Past Conferences

Our Flagship Conference

The Center's flagship BRITE Conference on brands, innovation, and technology yearly brings together hundreds of leaders and big thinkers. Drawing professionals from business, technology, media, and marketing, BRITE drives a discussion on emerging trends in marketing, innovation, technology, society, and culture and how these trends can transform the ways that companies build and sustain great brands.

BRITE offers a different blend of thinkers and doers, both onstage and off, than you will find at any other event. Participants come to think differently about the changing landscape of media and technology, and to connect with a unique group of innovators, marketers, entrepreneurs, and champions of social enterprise.

To find out more about BRITE Conference visit our website.

March 4, 2019
Columbia University, New York

Speakers included:
  • Colin Mitchell, VP Director Global Brand, McDonald's
  • Catherine Williams, Chief Data Scientist, Xandr
  • Amy Webb, Founder, Future Today Institute; Author, The Big Nine
  • Nicole Kankam, Managing Director of Marketing, United States Tennis Association

Topics included:
  • Leveraging Technology for Authentic Social Purpose
  • Myths and Realities of Data and Machine Learning in Marketing
  • Enter the Next Dimension With Spatial Computing
  • Identity Design: An Intimate Relationship

March 5-6, 2018
Columbia University, New York

Speakers included:
  • Allison Cerra, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, McAfee, Inc.
  • Ethan Brown, Founder & CEO, Beyond Meat
  • Gretchen Carlson, Chair, Miss America Organization; Author, Be Fierce
  • Joseph Lubin, Founder, ConsenSys; Co-Founder, Ethereum

Topics included:
  • Blockchain 102: What it Means for Brand Builders
  • Algorithm vs. Human: Who's the Winner?
  • Branding Broadway
  • Is the Future Really Female? (And What Does That Mean for Men?)

March 6-7, 2017
Columbia University, New York

Speakers included:
  • Rajesh Subramaniam, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, FedEx
  • Maryam Banikarim, Chief Marketing Officer, Hyatt
  • Jonathan Becher, Chief Digital Officer, SAP
  • Liza Landsman, President,

Topics included:
  • Collaborating from the Edge of Your Seat
  • The Future of Hospitality and Customer Service
  • Quantum Intelligence: Calculating the Context of Decisions
  • Innovating Healthcare

March 7-8, 2016
Columbia University, New York

Speakers included:

  • Linda Boff, Chief Marketing Officer, GE
  • Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy and Mather
  • Daniel Lubetzky, Founder and CEO, KIND Snacks
  • Pam Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer, Nickelodeon Group

Topics included:

  • The danger of separating technology from the consumer
  • How successful innovators go beyond 'user experience' to build brand
  • Marketing, entertainment and Gen Z: Connecting with a new generation
  • Thinking with AND: avoid false compromises

March 2-3, 2015
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Ann Mukherjee, President, PepsiCo Global Insights
  • Doreen Lorenzo, President, Quirky
  • Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Topics included:
  • Infinite Lives: how technology is redefining our sense of time, body, space, and self
  • The Internet of Things and computing everywhere
  • Data, privacy, and the battle over personal information:

March 3-4, 2014
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Neil Blumenthal, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker
  • Mary Beech, SVP & CMO, Kate Spade New York
  • Jon Steinberg, President, Buzzfeed

Topics included:
  • How Is Your Startup Different from All Other Startups?
  • Effectively Building Your Brand Voice
  • The Power of Girl Talk: Sharing Honest Opinions in the Social Web

March 4-5, 2013
Columbia University, New York

Speakers included:
  • Shiv Singh, Global Head of Digital, PepsiCo Beverages
  • Kaaren Hanson, Vice President of Design Innovation, Intuit
  • Charles Duhigg, Author, The Power of Habit; Journalist, The New York Times

Topics included:
  • The Truth about Mobile Advertising: Does it even work?
  • The Power of (Big) Data in a Networked World
  • Gamification and the Payment Economy

March 5-6, 2012
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Cathy Benko, Vice Chairman & Managing Principal, Brand, Deloitte
  • John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express
  • Marc Speichert, Chief Marketing Officer, L'Oreal USA

Topics included:
  • The human element in branding -- communicate as you would in a person-to-person interaction
  • Data mining social media conversations for consumer and marketing insight
  • Marketing ROI -- develop metrics to monitor marketing's financial impact

March 2-3, 2011
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Visa Inc.
  • Russell Weiner, Chief Marketing Officer, Domino's Pizza
  • Frank Eliason, Senior Vice President, Social Media, Citi

Topics included:
  • Brand authenticity - how transparency can help build a stronger brand
  • The Future of Digital Marketing - the blurring of online and offline relationships and interactions
  • Navigating choice - how to avoid overwhelming consumers with too many choices

March 31-April 1, 2010
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Vivian Schiller, President and CEO, National Public Radio
  • Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?
  • Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner, Blue State Digital

Topics included:
  • Digital marketing - myths and realities of building brands in the online world
  • Innovation now - open collaboration and designing your business in beta
  • Customer networks - strategies to listen, engage, inspire, and mobilize them online

March 4-5, 2009
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Seth Godin, author of Tribes, Purple Cow, and the world's most popular marketing blog
  • Alyson Meranze, VP, Digital Content & Strategy, American Express
  • Lisa Hsia, Senior VP, New Media & Digital, Bravo TV

Topics included:
  • Digital marketing that works - cases from the front lines
  • Crowdsourcing, tribes, and marketing with online communities
  • Social media, mass media, and the prospects for brands

BRITE Asia '09
March 26, 2009
SMU, Singapore

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Speakers included:
  • Gavin Coombes, CEO, FutureBrand Asia Pacific
  • Ramesh Divyanathan, Regional Marketing Director, BMW Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore)
  • Dae Ryun Chang, Professor of Marketing at Yonsei School of Business, Seoul, Korea

Topics included:
  • Digital media and the implications for brand value creation
  • Adoption of mobile and social media in Asian markets
  • Open networks, viral content, and emerging tech trends

BRITE - Online Communities
October 16, 2008
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Richard Binhammer, Conversations, Communities & Communications, Dell
  • Thomas Gensemer, Managing Partner, Blue State Digital (creators of
  • Sylvia Marino, Community Operations,

Topics Included:
  • Stoking buzz, engaging influencers, and nurturing brand advocates
  • Network listening, market research, and product development
  • Customer service, employee communications, and recruiting

BRITE - CMO Summit
October 15, 2008
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Heidi Browning, VP Custom Solutions and Research, Fox Interactive/MySpace
  • Penry Price, VP of Advertising-North America, Google
  • Gita Johar, Meyer Feldberg Professor of Business, Columbia Business School

Topics Included:
  • Social Networking and Brands - using networks to create viral marketing campaigns
  • Brands in crisis - winning customer trust and turning the tide of opinion
  • Creative leadership - harness multiple intelligence and creativity skills to inspire big thinking

February 7-8, 2008
Columbia University, New York

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Speakers included:
  • Marty Homlish, Global Chief Marketing Officer, SAP
  • Patia McGrath, Global Director, Innovation and Strategic Connections, GE
  • Aaron Cohen, CEO,
Topics included:
  • Building Brands in a New Media Environment
  • Building a Culture of Innovation within the Organization
  • The Role of Advertising in an Interactive Age

Other Past Conferences & Events

The Center presents a range of events and global conferences that showcase new analytical tools, best practices, and case studies for managing brands in the competitive global environment. We curate a diverse array of presenters and thinkers from both the practitioner and academic arenas to share their insights on marketing and branding. Our conferences also offer an interdisciplinary approach to branding, looking at issues of marketing, finance, strategy, technology, design, and media to address questions for effective brand management.

Below you will find information on and video links to a sample of past events and conferences that the Center has produced over the past decade.

Why We Brand, Why We Buy
April 2, 2015
Columbia Business School, New York

What makes a brand stand out? How can a simple logo turn a brand into an international graphic icon as it did for Coca-Cola? Or cause us to salivate over the latest products from Apple?
In partnership with Columbia Business School’s Marketing Association of Columbia (MAC), the Center on Global Brand Leadership hosted Why We Brand, Why We Buy, a talk with Debbie Millman, CMO and President of the Design Group at Sterling Brands, a leading brand and design firm.
Debbie discussed the sociological, scientific and entertaining historical overview on why we buy and brand things. Specifically, she will looked at:
- Five waves of modern branding and the brands that defined each period
- How human evolution and population trends are linked with branding
- How psychology and behavioral rituals are linked with branding
- How technology has changed the way we interact with each other and with brands

The Changing Face of the Asian Consumer
Book Launch

April 9, 2014
Ogilvy & Mather, New York

To celebrate the release of Prof. Bernd Schmitt’s latest book, The Changing Face of the Asian Consumer, the center partnered with Ogilvy & Mather to host a panel discussion. Prof. Schmitt first presented detailed strategies that can help companies navigate and maneuver the complex and diverse landscape that is Asia.
Following that, the event featured a practitioner's panel that discussed how companies are learning to grow brands in the Asian marketplace:
- Colin Mitchell, Worldwide Head of Planning, Ogilvy & Mather
- Brian Buchwald, Founder and CEO, Bomoda

Corporate Reputation
Book Launch

January 29, 2014
Columbia Business School, New York

The center was honored to host Angel Alloza, CEO, Corporate Excellence, in launching the English language version of his book Corporate Reputation.
Reputation has become an essential strategic asset companies and is one of the most popular non-financial indicators used by organizations, both in the public and private sectors. The event included remarks by the center’s director, Matthew Quint, and the following presentations:
Building Belief: How the New Model of Communication Contributes to Corporate Reputation
Roger Bolton, President, Arthur W. Page Society
Strategic Communication and its Contribution to Corporate Reputation
Paul Argenti, Professor of Corporate Communication, The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Corporate Reputation
Ángel Alloza, CEO, Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership

Happy Customers Everywhere:
Book Launch

May 2, 2012
Edelman, New York

To celebrate the release of Prof. Bernd Schmitt's new book, Happy Customers Everywhere, the Center held an event which began with Schmitt discussing his three approaches to creating happy customers: The Feel-Good Method, The Values-Meaning Method, and The Engagement Method.
Following his presentation, Schmitt engaged in a lively dialog with three panelists who shared their experiences in making customers happy:
  • Julie Cottineau, Founder, BrandTwist, former VP of Brand, Virgin USA
  • Peter DeNunzio, President, Customer Loyalty, Aimia US
  • Owen Rankin Exec. VP of Brand Stewardship, Edelman

Learn more about the book and watch Schmitt discuss its principles click here.

Who Should Invest in a dotBRAND?
October 19, 2011
Online webinar

As this webinar aired in October 2011, a new frontier in the internet was about to open. In January 2012, the non-profit organization, ICANN, opened an application period so that website names could expand from mere .COMs and .NETs to full-fledged names like .WINE and .HOLLYWOOD, and brands like .CANON and .DELOITTE.
This webinar brought together business, branding, and internet experts to discuss the strategic questions faced by any organization considering, or committed to, ownership of these new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs).
William Barrett, Online Strategy Leader, Global Brand & Communications, Deloitte
Karl Isaac, Executive Director, Digital Branding, Landor
Roland LaPlante, Chief Marketing Officer, Afilias
Paul Twomey, Managing Director, Argo [email protected], former ICANN CEO
Moderated by:
David Rogers, Executive Director, BRITE, Columbia Business School
To watch the webcast and download our topical white paper click here.

Theory and Practice in Marketing
April 22, 2011
Columbia Business School, New York

This inaugural one-day symposium -- organized by Profs. Bernd Schmitt, Don Lehmann, and Sunil Gupta and supported by Columbia Business School and Harvard Business School -- brought together marketing scholars, journal editors, and business school deans who feel that marketing discipline needs to re-examine itself and its relevance to practice.
The goal of the symposium was to synthesize a variety of perspectives and insights in order to identify concrete steps to achieve relevance. The format of the symposium consisted of an open discussion to identify key issues from the perspectives of all participants.

Brand Challenges 2008:
Inspiring Futures

May 22, 2008

Hosted by our partner brand center at the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, this annual conference focuses on the future of branding. The all day conference included speeches by leading thinkers in the fields of branding, innovation, and technology, including Columbia Business School's Center on Global Brand Leadership Director, David Rogers.

The event also featured research reports and several roundtable discussions on topics including present and future of brand management in Spain, perception of brand value from steering committees and boards of directors, media planning to managing touch points and brand experience, the social dimension of branding, and the impact of new media and innovation on branding.

Best Brands Conference 2008
February 14, 2008


Hosted by our partner center at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, the annual Best Brands Conference takes place in conjunction with the Best Brands 2008 Awards ceremony. This conference brought together top academics and practitioners to discuss the topic "User Generated Branding." Conference speakers discussed current developments and trends in marketing and communication.

Speakers included: Prof. Robert V. Kozinets from York University in Canada, Juergen Merz and Dr. Christian Jarchow of the The GfK Group, Dr. Andrea Malgara of SevenOne Media, Inc., and Carsten Schwecke and Harald Fritzsch of GWP Media Marketing.

"Branding in India" Symposium
May 21, 2007
New York City

The 2007 "Branding in India" Symposium, presented by the Center on Global Brand Leadership and AIGA, centered around all issues of branding in India. Leading thinkers from industry, advertising, academia, and design assessed the current state of branding in India; the enormous challenges and opportunities for global and local brands; and the future of Indian branding, at home, and in the global market. Presenters included Arvind Sharma (Chairman & CEO of Leo Burnett, India), Harjiv Singh (Co-founder & CEO, Gutenberg Communications), and Hitendra Wadhwa (Associate Professor of Professional Practice, Columbia Business School), among others.
This event wais made possible, in part, with the help of a generous grant from the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business.
Click here for video excerpts and full details on the symposium.

International Brand Forum
April 20-21, 2007

The inaugural conference of the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU) was held April 20-21 in Shanghai, China. The theme of the conference was "Brands' Competitiveness in the Context of Globalization." The conference, sponsored by Audi, was attended by over 200 executives as well as SJTU students and academics and enjoyed extensive press coverage in China.
The conference featured speeches and panels with leaders of top Chinese brands; global brands in China such as Honeywell, L'Oreal, Boeing, and Unilever; and Center frp, Columbia Business School, University of Munich, Singapore Management University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.Topics included: international brands in China, brand growth and globalization, and brand competitiveness of Chinese business. Awards were given, and best practices presented, from leading Chinese brands for: brand potential, brand competitiveness, brand innovation, and brand leadership.
Click here to read the full report.

Innovative Marketing Conference
June 8-9, 2006
New York

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The 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference, presented by the Center on Global Brand Leadership and, was held in New York City June 8-9, 2006. The conference tackled head-on the question of the future of marketing--drawing on the best practices from the past, and the real promise of the future. The conference comprised a CMO Summit on June 8, and a larger Marketers Forum on June 9. Both days assessed the painful challenges and exciting new possibilities facing marketing today. Participants gained practical tools, real world case studies, and the chance to network and share best practices with peers in a non-competitive environment.
Click here to hear podcasts and read the blogjam, agenda, and list of speakers.

The Asian Brand Experience
February 16, 2006

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Co-organized by ex-Columbia-PhD Jin Han and John Davis, the inaugural conference of the Center on Global Brand Leadership at Singapore Management Univeristy took place on Thursday, February 16 on the campus of SMU. The conference brought together leaders in branding, academia and industry to discuss the latest insights about how to create successful brands. With Asia's growing importance in world business, the conference was a platform to discuss how Asian companies can develop their brands in other markets and how outside companies can develop their brands successfully in Asia. The conference included presentations on consumers, entertainment, sports, technology and experiential branding.

Brands in China Panel
at World Trade Week

May 19, 2005
New York

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The "Brands in China" panel, co-sponsored by the AIGA and the Center on Global Brand Leadership, was held in May 2005 as part of New York World Trade Week. The panel was moderated by Christopher Liechty of AIGA and featured panelists LiAnne Yu of Cheskin, Bernd Schmitt and Don Sexton of Columbia Business School, and Business Week reporter Tom Lowry.

Brand Convergence
at Yonsei University

November 25, 2004

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Organized by Columbia MBA and Columbia Visiting professor Dae Ryun Chang, the second brand conference at the Center for Global Brand Leadership at Yonsei University was held on Thursday, November 25th at the Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul. Even though digital convergence is enabling companies to venture beyond its traditional offline boundaries to take advantage of new technologies and media, this has resulted in significant demand for a vast range and high quantity of content that in turn is putting pressure on brand management. Brand convergence therefore is the strategic integration of brand associations that are created in the minds of consumers through various media. This conference will examine the best brand practices from noted companies that have bridged the on-offline divide as well as discuss their future challenges.