Programme and speakers

The Global Sustainability Standards Symposium's programme is packed full of interesting ideas, inspiring speakers and interactive discussion. Here is a taster of what to expect. The full programme is available to download on this web page.

Improving sustainability performance of supply chain initiatives

We will hear about the different pathways through which sustainability standards can deliver social and environmental impacts, what evidence is available about these impacts, and how it can inform learning and improving to advance contributions to sustainability goals.

Evidence-driven decision-making and effectiveness

Throughout the day, we will gain insight from evidence into the strengths and limitations of standard systems for driving particular types of impacts and about the enabling conditions for standards’ effectiveness. We will also hear about how good data and information can inform the way standards systems, companies and governments develop new practices, strategies and policies.

Accelerating systemic impacts

In breakout sessions, groups will focus in on the initiatives that are taking different approaches to address important issues including landscapes, living income and living wage. We will explore how evidence helps these initiatives to inform their strategy, develop their understanding of the challenges, and deliver on their sustainability commitments.

Building connections and ideas

The symposium brings together leaders from the worlds of sustainability standards, business, government and civil society. We have planned ample time throughout the day to meet and connect with your peers in discussion tables, refreshment breaks, and at the drinks reception where we will launch Evidensia, the exciting new platform for information on the impacts of sustainability systems.


More speakers will be announced closer to the symposium.

Keynote speakers

Arjen Boekhold @ Game Changer Unltd.
Arjen Boekhold, CEO @ Game Changer Unltd. and Cocoa Game Changer @ Tony's Chocolonely


With his company Game Changer Unltd., Arjen Boekhold is inspiring, challenging and assisting companies to make positive impact part of their day-to-day business case. Moreover, Arjen is Cocoa Game Changer at Tony's Chocolonely, a chocolate company with a huge mission; to end modern slavery and exploitation in the cocoa industry. With amazing chocolate recipes they set an example and show that chocolate can be made in a more responsible way; in taste, in packaging, and in the way they build, for example, long-term and transparent relationships with cocoa farmers.

Arjen, being one of the first Tony’s, will tell the story of Tony’s growth and how they are “crazy about chocolate and serious about people”.  With practical examples, Arjen shows how Tony's Chocolonely became an international impact frontrunner and market leader in the Netherlands. And yes, sometimes this is through "failing forward", but always while they are going for practical and impactful solutions within complexity.

Besides his work as Game Changer, Arjen is lecturer in “social entrepreneurship, transitions and innovative economics” at the University Groningen Center of Entrepreneurship. 

Darrel Webber @ RSPO
Darrel Webber, CEO @ Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil


Darrel Webber joined the RSPO as Chief Executive Officer (formerly known as Secretary General) in January 2011, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. His last position was Senior Associate of Global Sustainability Associates, a role which required him to provide senior counsel to companies and organisations about agricultural development (including oil palm).

Prior to that, he was Senior Manager Palm Oil Sector Engagement at WWF-International and regional manager for companies such as Permanis Sandilands Sdn. Bhd. and Shell Malaysia Ltd. From 2007 until 2009, Darrel Webber was a RSPO Executive Board Member representing the Environmental NGOs constituent through his position at WWF International.

​Darrel was also actively involved in the initial discussions and development of the RSPO Principles & Criteria. Darrel speaks in numerous thought leadership forums and conferences all around the world on sustainability.