Guest blogger and Discovery Invest Leadership Summit attendee Lisa De la Hunt shares some insightful feedback about her experience at this year’s Summit.
As a rookie delegate to The Discovery Invest Leadership Summit, the day provided a roller-coaster ride of mixed emotions. There was the doom and gloom analysis of developed world economies by Nouriel Roubini and Al Gore’s chilling summation of the catastrophic effects of global warming on the environment.
This was balanced by messages of hope and inspiration from other speakers. I vacillated between fear and faith!I was left in no doubt about the immense challenges the world faces today.
But more importantly there were some approaches and strategies put forward that could provide a lifeboat for us to weather the growing storms. Each speaker added a different and intriguing piece to a complicated puzzle.
South Africa, along with other African and Asian countries, is an emerging economy and has been somewhat shielded from the direct fallout in the developed economies.
Maria Ramos painted an optimistic picture of a continent, with vast untapped resources and potential, which needs to seize the opportunities for growth that lie before it.In a brilliant address, Ricardo Semler made it clear that marginal change just could not deal with a world that is in a rapid state of flux.
Traditional thinking and ways of doing business need to radically transform in order to move forward. Dan Ariely showed us how little we understand our own preferences and stimulated us to think about our decisions around business issues in a different way.
Increased awareness of the key factors that have led to global economic pressures as well as the internal, psychological processes that affect our behavior as individuals and companies, may lead us to correct and decisive actions.
Chris Anderson, the editor of “Wired” magazine revealed technological advances and innovations growing at an exponential rate which are a testimony to what we as humans can achieve.
Taddy Blecher gave us compelling examples of people in our country who have triumphed over great adversity when just given an opportunity. He also presented a case for a paradigm shift in our traditional approaches to particularly, tertiary education.
Education was presented as the key to tackling the extreme poverty and high unemployment threatening our growth as a country and a continent.
Graca Machel emphasized the need for Africans to find their own identity and values, and unite together for sustained growth. Delegates were left with a sense of urgency and the need for courageous action, not only from the politicians who shape the policies which can transform our economies, but also from companies and individuals who can choose to do things another way.
Al Gore closed with an impassioned plea for every person to contribute towards a green economy, leaving no doubt as to the interdependence of the environment and the economy. By the end of the day I left encouraged that under such guidance and leadership as demonstrated by these outstanding leaders in their fields we can, as a country and businesses, not only survive but flourish.
If we learn the lessons of history and commit to change, there is hope for better days ahead.