Sustainable Brands ’11 Ends with Lively Discussions, Inspiring Thoughts from Sustainability Leaders and a Playful Gift to the Community

One World Futbol Project Wins Annual Innovation Open Competition For Sustainable Entrepreneurs
Jun 21, 2011 7:05 PM ET

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) Monterey, Calif. - June 21, 2011 - More than 750 attendees from 19 countries were present at Sustainable Brands ‘11 (SB’11) in Monterey, Calif. earlier this month to share best practices, challenges and thoughts on the shifting landscape of corporate sustainability. The critical role of both brands and entrepreneurial ventures in facilitating innovative and lasting change was illuminated by the conference’s “Play On” theme, which was present during breakout sessions and evening festivities throughout the four-day event. From engaging all attendees in a drumming performance with Drum Cafe to hosting a scavenger hunt, Sustainable Brands ‘11 facilitated lively interactions and intelligent conversations through play.

“Approaching sustainability with a dose of levity and a sense of curiosity showed attendees how leadership can be fueled by positive and untraditional modes of thinking, creating a more genuine connection with business partners, employees and consumers,” said KoAnn Vikoren Skrzyniarz, CEO of Sustainable Life Media (SLM). “We wanted to make sure the conference was infused with unique ideas and campaigns from speakers who would motivate attendees to explore implementing these best practices in their own brands and business operations.”    To spark dialogue around how play can be adapted by the business sector, sessions such as author Gabe Zichermann’s “The Business Value of Fun” examined how gamification, or game-based marketing, resonates with consumers. Presentations about factoring in happiness during decision-making and proactively building a “wellness economy” included insights from Abundancy Partners’ Jules Peck, GAP Adventures’ Bruce Poon Tip and author Marc Gobé.   To celebrate new business ideas and visions, Sustainable Brands ‘11 continued its annual Innovation Open competition, which recognizes highly-innovative, socially-conscious entrepreneurs with a product or B2B solution that is focused on helping companies achieve their goals toward creating more sustainable brands. The 2011 competition was sponsored by Resonate Networks, and this year’s winner was the One World Futbol Project, a startup operating on the one-for-one model that manufactures and distributes a unique, patent-pending, ultra-durable soccer ball that never goes flat and never needs a pump. When a customer purchases a One World Futbol, a second ball is donated to organizations worldwide working with youth living in disadvantaged communities, such as inner cities, refugee camps, UN hot spots, conflict zones and poor villages.   For children who live and play in environments not conducive to easily-punctured inflated balls, the One World Futbol makes play and interaction more sustainable since even after multiple punctures the ball can withstand rough play and years of use.     To directly engage conference attendees in providing opportunities for play to the local community, the Sustainable Brands ‘11 Give Back program involved participants in the building of 12 bicycles to donate to the Boys and Girls Club, among other activities.   And to leave a light carbon footprint, Sustainable Brands ‘11 partnered with Greenopolis and the Monterey Institute Sustainability Team (MIST) to collect, compost, recycle and source waste from the event. Bins were provided by Greenopolis, as was the Recycling Kiosk, which motivated attendees to recycle by giving them a reward redeemable online when they placed an item into the kiosk. In all, the conference’s waste program diverted 92 percent of waste from the landfill, and functioned as a pilot program for citywide commercial compost collection for the City of Monterey.   About Sustainable Brands ‘11 Well over 125 confirmed business strategy, product design and communication leaders shared their latest thinking on the future of sustainable brands including Jeffrey Hollender, Chris Laszlo, Arthur Rubinfeld, Ron Saich and Chip Conley, with new insights and case studies presented from GE, adidas, Unilever, Nestle Purina, Ford, Best Buy, Disney, Dell, Daimler, and dozens more. The Sustainable Brands conference uniquely brought together business and brand strategists, leaders of insights and innovation, and sustainability executives with the ecosystem of organizations that support them, for four days of extraordinary conversation, inspiration and insights to map new strategies and tactics for driving profitable innovation for sustainability in brands. Lead sponsors of SB’11 included SAP and Hewlett Packard, as well as BBMG, Citizen Group, Cohn & Wolfe, CSRwire, Domtar, EcoBonus, PR Newswire, Saatchi & Saatchi S., Shelton Group and others. Teams from 3M, Green Mountain Coffee, Johnson & Johnson, UPS, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Target, SC Johnson, Unilever, REI, Recyclebank and hundreds more were also in attendance.    About Sustainable Life Media Sustainable Life Media (SLM) is the leading international producer of sustainable business conferences and educational events, with products and services designed for the sustainable business community including membership, targeted e-newsletters, online learning programs, community, SB Insights Research and the flagship Sustainable Brands conference.