- May 6 2015
Michel Landel, CEO of Sodexo, kicked off the first international Quality of Life Conference on Tuesday afternoon at the Conrad Hotel in New York City.
Landel welcomed the room of 300 people and more than 30 nationalities representing a wide range of companies and organizations, plus others around the world following the conference on Internet.
"Your presence is proof that Quality of Life is of universal importance,” Landel said. Attendees represented the public and private sectors, corporations, hospitals, universities, governments, and NGOs. The lineup of speakers and panelists included media heavyweight Arianna Huffington, renowned economist Jeremy Rifkin, and more than 45 others.
Landel said that “Quality of Life must be explored as a driver of progress for our societies.”
He mentioned that Sodexo, the world’s 18th largest employer, makes Quality of Life its mission, and has done so for the past 50 years. Now that the world is in the throes of profound demographic, sociological, economic, and environmental change, the timing is right to organize a global event to bring together all those who consider Quality of Life a priority.
Landel touched on some of the more compelling issues the conference will explore, such as the intergenerational challenges of the world’s population, the impact of climate change on our eating habits, inspiring initiatives for urban development, and the inclusion of local communities.
As he noted, the digital revolution is rapidly shaping our world and even the functioning of our brains. Robots are poised to do more than half our jobs. In this context, Landel insisted that we need to step back and question where humankind stands. “New technologies should be an additional opportunity to care for one another,” he said.
“More than ever before it has become necessary and even vital to provide progress with purpose.”
This ambitious conference aims to harness our collective energy, to share ideas, and to point the way to sustainable growth that is people-centric and inclusive. As Landel concluded his remarks on this positive note, the audience applauded and the conference began.
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