I had the privilege of representing Kingston Business School London, one of the 26 accredited business school that have signed up to the MBA Global Ambassador Programme, at the Global Leadership Conference, in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Conference gathers 30 global AMBAssadors, young MBAs coming from different parts of the world. By looking at our CVs, one ccould argue we are totally different and have nothing in common. We have different expertise and professional experiences, different cultural values, different business objectives, different hobbies and passions. And the list could go on.
We are usually taught that we should surround ourselves by people who are similar to us in order to create a coherent group. So, how can some people that are so different, who have never met and talked before the event can be coherent and achieve something together in the next three years?
This was probably the biggest challenge of the Global Leadership Conference 2013. Its goal is to link the MBA pioneers of accredited, high standards universities all over the world in order to develop a strong global network that shares the same vision and values. The entire schedule of the conference was structured around activities and discussions that strengthen the things we all believe in: value based leadership, the power of networks, social entrepreneurship, dynamic societies, responsible and sustainable leadership and increasing global influence.
The programme included presentations from inspirational guest speakers, ranging from professors, social entrepreneurs, directors and managers, researchers, consultants and group discussions and debates on how each one of us perceived leadership, how to take the Global AMBAssadors Programme forward, how to engage in order to make a change in the business environment.
We were impressed by the entrepreneurial stories of Shona McDonald (Shonaquip), Catherine Townshend (Endeavour) and Will Coetse (Mogalakwena Craft Art Development Foundation) and motivated by Jessy Lipperts (Extraordinary Travel), Bola Olabisi (Global Women Inventors & Innovators Network), who emphasized the importance and power of international networks.
Kim Norgaard shared how CNN uses technology and social media to share ideas, influence and communicate to the widest audience possible and Nicholas Skytland highlighted the importance of innovation showing us how NASA had built a collaborative global platform to share information about the planet.
Before the GLC all the AMBAssadors knew the differences that made each one of us unique, but during the conference we all realized there were so many things that brought us together. We all believe in a common set of values: respect, knowledge sharing, responsible and sustainable leadership.
The conference has revealed the commitment of the global AMBAssadors towards responsible, value based leadership and our common engagement to make a change in the business environment across every country. Because we believe in thinking differently.