Program Overview

Through an innovative program of collaboration and information, SB’15 London seeks to provide inspiration, tools, and partnerships to drive business success and positive impact. Join us for plenaries, breakouts, workshops, the Activation Hub, and numerous networking events where you will dive deep into the brand innovation trenches to learn How to successfully innovate your brand for sustainability Now.

An avalanche of trends and market drivers that set the tone.

Featured Plenaries Include:

Joanna Yarrow, Head of Sustainability at IKEA UK and Ireland will unpack the company’s evolving strategy with respect to customer engagement around encouraging sustainable lifestyles. The global Swedish furniture giant believes that sustainability should not be a luxury that only few can afford. Sustainability priorities are being integrated into the heart of the IKEA brand, and Joanna will explain how marketing and communication efforts are changing to reflect that.

John Izzo, the bestselling author of Awakening Corporate Soul and Values Shift: The New Work Ethic & What it Means for Business, will explore worldwide efforts by faith-based communities to drive sustainable business practices, as well as company efforts to capture these markets and communicate effectively to these communities. Brands are starting to face both friendly and fierce advocacy based on the Pope’s assertive stand on both climate change and the excesses of capitalism, growing “green” evangelical movements, and other faith-based behavior drivers.

Helen Crowley, Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation at Kering, parent company of Puma and some 20 other brands, including Gucci, Stella McCartney, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Volcom, will share how the company is approaching next-level innovation in material sourcing and product development, including its partnership with Worn Again and H&M around circular models for textiles.

John Elkington, Founding Partner & Executive Chairman at Volans, will deliver a unique experience driving home crucial lessons from The Stretch Agenda, which takes the form of a play (!) drawing on years of experience in working with business leaders and offering insight into the types of sustainability-inspired conversations playing out across boardrooms in the Global C-Suite.

Karen Hamilton, Global VP of Sustainable Business at Unilever, will discuss the range of novel initiatives and partnerships Unilever is engaging in to help drive customer behavior change at scale and accelerate for-purpose entrepreneurs. Unilever recently reported that its ‘sustainable living brands’ accounted for half the company’s growth in 2014 and grew at twice the rate of the rest of the business.

Albert Mathieu, President of Biscuit Category Europe at Mondelēz International, will walk us through the company’s Harmony program, a new multi-pronged approach to creating shared value in the supply chain while making a positive impact on biodiversity. He will share how the company arrived at a holistic strategy, based on a set of 49 new sustainable agriculture practices.

Dynamic sessions to help you analyze specific business issues.

Featured Breakouts Include:

Daniel Vennard, Global Sustainability Director for Brands at Mars, will reveal a new methodology for tackling systemic problems and shifting entire product categories through multi-layer business model innovation. The effort brings together marketing, consumer research, business strategy and behavior experts with key actors in the food system.

Rosie Warin, CEO of Global Tolerance, will unveil the results of an insightful new study analyzing how HR departments, CSR/sustainability departments and company leaders can work together to survive a seismic shift in employee attitudes, whereby employees increasingly expect both their companies and their specific jobs to have ethical values and purpose embedded by design. This presents a huge challenge to HR departments, as they try to attract and retain the best talent, particularly young talent.

Michael Spanos, Managing Director at Global Sustain, will bring a wealth of relevant experience and knowledge to a discussion on how companies can align their brand and innovation strategies with the new UN Sustainable Development Goals, as well as Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s new funding program for research and innovation. Michael is an expert at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission and a member of an independent Expert Group on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dirk Voeste, VP of Sustainability Strategy at BASF, will explore all the ways in which BASF is strengthening its strategy and innovation processes to bring a range of chemical solutions that meet society’s 21st century needs both sustainably and profitably. From urban living, to food, to smart energy – learn how BASF is future-proofing itself through smart analysis, engagement, innovation and co-creation.

Half day, deep dive studios to help you turn ideas into action.

Featured Workshops Include:

Zoë Arden, Director at SustainAbility, will equip attendees with superbly-distilled best practices and real case studies around driving business model transformation inside a company. Following a 2014 report on 20 types of business model innovation that yield significant sustainability benefits, this session will dive deeper into the topic, exploring how a sustainability leader inside a company can create an environment that encourages innovation and the processes by which business model innovation gets traction within organizations.

Simon Milton, Founder of Pulse Brands, will lead a workshop on understanding the practical realities of creating a purpose-led organization. Using 12 Principles of Purposeful Branding as a guide, Simon will set out in very practical terms how best to create a purposeful organization.

Betsy Henning, CEO & Founder of AHA!, will guide the audience through an analysis of how and why a sustainability story spreads, or doesn’t. Recognizing that language can unite or divide us, that messages can spread like a virus, or not, this workshop will explore the “landscape” of language – including verbal, visual, oral, and interactive – to show how unique communication can create competitive advantage and teach attendees to looks for signs of effective, or ineffective, sustainability communication.

Chris Sherwin, Head of Sustainability at Seymoupowell, will teach attendees how to step into the future and drag the present towards it, and how to apply that mode of thinking to product, service and business model innovation. Chris will show examples of successful transformation future-visioning and illustrate how designers who practice this are able to imagine new ways of doing things and bring market-leading ideas to life.

An interactive space where companies collaborate and showcase innovative solutions to pressing issues.

Shaping the Future of Commerce Worldwide

The Activation Hub will enable productive commercial partnerships between companies and organizations who share the commitment to creating a vibrant and sustainable economy of the future. It functions as a thriving marketplace for brands exploring how to transform their innovative ideas into reality. This action-centered environment holds the conversations, collaborators and tools necessary to bring good ideas – and brand success – to life.

Featuring solution providers answering top issues, such as:

  • How do we build smarter homes and cities?
  • How do we better manage supply chains?
  • How do we develop superior materials and products?
  • How do we turn the vision of a circular economy into reality?
  • How do we measure, analyze and report sustainability impacts?

And more! Learn more about the Activation Hub

Networking events designed to connect you with the right partners.

Network with Brand Innovators

This is where the networking really happens. Relax in the London countryside and enjoy the company of old friends and acquaintances. Connect with peers around a topic of shared interest while you sit down for an engaging conversation at one of the many Birds of a Feather dinners or talk over drinks during our Welcoming receptions in the Activation Hub. From the moment you arrive at the Beaumont Estate, to the minute you leave; take advantage of the endless opportunities to network. Come rested and ready to connect!


  • Opening Night Plenary
  • Welcome Reception
  • Activation Hub Activities
  • Birds of a Feather Dinners and Meet-ups
  • and many more…

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