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 Conference Program


Time Monday, August 31 
8:00-9:15 AM Welcome Drinks & Registration
9:15-11:00 AM

Opening Plenary
Richard Dictus
Executive Coordinator
United Nations Volunteers

11:00-11:30 AM Coffee Break
11:30-1:00 PM Forums Session #1
1:00-2:00 PM Lunch
2:00-3:30 PM Forums Session #2
3:30-4:00 PM Coffee Break
4:00-5:30 PM Forums Session #3
5:30-6:00 PM Wrap Up
6:00-6:30 PM Free time
6:30-7:30 PM Aperitif (Reception)
7:30 PM Dinner & Entertainment
Time  Tuesday, September 1
7:30-8:30 AM Welcome Drinks
8:30-8:45 AM Opening Convening
8:45-10:15 AM Forum Session #4
10:15-10:45 AM Coffee Break
10:45-12:15 PM Keynote Plenary
Dr. Michael Hastings: LORD HASTINGS of
Global Head of Corporate Citizenship
KPMG International
12:15-1:00 PM Lunch
1:00-2:30 PM Forum Session #5
2:30-3:30 PM Closing Plenary & Wrap Up
3:30 PM Adjourn
Closing Drinks

Headline Speakers

Richard Dictus

Executive Coordinator
United Nations Volunteers

Dr. Michael Hastings:

Global Head of Corporate Citizenship
KPMG International

Focusing Our Volunteer Efforts on the World’s Most Pressing Problems: The Sustainable Development Goals
Richard Dictus leads off the conference with the challenge – for companies to contribute in a major way, through their volunteer efforts, to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

A panel of corporate executives will respond, focusing on the opportunities, the obstacles, the risks and the rewards of taking on that challenge, especially with the world watching.

Changing the Way We Do Business: Building Our Impact, Demonstrating Our Value
Lord Hastings is known throughout the world for his inspired and inspiring leadership – from his work on behalf of children in Africa to his efforts in crime reduction to the creative energy he has brought to corporate social responsibility.

Be raised up by his ideas – and then engage him in dialogue about how, together, we can reshape the world through our actions.

The Forums

The conference Forums are designed to:

  • bring great thinking to specific issues identified by companies as high priorities;
  • offer participants the opportunity to showcase their own efforts, innovations and challenges; and,
  • stimulate a lively discussion to expand our thinking and improve our practice.

Topics for the forum were chosen based on input received from 30+ companies either headquartered or with major operations in Europe.

Forum Session #1

Monday, August 31, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Responding to emerging challenges. How will the Sustainable Development Goals enhance or expand how companies are already addressing many of the world’s most difficult challenges? This dialogue-focused session follows up on the opening plenary by exploring what companies are learning from their existing efforts.

Richard Dictus, United Nations Volunteers
Sue Stephenson, Ritz-Carlton Hotels (US)
Additional presenters to be announced

Corporate volunteering as a strategic asset to support corporate goals for employee engagement and development. There is broad agreement that volunteering helps build employee commitment & morale, develop leadership, strengthen teams, enhance business-related skills and recruit new employees. Leaders in the field explore how to maximize that benefit by building strong internal partnerships with human resources units.

Michael Regnet, Allianz SE (Germany)
Tanya Bell, RBC (Canada)
Stephan C. Koch, UPJ Netzwerk (Germany)

Crossing borders to volunteer. Steadily growing interest in programs that send teams of skilled volunteers across national borders, particularly to the Global South, raise issues for companies, for their volunteers and for the places they go to serve. What works? Is it a good investment? Share experiences with those who are doing it.

Diana Molina Grasa, Fundación Bancaria ”la Caixa” (Spain)
Michael Evason, IBM (UK)
Sabina Balmer, B360 education partnerships (Switzerland)

Forums Session #2

Monday, August 31, 2:00 – 3:30 PM

Overcoming barriers to effective partnerships with NGOs. Once thought of as “nice but not necessary,” partnerships with NGOs are now seen as critical to the success of employee volunteer efforts. But not all partnerships are created equal. Learn what works and what doesn’t – and see how you are doing as a partner.

Lukas Salmann, Swiss Red Cross (Switzerland)
Heather Alner, Habitat for Humanity (Slovak Republic)
Antoine Colonna, Pro Bono Lab France (France)

Doing more with less: working with intermediaries. As staffing and budgets grow tighter, as expectations for growth and impact increase, how do we cope? Many companies are turning to intermediary organizations for assistance. Explore the pros & cons and how to make it work best for everyone.

Armin Pialek, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt (Germany)
Wolfgang Krell, Bavarian Network of Volunteer Centers (Germany)
Bettina Ferdman, Philias (Switzerland)
Sharon Tal, Ruach Tova (Israel)

Representative of Audi (Germany)

Corporate volunteering in the digital age: the opportunities and challenges presented by social media and online volunteering. From connecting employees with volunteer opportunities and tracking their involvement to online volunteer opportunities to micro-volunteering to social media to energize and mobilize – there is a digital revolution underway in the volunteer community. Find out here to be part of it through innovation and adaptation.

Diana Solinger, Google (US)
Michael Evason, IBM (UK)

Forums Session #3

Monday, August 31, 4:00 – 5:30 PM

Addressing youth unemployment through corporate volunteering & other actions. This session explores how corporate volunteers can contribute to the impact of sustained high unemployment among young people – whether through mentoring or skills building or support for entrepreneurship, or by helping youth become volunteers as a way of building their workplace skills and creating a record of successful workplace experience.

Zahra Darvishi, Credit Suisse (Switzerland)
Luis Miguel Olivas, Telefonica Foundation (Spain)
Kathi Dennis, International Association for Volunteer Effort (US)

Developing internal “champions” to lead your volunteer effort. One way to address a shortfall in staffing resources is to build networks of internal champions and leadership teams that will take operational responsibility for the company’s volunteer program. Learn what works from companies that are doing it.

Sue Gammons, GSK (UK)
Additional presenters to be announced

Pro bono programs. Are pro bono programs volunteering? Does it matter? What are the best practices that inform its development and implementation by a company? How do we build effective partnerships with NGOs to ensure maximum impact? There and many more issues will be discussed by companies with successful programs and by the NGOs that help them do it.

Antoine Colonna, Pro Bono Lab France (France)
Claudia Leißner, Proboneo (Germany)
Manuel Meister, Accenture (Switzerland)
Armin Pialek, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt (Germany)

Forums Session #4

Tuesday, September 1, 8:45 – 10:15 AM

Disaster-related corporate volunteering. More natural and man-made disasters; greater expectations from our employees for meaningful response; the need to act before and after the “CNN moment” to build community resilience through preparation and prevention and to remain engaged through reconstruction. Companies that are leading the way share their experiences as prelude to discussion of the realities of engagement.

Hector Mujica, Google (US)
Jerald Barnes, UPS (US)
Lorrie Foster, International Association for Volunteer Effort (US)

Measuring impact. There is no more often discussed topic than how to measure the impact of our volunteer efforts. But there often is more talk than investment. Evaluation experts and companies debate the pros and cons of what can and should be done…or not.

Matthew Farmer, Emerging World (UK)
Sue Gammons, GSK (UK)
Carolina Leite, GRACE (Portugal)

Forums Session #5

Tuesday, September 1, 1:00 – 2:30 PM

Implementing a global volunteer program across multiple European markets. Headquarters identifies the strategic priorities, creates a “signature” volunteer program, distributes it through the system to…you. Now, how do you make it happen throughout Europe? Talk with companies that have faced that challenge and hear what they have learned.

Federica Lamma, Mondelēz International (Switzerland)
Carolyn Lüönd, Biogen International (Switzerland)
Additional presenters to be announced

Skills-based volunteering. It is what’s “hot.” But how do we recognize and put to work the skills of all of our employees, not only high-level professionals and “fast trackers”? What is an appropriate balance between skills-based and ‘traditional” (“hands-on”) employee volunteering? What are the limits in bringing it “to scale”? Join the discussion with companies that have world class skills-based volunteer programs.

Eva Halper, Credit Suisse (UK)
Dalia Kaiserman, Bank Hapoalim (Israel)
Michael Regnet, Allianz SE (Germany)

Building internal support & overcoming resistance. Strategies, programs & policies are fine. But what happens when there is resistance from those closest to the work. This is a unique approach to addressing that challenge.

Presenters to be announced

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