Aspen ESG Summit Agenda

Aspen ESG Summit | Agenda

July 11th—13th, 2023  |  Aspen Meadows Campus, Aspen, CO
Agenda Themes for 2023

ESG in the Headlines: as “ESG” comes under attack, how does narrative and practice need to evolve to answer the most determined critics, increase societal impact and inspire change?
Rethinking the Employee Contract: as the employee/employer relationship undergoes a profound shift, what levers exist to align business decision making and bottom line impact with worker wellbeing?
Scaling the Green Economy: demonstrating how green business transformation and future-proofing can go hand in hand.

ARRIVAL DAY: Monday, July 10th
5:30pm – 7:00pm Welcome Reception [NEWLY ADDED]

Join us to get acquainted with your fellow attendees at the Aspen Institute’s beautiful and historic campus.

DAY 1: Tuesday, July 11th
7:30am – 10:00am Networking Breakfast
8:00am – 12:00pm Optional Morning Activities

Maroon Lake (8:00am departure)
View the iconic Maroon Bells mountain peaks on a visit to Maroon Lake. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies will lead a short walk around the lake and share information about the area, the surrounding ecosystem, and the native plants and animals.

Nature Walk & Ashcroft Ghost Town (9:00am departure)
Head into the mountains to learn about Aspen’s history and natural beauty through with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Naturalist guides will lead a visit to Ashcroft, a historic silver mining ghost town, and a nature walk along the valley through an Aspen forest.

Reflections on Personal and Professional Leadership (9:45am meeting time)
Since its founding in 1949, Aspen Institute seminars have formed the backbone of our work and helped leaders across sectors to reflect on timeless ideas and values. Join the tradition with a small group discussion led by the Business & Society Program. Reading will be shared in advance.

Bauhaus Art Tour (11:30am meeting time)
Originally designed by Herbert Bayer, the Aspen Meadows campus contains a wealth of iconic Bauhaus art and architecture. A local historian will lead guests through campus to learn about its art and history—from building design to sculpture to earthworks—and leave time to explore the brand-new museum devoted to Bayer’s legacy.

9:00am – 1:00pm Pre-Event Workshop for Board Directors (separate registration)
2:00pm Registration, Refreshments & Networking 
2:45pm Main Stage Opening

Resetting the ESG Narrative
In a fractured political environment, how can we talk about the role of the corporation and investment firms in society effectively?

Keynote Speakers: Tim Doyle, Senior Policy Advisor, Bipartisan Policy Center; Sabastian Niles, Partner, Wachtell Lipton; Judy Samuelson, Vice President & Executive Director, Aspen Institute Business & Society Program (moderator)

-followed by-

Keynote Speakers: Val Smith, Chief Sustainability Officer, Citi; Michael Kobori, Chief Sustainability Officer, Starbucks & Board Director, Bunge; David Monsma, Director, Cynthia & George Mitchell Foundation and Former Director, Energy and Environment Program, Aspen Institute (moderator)

ESG in the Headlines

4:15pm Afternoon Break
4:45pm Dialogue Stream A

What is ESG Investing Designed to Do?
ESG investing is under the microscope from a host of actors with different aims, expectations and ways to shape the game. Amidst the political threats, fiduciary rule changes and greenwashing regulations, how are investment leaders thinking about their capital placement and impact potential?

Provocateurs: Andrew Siwo, Director of Sustainable Investments and Climate Solutions (SICS), New York State Common Retirement Fund; Bill Weil, Head of Sustainable Finance, Tempest Advisors; Anna Snider, Managing Director/Head of CIO Due Diligence, Bank of America/Merrill Lynch

Scaling the Green Economy

Dialogue Stream B

Unlocking the Power of Worker Voice
Workers and investors both win when the wisdom of those on the front line and in everyday operations informs corporate decision making at all levels.

Provocateurs: Cydney Roach, Global Chair, Employee Experience, Edelman; Justina Nixon-Saintil, Chief Impact Officer, IBM; Maureen Conway, Vice President and Executive Director, Economic Opportunities Program (EOP), Aspen Institute; Miguel Padro, Assistant Director, Business & Society Program, Aspen Institute (moderator)

Rethinking the Employee Contract

Dialogue Stream C [NEWLY ADDED]

Telling Better Stories Around “ESG”
Stories move us to action and can build consensus or fuel division. What is the energizing new ESG narrative that is centered on business strategy and value that will move us past misleading rhetoric? How do we tell stories that matter in this moment – and what platforms do we use?

Facilitated by: Gary Knell, Purpose-Driven Media Leader; Former CEO of National Geographic Society & Sesame Workshop

ESG in the Headlines

6:00pm Cocktail Reception, Hosted by Walmart
7:00pm Networking Dinner at Aspen Meadows with Guest Speaker on Geopolitics

Guests: Jane Nelson, Founding Director, Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School & Board Director, Newmont Mining; Orlan Boston, Sustainability & ESG Markets Leader, EY

Moderated by: Elliot Gerson, EVP, Programs and International Partners, Aspen Institute

9:00pm Close of Day
DAY 2: Wednesday July 12th
7:00am Yoga Class
8:00am Networking Breakfast & Topic Discussions*
9:00am Main Stage Discussion

Responding to Changing Markets & Shifting Regulations
How are regional and national governments incentivizing action and driving transparency on sustainability goals and investments – and how are corporations answering the call?

Keynote Speakers: Dave Young, Treasurer, State of Colorado; Will Toor, Executive Director, Colorado Officer of Energy; Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor, Fortune (moderator)

-followed by-

Keynote Speakers: Mark Kroese, General Manager, Sustainability Solutions, Microsoft; Antoni Ballabriga, Global Head of Responsible Business, BBVA and Steering Group Member, Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA); Janine Guillot, Former CEO, SASB/VRF (moderator)

ESG in the Headlines

10:15am Morning Break
11:00am Dialogue Stream A

Remaking Corporate Culture: Beyond DEI Headcounts
What breakthrough human capital practices build the capacity and competencies for organizations to become the industry leader they aspire to be, and fulfill deep commitments to a better future?

Provocateurs: Mahlet Getachew, Managing Director of Corporate Racial Equity, PolicyLink; Kwasi Mitchell, Chief Purpose & DEI Officer, Deloitte; Stephanie Stahl, Board Director, & Corporate Advisor, Carter’s, Dollar Tree, Newell Brands; John Renehan, VP, Digital Transformation, Pratt & Whitney 

Rethinking the Employee Contract

Dialogue Stream B

Capturing the Green Premium
Companies across industries are  “greening” product lines and gaining early market leadership in green markets.  What are the opportunities now and how are companies weighing options for action and crafting strategies to commercialize green innovation?

Facilitator: John Pineda, Managing Director & Partner, BCG & Co-Author “Winning in Green Markets”

Table Hosts: Jennifer Gootman, Global Head of Sustainability & ESG Strategy, Tory Burch; Scott Tew, Vice President, Sustainability, Trane Technologies; Suzette Carty, Global Head of ESG, CDW; Jennifer Silberman, SVP & Chief Sustainability Officer, Dollar Tree

Scaling the Green Economy

Dialogue Stream C

In Search of Collective Action: What Are Trade Groups Doing in Your Name?
Are your lobbyists aligned with your intentions? How enterprise leaders can influence regulation and policy – by assuring representatives bolster, not undermine, sustainability strategy.

Facilitator: Judy Samuelson, Vice President & Executive Director, Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

ESG in the Headlines

12:30pm Networking Luncheon, Hosted by Edelman
12:30pm Private Lunch for Aspen Leaders Forum Members
2:00pm Thematic Roundtables* or Paired Walks
3:30pm Afternoon Break
4:15pm Main Stage Discussion

Taking the Long View: Sustainability Meets Strategy
The CSO of a globally-significant enterprise is part strategist, part diplomat – navigating complex demands of a dynamic business environment and diverse stakeholders. Who needs to be on the CSO’s speed dial, and how is this role evolving to support the path to real, long-term value creation?

Keynote Speakers: Jim Andrew, EVP & Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo; Kathleen McLaughlin, Chief Sustainability Officer & President of the Foundation, Walmart

Moderated by: Judy Samuelson, Vice President & Executive Director, Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

Scaling the Green Economy

5:30pm Depart for Evening Excursion
6:00pm Cocktail Reception @ Excursion Venue in the Elk Mountains
7:00pm Networking Dinner, Hosted by BCG @ Excursion Venue in the Elk Mountains
9:00pm Evening Concludes & Return Shuttle Departs
DAY 3: Thursday, July 13th
7:00am Yoga Class
7:30am – 9:00am Optional Breakfast Workshop

Will Private Capital Transform ESG?
As private capital continues to grow its share of global investment dollars, how will ESG-driven business models and value creation strategies shift?

Facilitators: David Young, Managing Partner, BCG & Judy Samuelson, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

8:30am Networking Breakfast 
9:30am Dialogue Stream A

When Nature Has Standing
How are innovative businesses managing natural capital dependencies and impacts?

Provocateurs: Glen Delaney, Project Director, Earth Economics; Jenny McColloch, Chief Sustainability & Social Impact Officer, McDonald’s; Tommy Polzin, CEO, Vallast & Former Head, Ecosystem Services, Dow; Veli Ivanova, Chief Sustainability Officer – Americas, EY (moderator)

Scaling the Green Economy

Dialogue Stream B

Resilient Workforce, Resilient Company
Worker stability is vital to firm competitiveness in a turbulent economy and yet threatened by that same upheaval. How are organizations strengthening the connection between workforce strategies and long-term value creation?

Provocateurs: Ethan Rouen, Assistant Professor of Business Administration & “Reimagining Capitalism”, Harvard Business School; Cambria Allen, Managing Director & Head of Investor Strategies, JUST Capital; Julie Gehrki, Vice President, Programs & Philanthropy, Walmart; Eli Malinsky, Deputy Director, Business & Society Program, Aspen Institute (moderator)

Rethinking the Employee Contract

10:45am Morning Break
11:15am Main Stage Closing

The Way Forward
What do leaders need to focus on to move forward, in this moment of profound challenge and change?

Keynote Speakers: Holly May, EVP & Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance; Ellen McGirt, Senior Editor, Fortune; Judy Samuelson, Vice President & Executive Director, Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

12:30pm Networking Luncheon
1:30pm Close of Aspen ESG Summit
2:00pm Optional Afternoon Activity

Bayer Center Tour
Discover the art and legacy of Herbert Bayer, an influential modern artist and designer who exemplifies Bauhaus style and shaped the early artistic and programmatic vision of the Aspen Institute. The Director of the newly-built Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies will lead guests through a tour of Aspen history, its connection to Herbert Bayer, and the museum’s summer exhibit centered on his 1953 geo-graphic atlas.

*These small group discussions will be centered on simmering issues identified by YOU. We are collecting ideas and welcome your input. Topic suggestions currently include Defining the “Just Transition”, The Future of the ESG Function, Divestment vs Engagement, Closing the Sustainability Skills Gap, Polarization in the Workplace, Digital Acceleration & AI.