Looking Back at GLOBE 2020

“2050 is a single mortgage away.” 

These simple yet evocative words from author David Wallace Wells set the tone for the 30th annual GLOBE Conference, the world’s longest-running sustainable business summit. 

Answering demands for action in the face of the global climate crisis, GLOBE 2020 centred around impact, actions and outcomes, urging thousands of attending corporate and government leaders, technology innovators and strategic investors to share ideas and seek inspiration from a powerful line-up of influencers. In addition to David Wallace Wells, whose keynote explored harsh truths like the fact the world will become two degrees warmer – bringing a frightening hellscape along with it – by 2050, speakers included environmental leaders like Megan Leslie, CEO of WWF Canada; Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson; and Lasse Gustavsson, president and CEO of OceanWise, among others. Each speaker contributed to the conference’s overarching themes of climate crisis, sustainability as strategy, energy transformation, circular economy and mobilizing capital. 


What did we do?

The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) has been a longstanding partner of the GLOBE Series for over a decade. From helping to identify innovative companies to engaging speakers to hosting side events, VEC remains committed to supporting GLOBE and other sustainably focused initiatives that motivate people to take action. This time VEC supported GLOBE 2020 by:  

  • Hosting a social for young environmental entrepreneurs and leaders from across Canada and helping them get connected to each other as well as the opportunities the forum provided; 
  • Convening and moderating a panel on the Just Transition (must-read resources from the session are available here) giving agencies and others new information on how to navigate the way forward; 
  • Hosting a “reverse pitch” session, where major institutions from around greater Vancouver could talk about key challenges they face to an audience of solution-providers and get connected to new possibilities;
  • Handing out awards to some of our best innovators at the inaugural BC Cleantech Awards which was organized by our friends at the Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre;
  • Welcoming delegates at the US Consul General’s cleantech delegates reception;  
  • Convened a special session on the importance of corporate governance at the board level and raising awareness of the fiduciary responsibilities around climate risk featuring our friends at the Competent Boards Initiative;
  • Participated in GLOBE Advance session to forward the conversation on the Circular Economy where we see some significant opportunities for our local economy;
  • Met with a variety of investors and companies from across Canada and from around the world to share the benefits of doing business in one of the greenest cities in the world…Vancouver! 


Where do we go from here?

GLOBE is just one part of Vancouver’s world-class business ecosystem that is focused on climate and the opportunities that this great transition is affording our city.  The conversations and ideas raised during the conference help grow, challenge and strengthen the work that VEC and the local community are doing to build an inclusive, equitable, sustainable and resilient economy.  The team at VEC has been committed to this work since 2010 and we believe the next 10 years will be some of the most important work we can do for our economy and environment.  This work will be centered around collective solutions to decarbonize our economy in the built environment, transportation and waste.