Bloomberg Media ESG House @ SXSW offered inspiring conversations with business and creative leaders including RZA, Allyson Felix, Kal Penn, Everette Taylor, Kenya Barris, Anne Wojcicki and more

The Bloomberg Media ESG House @ SXSW this year gathered cultural icons, influencers and business leaders to share perspective on the intersection of technology, sustainability, creativity and inclusivity — showcasing Bloomberg Media’s commitment to providing tools that accelerate purposeful business solutions in these important areas. 

Bloomberg Media Chief Commercial Officer Stephen Colvin kicked off three days of incisive programming with the first-ever Video Upfront presentation for the recently launched Bloomberg Originals, a new brand for streaming original video that includes docu-style series, talk shows, live events and video podcasts. Focusing on the intersection of business and culture, Bloomberg Originals explores climate change, technology, finance, sports and more in a way that showcases “Business as you’ve never seen it.

Highlights from the Bloomberg Originals Upfront as well as two additional days of panels exploring key ESG topics with bold-faced names include:

Day 1: Bloomberg Originals Upfront | March 10, 2023

Since launching in February, Bloomberg Originals has premiered shows such as The Future with Hannah Fry, Getting Warmer with Kal Penn, How I Got Here with Chris Paul and season 3 of Idea Generation with Noah Callahan-Bever. The Upfront introduced the latest slate of Bloomberg Originals programs, including The Optimist’s Guide to the Planet with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, a new season of Hello World with best-selling author Ashlee Vance and Exponentially with Azeem Ashar — as well as Power Players, helmed by Bloomberg Originals Chief Correspondent Jason Kelly, and The Circuit, led by Bloomberg’s acclaimed author and tech journalist Emily Chang.

Pictured L-R: Allyson Felix (Olympic Gold Medalist and Co-Founder of Saysh); Jason Kelly (Bloomberg Originals Chief Correspondent).

Kelly interviewed gold medal Olympian and Co-Founder of Saysh Allyson Felix. Their conversation explored the challenges faced by female athletes and entrepreneurs and Felix’s passion for developing a company that believes women deserve better. Felix shared that when she discovered most women’s shoes are made with a male’s foot mold, it led her to disrupt the category with her company Saysh, which not only uses female foot molds as the basis for its footwear, but also offers women whose foot size changes during pregnancy the opportunity to return their shoes for a more suitable pair.

“I think by having a really diverse team and a thoughtful team, we’re able to do things in a different way and push the industry.” – Allyson Felix

Pictured L-R: Anne Wojcicki (Co-Founder and CEO of 23andMe); Emily Chang (Host and Executive Producer of Bloomberg Originals).

Host and Executive Producer of Bloomberg Originals Emily Chang and Co-Founder and CEO of 23andMe Anne Wojcicki discussed both the inspiration behind and challenges of founding a mission-driven company. Wojcicki shared how being surrounded by the dreamer mentality of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, influenced her career pivot. She explained the core belief that led her to found 23andMe: that people are more capable than today’s healthcare system assumes, noting how that focus has helped her navigate the challenges of building an innovative business model in an industry highly resistant to change. 

“And it wasn’t disruption for the sake of disruption. It was like I see something that everybody hates, and we can do better. So let’s go and build that better world.”     – Anne Wojcicki

Contact us to learn more about how your brand can be involved with Bloomberg Originals.

Day 2: Sustainability, Technology and Celebrating BIPOC Creators | March 11, 2023

Head of Inclusive Programming for Bloomberg Media Shartia Brantley hosted an exciting roster of leaders sharing unique insights, beginning with Bloomberg Green: Accelerating Sustainable Transformation.

Actor, author and host of Bloomberg Originals series “Getting Warmer” Kal Penn shared how the show has shaped his perspective on sustainability efforts, while eco-entrepreneur, animator and ESG consultant Maya Penn and BrightDrop Chief Commercial Officer Steve Hornyak discussed the impact of multi-hyphenates on innovation and creating communities to build a more sustainable future. 

“Only 5% of the vehicles on the road are medium to heavy commercial vehicles, but those 5% consume over 20% of the energy out there today. So we can have an incredibly real impact on decarbonization and reduction of emissions very quickly.” – Steve Hornyak

Pictured L-R: Steve Hornyak (BrightDrop Chief Commercial Officer); Maya Penn (Eco-entrepreneur, Filmmaker, and ESG Consultant); Shartia Brantley (Bloomberg Media Head of Inclusive Programming).

Next, Bloomberg Technology: Technology Powering Inclusive Platforms hosted founder of BABE WINE & FUTURE Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky, PwC Head of Metaverse Technologies Jeremy Dalton, futurist and WAYE Founder/CEO Sinead Bovell and CBRE Chief Marketing Officer Benji Baer for a fascinating, forward-looking conversation. The panelists discussed the exciting opportunities that emerging technology offers — from the metaverse to artificial intelligence — while also emphasizing the importance of understanding what ethical deployment looks like. Ostrovsky shared his goal of combining “the URL with the IRL” to merge humanity with new technological experiences. 

“Tech works until it doesn’t. And then you need, you want a human being. I think we actually still crave human connection.” Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky

Pictured L-R: Sinead Bovell (Futurist and WAYE Founder/CEO); Josh “The Fat Jew” Ostrovsky (BABE WINE & FUTURE Founder); Benji Baer (CBRE Chief Marketing Officer); Jeremy Dalton (PwC Head of Metaverse Technologies); Shartia Brantley (Bloomberg Media Head of Inclusive Programming).

Bloomberg Equality x EBONY: Celebrating the Impact of BIPOC Creators on Culture delivered a high-profile look at cultural change, the future of collaboration, and Black joy. Panelists included award-winning writer, producer, director and actor Kenya Barris, rapper, actor, filmmaker, director and producer RZA, EBONY Editor-in-Chief and SVP, Programming Marielle Bobo and rapper, singer, and actor Tobe Nwigwe. Kenya Barris also had an exclusive interview with Brantley to share his insights on media and culture.

“I’ll say persistence can overcome resistance. And hip hop is 50 years old this year, but that’s just the base of the mountain.” – RZA

Pictured L-R: Tobe Nwigwe (Rapper, Singer, and Actor); Kenya Barris (Award-Winning Writer, Producer, Director and Actor); Shartia Brantley (Bloomberg Media Head of Inclusive Programming); Marielle Bobo (EBONY Media Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President, Programming); RZA (Rapper, Actor, Filmmaker, Director and Record Producer).

 “I look around, I see a really diverse group of people here. And I think that that means that these people wanted to hear what we had to say about our culture.”   – Kenya Barris

In addition to the day’s panels, Bloomberg Media’s Global CMO Anne Kawalerski led the Bloomberg Media CMO Think Tank, a dynamic roundtable discussion with C-Suite marketing and brand leaders across industries that focused on global trends in ESG, how to navigate this increasingly complex space, and the opportunities and winning strategies that marketing leaders should consider. From exploring the challenges of measuring S in ESG efforts to the ethical application of AI technology, this discussion led to key insights around best practices fueling the future of marketing.

Pictured L-R: Sheevani Raikundalia (Bloomberg Media Head of East Coast Sales); Stephen Colvin (Bloomberg Media Chief Commercial Officer); Ana Villegas (Affinipay CMO); Anne Kawalerski (Bloomberg Media Global CMO); Sarah Stringer (Media Executive VP Head of US Media Partnerships), Daniel Roberts  (BrightDrop Head of Communications); Jessica Jensen (Indeed CMO); Anthony Demaio (Bloomberg Media Head of US Sales), Toni Clayton-Hine (EY Americas CMO). (Not featured: LEGO Global Brand Development Kristofer Crockett, Google Americas CMO and Founder Grow with Google Lisa Gevelber, Accenture Global Head of Brand Mark Prince).

Day 3: Women Leaders and Innovations Driving the Future of Marketing | March 12, 2023

Hosted by Bloomberg Media Global CMO Anne Kawalerski, Bloomberg Equality: Women Leaders in Male-Dominated Industries centered on changing the game for women — and why interconnected industries can work together to drive progress. As the panelists reflected on their own journeys to leadership positions, they also discussed how to best support employees of diverse backgrounds in their own careers. More specifically, the panelists shared their insights around the differences between mentorship and sponsorship – two approaches leadership needs to employ to bridge the gap for underrepresentation in senior roles. Panelists included EY Americas CMO Toni Clayton-Hine, Samsung Electronics America SVP/CMO, Mobile Experience, Janet Chison Lee, Salesforce President and CMO Sarah Franklin and Google Americas CMO and Founder of Growth with Google Lisa Gevelber.

“With mentorship, you’re generous with your time and your empathy. Sponsorship is different: you are generous in that you’re willing to burn your personal equity for somebody else’s advancement.” – Janet Chison Lee

Pictured L-R: Sarah Franklin (Salesforce President and CMO); Lisa Gevelber (Google Americas CMO and Founder of Grow with Google); Anne Kawalerski (Bloomberg Media Global CMO); Toni Clayton-Hine (EY Americas CMO); Janet Chison Lee (Samsung Electronics America SVP/CMO of Mobile Experience).

In the final session, Bloomberg Media: Innovations Driving the Future of Marketing focused on how inclusion, creativity and technology are together powering marketing strategies that drive business growth. Panelists included Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President, Healthcare Raja Rajamannar, Group Black Co-Founder & CEO Travis Montaque, and Kickstarter CEO Everette Taylor. In one example highlighting the link between innovation and inclusion, Rajamannar shared that his grandmother’s experience with visual impairments inspired the development of The Touch Card, a new accessible card standard for blind and partially sighted people. Authenticity is also a critical part of that link, especially as the creator economy grows and evolves, Taylor and Montaque noted. Forming authentic connections with creators and companies in underserved markets can create new growth opportunities, evidenced by Group Black’s ability to close $500M in deals within its first year after recognizing the need for Black-owned media businesses to have access to brand dollars.

“We’re leaning more into a time where creators have more control with their content and [are] showing their personality and authenticity through the partnerships that they’re having with brands.” – Everette Taylor

Pictured L-R: Raja Rajamannar (Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Officer and President, Healthcare); Everette Taylor (Kickstarter CEO); Travis Montaque (Group Black Co-Founder and CEO); Shartia Brantley (Bloomberg Media Head of Inclusive Programming).


Watch the full video for all sessions here.

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