by Dan Croitoru on 5th October, 2010 at 2:30 PM CEST
Hey C:F fans,
Two weeks ago I had the chance to participate in the 18th CEEMAN Annual Conference in Caserta-Naples in Italy. It was a really interesting event as all the deans and rectors from the most prestigious Universities and Business Schools in Europe and not only, have been there. And I had a mission: to spread the word about Challenge:Future, what is our purpose and how can we engage students and professors for a better and more sustainable future.
Packed with Future Books, banners, C:F presentations and C:F goodies I embarked towards the great city of Naples (thank you CEEMAN team for giving me a ride to the airport). At the venue, I had the opportunity of preparing a C:F stand with all the materials, showing everyone how creative and innovative the C:F community is (thanks Damjan for the great designs).
It didn’t take long until people started to approach me being attracted by this new greenish book called The Future Book. Some of them were fascinated by this new inspiring and practical collection of provocative ideas wanting more information and details, some asked me for more copies (I even received an order for 10 copies) and some, thinking more towards sustainability wanted me to put the PDF version on their USB sticks. All in all, professors from all around Europe were very interested in what youth around the world has to say about the upcoming challenges. And they became confident, optimistic about what future has to bring, seeing the ideas, power and energy that young minds are willing to invest in the future, our future. Between discussions and speeches I had the chance to capture a few pictures with some of the leading specialists in their fields:
Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva, Chair of Sustainability, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia and Challenge:Future Vice President Knowledge & Development and Peter Kraljic, Director Emeritus McKinsey&Co. Inc
Dr. Katrin Muff , Dean of BSL, Business School Lausanne
Prof. Hoosen Rasool, Managing Director at MANCOSA, Management College of Southern Africa
Asking participants at the event which are going to be the most pressing challenges of our civilization that need solutions and engagement from the youth, the answers ranged from wars and political instability, climate change and education of millions in developing countries to hunger, poverty, resources scarcity and overpopulation. Regarding the most important skills young generation needs today in order to survive and prosper in the next 10-20 years most of the examples given have gathered around interpersonal and communication skills, flexibility/adaptability, creativity and being open minded.
Besides the informal meetings I had with some of the professors, I also had the opportunity to listen to some of the best speakers and new ideas in academia. Laszlo Lang, Vice Chancellor and CEO of IBS International Business School mentioned that nowadays we need to focus more on competence/skills development rather than disciplinary knowledge and that bachelor’s degree is becoming the rough equivalent of yesterday’s highschool diploma. Dr. Andreas Antonopoulos, Rector of University of New York in Prague stated that in the spotlight there should be students, which are in the end the clients of universities’ services. Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva, Vice President of Challenge:Future, engaged us again with an energetic presentation reminding us all that we need to embed sustainability in the core functions of our organizations.
After this amazing experience I believe we are on a good path to overcome the upcoming challenges. What do you think?