United Nations, The Smurfs to Headline Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit Sustainability Agenda

Second tranche of speakers announced for B&LIS, taking place online June 9-11, 2021.

License Global

April 14, 2021

4 Min Read

Senior executives from United Nations Regional Information Center (UNRIC) and the Smurfs are uniting to present a joint keynote at Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (B&LIS), which takes place online from June 9-11.

Called “Why the Future will be Blue: How to Become an Agent of Change,” B&LIS attendees will hear about the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of collaborations – like the one with the Smurfs – to educate people all over the world about the importance of adopting sustainable values and habits for the sake of the planet.

“Why do we all have to change our previous bad habits? Because we must be an example for the future of the planet and of our children; they are the leaders of tomorrow,” says Philippe Glorieux, marketing head, communications and family entertainment, IMPS - the Smurfs.For this reason, and by virtue of their common values, the Smurfs and the United Nations are joining forces through the Sustainable Development Goals to change the way we consume with the sole goal to live better!”

The talk will also touch on the ActNow app, which is part of the UN’s campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability, and its SDG Media Compact initiative, which seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The goals were launched in 2015 in 149 countries with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty, combating inequalities and injustice and effectively tackling the problem of climate change by 2030, and the Smurfs are ambassadors for all 17 of them. The blue characters have been encouraging people to “Think Blue” and promote the UN’s sustainability messaging through campaigns such as #EUBeachCleanup, “Save Our Blue Planet” and the “Smurfs Experience” educational package for primary school teachers and children.

“The Sustainable Development Goals are a roadmap for a better world, but we must recognize that they can only be reached in unity, with each of us doing our part,” says Caroline Petit, deputy director, United Nations Regional Information Center.

Caroline Petit and Philippe Glorieux will headline the CSR and sustainability agenda at 9 a.m. BST on June 10, the second day of B&LIS, alongside Products of Change Founder Helena Mansell-Stopher, BBC Studios Licensing Director Rikesh Desai and Natural History Museum Head of Licensing Maxine Grant, among many others.

B&LIS has been designed specifically to help middle-management, business leaders and owners to navigate the changing retail, content and consumer landscape, with day one focusing on retail and trends, and day three on content and digital transformation. Early bird registration for the summit, which enables delegates to purchase three-day passes for just £175 (£158 for Licensing International members), ends April 16. Qualified retailers are invited to attend free of charge.  


Confirmed speakers include:

  • Philippe Glorieux, head, marketing, communications and family entertainment, IMPS - the Smurfs;

  • Caroline Petit, deputy director, UNRIC;

  • Ruth Golightly, head, baby and maternity, Asda;

  • Rikesh Desai, licensing director, BBC Studios;

  • John Friend, head, “Halo” and Xbox consumer products, Microsoft;

  • Stephanie Freeman, global licensing manager - outbound licensing, The LEGO Group;

  • Gabrielle Sims, licensing head, FatFace;

  • Dan Avener, chief executive officer, MDR Brand Management;

  • Lisa Hey, head, product development, Character World;

  • Karen Hewitt, co-founder, Character.com;

  • Susan Bolsover, licensing and consumer products director, Penguin Random House;

  • June Kirkwood, managing director, Nutmeg Licensing;

  • Simon Gresswell, managing director, SGLP;

  • Gary Pope, co-founder, Kids Industries;

  • Graham Saltmarsh, managing director, Licensing International – U.K.;

  • Ben Roberts, content editor, License Global;

  • Claire McClelland, client executive - entertainment, Kantar;

  • Dorian Bloch, senior client director, market intelligence, GfK;

  • Helena Mansell-Stopher, founder, Products of Change;

  • Ian Shepherd, founder and chief executive officer, The Social Store;

  • Emily Aldridge, global licensing head, Abysse Corp;

  • Charlotte Delobelle, European brand ambassador, Fashion Snoops;

  • Kate French, senior category manager - Softlines (Footwear, Accessories, Home & Gifting), Hasbro;

  • Steven Plackett, managing director, Vista Stationery & Print (Carousel Calendars);

  • Dan Grant, licensing director, Danilo;

  • Adriana Batty, co-founder, Lyfcycle;

  • Leonora Aixas, co-founder, DNA Brands;

  • Steve Cox, U.K. sales director, Keel Toys;

  • Susan Stanley, licensing director, Brands In Limited;

  • Mark Bezodis, licensing managing director, Perry Ellis International;

  • Scott Macrae, new business and partnerships manager, George at Asda;

  • Dan Amos, head, gaming and esports, Difuzed;

  • Marie-Laure Marchand, senior vice president, global consumer products and business development, Chefclub’

  • Valérie Rolandez-Barrios, vice president, IP licensing and partnerships, Studiocanal;

  • Jade Snart, senior sustainability manager, George at Asda;

  • Alex Balzaretti, senior manager, Commonwealth Games Federation Partnership (CGFP);

  • Kate Gibson, managing director, Gibson Games

  • Gary Jacobson, brand licensing manager, Tottenham Hotspur; and

  • Claire Bradbury, global account director, PowerStation Studios.

Click here to register for the Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit.

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About the Author(s)

License Global

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