EarthX, the world’s largest environmental festival, recently hosted the fifth Future 500 Summit, which brought top executives together with environmental advocates to discuss how best to mobilize business as a force for good. The Summit is the nation’s lead gathering dedicated to stakeholder engagement, the practice of building skills and relationships that reduce risk, increase common ground, and advance social purpose.
“We ask our delegates to leave their ‘talking points at the door,’ which helps create an atmosphere of trust,” said Erik Wohlgemuth, chief operating officer of Future 500. “This in turn yields unconventional alliances and creative solutions to tough issues, such as climate change.”
The event operates under strict confidentiality rules. Delegates can, and do, speak candidly, opening up new approaches, solutions, and relationships that might not otherwise surface. One recent participant described it as a “veritable gold mine” of insights and ideas for companies and nonprofits working to tackle climate, forest, and ocean challenges.
Speakers and presenters on the stage at this year’s Future 500 Summit at EarthX included Trammell S. Crow, founder of EarthX; Tony Keane, chief executive officer of EarthX; Bill Shireman, president and chief executive officer of Future 500; and Erik Wohlgemuth.
In panels and other sessions, leaders from opposite ends of the spectrum such as, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Washington Businesses for Climate Action, discussed carbon solutions. A conversation on the future of plastic included a senior Greenpeace campaigner and an executive from Nestle. Meanwhile, another session uncovered insights into what makes “the other side” tick. The Summit closed with a dynamic session exploring the new trend of major brands taking clear public stands on hot-button social issues.
“We work with Future 500 to build a broader capacity for collective action,” added Keane. “The world’s oceans, forests, and climate systems are no longer just ‘challenged.’ In many places, they’re in crisis. Businesses, policy makers, and the public at large all have a role to play in stopping and reversing the damage.”
The next EarthxFuture 500 Summit will be held in Dallas, April 23 – 24, 2020. Prospective delegates may request an invitation via future500.org/summit.
EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival. Founded in 2011 as Earth Day Dallas by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental leaders, exhibitors and 400 speakers. Earthx2020 will be held April 24 – 26, 2020 in Dallas. Visit EarthX.org.
ABOUT Future 500
Future 500 is a 501(c)(3) non-profit consultancy that builds trust between companies, advocates, investors, and philanthropists to advance business as a force for good. Each spring, the organization convenes a diverse group of change-makers for the Future 500 Summit at EarthX. More than 100 executives, advocates, responsible investors, and philanthropists explore how best to find common ground, build trust, resolve conflict, and mobilize markets to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges. Visit future500.org.