Published on September 18, 2017

Sustained change takes place in consistent, incremental steps. Two years ago, the first Quality of Life Conference launched a collective movement of global leaders, searching for an economic model that delivers growth as well as personal fulfillment.

The second Quality of Life Conference offers a unique opportunity for high-profile experts to continue the conversation and drive this movement forward. Though their backgrounds are diverse, all participants share a vision of a world that embraces quality of life and a more prosperous future for all.

Agenda of the Quality of Life 2017 Conference

Day 1 – Oct. 16, 2017

1:30 pm – OPENING SPEECH by Michel Landel, Sodexo CEO - Quality of Life: New Demands, New Solutions for our Changing World

2:00 pm – Six Key Insights Driving the Future of Quality of Life

Six exceptional individuals, from the founder of Barefoot College in India to the first Iranian in outer space, each give a 15-minute talk underscoring the new quality of life needs of a sector of society. Subjects range from students to corporate employees, workers in atypical environments, seniors, patients and citizens.

Speakers include:

    Sanjit "Bunker" Roy         2:00 pm
Sanjit "Bunker" Roy
Pedro Tarak         3:00 pm
Pedro Tarak
    Jane-GRIFFITHS_round.png         2:15 pm
Jane Griffiths
Corporate Employees
Jane Fonda         3:15 pm
Jane Fonda
    Anousheh Ansari         2:45 pm
Anousheh Ansari
Workers in Atypical Environment

4:00 pm – PANEL DISCUSSIONS – Through Their Eyes: Six Shared Perspectives Driving the Future of Quality of Life

Conference participants will choose to attend one panel discussion focusing on a specific population. Panelists will share perspectives and explore quality of life issues impacting students, corporate employees, workers in atypical environments, seniors, patients or citizens.


• How Innovative Ecosystems in Education Impact the Learning Experience

The quality of educational systems has long been a matter of debate. And yet, a range of innovations, from free-style preschools to digital roll call, are transforming the experience for students of all ages. Kindergarteners are learning autonomy from well-designed environments, apps are ensuring that high school students are present and safe, and social platforms encourage a sense of community and belonging at college.

Discover how initiatives such as self-directed projects, flexible timetables and fewer barriers (physical or not) can improve student engagement, independence and ultimately, success.

Speakers include: Porai Beaven GwenderePhilippine DolbeauSanjit "Bunker" Roy, Takaharu Tezuka, Esther Wojcicki


• What It Takes to Unlock Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a major topic for startups and large companies alike, and this panel explores new approaches to enhancing employees' sense of commitment and well-being in today's rapidly changing world.

Organizations benefit when employees are made to feel like people rather than simply workers, when their work and life are not just balanced but integrated, when they are empowered with information they can actually use, and when their creative initiatives are given free rein to achieve "radical innovation".

Speakers include: Dr. Ritu AnandProfessor Sir Cary Cooper, John Frehse, David Gram, Jane GriffithsFrances Frei, Mia Mends


• Keeping Workers Connected When the Office is Outer Space

Among the stars, at sea, or in virtual workspaces – even when a person’s workplace is far from the traditional office, he or she expects, and deserves, a sense of well-being on the job.

Panelists will share perspectives on worker well-being in outer space and under the wing, connecting people who live and work in low infrastructure environments, ensuring the health, safety and community spirit on an aircraft carrier and a provocative look at how AI may impact employment and humanity years in the years to come.

Speakers include: Anousheh AnsariNick Bostrom, Cheryl Hughey, Juliana Rotich, Captain Eric Malbrunot


• Designing Life Through the Ages

Seniors’ quality of life improves when they actively design their lives. Wellness, independence, technology and connectedness all play a role in helping seniors live their best lives – for their whole lives. The care-giving community is evolving to meet the demands of this growing segment of our society. The rest of society is evolving to serve this growing and demanding marketplace too. From design at home to intergenerational workforces to age-friendly services that help seniors, of any age, live their best lives.

Speakers include: Eric Brun-Sanglard, Jane Fonda, Scott Frisch, Laurence Lien, Dr. Hélène Perrault


• Making the Shift from Curing to Preventing

How can we create more patient-friendly healthcare models by fostering prevention rather than simply treating disease? People are increasingly playing an active role in their own health, supported by new technologies (mobile apps, virtual care centers) and more personalized interactions with caregivers.

Mobile apps that guide choices such as diet are proving that behavioral modifications can last. And when people of any age (including youth) do fall ill, they want to live their lives as normally as possible, and not be defined by their conditions.

Speakers include: Dr. Vincent Attalin, Dr. Anne C. Beal, Léa Moukanas, Fredrik Reinfeldt


• Citizens Mean Business, and Companies Know It

Now that people expect businesses to act for the general good, corporations see social engagement as a key driver of employee engagement and performance. But how can companies bridge the historical trust gap and convince citizens that they have a true sense of purpose, and that their intentions are sincere?

It’s time to explore how companies can rewrite their rule books, establish goals and values beyond profit maximization, foster a better relationship with citizens, and even improve quality of life.

Speakers include: Fabian Dattner, Marion DarrieutortJon Duschinsky, Pedro Tarak

5:45 pm – ROUNDTABLE – Cities and Residents: Partnering for Progress

By 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities. Representatives from the private sector and municipalities in the UK, France, Greece, the USA and India will discuss new ways to engage with residents and involve them in the process of creating quality of life in the urban world.

Data collection, mapping and apps are creating smart cities, allowing citizens to express their needs and mayors to quickly respond. This strengthening of the bond between cities and residents can lead to safer streets, less traffic congestion, better social and environmental measures, and a greater sense of well-being.

Speakers include: Abhishek Lodha, Renaud Prouveur, Julie RuskAmalia Zepou

7:00 pm – Q&A with Dr. Walter Greenleaf

A brief question and answer session with Dr. Greenleaf of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, who will discuss the inspiration and methodology behind LUMEN, a virtual bioluminescent forest that de-stresses people in moments. Conference attendees can experience LUMEN during dinner.


DAY 2 – Oct. 17, 2017

9:00 am – OPENING SPEECH by Raymond Kurzweil, Inventor, Author and Futurist

Ray-KURZWEIL_round.pngThe man that Forbes magazine labeled “the ultimate thinking machine” shares his thoughts about the future of nanotechnology, robotics and life extension technologies. A public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, Kurzweil is above all an optimist.


Step into a unique exhibition space and experience quality of life solutions for every stage of life. From robot waiters to virtual reality demonstrations and much more, it’s time for exploration with hands-on, interactive and immersive experiences. In line with its commitment to improve quality of life for all, Sodexo will showcase some of its latest innovations as well as those developed by game-changing startups from around the world. Learn more


In partnership with Accor Hotels, Gares & Connexions SNCF, Le Village by CA, Sodexo and Steelcase, the Spark Life Contest is a European contest that recognizes the startups that can truly transform people’s quality of life for the better. Months of anticipation culminate in the announcement of the five Spark Life Contest award winners.


Intimate dialogues between seasoned leaders and rising changemakers as they share a quality of life challenge they are tackling. The OECD Secretary-General discusses turning obstacles into opportunities with a nonprofit co-founder from Johannesburg, and one of the most powerful businesswomen in South Africa talks with a Danish startup founder about aligning employees' and employers' needs in the new economy.

Speakers include: Angel Gurría, Sissel HansenWendy LuhabeTakunda Ushe

2:30 pm – CLOSING REMARKS by Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of Sodexo’s Board of Directors