SB Paris 19: Surprise me to inspire me

To inspire, we have to surprise and innovate. We must challenge by developing new ideas and perspectives; convince by sharing best practices and successes, as well as learning from failures. We need to renew the formats for this type of event, to upset habits. #SBParis19 is more than a forum, a trade fair, or conference: it is an actual experience.

Speakers are challenged by agile, caring “pirates”.  New formats surprise in order to impact, disturb perhaps, and, especially, enable participants to experience more powerful moments and discuss more freely.

Uchronia interview, Keynote with a Twist, Positive Controversy, Youth Hacktivation, Cross- Innovation Workshop, No Light No Fear, We Value What You Think, Reverse Pitch, Call to Action Workshop, Fresh Journey… are all original formats that have been designed and selected to make Sustainable Brands Paris a truly unique event. Here are some of these unusual formats.

1. No Light No Fear

A plunge into total darkness happens with the “No Light No Fear” conference. It causes speakers and audiences to discuss in the dark.  However, the speakers featured on the event program are not announced at the beginning of the plenary in darkness, which amplifies the mystery surrounding this sensorial, liberating experience. “Everyone sits down in the dark, which heightens the senses and creates positive value by liberating speech,” explains SB Paris Chief Experience Officer, Bruno Vinay. This format is an opportunity to question our perception of the world as individuals by eliminating visual prejudices and creating more intense, authentic interactions. “The ideas governed by the sense of sight disappear and it is a real chance to stimulate listening and reflection and to promote communication and interaction with each other”, says Bruno Vinay.

2. We Value What You Think 

A second interactive format called “We value what you think” lets speakers and moderators orient debates according to the audience’s mood during the round tables. “The way it works is participants receive colored cards to announce their emotion – agree or disagree – as people speak,” explains Bruno Vinay. “This way the moderator can consider the audience’s mood and run the debate from a new angle and enable speakers to react and back up their positions”.  

This original format is an opportunity for participants to find out what their neighbors think, and for the speakers to see how their listeners react to what they say: more transparency that serves the experience!

3. Youth Hacktivation 

A pool of fifty committed students looking for meaning will receive the role of event hacker. “That’s the “Youth Hactivation” initiative. In a B-to-B event dealing with the future, it is impossible to not give the floor to the young generation. They are the ones who will make the world evolve and reinvent it!” develops Bruno Vinay. “Steered by our partner Enactus, these young people come from around the world, from different schools and training venues, and their role is to challenge and provide their view for these 3 days,” he explains. For instance, by keeping a blog or by speaking up in the plenary sessions or workshops, students assume the mission of “coloring” the content with their point of view. “The businesses will also have the possibility of inviting these young people to take part in their debates. It is an opportunity to invite the upcoming generation for a new outlook on current and future issues,” explains Bruno. Students are invited to speak at the end of the event to share their feelings, views and comments on Sustainable Brands Paris.

Hacking our own event… “a worldwide first!” 

4. Reverse Pitch

What if we gave the floor to start-ups differently? Innovators are used to pitching:  briefly presenting their entrepreneurial projects in order to convince investors or corporations. Here, this short, impacting oral communication exercise will be reversed. The project or issue leaders within the big groups will pitch to a panel of entrepreneurs to convince them to create new collaborations. “The aim is to give a new role to start-ups,” explains Bruno Vinay. “Then the start-ups choose the projects or issues on which they want to position themselves. The partners we have spoken to are very interested in this challenge”.

5. Call to Action workshops

And if some people are still wondering how to become change-makers after Sustainable Brands Paris, the afternoon of the third day is specifically dedicated to compiling the key points to enable their application. The “Call to Action” workshops are concrete formats that very frontally address specific barriers to change. “The idea is to build toolboxes to give participants the start of some tangible points to implement when they go back to their businesses the day after,” says Bruno. These workshops will bolster all of the stakeholders who will leave the event with their heads full of ideas and, in their hands, the power to change things.

While all of these formats are intriguing, they are not gadgets. They have been designed and selected to serve the SB Paris mission: enabling talents and thoughts to emerge in a caring environment where creativity is key.


Give in to the temptation! Try them means adopting them… and SB Paris still has more surprises to come.