Behind the scenes at the AMBA Global Leadership Conference


So here I am sipping a delicious coffee at the southern most tip of Africa, surrounded by a breathtaking combination of mountains and oceans, and completely in awe at witnessing what happens when you put a number of people from all over the world around what table.

Weijie from China is engrossed in a deep discussion about cloud computing with me, York, from Switzerland. Jonas from Ghana is having a debate on national healthcare systems (he works for the UK's NHI) with a professor from the University of Stellenbosh Business School. Franco from Italy is discussing with Kim Lee from Australia, and Nidhi from India is talking to Felix from France. I mention this because it reminds me again what can be done and achieved when the citizens of the world get together and try and tackle issues and problems together as one.

There are no rivals here today - no competitors. Just people who want to make a difference in the world. This get together under the wings of the Association of MBAs (AMBA) is the catalyst to try and find solutions together... of trying to do things as one.

Sitting here I am once again reminded of the privilege we have had in being able to attain an MBA qualification. Not because of the qualification per se, but because so many people in the world didn’t have the lucky break in life to be able to achieve this, either from financial means or from being dealt a bad hand in terms of basic education. I am reminded of our responsibility never to forget those who we impact in our daily lives and in the consequences of our actions, whether it is setting a strategy for a business or implementing decisions that impact people's lives.

Whatever you may think of MBA students and alumni or whether you think an MBA is worth it, one thing it does give you is perspective. This weekend that perspective was given an overdose of steroids. To see the world in one room (33 students representing thousands of MBAs from all over the world) makes you realise how we are really just one global village experiencing the same challenges the world over (perhaps with some local adaptations).

Today particularly I was reminded of the value of sharing: of working together. An MBA in this case is for me really about creating a link between originally total strangers in the same way an engineer feels when he meets another engineer. It has nothing to do with elitism but rather with commonality of having been blessed with the training to see the big picture.

Obviously each MBA experience is different for each person and every outcome is highly subjective: some go on to try and leave the world in a better state and some go out to try and squeeze the world for better yields. But this get together once again gave me a glimpse of the amazing power that ensues out of putting good minds and great hearts together in a room and watching how the magic happens... and hopefully all over a good coffee.

York Zucchi is an MBA graduate from Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria. He is founder of York Zucchi & Partners (investors and entrepreneurs in South Africa) and also works for Hello Healthcare in Johannesburg, South Africa.

York was attending the Association of MBAs (AMBA) Global Leadership Conference in South Africa. He has been nominated to represent his business school as a Global AMBAssador.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot