After clocking out from another February workday, over 60 bright-minded INSEAD alums equally represented across three generations extended their evening to come together on the Business and Society Theme of “Technology for Good”. They made their way up the glass elevators to 21st floor of the IBM Watson IoT Centre (in Munich); IBM our gracious host for the evening, dedicated not only their impressive facilities (which, some say, have the best views of Munich), but also their time to join the discussion. A big thank you to our hosts!
While this was indeed an opportunity to catch-up with familiar faces and network with unfamiliar ones, this 21st of February also marked the Kick-Off of the IAAG Business and Society Community, aligned with the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society
Here’s the net-net of the Tech for Good Event
Sitting in a ‘fishbowl’, we opened with 4 broad viewpoints from our distinguished guests: Alessandra Hawthorne, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Angela Lawaldt, Partner, Bonventure Impact Investors, John Vasquez, Head of Software Development, IBM Internet of Things and Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart, Board of Directors, JaguarLandRover, Infineon, Continental, BMW, ASML, Nordex, Autoliv.
John (who holds over 200 patents to his name!!!) inspired us with examples harnessing AI to improve people’s lives (e.g. he built a device that detects obstacles. It enabled a blind athlete to run marathons). Alessandra pointed to the need of predictive analytics for compliance to flag things that could potentially go wrong. Angela spoke to bridging the gap between being a financially viable NPO with a social cause and making a profit – it shouldn’t be a tradeoff. Wolfgang alluded to leaving the world in a better state than the one in which he arrived. Alums subsequently jumped into the fishbowl and joined the debate and broadened the themes.
We then broke out into individual groups on ethics, social impact investing, youth, workplace automation, and a wildcard topic. As this was an INSEAD alum gathering, wine was optional.
Thumbs up – for now
The objectives of the event were met or at least that was the initial feedback from participants. The discussion inspired our attendees to do “good” in the workplace wherever possible irrespective of role or seniority. It also facilitated learning from and collaborate with each other on business for good. Some were inspired to volunteer to contribute to future events.
While there are only so many hours in an evening on a workday such as February 21st, there was consensus on the need to maintain the momentum from the event to further build out a community that shares and acts on business as a force for good, making this exchange infectious. What’s next? is exactly the question we are reflecting on now…and how we can facilitate the conversations to the next level and impact?
Written by Joanna Wardzinski
If you would like to learn more about our design to do your own, or to contribute to next steps on this (however big or small your time commitment) please contact our core team at firstname.lastname@example.org or IAAG.