Last weekend the Leaders’ Forum was organized in St. Gallen, that brought together business leaders, NGOs and Public Organizations together with social entrepreneurs, academics and students to discuss the most critical sustainability issues of our time. I had the chance to join the final day of the event.
Over the 3 days participants together with speakers explored questions about how leaders address the triple bottom line proactively with business goals so that sustainability really serves the company’s business objectives.
On the final day of the forum, we had a chance to listen and learn from successful global leaders about practices, solutions and projects introduced for sustainability and discussed how everyone: businesses, non-profits, government leaders, students and academic – can contribute and push Global Sustainability forward.
From the topics discussed, I’m taking a few of them away for Aspire:
There is big importance stressed on changing the role of education, from knowledge transfer to mentoring.
We need to focus on:
o Developing leadership skills and shaping global responsible leaders who will take actions: DOERS.
o Enable businesses to serve the common good
o Engage the economy in the transformation
There is also a need to create the collaborative environment to bring together: Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Responsibility that is crucial for a sustainable world. With a huge opportunity for Women Participation in shaping that world.
Coming back home, I'm inspired and impressed at the same time by initiatives in Latin America where technology plays a crucial role. Manish Bapna from the World Resources Institute talked about WRI’s Global Forest Watch – the online platform that uses satellite and other data to track forest deforestation through the world cover in near-real time. The other example was presented by Martin Burt from Fundacion Paraguaya who talked about his developments - two social innovations, such as: self-sufficient schools for the chronically unemployed rural youth and “Poverty Spotlight“ a methodology that allows poor families with the use of a smartphone application, self-diagnose their level of poverty.
Participating in the Forum was a great experience, even getting up at 6 in the morning to get to St. Gallen on time. It’s been very inspiring day, but also it proved how important the collaboration and technology development plays to execute and develop sustainability agenda. Also business leaders ought to take care of their communities, quoting Stephan Schmidheiny “there will be no successful companies in failed societies”.
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