BSR Conference 2019

The New Climate for Business

November 12-14, 2019 San Jose, California

Sessions and Workshops

Additional speakers to be announced as the program develops throughout the year. Sessions, workshops, and confirmed speakers are subject to change.

Photos from breakout sessions

A ‘Future of Work’ That Works for Women

Wednesday November 13, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

The rise of automation and the flourishing of artificial intelligence, among many other new and profound disruptions, stand to transform labor markets around the world in a manner that holds significant implications for women in the workplace. It remains to be seen, however, whether the new dynamics of the “Future of Work” will help or hinder progress toward gender parity in the workplace. This panel will explore how companies are addressing the shifting work scenarios and disruptive technologies to ensure their female workforce is being adequately supported, afforded equal opportunities to advance, and are actively involved in creating the technology tools and solutions being deployed. Hear from a select group of corporate decision-makers working to minimize the risks to women’s employment and maximize the opportunity for women to succeed.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Luciana Duarte

VP and Global Head, Employee Experience

HP Inc.


Althea Erickson

Head of Global Advocacy and Policy

Etsy


Joel Simon

Managing Director, Workforce and Economic Development

Burning Glass Technologies


Aditi Mohapatra

(Moderator)

Director, Women’s Empowerment

BSR


Advancing Gender Equality to Tackle Climate Change

Thursday November 14, 1:45 pm-2:45 pm

As the effects of climate change continue to exacerbate poverty, inequality, and other social issues, the solutions we put forth must include social focus—including empowering women to be leaders on climate action. The international community—with the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and the UNFCCC Gender Action Plan in 2017—is prioritizing women’s leadership on climate change solutions. Business, too, can act by empowering women leaders to act on climate throughout their value chains. Learn how doing so is a win-win-win for business, women, and society.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Danielle Azoulay

Head of CSR and Sustainability

L'Oreal USA


Bridget Burns

Director

WEDO


Samantha Harris

(Moderator)

Manager

BSR


Aligning Materiality and Risk Management to Ignite Change

Wednesday November 13, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

While a materiality assessment is a key tool for sustainability teams, it is too often developed in silo from other corporate tools such as enterprise risk management (ERM). There are opportunities to align materiality and ERM processes in a way that can build stronger connections to serve the core business. This interactive session will use a live example to understand connections between materiality and risk management and explore opportunities to bridge and enhance both risk and sustainability assessments. 

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Silvia M. Garrigo

Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and Social Investment

Millicom


Alison Taylor

(Moderator)

Managing Director, Sustainability Management

BSR


Denielle Harrison

(Moderator)

Manager

BSR


Beyond Case Studies: Measuring and Communicating Total Impact

Thursday November 14, 1:45 pm-2:45 pm

After years of focus on footprints and case studies, attention is now squarely on the sustainability impacts of an entire company and the products and services that generate its revenue. How can a company evaluate, measure, and enhance its impacts? Learn directly from the companies and investors deploying innovative new models to make sustainability part of the revenue model—driving greater impact and revenue in the process.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

John Schulz

Director, External Affairs, Sustainability

AT&T


Del Anderson

Senior Vice President, Credit Research

PIMCO


David Korngold

(Moderator)

Director

BSR


Big Hairy Audacious Goals: Pilot Testing from the Field

Thursday November 14, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

Today’s rapidly changing world requires companies to make big bets in order to achieve their future goals—but how do they make the initial leap? There are innumerable factors to weigh before identifying the right pilot and testing it. And once a pilot is in place, how do companies transition to scaling the program to meet the desired commitment? Join us for this candid discussion and learn from companies that have made progress on their ambitious goals.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Mary Jane Melendez

President, General Mills Foundation

Vice President, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, General Mills


Jorgette Marinez

(Moderator)

Director, Consumer Sectors

BSR


Building Stakeholder Trust in 2019

Wednesday November 13, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

In 2019, the question of how to build and retain trust—among investors, regulators, customers, suppliers, civil society organizations, and the general public—is the most pressing challenge facing business. The stakes have never been higher. The average tenure of a business on the S&P 500 shrank from 33 years in 1964 to 24 years in 2016 and is forecast to last a mere 12 years by 2027. Competition, innovation and technological disruption, while important drivers, tell only part of the story. If a business is not trusted by its stakeholders, it will not be able to maintain revenue, let alone grow, and soon may find its very existence imperiled. Therefore, approaches to stakeholder engagement have shifted their focus from managing risk to building trust. This interactive workshop will explore how to refine and evolve stakeholder engagement efforts to respond to these new dynamics.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Charlotte Bancilhon

(Moderator)

Associate Director

BSR


Business and the Biodiversity Crisis

Thursday November 14, 10:15 am-11:15 am

In the coming decades, 1 million of the world’s 8 million plant and animal species are at risk of disappearing from Earth. Business intervention has never been more important. In advance of the 2020 Biodiversity Convention and the New Nature Action Agenda, participants will hone in on the crucial, but not always obvious, role of business in conservation and biodiversity protection. Explore nature-based solutions to climate, wildlife trading and its impact on conservation and livelihood, the role of business in creating healthy ecosystems, and more during this timely discussion. 

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Helen Crowley

Senior Advisor, Resilient Supply Chains

Conservation International


Elisa Niemtzow

(Moderator)

Managing Director

BSR


Climate’s Impact on Health: Why Every Business Should Care

Wednesday November 13, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Climate change affects each and every human around the globe, with profound and potentially lasting implications that could undermine decades of progress in public health. Companies operating at the intersection of health and climate have a critical role to play and a massive opportunity to contribute to solutions. As climate change intensifies, so do its impacts on human health—and on business. These impacts affect companies in all sectors. Join representatives from healthcare; financial services; information and communications technology; and food, beverage, and agriculture to learn how to build climate resilience.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Ted Monk

Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility

Sodexo


Jessica Wolff

Director, Climate and Health

Health Care Without Harm


Cecile Oger

(Moderator)

Director

BSR


Content Moderation in the Era of Virality

Thursday November 14, 1:45 pm-2:45 pm

How can social media platforms respect users’ freedom of expression while also protecting them from harm? With more than 3 billion people active on social media, it’s a challenge of unprecedented scale in human history. Over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute; Facebook removes around 8 million pieces of content per quarter for violating standards for hate speech, bullying, and terrorist propaganda; Twitter takes action against around 250,000 unique accounts each quarter for violating hateful conduct rules. Are social media platforms fighting a losing battle against the sheer volume of content? Companies are ramping up content moderation efforts, but they face major questions about how to create content standards, how to balance global rules with local context, and what the role of each stakeholder should be. Investigate some of the ways companies can solve these challenges in a way that balances security, privacy, and freedom of expression.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Kim Malfacini

Product Policy

Facebook


Dunstan Allison-Hope

(Moderator)

Managing Director

BSR


Countdown to 2030: Innovating for the SDGs

Wednesday November 13, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm

The 17 goals and 169 targets that comprise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an ambitious roadmap for the global community to achieve real progress for humanity. A business-as-usual approach is not enough to reach these ambitious targets, and in response, a growing number of innovative and interconnected approaches are emerging. Examine the role that innovation can play for companies, donors, and civil society in their pursuit of the SDGs.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Antoine Sire

Director, Company Engagement Department

BNP Paribas


Amanda Gardiner

Director, Social Responsibility

Verizon


Kate Coles

(Moderator)

Director, Partnership Development

BSR


Facing the Future: The Implications of Facial Recognition

Wednesday November 13, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm

New technologies are transforming private and public spaces as facial recognition becomes more accessible and consumer-facing. From crime prevention to checkout-free stores, there are many opportunities to benefit from human-sensing tools. However, risks of discrimination and privacy violations also exist. In fact, some cities have already gone so far as to create “facial recognition free zones.” Discover how business, government, and civil society are thinking about how to respect human rights throughout the development and deployment of this new technology.  

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Harvey Jang

Chief Privacy Officer and Counsel

Cisco


Lisa Dyer

Director, Policy

Partnership on AI


Katie Joseff

Manager, Digital Intelligence Lab Research

IFTF


Michaela Lee

(Moderator)

Manager

BSR


Future-Proofing Human Rights Due Diligence

Thursday November 14, 10:15 am-11:15 am
Thursday November 14, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

The world around us is changing at an increasingly rapid pace, with new technologies, shifting social norms, and turbulent politics transforming the circumstances in which business is expected to meet its responsibility to respect human rights. In this context, one big question looms large: Is the business and human rights field equipped to identify, and effectively mitigate, the potentially adverse impacts of the future? This interactive workshop will explore new approaches to human rights due diligence designed to help companies identify and address the uncertain human rights impacts of a rapidly changing world.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Alexandria Walden

Counsel, Free Expression & Human Rights

Google


Nicole Karlebach

Global Head, Business and Human Rights

Verizon Media


Jacob Park

(Moderator)

Director, Sustainable Futures Lab

BSR


Hannah Darnton

(Moderator)

Manager

BSR


Investor Relations in the New Era of ESG Scrutiny

Wednesday November 13, 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

After years of hard work by investors and NGOs, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s annual letter to CEOs shows how sustainability has vaulted to the top of the agenda in investor relations. Investors are increasingly pushing companies to take new actions, improve their reporting, and come up the learning curve—quickly. What should companies do to respond to the increase in investor scrutiny, and how can they work with their investor relations teams to turn ESG demand into sustainable business impact? Learn from speakers as they share their experiences at the intersection of corporate sustainability, investor relations, and shareholder demand.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Conrad MacKerron

Senior Vice President

As You Sow


Karlyn Adams

(Moderator)

Associate Director

BSR


Leading Radical Change through Collaboration

Wednesday November 13, 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

Business leaders who are steering BSR’s largest collaborations will share what it takes to tackle a company’s most critical sustainability challenges. What mindsets, talents, and business model transformations are needed to collaborate with peers and stakeholders, and what leadership qualities enable companies to achieve radical change?

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Fernando Basch

Partner

Bruchou


Soo Shim

Chief of Staff

SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass


Cecilia Müller Torbrand

(Moderator)

Director

BSR


The New Climate for Activism: Employees Take the Lead

Thursday November 14, 1:45 pm-2:45 pm

Employee engagement is changing as employees are increasingly rallying around issues that are personal to them. Employees are raising their voices when they find themselves building products that might jeopardize human rights, want more company action on climate change, see discrimination in the workplace, and more. When employees perceive their company’s actions or products are inconsistent with their values, we’ve seen them write letters to CEOs, organize protests, submit shareholder resolutions, and even walk off the job entirely.  Learn first-hand how companies are handling these issues today and working to develop policies and products that reflect the deep respect for sustainability that they promote in their cultures and systems.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Jeff West

Corporate Responsibility Leader, Corporate Citizenship

IBM


Michael Rohwer

(Moderator)

Director, Information and Communications Technology

BSR


The New Climate for Business Responsibility: Modernizing the Social Contract

Thursday November 14, 10:15 am-11:15 am

Fair and effective social contracts enable businesses, workers, and society to thrive together. The social contract that has shaped our economy over the past 75 years needs to be adjusted so that it meets the demands of a rapidly changing world of work and global business environment. In the context of such profound changes, there are significant business incentives to modernize social contracts for the work models of the 21st century to enable all people to successfully adapt to this shifting nature of work, to allow businesses to develop the talent needed to innovate and compete, and to help build social consensus about the relative roles and responsibilities of government, business, and citizens. Insights from this session will be relevant to debates over social safety nets, healthcare, and education.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Stephanie Beers

Attorney, Employment Policy and Strategy

Microsoft


Aron Cramer

(Moderator)

President and CEO

BSR


The New Climate for Business: The Retreat of Universal Values

Thursday November 14, 1:45 pm-2:45 pm

All around the world, respect for human rights, the operating space for civil society, and respect for journalists is under pressure. It is no longer the case that businesses can be certain that universal values supporting these principles are widely shared, or widely practiced. For companies operating globally, this raises the risk that companies themselves will be constrained, and that global trade will also be constrained.  In this context, companies face new questions. What is their role in promoting open societies when they increasingly run counter to prevailing views in many places? What is the role of business in promoting rule of law? And how can companies support civil society and journalists in places where governments are cracking down?  

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Witold Henisz

Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania


Bennett Freeman

Principal

Bennett Freeman Associates LLC


Linsi Crain

Global Social Performance Manager

Chevron


Jenny Vaughan

(Moderator)

Human Rights Director

BSR


The New Climate for Ever-Evolving Technology

Wednesday November 13, 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

New and disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things, are being deployed across all industries—everything from financial services to retail, mining to automotive, and logistics to healthcare. The adoption of these technologies brings significant implications for company sustainability strategies: New material issues will arise, salient human rights impacts will change, and different stakeholders will need to join the table. What can companies from outside the technology industry learn from those that have faced these issues over the past decade? 

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Kate Brandt

Google Sustainability Officer

Google


Patrick Browne

Director, Global Sustainability

UPS


John Hodges

(Moderator)

Managing Director

BSR


The New Climate for Inclusive Growth: The Business Response to Income Inequality

Wednesday November 13, 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

Growing income inequality and declining social mobility have created social, economic, and political instability in many parts of the world. In addition, this presents a challenge to the social license to operate for business. Failure to address a growing sense of economic vulnerability is leading to a backlash against the very idea of capitalism. At the same time, many businesses are exploring ways in which they can modernize their approach to wage dispersion and stagnation, and affordability of goods and services, to address economic insecurity. This session will explore questions on living wage, executive pay and tax structures, and experiments on introducing a universal basic income, which are increasingly garnering attention.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Marika McCauley Sine

Vice President, Global Sustainability

Mars


Roger Mcelrath

(Moderator)

Associate Director

BSR


The New Climate for Leadership: Business Voice in a Tribalized World

Wednesday November 13, 4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Today, businesses are taking public stances on emotive issues such as abortion rights, immigration, and gun control—all of which would previously have been considered matters for only governments to consider. In the context of today’s polarized social environment, the traditional approach of political neutrality may no longer be the least risky approach. Consumers and even investors are increasingly expecting companies to walk the talk when it comes to their values. But this requires making difficult, values-based decisions that by definition will alienate some constituents. How can companies navigate this fraught new external landscape in a way that is coherent and consistent, and how can business best use its influence to enable a positive policy environment?

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Tiffany Apczynski

Vice President, Public Policy and Social Impact

Zendesk


Alison Taylor

(Moderator)

Managing Director, Sustainability Management

BSR


The New Climate for Resilience: Leveraging TCFD Scenario Analysis to Manage Climate Risks

Wednesday November 13, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Over 450 companies have now expressed their support for the TCFD Recommendations, which include integrating climate risks and opportunities into business processes and conducting climate scenario analysis. Learn from companies using the TCFD recommendations as a framework for both reporting and climate change management. Those implementing the recommendations on scenario analysis have a further opportunity not only to engage with investors but to enhance strategic resilience. This interactive session will also provide participants with hands-on experience using scenarios to navigate an uncertain climate future.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Laurel Peacock

Director, Sustainability

NRG


Sarah Hill

Associate Director, Sustainability

Becton Dickinson


David Wei

(Moderator)

Director, Climate

BSR


Jacob Park

(Moderator)

Director, Sustainable Futures Lab

BSR


The Secret to Transparent, Traceable Supply Chains

Wednesday November 13, 10:30 am-12:00 pm

Explore how to design and implement deliberately transparent, traceable, and sustainable supply chains. During this interactive workshop, participants will look at real-life case studies of companies that are using technology, new collaborative approaches, and unusual partnerships to transform supply chains and create traceability stories for consumers. Participants will then work in groups to apply the learnings to a supply chain of their choice.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

David Trecker

Global Head of Supply Chain Finance

Bank of America


Leandro Nunes

Vice President, Product Development and Innovation

Mastercard


Michael Rohwer

(Moderator)

Director, Information and Communications Technology

BSR


Tara Norton

(Moderator)

Managing Director

BSR


Smashing the Patriarchy: The Limits and Risks of Corporate Feminism

Thursday November 14, 10:15 am-11:15 am

As women’s rights have risen on the political agenda, companies have sought to align themselves with feminism as a social movement. This has led to successful advertising campaigns, revamped brand images, and product marketing that connects with women. Yet the backlash against ‘corporate feminism’ is growing, with many pointing out that feminism is a political movement for the liberation of women, requiring political changes that will threaten and disrupt existing business models. Are companies aware of the demands of feminism? What role can companies play in supporting women’s rights, without exposing themselves to charges of hypocrisy or deliberate diluting of radical demands?

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Ayesha Barenblat

Founder and CEO

Remake


Christine Svarer

(Moderator)

Director, HERproject

BSR


Standardizing and Scaling Up: Climate Resilience Across Value Chains

Wednesday November 13, 3:15 pm-4:15 pm

Climate change impacts—including more frequent and intense extreme weather events, warming temperatures, and drought—already affect businesses and communities along company value chains. As more companies recognize the urgency to reduce climate risk to maintain productivity, they face a significant challenge in developing resilience strategies: the absence of universal metrics and standards to quantify the benefits. Explore the opportunities and options in setting adaptation targets, defining a framework for results, and maximizing the benefits of resilience for communities along company value chains. 

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Shannon Siart

Manager, Sustainability Initiatives

Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Yui Kamikawa

Senior Manager, Public Policy, Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact

The Coca-Cola Company


Eileen Gallagher

(Moderator)

Manager

BSR


The New Climate for Corporate Political Accountability

Thursday November 14, 11:30 am-12:30 pm

As companies taking stands on social and political issues has become the norm, business find themselves on the receiving end of calls for corporate political accountability. lobbying practices, political contributions, and political associations are being heavily scrutinized by stakeholders across the spectrum, from shareholders to employees, customers, and investors. This session explores reasons why political accountability matters to all stakeholders, best practices in corporate efforts, and lessons learned by corporations and stakeholders on this topic. Though the Corporate Political Disclosure and Accountability Index shows there has been a, “trend toward enhanced accountability, transparency, compliance, and oversight across all corporate sectors,” since 2011, but there remains much more to be done. We will dive into the three pillars of this issue: direct corporation and corporate sponsored PAC contributions, corporate lobbying efforts on ESG issues, and corporate involvement in industry associations that take positions on ESG issues. Join us for this timely discussion in the midst of a polarizing U.S. election cycle that affects business now more than ever.

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

John Hodges

(Moderator)

Managing Director

BSR


Using Technology to Monitor Supply Chains: Good Idea or Big Brother?

Thursday November 14, 10:15 am-11:15 am

Thanks to new technology, supply chain management is going digital. Technological advances are changing how products and services are made and delivered and enabling the creation and sharing of supply chain information in new ways. But are these ‘advances’ always positive? Let’s debate whether using digital tools to gain traceability and visibility—as in the case with forest satellite monitoring—is truly providing sustainability benefits. How can we use these tools in a way that respects peoples’ privacy and livelihoods and benefits those in the supply chain who are most in need?

Scheduled Speakers

Additional speakers to be announced.

Thibault Gravier

Associate Director

TRANSITIONS


Robin Barr

Head of USA and Canada, Global Director

Earthworm


Tara Norton

(Moderator)

Managing Director

BSR


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I appreciated the passion of the attendees. It is clear that the conference creates a synergy that is needed in our business world.

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