Changing Europe’s Tack

Counting down to the Global Alumni Reunion 2014

01/10/2014 Madrid

Global Alumni Reunion
2011 IESE Global Alumni Reunion held in Madrid

The countdown has begun. There is now only one month to go till we celebrate the IESE Global Alumni Reunion.

This year’s reunion will address the topic: “Changing Tack: Shaping Europe as a Global Reference.” Devised by academic directors and IESE Professors, Juan Manuel de Toro and Philip G. Moscoso, the conference will take place on October 30 and 31 at Madrid’s Hotel Auditórium. It is expected to attract more than 2,500 executives from all over the world.

Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lech Walesa, will deliver this year’s inaugural keynote. Walesa was president of Poland between 1990 and 1995 and led its peaceful transtion from communist state to pluralist democracy.

The conference will play host to major national and international business leaders. Topics for debate will cover the economic future of Europe, the impact of digitalization and the boom in new technologies and innovation.

Highlights of the 2014 program include:

  1. Europa and the global economy

    2014 has been a volatile year. According to the World Economic Forum the outlook for the world economy is “cautiously optimistic,” but the old risks still lie beneath the surface and new ones are appearing. In the case of Europe and advanced economies there are two ways of looking at this tremulous growth: some see it as the beginning of the end of the crisis, while others view it as the start of long-term stagnation. Are the financial and political authorities doing all they can -- and should -- to support incipient recovery? This debate will be led by Prof. Kenneth Rogoff of Harvard Business School and José Viñals, head of capital markets at the IMF, with the participation of IESE professors Núria Mas and Juan J. Toribio

  2. Opportunities from a global company’s perspective

    “Globalization” doesn’t mean “homogenization”. Many multinational companies are abandoning the “one size fits all” approach in favor of strategies that include a degree of regionalization and specialization. We will examine which markets multinationals are focusing on, and where they believe the best opportunities lie. We will also ask whether these opportunities continue to be found in Europe or if the greatest potential for growth has definitively moved elsewhere. This session will include contributions from René Aubertin, CEO of Haier in Europe; David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe; and Jürgen Stackmann, president of the board of directors of SEAT. IESE Prof. Marta Elvira will moderate. 

  3. Consumers, digitization and technology-driven business models

    The digital era presents businesses with a double challenge. On the one hand they have to assimilate rapid technological developments. On the other, they have to adapt their value proposition to an increasingly elusive consumer. We will hear directly from big players such as General Electric and Bertelsmann, who have successfully reinvented themselves in this digital revolution. Ferdinand Beccalli-Falco, CEO of General Electric in Europe, and Bertelsmann CEO and director, Thomas Rabe, will be giving their perspectives. Among the major trends for up for discussion is Europe’s “Industrial Internet” – a phenomenon that is set to transform industrial processes and productivity through faster data collection and analysis, and better integration between the digital world and the world of machines. Expert speakers will include Steve Capus, executive editor of CBS News. He will be sharing his perspective on the impact of digital on the media, and on consumer behavior. 

  4. Competitiveness through innovation

    Companies know that developing services and products that deliver “something extra” continues to be the way to gain competitive advantage. Innovation offers the most direct route to achieving this goal. But how can you find and develop the talent and creativity required? How do European companies perform in this respect in comparison to other regions? These are the questions we will be asking of big multinationals. Sharing some insights will be Luis Cantarell, president and CEO of Nestlé Health Science and CEO of Nestlé Nutrition, Aymar de Lencquesaing, Lonovo senior VP and president for EMEA, and Ana Maiques, co-founder of Starlab. This session will be moderated by The Economist’s management editor, Adrian Wooldridge

  5. The future levers of business growth

    There are companies that continue to grow even in the most adverse circumstances. How do they do it? What can we learn from them that will help us get through this crisis and to cope better with what the future holds? We will discuss this, using the examples of companies such as CaixaBank, Schneider Electric and Deloitte.