Adams is soft-launching Beyond at the BSR Conference; his new company will champion collaborative innovation approaches to these big challenges and build bridges among the private sector, public sector, and civil society. Adams will share insights from his nine years of driving low-carbon innovation at BP, as well as a new collaboration focused on the food, energy, and water nexus that he is launching with BSR in 2013.
What role do a company’s financial investments play in its climate performance? How should companies engage with electric utilities or make decisions about international siting? Growing energy demands and the evolving global landscape of energy production are causing these issues to be more consequential and higher on the list of stakeholders’ concerns. This one-hour session will explore the expanding scope of effects that companies need to manage in order to address climate change credibly with particular attention to the information and communications technology (ICT), beverage, and financial services industries.
From Appalachia to North Dakota, America’s energy boom has tangible implications for tens of millions of U.S. citizens as well as the world. Beyond the big headlines and public buzz, what must governments and other stakeholders do to ensure that communities don’t fall victim to the boom and bust so often associated with these events? This one-hour conversation will investigate the sustainability and business implications of America’s recent reemergence as a large-scale energy producer—from mining to oil and natural gas. Join us to discuss what companies and other stakeholders can do to help not only avoid the boom and bust but put communities and states on a more sustainable path long term.
For decades, Chinese workers have been making tremendous contributions to the global economy with their hardship and diligence. Recent reforms and increasing urbanization have created a new generation of migrant workers in China who aspire for more life experience and are looking for career opportunities as opposed to a simple paycheck. These workers are also more conscious of their rights and have used new technology to organize. How are the expectations of these workers changing China’s labor market? How can companies engage with these workers to build a productive and participatory workplace? This timely one-hour conversation will discuss basic human rights and more to help the new Chinese workers achieve the lives they desire.
A concept first developed by the King of Bhutan in 1972, gross national happiness (GNH) has been developed into a sophisticated model for measuring the population’s well-being. In 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for government leaders to consider happiness as part of a “holistic approach to development.” Business leaders who engage with GNH principles in a meaningful way will be leading the way to a new level of community vitality and a new business paradigm that is desperately needed. This one-hour conversation will explore the implications of these views of happiness for any company that is committed to a sustainable, responsible business model.
How do companies anticipate and address growing concerns about social and environmental issues in supply chains? From issues ranging from corruption and slavery to carbon emissions and conflict minerals, customers, the public, and the government expect companies to manage a growing number of issues increasingly deep in their supply chains. Traceability, certification, stakeholder engagement, and other tools are all evolving to meet these new demands. In this one-hour conversation with H&M’s Helena Helmersson and Sprint’s Amy Hargroves, participants will hear how companies’ supply chain sustainability programs are changing to identify key concerns and address these expectations.
Responsible business has long focused on do no harm compliance, community engagement, and human rights policies, issues that must remain at the forefront of sustainability strategies. However, our daily work related to achieving these goals is often far removed from the people it seeks to serve and the daily struggles they and their families face. Sometimes, this disconnect can result in outcomes contrary to our intentions or that have unintended consequences for vulnerable populations. This interactive two-hour working session will explore a day in the life of a low-income worker and seek to put a human face on the inclusive economy. A discussion will follow with leading companies about their efforts to achieve their sustainability goals by balancing daily risk mitigation, long-term policy change, and tangible human impact.
Even when states protect against human rights abuses and companies conduct due diligence on their impacts, human rights violations involving companies still occur. Recognizing this reality, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights call on both governments and business to provide victims of human rights abuse with access to effective remedies. Beyond the judicial system, what avenues for remedy exist for victims of human rights abuse? How can companies determine the appropriate remedy? What is the responsibility of the company involved? Join this in-depth dialogue with human rights experts from business and civil society in this one-hour conversation to answer these and other questions.
With sustainability a growing strategic imperative for leading companies, the focus is moving from the “what” of sustainability to the “how.” Companies are increasingly required to collaborate across organizational silos to design and implement strategic, long-term sustainability efforts. This session will explore how eBay has partnered across the business to advance their commitment to renewable energy, particularly through their data centers. This in-depth conversation will provide insights into and knowledge about how to inspire and manage cross-organizational efforts to implement strategic initiatives.
How does a CFO balance the short-term interests of shareholders with efforts to advance a company’s citizenship initiatives? Join us in this one-hour conversation with The Walt Disney Company’s Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, to discuss how corporate citizenship drives business value and why it is integral to the strength of the Disney brand. Moderated by BSR’s President and CEO, Aron Cramer, participants will take away useful insights into how sustainability practitioners can best engage their CFOs.
Fast Company called them “The League of Extraordinary Women” in a feature this spring: A group of women working across philanthropy, government, and the private sector to empower women and girls around the world. Charlotte Oades, Global Director of The Coca-Cola Company’s “5by20” initiative is one of them. 5by20 is The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. In a conversation moderated by Jane Wales—who is President and CEO of the World Affairs Council and Global Philanthropy Forum as well as Vice President, Philanthropy and Society, at the Aspen Institute—Oades will share why investing in women is a business imperative for The Coca-Cola Company. She’ll also talk about how this initiative is helping make the entrepreneurial dreams of women around the world a reality and changing the communities they live in.
Our global cities and megacities are a nexus of sustainability challenges where communities, environment, excess, and resource constraints all come together. A majority of the world’s population lives in cities. Over the next 30 years almost all of the population growth will be in cities, yet infrastructure development in many urban areas will need to accelerate significantly to keep up with the growing demands for energy, mobility, and opportunity. Getting sustainable growth right is critical for the long-term stability of tomorrow’s global centers. What are the challenges related to deploying new and sustainable technologies and systems? How can business, government, and civil society collaborate to create the right conditions for sustainability? This one-hour conversation will explore the future of sustainable infrastructure and the conditions and systems needed to foster sustainable growth.
This one-hour conversation will explore the issue of precarious work environments around the world where short-term labor contracting practices deny workers the basic benefits of employment. Suppliers’ widespread adoption of short-term contracting, which is legal in many countries, often denies workers wages, benefits, and collective bargaining rights, and it leaves them subject to arbitrary dismissal and retaliation without legal or contractual protection. Participants will examine the issue of precarious work using Peru, where outdated labor regulations allow brands and suppliers to engage in short-term contracting, as a case study. They will also engage in a dialogue about how companies can more clearly understand the issues and leverage engagement with suppliers to change contracting practices.
Governments, companies, and investors are trying to put a value on their environmental impacts and understand environmental risk in financial terms. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to sort the practical emerging methods from the impossible ones. This two-hour working session will delve into different regional expectations and practical applications among governments and business. Participants will first take part in a collaborative exercise in which they will apply values to environmental externalities using different methodologies. A comprehensive dialogue after the exercise will include participant feedback and an expert panel discussion about the various methodologies and where trends are heading.
Innovative partnerships are on the rise as companies take steps to make a positive difference in their supply chains. Learn how Mars, Incorporated, is finding ways to create value for the business as well as improve the well-being of those who make its businesses possible. In his role as Global Commercial Vice President, Barry Parkin is focused on creating sustainable global supply networks. In this candid discussion, participants will dig into lessons learned about creating partnerships and getting to the root of a company’s supply chain as well as the challenge of maintaining such efforts in a competitive landscape.
This session will feature an in-depth discussion with two leading business advocates on human trafficking who will focus on the types of supply chain risks companies face in the 21st century. Join David Arkless, Manpower Group’s Global President of Corporate and Government Affairs and President of End Human Trafficking Now, and Jean Baderschneider, PhD, ExxonMobil’s Vice President of Global Procurement and End Human Trafficking Now Advisory Board member for a conversation about the realities and risks of human trafficking in global supply chains. Urgent global human rights challenges, modern-day slavery and human trafficking are gaining increased attention from NGOs, investors, governments, and business. While many companies have examined whether human trafficking is occurring in their direct operations, the challenge of examining complex supply chains is much greater. This one-hour conversation will serve as a call to action for all companies and will provide concrete recommendations about what businesses can do to address human trafficking in their supply chains.
From Cairo to Yangon, political and social change is sweeping through many frontier markets. Companies that want to enter the market in high-risk, transitional countries face significant and ongoing political, economic, and legal change and uncertainty, as well as profound opportunities. In such environments, business can contribute tangibly to a country’s national development. But the stakes are high—for the company and the country. Companies have long invested and operated in such markets; what’s so different this time around? With insights from companies that have operated in and are considering investing in a market like Myanmar, this one-hour conversation will explore how companies can make sense of constantly shifting landscapes, understand the risks they face, and plan to manage them responsibly.
Most large companies recognize the need to be more responsive to shifting societal expectations, better able to establish trusting relationships with stakeholders, and become more open and accountable. And yet these same companies often struggle to translate their good intentions into good practice—partly because of how they select and develop leaders. Learn about new leadership competencies, developed with insights from leading companies that fully enable senior managers, executive teams and boards to lead with sustainability in mind. This two-hour interactive working session will give participants the opportunity to explore the identified competencies and discuss how best to embed them into an organization.
There’s a massive shift underway. We are moving into an increasingly resource-constrained world. At the same time, there is a rapidly growing middle class in emerging markets joining the almost 10 billion global population by 2050. Given these megatrends, making consumption more sustainable is critical for business, government, and civil society around the world. This Leadership in Action session will dig into how leading companies are developing innovative solutions that embrace this new reality. Through discussion and examples, these leaders will identify key opportunities for organizations to start future proofing their business.
Bribery and corruption regulation is ever-tightening and ever-deepening. With the enforcement of the UK Bribery Act (2010), complicity throughout the supply chain is punishable by imprisonment. Companies must not only establish adequate internal procedures to manage the business risks but must also root out the systemic causes of corruption. The latter may be their most socially responsible contribution to curing the global cancer of corruption and alleviating a fundamental bottleneck in trade and development. Participants in this one-hour session will hear about the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network, a cross-industry collaborative initiative tackling corruption risks in the maritime supply chain. They will take away a new understanding of how to address systemic risks in the supply chain through a collaborative approach.
Sustainability ratings are at a crossroads. Dozens of raters administer scores of surveys to thousands of companies every year. Results typically lack consistency, credibility, and transparency. Is it time to standardize ratings to help them achieve their full potential in moving capital and other markets toward sustainable outcomes? Join Allen White of the Tellus Institute and Tim Mohin of Advanced Micro Devices for a one-hour conversation about this controversial subject.
Over the past 20 years, sustainability issues have taken center stage for businesses around the world, and top-tier media report regularly on triple bottom line issues. But how much has really changed in the world of business? Have we tackled the toughest problems with effective business solutions, or are we addressing the issues superficially? Which industries are poised to lead the way around true sustainability innovation, and what’s a realistic timeline for change? Leading media pundits debate whether everything—or nothing—has changed in the world of business and sustainability.
In recent years, effects to promote the design, development, and procurement of more sustainable products have exploded. From individual company initiatives to broad industry and multi-stakeholder efforts, these programs share a total life cycle approach to sustainability and recognize the important roles the diverse “ecosystem” of business players and stakeholders play along the entire value chain. This two-hour interactive working session will help participants understand the complex and dynamic landscape of product sustainability efforts.
Leading privately held companies, private equity firms and other companies with long-term ownership structures are making bold moves on sustainability. They are taking a savvy investment approach to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors through innovative initiatives and by actively managing environmental and social risks. This one-hour session will share lessons that all companies—private or public—should adopt in order to use environmental and social performance to create, capture, and quantify the value of sustainability. Participants will explore topics including taking an investment approach to ESG opportunities, measuring returns on sustainability, and learning from emerging markets.
Over the past several years support for women entrepreneurs has grown around the world, and that support is yielding results. Globally more than 50 percent of microenterprises are owned by women. But why do so few of those microenterprises ever grow to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) level? According to recent statistics, only 8 percent of SMEs are owned by women. This one-hour conversation will explore the barriers preventing female microentrepreneurs from growing their businesses. We will also discuss what companies, investors, and others can do to help them develop larger-scale businesses, serve as stronger suppliers to companies, employ more people, and contribute more to their local communities and the global economy.
A staggering 200 million women around the world still lack access to contraception that could empower them to plan their families. Through BSR’s HERproject, we have seen firsthand how malnourishment and anemia, poor hygiene and sanitation, unsafe sex, and infrequent preventative care are harming women and their families and reducing women’s economic potential. There are environmental implications too; according to Aspen Institute, getting those 200 million women access to contraception could slow population growth significantly enough to reduce emissions by between 8 and 15 percent—roughly equivalent to ending all tropical deforestation. Despite all of the above, companies, government, and civil society rarely include women’s health in major sustainability dialogues. This one-hour conversation will explore the roles of different stakeholders and highlight specific actions the private sector can take to address women’s health more effectively.