From adopting new models of thinking and innovation to offering a better working environment and thus attracting the best talent to increasing financial results – these are some of the effects of the green transition on businesses. Sustainability, green innovation, and inclusivity are no longer isolated and abstract concepts. They penetrate every level of future-proof organizations, and many studies show that women are the main drivers of these processes across organizations.
This is also the topic of SHEleader@digital – the conference dedicated to women in technology and innovation. For the third time, on October 6th, 2022, in Sofia, Bulgaria, the boutique event will gather prominent Bulgarian and international business leaders and speakers for know-how exchange and heated discussions beyond the corporate cliches. The event will present seven pathways toward more sustainable organizations, including practical and proven steps. SHEleader@digital is organized by the Bulgarian Center of Women in Technology (BCWT), MOVE.BG and EDIT.
7 pathways to a more sustainable future for the business
- The clearly stated values are an essential element of every quality discussion revolving around the topic of green transformation. Therefore the program of SHEleader@digital emphasizes sustainability as a value, or in other words – enabling and growing green corporate and organizational culture. In an interactive format, the speakers and the audience will explore the importance of creating and the process of nurturing such culture.
- Proven corporate practices for business greening is the second path along which SHEleadeer@digital speakers will take the audience. What is greenwashing? How are different structures innovating to be more sustainable and better equipped for tomorrow? These topics will be tackled by leaders from the tech giants Cisco and HPE, the telecommunication company Yettel, and water and resource management corporation Veolia.
- Some are green born. While small and medium companies are the backbone of the European economy, startups are the launcher towards a more sustainable future. Three funders will talk about the trends in the startup ecosystem, the most sought-after green innovations, and what is on the market. The panel will present the insights of the zero waste startup LAM’ON, water purification innovators Enova H20 and the Bulgarian biotechnology cluster.
- Is climate change reversible, and can we create technology that is harmonized with nature to support the Earth’s self-healing abilities? Together with WWF, the global environmental organization, and Pollenity, a Bulgarian startup with a technological solution that saves bees worldwide, we will look for the answers to these essential questions.
- The term ESG has enjoyed popularity in business circles lately. The environmental, social, and corporate governance framework is a long journey that modern business has to take, and requires stamina and dedication. What is the return on sustainability investment? The founder of one of the most successful European ESG startups PlanA, and representatives of the financial sector will be sharing their insights into the motivation of businesses to use sustainability as a metric for their development. The panel will also explore whether ESG increases share prices and what investors want.
- According to new research, women-led companies are more likely to meet global climate goals. At the same time, only a tiny fraction of the financing goes to female founders and leaders (e.g. only 1% of the venture funding). A key topic here is to what extent green stamped funding is available to women and the necessary steps the financial sector needs to take to ensure more inclusivity and growth. Representatives of the venture capital fund New Vision 3 and LauncHUB, and the largest Bulgarian bank UBB will join the discussion.
- Last, we’ll look at nature as the muse for artists of all times. Yet how has its role in the creative process in the arts and creative industry changed today? Does NFT culture harm the environment? Can digital art bring back a nature-conscious mindset? After a short performance by the contemporary artist Albena Baeva, the panel will explore how to build and support a creative economy inspired by nature. The creativity officers from the European Innovation Institute EIT, the platform for artists Evedo, as well as the leader of the new contemporary art center “Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” will share their views and experience.
Alongside rich content, SHEleader@digital 2022 aims to offer a palette of sensory experiences and art installations – a virtual exhibition Cyber Folk, an installation by the 100 Chairs crew, which revitalizes neglected urban areas, and part of the trilogy “AI Commandments’ by the contemporary digital artist Albena Baeva. The venue itself – Toplocentrala – is an interdisciplinary center designed to allow different contemporary arts to meet and blend. Tickets for the conference are already available for online purchase. Due to the boutique format, there are limited tickets for the live experience. The organizers have decided to also open up the forum to a broader audience via online streaming for a symbolic price. Link to the tickets here.
SHEleader@digital 2022 takes place under the patronage of Maria Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, and with the support of the Bulgarian Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency (BSMEPA), Schwarz It, MasterCard, United Bulgarian bank (OBB), HPE operated by Selectium, Bulgarian Stock Exchange, Cisco, Evedo, SuperHosting.
*The event’s official language is English, with simultaneous translation provided in the hall.