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B&LIS Welcomes United Nations and the Smurfs

B&LIS Welcomes United Nations and the Smurfs

Senior executives from United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC) and the Smurfs are uniting to present a joint keynote at Brand & Licensing Innovation Summit (B&LIS), which takes place online from 9-11 June 2021.

Called ‘Why the Future will be Blue. How to Become an Agent of Change’, B&LIS attendees will hear about the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of collaborations – like the one with the Smurfs – to educate people all over the world about the importance of adopting sustainable values and habits for the sake of the planet.

The talk will also touch on the ActNow app, which is part of the UN’s campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability, and its SDG Media Compact initiative, which seeks to inspire media and entertainment companies around the world to leverage their resources and creative talent to advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

The ambitious goals were launched in 2015 in 149 countries with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty, combating inequalities and injustice, and effectively tackling the problem of climate change by 2030, and the Smurfs are proud ambassadors for all 17 of them. The instantly recognisable and much-loved little blue characters have been encouraging us all to ‘Think Blue’ and promoting the UN’s sustainability messaging through campaigns such as #EUBeachCleanup, ‘Save Our Blue Planet’ and the ‘Smurfs Experience’ educational package for primary school teachers and children.

Philippe Glorieux, Head of Marketing, Communications & Family Entertainment, IMPS – the Smurfs commented: “Why do we all have to change our previous bad habits? Because we must be an example for the future of the planet and of our children; they are the leaders of tomorrow. For this reason, and by virtue of their common values, the Smurfs and the United Nations are joining forces through the Sustainable Development Goals to change the way we consume with the sole goal to live better!”

Caroline Petit, Deputy Director, United Nations Regional Information Center (UNRIC), added: “The Sustainable Development Goals are a roadmap for a better world, but we must recognise that they can only be reached in unity, with each of us doing our part.” 

Caroline Petit and Philippe Glorieux will headline the CSR and sustainability agenda at 9am on 10 June, the second day of B&LIS alongside Products of Change Founder Helena Mansell-Stopher, BBC Studios Licensing Director Rikesh Desai and Natural History Museum Head of Licensing Maxine Grant among many others.

B&LIS has been designed specifically to help middle-management, business leaders and owners to navigate the changing retail, content and consumer landscape, with day one focusing on retail and trends, and day three on content and digital transformation. Early bird registration for the summit, allowing delegates to purchase three-day passes for just £175 (£158 for Licensing International members), ends on 16 April. Qualified retailers are invited to attend free of charge.  

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Philippe Glorieux Head of Marketing, Communications & Family Entertainment, IMPS – the Smurfs
  • Caroline Petit, Deputy Director, UNRIC
  • Ruth Golightly, Head of Baby and Maternity, Asda
  • Rikesh Desai, Licensing Director, BBC Studios
  • John Friend, Head of Halo and Xbox Consumer Products, Microsoft
  • Stephanie Freeman, Global Licensing Manager – Outbound Licensing, The LEGO Group
  • Gabrielle Sims,Head of Licensing, FatFace
  • Dan Avener, Chief Executive Officer, MDR Brand Management
  • Lisa Hey, Head of Product Development, Character World
  • Karen Hewitt, Co-Founder,
  • Susan Bolsover, Licensing and Consumer Products Director, Penguin Random House
  • June Kirkwood, Managing Director, Nutmeg Licensing
  • Simon Gresswell, Managing Director, SGLP
  • Gary Pope, Co-Founder, Kids Industries
  • Graham Saltmarsh, Managing Director, Licensing International – UK
  • Ben Roberts, Content Editor, License Global
  • Claire McClelland, Client Executive – Entertainment, Kantar
  • Dorian Bloch, Senior Client Director, Market Intelligence, GfK
  • Helena Mansell-Stopher, Founder, Products of Change
  • Ian Shepherd, Founder and CEO, The Social Store
  • Emily Aldridge, Head of Global Licensing, Abysse Corp
  • Charlotte Delobelle,European Brand Ambassador, Fashion Snoops
  • Kate French, Senior Category Manager – Softlines (Footwear, Accessories, Home & Gifting), Hasbro
  • Steven Plackett, MD, Vista Stationery & Print (Carousel Calendars)
  • Dan Grant, Licensing Director, Danilo
  • Adriana Batty, Co-Founder, Lyfcycle
  • Leonora Aixas, Co-Founder, DNA Brands
  • Steve Cox, UK Sales Director, Keel Toys
  • Susan Stanley, Licensing Director, Brands In Limited
  • Mark Bezodis, Licensing Managing Director, Perry Ellis International
  • Scott Macrae, New Business and Partnerships Manager, George at Asda
  • Dan Amos, Head of Gaming and Esports, Difuzed
  • Marie-Laure Marchand, SVP Global Consumer Products and Business Development, Chefclub
  • Valérie Rolandez-Barrios, Vice President of IP Licensing & Partnerships, Studiocanal
  • Jade Snart, Senior Sustainability Manager, George at Asda
  • Alex Balzaretti, Senior Manager, Commonwealth Games Federation Partnership (CGFP)
  • Kate Gibson, Managing Director, Gibson Games
  • Gary Jacobson, Brand Licensing Manager, Tottenham Hotspur
  • Claire Bradbury, Global Account Director, PowerStation Studios

About The Author

Rebecca Ash

Rebecca is the Editorial Director at Total Licensing Ltd. She can be reached at

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