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Inside view: future leaders covering the Conference (Day 1)

Quality of life Observer

- Global

- May 6 2015

International students from Sodexo's Future Leaders Initiative send their unique perspectives on the ideas shared on Day One of the conference, and what quality of life means to their generation.


Fostering a More Human Economy [With Paras Fatnani]

Listening to Michel Landel, I truly believe his passion for people and human progress is a defining factor of how leadership at Sodexo actually supports change and innovation in the quality of life space. What stood out to me in his speech was how he thought disruptive technology will support human capital and not replace it in the future. I also believe his thoughts on the paycheck not being enough and the desire for companies to contribute to employee well-being is particularly encouraging for the future of business.


TECHNOLOGY | Is Advanced Technology a Sign of Progress? [with Jonathan Ashby]

“The future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed." – William Gibson, 1993. This statement was repeated several times by three panelists and Baroness Professor Susan Greenfield today as they discussed if advanced technology a sign of progress. They all agreed the digital revolution is upon us, and whether we choose to accept it or not, it will only continue to grow. The panel said technology has the potential to create significant positive changes worldwide, but there is still a lot to be done by both governments and corporations to ensure that this happens across the globe and not just in developed economies. The question we face now is how existing and emerging leaders in business will harness and maximize this potential in the years to come.


GENDER BALANCE | How Can Women’s Success Benefit All [with Esther Soma]

From learning about the benefits and costs of increasing gender balance to understanding the difference between ‘mentorship’ and ‘sponsorship,’ as explained by Sylvia Hewlett, the discussion was enlightening. The most striking concepts were ‘covering’ and ‘reverse covering.’ As explained by Kenji Yoshino explained, the dominant group makes demands on the minority to conform to perceived group norms, or, in reverse covering demanding, them to act more like the minority. The beauty of it all was when Kenji reminded us to have the courage to be authentic to who we are and to never feel the need to cover. After all, authenticity is power.


RECOGNITION | Make It Matter! [with Naliswa Fente]

More than 70% of employees are actively not engaged in their workspace. This statistic is disheartening as this means that many people who work, don't have a great Quality of life as we spend so much time of our lives in the workplace. The strongest theme during the Recognition panel was undoubtedly freedom! Organizations need to trust that people will do what is right, let them chose how to work, and what kind of work they want to do. By allowing people to make their own choices, you also enable them to take full responsibility. The world is changing fast and companies should be proactive in adapting to new ways of working.


SPACE MANAGEMENT | Space It Up! [With Celine Göbel & Tyler Spencer]

The Space Management panel discussed how architecture and design affect the quality of life in working environments. Studies indicate that Americans rate mobility, connectivity and open space as most important factors in new workspaces. Including employees from the conception of a workspace has a positive impact on how they relate to their environment. Instead of only focusing on the outcomes of urban design, one should also look at its key processes.


Globalization is rapid and undeniable. My generation has seen far more of the world than our parents, and in addition to gaining first-hand knowledge of the world, we’ve leveraged the internet to learn, interact, and form alliances with international peers. While a global view is essential for large companies, this panel highlighted ways in which value is also derived from a more ‘local’ focus. The panelists flipped the prevailing global perspective on its head by exploring how communities are dictating consumer behaviors. I was particularly surprised to hear about how Coca-Cola and Danone have successfully invested in infrastructure (water, farming, etc.) in small communities in order to drive the demand for their products at a global level.


See Also 'Future Leaders' Impressions of Day 2'

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Inside view: future leaders covering the Conference (Day 1)

International students from Sodexo's Future Leaders Initiative send their unique perspectives on the ideas shared on Day One of the conference, and what quality of life means to their generation.

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