Leaders Week 2019

Full Schedule

Full Calender

We are at a pivotal moment for the 2030 Agenda. The clock is ticking, and the stakes are high. Recognizing the key role that companies play in driving progress on the global agenda, this September the United Nations Global Compact will bring the world’s leading Chief Executives, Heads of State and civil society to the UN for the UN Global Compact Leaders Week.

As the highest-level opportunity for companies to engage with world leaders on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Leaders Week will provide a platform for business leaders and other global decision makers to: take stock of progress made since the historic agreements of 2015, increase ambition and commitment to action, foster strategic and durable partnerships and highlight scalable, just and tailored solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges.

Through these events, UN Global Compact Leaders Week will collectively showcase the ambitious business leadership and action turning corporate sustainability into a practical, mainstream reality. It is time to move into a decade of delivery, from commitments to action and onwards to results, with a greater sense of solidarity, ambition and urgency — with business leading the way.

For the full Leaders Week concept, please click here.

Transformative Business Leadership for a 1.5˚C Future

Date: 23 September 2019

Time: 9:00-12:30

Location: UN Headquarters, South Dining Room & Private Dining Rooms 6, 7, 8

Criteria: Invitation only (CEO and C-Suite Executive of UN Global Compact Participant level)

As the future of our planet hinges on today’s response to climate threat, evidence suggests that business leadership will be one of the most important factors in achieving the United Nations climate agenda and ultimately, in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this time of great uncertainty, what does it take to be a leading company in the fight against climate change? As trends in the SDGs continue to inform and influence business strategy, how have CEO attitudes towards sustainability shifted in recent years?

Taking place in the context of the Secretary-General's Climate Action Summit and as the precursor to both the Private Sector Forum and the Executive Lunch, this event allows executives and sustainability experts another opportunity to:
• take a deep dive into practical business solutions for climate action,
• hear directly from the CEOs of leading global companies who have committed to working towards the Global Goals to enhance business strategy,
• network with fellow business leaders and
• actively participate in the conversation.
The morning programme will begin with a networking breakfast followed by three inter-related panel discussions shaped around exploring motivations, activities and shifts in corporate culture that are influencing the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The panels will also feature key insights from the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study and will highlight the importance and impact of the recently launched Business Ambition for 1.5˚C campaign.

Panel 1 | Insights from the CEO Study: A Call for Business Leadership on Climate and Gender (10:15 – 11:00)

This panel discussion will feature insights from the world’s business leaders who will present their corporate sustainability journeys, describing how they became empowered to adapt business strategy to key developments in the SDGs. The panel will also analyze the findings of the UN Global Compact-Accenture CEO Study which traces the development of corporate motivations in engaging with environmental, social and governance issues in core business. This year’s report features in-depth analyses of how trends in climate change and gender equality are informing business decisions as well as other developments that are affecting the integration of the 2030 Agenda into corporate decision-making practices.

Panel 2 | Business Ambition for 1.5˚C (11:00 – 11:30)

Recently launched by the UN Global Compact and partners, the Business Ambition for 1.5˚C campaign hopes to create a tipping point in collective climate action by mobilizing companies to commit to setting climate targets aligned with limiting global temperature rise and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. In this panel, early signers of the new campaign will share their first-hand experiences of taking the first step towards climate transformative commitments as well as implementable, scalable and replicable business solutions for committing your company to a 1.5 ˚C target. Overall, the discussion will highlight the importance and success of the campaign as well as the business benefits of science-based climate action.

Panel 3 | Business Action for Resilient Communities and Economies (11:30 – 12:00)

The impacts of a changing climate are already being felt — warming oceans, water variability and increasing incidences of drought, flooding, snow melt and climate-related diseases are already negatively affecting business and society. In the face of climate crisis, companies will play a critical role in the implementation of responsible adaptation measures that will ensure both the sustainability of business and the resilience of local communities in the long term. This panel will explore how corporate adaptation and resilience measures can contribute considerable to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, focusing on resilient water systems and a just transition for both urban and rural communities.


Private Sector Forum

Date: 23 September 2019

Time: 13:00-15:00

Location: UN Headquarters, Delegates Dining Room & South Dining Room

Criteria: Invitation only (CEO level)

Hosted annually by the United Nations Global Compact and partners, the Private Sector Forum is a high-level networking opportunity for business and Government to foster private-public partnerships towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. As the official high-level luncheon of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, the 2019 Private Sector Forum will be an opportunity for the world’s leading decision-makers to explore innovative ways of increasing climate action to meet the challenges ahead.

Convening 350 Chief Executive Officers, Heads of State and Government, leaders of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes and young entrepreneurs, the Forum will emphasize the importance of ambitious climate action by supporting the scaling of mitigation and adaptation policies to enable a just transition of our global economy to a net-zero future by 2050. By encouraging cross-sector and inter-generational dialogue, the Forum will facilitate the sharing of groundbreaking climate-related commitments, public policy measures, and recognize the early joiners of the Business Ambition for 1.5˚C Campaign. Companies who sign the pledge before 1 September 2019 will be recognized at the Forum. To find out more about the initiative, please click here.

Health is Everyone’s Business

Date: 23 September 2019

Time: 15:30-17:30

Location: UN Headquarters, Private Dining Rooms 1, 2, 3

Criteria: Invitation Only (email gauthier@unglobalcompact.org to request an invitation)

Connecting the high-level priorities of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, and taking place on the sidelines of the UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, Health is Everyone’s Business will bring business together to demonstrate the importance of an integrated approach towards health.
Bringing corporate leaders together to create a call-to-action, this event will highlight the complex nature of healthcare, and explore ways for the private sector to cooperate and drive systemic transformation in the pursuit of a healthier future for all.

By examining the intersection between Universal Health Coverage, Climate Action and the realization of the 2030 Agenda, the event will emphasize best practices and feature panel discussions on the relationship between personal and environmental health, in hopes of creating tipping points towards healthier people and a healthier planet.

Climate Action Reception

Date: 23 September 2019

Time: 18:30-21:00

Location: UN Headquarters, Delegates Dining Room & Terrace (weather depending)

Criteria: Invitation only (CEO and C-Suite Executive of UN Global Compact Participant level)

Following the conclusion of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ Climate Action Summit, the UN Global Compact will host an evening reception in the Delegates Dining Room for 500 guests, including UN officials, world leaders, influential business executives, sustainability executives, NGOs and young entrepreneurs. Designed to give guests the opportunity to reflect on the lasting impact of the day and network, the reception will inspire even greater enthusiasm for climate action in the context of sustainable development.


The reception’s theme will focus on three Sustainable Development Goals which are critical for combatting climate change: Life on Land, Life Below Water as well as Responsible Consumption and Production. The importance of these SDGs will be featured in various ways for the evening, including through interactive displays, activities and food and beverage choices.

To request an invitation to the Climate Action Reception, please fill out this form.

SDG Solutions Showcase Breakfast

Date: 25 September 2019

Time: 08:00- 10:00

Location: South Dining Room & Private Dining Rooms 6, 7, 8 (United Nations Headquarters)

Criteria: Request invitation on the SDG Business Forum website.

Recognizing strong leadership in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the SDG Innovation Showcase Breakfast will provide a platform for industry leaders to share unique solutions and products being developed to advance the 2030 Agenda. Hosted by the UN Global Compact and the International Chamber of Commerce, this buffet style breakfast will feature creative exhibits and tables from business and civil society dedicated to groundbreaking ideas, and the sharing of innovative solutions to tackle the pressing challenges related to the SDGs.

SDG Business Forum

Date: 25 September 2019

Time: 10:00-13:00

Location: UN Headquarters

Criteria: Request invitation on SDG Business Forum website

Now in its 4th year, the SDG Business Forum is a landmark event showcasing business leaders who have worked towards supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda. Hosted by the United Nations Global Compact, International Chamber of Commerce and UN DESA, this event will bring together leaders from business, Government, the UN and civil society to explore how the private sector can work to create partnerships for the SDGs. It will also connect the high level priorities of the 74th General Assembly: climate change, sustainable financing, and universal health coverage. Panel discussions at this year’s Forum will explore the topics of sustainable financing for 2030, the future of business, and scaling ambition. To view the full schedule, please click here.

Leadership for the SDGs: Featuring the Young SDG Pioneers

Date: 25 September 2019

Time: TBD

Location: UN Headquarters, SDG Media Zone

Criteria: SDG current and past Pioneers. See a full list here

Celebrating the work of the 2019 SDG Young Pioneers, this event will recognize a group of exceptional young people who have demonstrated ambitious and innovative work towards advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Showcasing the stories and contributions of young professionals under 35 from varying sectors, the reception will encourage intergenerational dialogue to inspire people of all ages to take greater action towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Trailblazing Women’s Reception

Date: 25 September 2019

Time: 18:00- 20:00

Location: TBD

Recognizing the powerful work being done by women to advance sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda, this event will celebrate the trailblazing women of our world who are championing the Sustainable Development Goals. Featuring business leaders, disruptors and celebrity entrepreneurs, the event will include testimonials on the power of gender equality work, interactive displays from women entrepreneurs, leading NGOs and corporate sponsors, as well as a Shark Tank-style pitch session. The United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Lise Kingo will also be announcing the official launch the UN Global Compact’s Gender Equality GII.

High-Level CEO Roundtable on Corporate SDG Finance and Investment

Date: 26 September 2019

Time: 7:00-9:00

Location: UN Headquarters, Private Dining Rooms 1, 2, 3

Criteria: Invitation Only (request invitation here)

The CEO Roundtable on Corporate SDG Finance and Investment will bring together a select and diverse group of global business leaders to take stock of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will provide an opportunity for top executives to discuss critical global priorities, explore partnership opportunities, and reach consensus on the path forward. The event will focus on the need for business to amplify efforts to advance human rights and address inequalities, particularly as it relates to sustainable financing for the SDGs.

The Roundtable will explore how investors, financial institutions and corporations can shape the SDG financing agenda through capital market activities and corporate strategies. Key topics to be discussed include the role of the private sector in mainstreaming sustainable investments, the role of governments in providing corporations and investors their strategic plans for development models in emerging markets and the role of CFOs and the greater financial community in supporting the UN Secretary-General’s GISD Alliance.

Sustainable Stock Exchange 10th Anniversary

Date: 26 September 2019

Time: 12:30- 16:00

Location: New York Stock Exchange

Criteria: Invitation Only to SSE Participants

The Sustainable Stock Exchange (SSE) initiative, a UN Partnership Programme organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), has become the premier platform for finance in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Providing a platform for collaboration between stock exchanges, capital market regulators, investors, issuers and financial service providers, it has pioneered a new path forward for sustainable financing.

To mark the 10th anniversary since the SSE was initiated, partners are invited to join in commemorating the progress of sustainable stock exchanges and charting a path for the next 10 years. Hosted by the UN Global Compact and its sister initiative PRI, this event will bring together representatives from the stock exchange, business, civil society and UN at the New York Stock Exchange to celebrate. To view the full programme, please click here.