2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference Begins Tomorrow in Atlanta

BCConf16-Box.jpgEvery year, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship gathers CSR leaders from around the globe for our International Corporate Citizenship Conference. Drawing experts from our more than 400 Member companies, leading corporate citizenship and management thinkers, and organizations such as CDP and GRI, we create unique space—one that admits corporate citizenship practitioners only—for the free exchange of ideas.

This year, our Conference is sponsored by UPS, a company who has a strong track record of meeting and exceeding CSR goals around the world, and will be held in Atlanta. This two-and-a-half-day event will be packed with information and guidance to help corporate citizenship practitioners tackle the global challenges that are affecting every community. Attendees will learn how to make the most of emerging opportunities to create the scale that can deliver global change and achieve progress on critical benchmarks identified in the Paris Accord and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Here are just a few things we’re excited about exploring in Atlanta:

Insights from CSR leaders

Tomorrow, some of the brightest minds from around the world will begin arriving in Atlanta with plans to share the innovative new programs, partnerships, and solutions that are driving positive change across the globe—one community at a time. During seven illuminating general sessions, attendees will learn about topics as varying as the importance of reporting to evolving global strategy from leaders like Eduardo Martinez, president of the UPS Foundation and chief diversity & inclusion officer at UPS. Other speakers include:

  • Jeff Bellows, vice president of corporate citizenship & public affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Travelers
  • Lori George Billingsley, vice president of community relations at Coca-Cola North America
  • Jon Campbell, executive vice president and director of government and community relations at Wells Fargo & Company
  • Kirsten Gappelberg, manager of corporate social responsibility at Mary Kay Inc.
  • Ron Garan, space station & shuttle astronaut, aquanaut, social entrepreneur, and humanitarian
  • Marlene Ibsen, vice president of community relations at Travelers
  • Michael Meehan, chief executive officer of GRI
  • Jimmie Paschall, executive vice president of enterprise diversity and inclusion & strategic philanthropy at Wells Fargo & Company
  • Rick Pearl, vice president and global CR officer at State Street Corporation
  • Lance Pierce, president of CDP North America
  • Tony Pipa, international policy adviser to the administrator and deputy assistant to the administrator at USAID Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning
  • Kathleen Tullie, director of social responsibility at Reebok International

Numerous networking opportunities

CSR practitioners are often part of very small teams—or in many cases—are brave teams of one. As such, they don’t always have the same opportunities to share ideas and best practices that those from other professions enjoy. That’s why we’ve built ample time into our Conference for networking. From Networking Summits catering to specific fields and topics, to carefully planned meals and receptions, Conference attendees will be bouncing ideas off of each other from dawn to dusk.

Corporate “Fitizens” Networking Walk

While we’re excited to exchange ideas in the Omni Atlanta Hotel, we want to make sure our attendees get a chance to see all that the city has to offer, which is why we’ll be conducting Corporate “Fitizens” Networking Walks, two 45-minute walks. Guided by Center staff, participants will have the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of Atlanta while getting to know their peers.

WORKSHOP: Improving Employee Engagement Within Your Company and Corporate Citizenship Programs

During Monday afternoon’s breakout sessions, participants will have the opportunity to participate in a highly interactive, fast-paced workshop to determine the best ways to connect corporate citizenship work to broader employee engagement strategies and identify engagement tactics that could be applied to CSR programs.  

On-site Volunteer Project

On both Monday and Tuesday, many attendees will take advantage of the opportunity to give back while they get to know one another. This year’s onsite volunteer project—sponsored by Insperity—will help bring comfort to children in need. Volunteers will bring a stuffed animal to life, creating a charitable gift that will provide coziness lasting for years and memories that will endure beyond. After the event, Insperity will donate these heartfelt efforts to a worthy cause in the Atlanta area.

A session for every issue

Working in corporate citizenship can be a complex task. CSR professionals are tasked with advancing the environmental, social, and governance issues that are material to their business, which are as numerous as they are varied. That’s why we’ve planned 24 breakout sessions, case studies, and workshops—each with their own distinguished panel or facilitator—to help tackle a pressing CSR challenge or amplify an emerging opportunity. Attendees should reference the Conference App for a full list of sessions, below are just a few we’re excited about:

Sustainable Development Goals: A Roadmap for Progress

On September 25 2015, the UN accepted a new set of targets—17 specific actions the world needs to take to protect its people and the environments in which they live, from ending poverty and hunger to ensuring sustainable cities and communities. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) follow the Millennium Development goals that expire at the end of 2015. Many companies have been involved with the UN throughout the development process, but others are just beginning to focus on actions they can take to address these large issues. In this session, participants will discuss the impacts of the SDGs on organizations and what CSR practitioners can do to respond.

Community Collaboration: Building Meaningful Partnerships for Impact

Partnerships are an increasingly important component of companies’ corporate citizenship strategies. From purely philanthropic alliances to more complex, fully integrated collaborations, companies pursue a wide array of partnerships to achieve community involvement goals. Sound understanding and management of a complex set of issues will help to ensure that partnerships have the ability to impact social issues and return value back to the business. This session will help CSR professionals deliver on their programs’ full potential.  

Do Healthy Employees = Happy Employees = Productive Employees?

An increasing number of firms are offering programs that care for their employees’ mental, physical, and emotional health. This session focuses on how companies are integrating health and wellness programs into their corporate citizenship and employee engagement agendas. How does health and wellness bridge the gap between Human Resources and CSR departments? How are employees engaged authentically? Attendees will hear from companies who have created innovative programs that cut health care costs and reduce absenteeism.

We’ll be blogging throughout the 2016 International Corporate Citizenship Conference to give you daily recaps and deep dives into the event’s unique content. Keep informed by subscribing to the Corporate Citizenship Blog by clicking below.