Crowdsourcing & Digital Innovation for Sustainability

Monday, December 04, 2017

18:00 - 21:00

Here at The Crowd, a genuine belief in “The Wisdom of Crowds” is central to our mission. It is part of our DNA and central to everything we do.

We also believe that solutions for the most challenging global problems confronting business, government and society, can be found by tapping into the deep wellspring of innovation, passion and experience that exists in humanity’s collective intelligence.

In today’s digitally empowered and socially connected “Idea Economy” we have an unprecedented ability to harness the diverse perspectives of large groups of people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, to develop new creative solutions for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and making the world a better place for everyone.

So, for our final Crowd Forum of 2017, it gives us great pleasure to present a sustainability leader from one of the world’s most respected companies who also shares this belief.

Chris Wellise, the recently appointed Chief Sustainability Officer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (USA) will be joining us this December 04, to share his experience and lessons from the company’s award-winning Living Progress Challenge – a signature initiative that combined the power of crowdsourcing, design thinking and digital technology to tackle some of the biggest global sustainability, environmental and social problems.

By 2020, the HPE Living Progress Challenge aims to accelerate opportunities for one million people by combining information technology and Hewlett Packard Enterprise employee expertise with the global community’s most innovative ideas.

There are tremendous lessons here for all business and sustainability leaders. Come learn more about this exciting program and its global impact in an evening with Chris Wellise, CSO of one of the world’s most respected tech companies.


Belinda Goldsmith Thomson Reuters Foundation

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Christopher Wellise Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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Round Tables

Automating sustainability reporting in the cloud

Digital technology is increasingly automating many of the more traditionally labour-intensive sustainability reporting functions. Many companies are moving towards fully-automated cloud-based metering, monitoring and reporting solutions and advanced analytics using best available technology with seamless integration. This roundtable will consider the benefits, opportunities, costs and challenges of automating sustainability reporting through digital and cloud-based technology.

Building digital assurance for sustainable business

In the new digital age, companies are increasingly wielding big data and digitisation to transform their operations. These new tools offer tremendous opportunities to improve sustainability, enhance performance, and reduce risk.  But they also come with assurance challenges, often needing real-time testing, inspection and certification services, to master the complexity and integration of cyber-physical systems and ensure their safe, secure and efficient use. This session will explore the challenges of building digital assurance for sustainable business. 

Building internal capacity through leadership on climate action

Having a robust internal capacity on climate issues is essential for companies to harness climate action as a driver of innovation, competitiveness, risk management and growth. But how can business leaders unify, inspire and focus their organisations in this regard? This roundtable will explore the challenge of building internal capacity on climate issues, discussing: Why science-based-targets can help focus the organisation around a common goal, why a shared company commitment to climate action can help build cohesion and culture, and how building capacity on climate action can drive innovation, minimise risk and spur growth. 

Engaging employees through a higher-purpose

One in four people say they prefer working for companies that have a strong track record of supporting charities, and research has shown that 90% of workers say their job is more fulfilling when they are given opportunities to make a positive impact on social and environmental issues. How can companies build employee engagement around a higher purpose through charitable action? How can companies identify and support the purposeful groups or causes that are complimentary to their own corporate mission? How does support for a higher purpose cause, help companies create a more purposeful business of their own?

Harnessing the power of social platforms for purposeful business

The HPE Living Progress campaign had the objective of improving one million lives by crowdsourcing global ideas, harnessing the power of digital tech. Likewise, the power of social platforms can help companies collaborate and engage with communities in ways that amplify their purposeful business initiatives, strengthen relationships with community stakeholders and help tackle complex societal problems. This roundtable will consider how companies can best leverage the power of social platforms for the greater good. How can they help? What is the best way to use them? What kind of problems can they help fix? 

Harnessing the wisdom of crowds

Solutions to many of the world’s most intractable sustainability challenges can be found by tapping into the power of crowdsourcing, community engagement and collective action. This roundtable will discuss different ways that businesses can amplify their sustainability strategies, by harnessing the wisdom of crowds, community goodwill and collective energy of their customers, employees and stakeholders. What challenges are ripe for crowd solutions? What are the best ways to activate crowdsourcing? How can companies amplify their strategies through collective or community action? Are there any potential downsides?

Letting the sun shine in!

The mindset of conventional energy use and generation is shifting, with companies increasingly taking a big picture, blue sky thinking approach. Aside from the benefits around cost and security of supply, businesses moving to renewable energy are joining part of a global movement bringing renewable energy into the mainstream – and this can have flow-on effects around brand perceptions, carbon emissions reporting and feel-good effects for customers, employees and community stakeholders. This roundtable will consider some of the broader benefits for companies in “letting the sun shine in” and being part of the global shift to tackle climate change though renewable energy. 

Next generation sustainability reporting

Is the future of sustainability reporting just a relentless treadmill of rising stakeholder expectations, more demanding frameworks, more transparency and more investment? Or are we approaching an inflexion point, where the mismatch between all these requirements and the budgets available to meet them, mean something’s got to give? There’s a world of audiences beyond the ‘usual suspect’ list of investors and professional stakeholders. Can new innovations in virtual reporting, social media and crowdsourcing be part of a new approach to sustainability reporting? If so, how and when should they be used?

Venue Detail

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales


Who's Attending