Learning Expedition 2020

October 28-30, 2020 8:30 - 17:30 Paris La Défense, France
Leaders of global business districts will gather in Paris La Défense for a three-day event focused on Sustainable Innovation


Let’s debate the topic: Embracing Sustainable Innovation

We invite leaders, makers and stakeholders from the world’s business districts, in Paris La Défense, to gather for a three-day event focused on Sustainable Development issues.

In the context of the challenging period we are currently overcoming, we must be agile, united and adapt ourselves. As strong players in the world’s economy, global business districts take into account evolving needs resulting from the Covid-19 crisis, turn to new ways of working, investing and socializing.

Let’s imagine the global business district of tomorrow: healthy, attractive, smart, connected, green and competitive.

How can global business districts be pioneers in sustainable innovation? How can they step into a strong-willed policy realization? How can they rebound facing the global health crisis? How can they transform this changing world into a new opportunity?

Thanks to a ground-breaking collaboration of business district leaders, we’re going to exchange and imagine changes on such issues like “transport and mobility”, “energy management”, “social engagement”, “greening the city”, “stakeholders cooperation”.

This amazing experience will allow us to:

  • immerse in the latest urban trends
  • meet the key players of Paris La Défense
  • learn from their practices
  • visit unique places of innovation
  • get in touch with the GBD Innovation Club members and benefit from immersion in the ecosystem


Day 1: Greening the current system

Walking tour of Paris La Défense

Started in 1958, Paris La Défense business district is the first business district in Continental Europe and one of the oldest. Built on a slab, the huge pedestrian area represents a major asset for the 180,000 workers, 20,000 residents and 40,000 students. The transportation network and roads are located underneath, which allow people to benefit from a generous playground. Taking into account the evolution of mobility and the will of being greener, Paris La Défense is involved in a deep transformation of uses.

  • Focus on mobilities: eco-friendly mobility, bicycle lanes and greening initiatives in the business district
    Green areas, housing, schools, hospitality and amenities : presentation of the “Jardins de l’Arche Promenade” and Paris La Défense Arena, European largest indoor sport and concert hall
    Tour of Paris La Défense Arena and presentation of its new green certification


Session 1: Sustainable development: working towards the circular economy and energy efficiency

How can business districts step up as essential and committed players to fight climate change? Greater awareness must lead to implementation of proactive policies focusing on sustainable products and services: responsible purchases, waste management and new architectural models.

  • Presentation of innovative solutions to reduce energy consumption


Session 2: Nature in the city

Transforming cities by offering residents and employees greener surroundings: for several years, that has been the shared ambition by all the GBD Innovation Club members. Urban visionaries combine development and nature in the city by “greening” public spaces, planting rooftop gardens and creating new labels.

  • Presentation of Paris La Défense green areas and the greening strategy
    Tour and presentation of the world’s largest rooftop urban farm in Paris

Day 2: Making a global business district in a changing world

Session 1: Corporate Social Responsibility and new ways of working

The number one indicator of an appealing business district is the ability to attract and retain talent. How can a district truly integrate CSR and implement actions to win over this target audience? In responding to the Covid19 crisis, insight into the role of businesses in society, occupational transformations and CRS issues.

  • Presentation of CSR and HR policies in international leading companies
    Tour of Paris La Défense offices


Session 2: Cooperation between companies and associations in a global business district

What types of commitment should a district adopt to promote unity? Skill sponsorship, food wastage, charity runs, micro-donations, solidarity days, etc.

  • Speakers : International association involved in social commitment and responsible foundations


Session 3: Case study, underground spaces project

By 2022, an innovative project will be developed over 20,000 sqm of underground spaces in Paris La Défense. This ambitious project will be directly connected to the pedestrian slab and a new public promenade. A large location dedicated to events, arts and leisure as well as a brand new restaurant offer will take place at the heart of Paris La Défense.

  • Presentation of the project by the international team of architects


Session 4: Build more responsible

New construction methods (reused materials, wooden construction, rubble management…) to reduce the climate impact.

  • Presentation of new kinds of building developments
    Tour of responsible buildings (wooden construction, low carbon building)

Day 3: Shaping the future of global business districts

Session 1: Fintech revolution

Banks and insurance companies are dealing with deep transformation processes. Faster, easier, cheaper and digital, these are now the pre-requisite of any transformation in the industry. Fintech leverages innovation and change to transform the sector into business opportunities.

  • Presentation of incubators based in France and abroad


Session 2: Data intelligence

How can data be leveraged to optimize services and the overall experience in the business district? Background and case studies.

  • Rush hour monitoring
    Flow monitoring in a global business district


Session 3: Global business districts embrace sustainable innovation

  • Presentation of Paris La Défense survey: carbon evaluation and global sustainable development strategy
  • Co-creation session on a collaborative common initiative designed to highlight global business districts and position them as economic and innovative influencers


Learning Expedition 2020 evaluation

Terms of participation

Participation fees

  • from 1 500 EUR  



  • 3 days of learning sessions
    Welcome-coffee, coffee pauses
    Evening experience
    1 welcome dinner


Does not include

  • Flight
    Visa fees
    2 dinners