Sustainable Workforce Track

The sustainable workforce is a complex thing to describe. To view the workforce from the perspective of sustainability, you have to look at not only the functioning of the current workforce, but the foundations of the workforce of the future. This futuristic aspect brings in a lot of different perspectives. The role of the workforce and its level of engagement have been clearly tied to corporate financial sustainability. There is considerable evidence to suggest that the more engaged a workforce is, the more productive it is. Don’t miss this year’s COMMIT!Forum and find out that treating employees with greater respect, offering them the opportunity to develop skills and helping keep them well will lead to greater engagement, productivity and overall financial success.

Track Sessions Include:

Driving Innovation through Diversity & Inclusion

Imagine the world if everyone intuitively believed that diversity and inclusion can create strong, high-performing, innovative and adaptable organizations. Truth is—an increasing number of research studies reaffirm this. Hear from and engage with experts from various parts of the economy as they share varied perspectives regarding the benefits of having a diverse board, workforce and supply chain—with a particular focus on innovation. Panelists also will share successes, challenges faced and, most importantly, key recommendations for driving innovation in your organization through diversity & inclusion.


Susan Baker
Vice President
Trillium Asset Management
Angela Guy
Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion
L’Oréal USA
Margie Flynn
Principal and Co-Founder
Bruce D. Murphy
Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Responsibility
Darla Stuckey
Executive Vice President and General Counsel Society
Corporate Secretaries & Governance Professionals, Inc.


Building a Conscious Connected Workforce

Engaged, motivated, high performing employees are key to any company’s business strategy. They’re also the biggest driver of successful, authentic engagement with the communities in which companies operate. With 70% of the corporate workforce actively disengaged*, companies are looking to new, creative solutions to recruit, develop and retain employees, while growing and evolving their role as active, conscious community members.

Common Impact partners closely with Fortune 500 companies to catalyze a new, more connected economy where businesses, nonprofits and employees of all backgrounds collaborate to address the community challenges that impact us all. Participants will join Common Impact, John Hancock Financial and Fidelity Investments hear tangible, replicable examples of the programs that these leading companies have developed to motivate and stretch their top performers while addressing some of the most pressing educational challenges in the regions in which they operate. Through strategic, experiential learning programs, the two companies combined have contributed more than $5 Million in in-depth consulting talent to developing stronger education systems, financial literacy programs and keeping children and young adults engaged in their own education.

In the shifting landscape of strategic corporate social responsibility and industry conversations about shared value, this session will offer participants a way to translate these popular concepts into a strategy that’s right for their company, and a feasible, actionable path forward.


Marisa Costello
Vice President, Talent Development
Fidelity Investments
Danielle Holly
Common Impact
Alex Sullivan
Senior Business Consultant, IS Community Engagement
John Hancock Financial


The Impacts of Corporate Reputation on Talent Acquisition and Retention

CR Magazine has partnered with Alexander Mann Solutions to ask working-age Americans, employed and unemployed, how corporate reputation and transparency affects their decisions to accept a new job or remain where they are. Come to the 2014 COMMIT!Forum to hear the below ground breaking results:

  • Does corporate reputation significantly impact the success and costs of talent acquisition and retention?
  • Just how much does a bad corporate reputation cost?
  • Are men or women more likely to reject a job with a company with a bad reputation?
  • As people age, are they more likely or less likely to accept a job with a company that has a compromised reputation?
  • As incomes rise, are people more likely to accept a job from a company with a questionable reputation?

Presented by:
AMS logo

Beyond Optics – The True Power of Diversity to Unleash Innovation and Drive Success

People of color make up 36 percent of the American workforce, but hold just 13 percent of board seats on the Fortune 500. Women make up nearly half of the workforce, but hold less than 17 percent of the seats on Fortune 500 boards. These are dangerous statistics that put companies at risk.

Just as leading corporations are learning to embrace sustainability not in the form of green-washing but instead as a profit driver, we must embrace diversity not for quota-filling, but because it holds remarkable potential to reduce risks, open new marketplaces, identify solutions to intractable problems, spark innovation, and catalyze growth and profit. In this plenary, panelists will discuss what organizations of all sizes are doing to move “beyond optics” to the point where diversity is a powerful tool for a successful future.


Kathy Hannan
National Managing Partner, Diversity and Corporate Responsibility
Greg Hinton
Principal, The Gregory Advisory Group
Former Chief Diversity Officer, Democratic National Committee
Amber Johnson
Corporate Relations Advisor, Center for Values-Driven Leadership
Benedictine University
Phyllis A. James
Executive Vice President, Special Counsel for Litigation and Chief Diversity Officer
MGM Resorts International


Partnering to Prepare for a STEM Economy: A New Model for Collaboration

Workforce development is one of the key concerns of today’s corporations, especially for those in STEM based industries. The US continues to lag behind its developed world peer group in math and science test scores as cited by the Wall Street Journal. The United States ranked #31 in math and #24 in science according to 2013 PISA test results.

The challenge of filling a talent pipeline that requires more technical knowledge and agility is becoming a daunting task. While the term collaboration is frequently used, far too many collaborations aren’t able to successfully accomplish what they set out to do. A new model for successful collaborations is needed to address challenges that are larger and more complex than ever before. But what makes for a successful collaboration and how do you leverage unique skill sets and experiences to increase your impact?

12 of St. Louis’ largest STEM based companies, representing $154 billion in annual revenues, partnered with one of the nation’s leading higher education institutions, state and local government, and formal and informal STEM educators to transform the STEM education ecosystem in St. Louis. With a focus on addressing the workforce pipeline shortfall, enhancing educators’ proficiency in teaching STEM and improving academic outcomes for students while preparing them for the future, STEMpact is filling a gap that existed between academia and industry. This unique collaboration leverages a common goal, passionate people and a desire to ensure a bright future for the St. Louis region.


Victoria May
Executive Director of the Institute for School Partnership and Assistant Dean of Arts
Washington University in St. Louis
Deborah Patterson
Vice President of Global Contributions and Employee Engagement
Monsanto Company
Jeffrey Whitford
Global Citizenship Manager


Presentation Showcase: A Culture of Purpose

What do Bloomberg, Chrysler and Owens Corning have in common with Unilever, PUMA and Seventh Generation? They are all paving new paths with sustainability by betting on the talent and culture of their organizations. Based on his recently released book, A Culture of Purpose, Christoph Lueneburger, founder of the Sustainability Practice at Egon Zehnder, will discuss how choosing the right people is as important as knowing how to make them choose your organization. Forward-thinking, sustainable companies will need smart, creative and passionate leaders who cultivate and thrive in a “culture of purpose.” Being sustainable is a statement about the DNA of your organization rather than about trees or solar power. Sustainability is not a description of a set of problems. It’s a solution to them. It forges cultures, it inspires. The very best people do not want window-dressing policies about composting and charitable giving. They do want to see the meaning in their work all around them, from the C-suite to the break room Egon Zehnder, a leading international executive search and talent management consultancy, has partnered with clients on over six hundred sustainability assignments globally. Having conducted more than thirty-two thousand in-depth management appraisals, from line managers to CEOs, the firm has comprehensive insight into what cultures of purpose have in common and how they can be built. Christoph deconstructs cultures of purpose into three sets of building blocks: leadership competencies, individual traits and cultural attributes. Christoph will also share a range of insights and strategies from CEOs, C-suite sustainability leaders, and board chairmen, including: Frank O’Brien-Bernini, Chief Sustainability Officer of Owens Corning; John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation; Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of PUMA; and Bob Kidder, chairman of Chrysler. For leaders ready to build and strengthen a winning business, Christoph’s presentation is an education, a revelation, and an invitation to the next generation of success.


Christoph Lueneburger
Founder of Sustainability Practice and Global Leader of Private Equity Practice
Egon Zehnder






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