Sustainable Brands Community Leading Purpose-Driven Brand Innovation

As the largest community gathering in the Sustainable Brands global conference network, SB’16 San Diego will convene nearly 2,000 brand innovators from around the world who are tapping into emerging innovation to drive brand value and scale business success. 

More than 200 influential brand leaders and cutting-edge practitioners of environmental and social innovation will lead interactive discussions, breakout sessions, plenary presentations, deep-dive workshops and networking activities. Running with the theme, "Activating Purpose", comprehensive workshops will kick-off SB’16 San Diego with skills building fundamentals and foundational learning in strategy and execution. Trends and market drivers will set the tone for inspiring plenary sessions. Consumer and B2B research studies, challenging topics and one-of-a-kind case studies will round out breakout sessions. Distinguished experts and thought-provoking contributors include:

  • Janine Benyus, Founder at Biomimicry 3.8, sharing decades’ worth of pioneering biomimicry research to unpack what nature can teach executives about effective, purpose-driven leadership and design.
  • Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar, and Guillaume Le Cunff, President of Nespresso USA, demonstrating purpose-drive leadership in action, from building a thriving workplace to setting and pursuing a transformative business strategy.
  • UnileverNovozymesBASFWhirlpool and UNEP sharing market-leading tips on adopting and aligning the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with brand strategy, product and service innovation, and sustainability goal-setting.
  • VaselineREIJetBlueBen & Jerry’s and Campbell Soup with the inside scoop on new consumer engagement campaigns that are shaping the landscape of purpose-driven brand positioning, messaging and actions.
  • EtsyMud JeansMetaWear and The Renewal Workshop showcasing disruptive innovation strategies with the whole value chain in mind, baking in quality, uniqueness, transparency, humanity and wise use of materials from day one.
  • The Future-Fit FoundationThe ThriveAbility FoundationEvonomicsWe First and Forum for the Future unleashing powerful new frameworks and tools helping brands think about activating purpose in an integrated and interdisciplinary fashion compatible with a flourishing future for all.

Business issues will fall into seven discussion tracks: The Macro Landscape of Purpose, Purpose-driven Leadership, Building a Purposeful Organization, Engaging Customers through Purpose, Innovation on Purpose, Activating Purpose Upstream and Elevating our Collective Purpose. Collaboration and networking in these areas will spill into the Activation Hub, where many companies will showcase innovations in these key areas. Participating companies will also announce the UN Sustainable Development Goals they are committed to addressing, around which they will align conversations at SB’16 San Diego. The Activation Hub will feature discussions on activating purpose and sharing innovative solutions around Elevating our Collective Purpose, including:

  • An in-depth introduction of The Chemical Footprint Project, a new tool for evaluating and benchmarking efforts that increase product safety, featuring BeautycounterJohnson & Johnson and Kaiser Permanente.
  • PayPalDirect ReliefeBay for Charity and others on embedding more purpose elements in the user experience of e-commerce, above and beyond current best practices.
  • The Sustainable Agriculture Network, the Forest Stewardship Council, the Marine Stewardship Council and the ISEAL Alliance in a thoughtful discussion on evolving sustainability certification schemes for greater impact.
  • A conversation with Jonathan Hanwitt of thinkPARALLAXCody Hooven from the City of San Diego and Brendan Reed of the San Diego Airport on the power of innovative partnerships and implementing the San Diego Climate Action Plan.
  • Gabriel Scheer of Frog Design speaking on applying the Internet of Things to tackle global sustainability challenges.
  • Activation Hub participants include Brasken, MBDC, BillerudKorsnäs, Rapport, AM Conservation Group, Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, The Sustainability Consortium and Bard MBA in Sustainability, among others.

According to KoAnn Skrzyniarz, Founder and CEO of SB, "Brands are committing to purpose-led innovation and finding business success. We’ve demonstrated that driving the next economy requires a whole systems shift that takes collective action. From the sharing economy to the circular economy to bio-inspired design, there is a wealth of promising visions for decoupling growth and creating more resilient societies and economies that are making their way into brand innovation conversations around the world.” 

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this conversation and to join thought leaders from organizations such as Google, PayPal,, Tesla, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Microsoft, Timberland, and many more. Browse through the event website for access to the finalized conference program and a complete list of confirmed speakers and topics, as well as a list of the brand leaders who have already committed to joining us in San Diego this June 6-9th.

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