"The Transatlantic Leadership Seminar: Leading through the Great Recession,” November 1 to 7, 2015 brought a delegation of 22 participants to Athens, Rome, and Turin to explore leadership strategies for the challenges affecting southern Europe. The 6-day program featured an intense agenda, engaging nearly 40 leaders from the public, private, and NGO sectors. The debrief at the conclusion of the program revealed many new areas for collaboration and yielded new insights for participants to share in their spheres of influence.
In Greece, the program focused on strategies to lead change, manage mass migrations, and grow a business during an economic downturn. The program opened with a visit to the Onassis Cultural Center and an exhibit tracing the history of digital technology from early computers to latest technological breakthroughs. Participants met with the former Prime Minister George Papandreou and the current Mayor of Athens George Kaminis to explore strategies to lead change and reflect on global trends. They visited a UN refugee camp and met with Ioanna Pertsinidou of Praksis to learn more about mass migration and how to manage such movements of people. At the end of their two day stay, the cohort met with entrepreneurs Mareva Grabowski of Zeus+Dione, Marco Veremis of Upstream Systems and Demetri Politopoulos of Macedonian Thrace Brewery to discover business growth strategies for an economy in a downturn.
In Italy, the program explored national, regional, and global aspirations of the fourth largest economy in Europe and strategies for structural reform, management of transnational migration flows, and how to leverage creativity for entrepreneurship and competitiveness. In Rome, participants met with senior government officials, including Marco Piantini from the prime minister’s office and Vincenzo La Via from the Ministry of Economy and Finance, to develop an understanding of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s vision for Italy. They engaged executives at Enel and LVenture Group to explore their investments in new technologies and areas of high return. Participants also engaged Colonel Giuseppe Battaglia of the Carabinieri and Giulia Falzoi of the International Organization for Migration to explore sustainable solutions to migration flows across the Mediterranean and the head of the Italian intelligence, Giampiero Massolo, on contemporary security threats. These last two engagements sadly became even more relevant after the recent acts of terror in Paris.
In Turin, participants explored the future of automaking with Giorgio Cornacchia of the FIAT Research Center and solutions to advance women in leadership with Carla Ferrari of Equiter S.p.A, and Licia Mattioli of the Industrial Union of Turin and of Confindustria The program ended with a visit to the largest museum of Egyptian history and culture outside of Egypt and a dinner with Piero Gestaldo, the secretary general of Compagnia di San Paolo, an institution which through its investments impacts positive change on both sides of the Atlantic.
For more details, please see the Transatlantic Leadership Seminar Program Book.
GMF’s Transatlantic Leadership Seminars enable leaders from business, government, and civil society to manage the rapidly changing operational environment of the 21st century. They offer lessons on how to lead with agility, deal with complexity, and reduce uncertainty, as well as respond to specific contemporary challenges. Each seminar spans seven-to-nine days, is expert led, and takes place in a region in transition. Participants engage more than 40 leaders in open, frank, and dynamic conversations and benefit from firsthand experience and group reflection. The seminars rely on GMF’s extensive network of partners and 35-plus years of strategic convening to offer programs of the highest quality.
Our next alumni engagement opportunity is our Marshall Seminar on Democracy and its Future, April 6 through 8, 2016.
Report by Filip Vojvodic Medic