By Mette Bruyant-Langer
Today, 50 years after the Youth Revolution in Paris and 30 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, we need again to fight protectionism, populism, and polarization. We must work from a both-and, not an either-or perspective. We must include, not exclude. We have the freedom to choose and the responsibility to act.
On April 12, 2018, The Personal Business Plan hosted a very special summit meeting:
“Where Big Brains Meet Big Hearts!”
We are proud and happy to say it was a huge success.
Feedback has included: “Exciting speakers, fantastic venue, atmosphere of friendship, massive alignment, unifying principle, inspiration”. Our guests asked for a follow-up event.
THE SUMMIT MEETING
The venue was the astounding Kuppelsalen at Danske Bank, smack in the center of Copenhagen.
We had invited 400 Danish leaders and opinion makers in a wide spectrum covering CEOs, politicians, entrepreneurs, students, consultants, lawyers, neurologists, psychologists, strategists, philosophers, professors, and specialists in time, digitization, disruption, big data, organizations, communication, and behavioral design. The summit was by invitation only, and we were very pleased that about 125 guests accepted our invitation.
The theme of the summit was the current polarization in our society and in the world as a whole. How shall we deal with the anxiety that follows, and what does it require from our leadership? How does the exponential development of technology fit in?
Stephen Bruyant-Langer led the summit, set the scene, and facilitated the flow.
Together with a number of big brains with big hearts, we wanted to explore whether there is a positive trend emerging, what we call “The Movement from the Middle”. We see this trend exemplified by Macron in France (as an antidote to Brexit and Trump), and we sense it in our conversations with people who have experience and perspective and who are ready to resume responsibility above and beyond themselves.
We see a transition from a rational view of the world to a more emotional approach. An existential perspective may very likely be the next level.
With the summit, we wanted to enable mutual inspiration on how to create the best possible society.
These four wise personalities were generous to offer their insights from the stage:
- “The Archetypical Differences”
Marlene Norgaard, Global Head of Private Wealth Management, Danske Bank Group (financial services)
talked about the rational and the emotional archetypes. She explained how women, millennials, and entrepreneurs represent important future decision makers in the world. They are creative right brainers, and they act and react differently from the old left brain male executives we have known for the past decades. Shared values and keywords for these future decision makers are: Time, speed, online, trust, artificial intelligence, algorithms, holistic advice, generosity, and gut feeling.
- “The New Culture Concept”
Christian Have, Creative Director & Owner, Have Communications (PR and branding)
talked about the importance of creativity and emotions, also in business. He reminded us that we stem from a culture of formidable storytellers and urged us to build on this strong heritage. Look to the social and cultural spheres for first movers, because this is where new trends emerge. Always be courageous and authentic and make good use of that unique instrument of mankind: our conscience. Christian advocated that we cultivate the humanistic philosophy of man, especially now in the time of artificial intelligence.
- “The Truth-Seeking Missile”
Bjarne Corydon, CEO and editor-in-chief, Borsen business newspaper (Denmark’s FT)
talked about belonging to the middle and taking responsibility. As a former member of parliament, finance minister, and McKinsey partner he knows that making things work in real life requires collaboration, joint efforts, and willingness to compromise. Yelling from the side yields nothing constructive. Basically, the majority of the developed world agrees on wanting a safe society with reasonable care for all citizens. People of the middle take responsibility. This is where the leadership lies.
- “The Movement from the Middle”
Carsten Hellmann, President & CEO, ALK-Abelló (health care)
presented his reflections on various opposites and conflicts in this world: Political, military, financial, and mental. He shared his lighthouse leadership allegory and underlined the necessity of taking social responsibility by contributing to the debate. We need to accept disagreements and explicitly vocalize our standpoint. Society will become more and more regulated, and we have to stand up against polarization. It’s time to engage.
The ensuing lengthy and deep Q&A session confirmed that the summit meeting participants felt moved by the theme and the insights.
The main conclusions were
- All our summit guests recognize the movement from the middle and are willing to work for it to gain traction.
- The human uniqueness of emotions, conscience, and individualism will play an even greater role in the future and will require empathic leadership.
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE
While we did not manage at the summit meeting to spell out a fixed plan for the immediate future, we did define and achieve alignment on a number of guiding principles.
The Guiding Principle is a central concept in The Personal Business Plan. For you as an individual, your Guiding Principle is that theme, personal characteristic, preference, talent, moral standpoint, or similar driving force, which defines you, which binds all your decisions and actions together, and which therefore explains all your attitudes and experiences.
Your Guiding Principle gives you energy, calmness, and perspective. It leads you to a coherent and personally satisfactory conduct in all contexts:
Once you become aware of your own Guiding Principle, you can verbalize what drives you and you obtain an energizing clarity. You simply know what to do!
At the panel Q&A after their keynotes, our speakers were very quick to define their own Guiding Principles. Without hesitation, they gave us:
- Marlene – ethics
- Christian – generosity
- Bjarne – responsibility
- Carsten – community
These Guiding Principles clearly resonated with our summit guests. Such constructive and collaborative Guiding Principles certainly form a strong base for building a better society.
BIG BRAINS MET BIG HEARTS
Yes, big brains truly met big hearts on April 12, 2018. We were thrilled!
We wish to thank everyone who contributed to making the summit a success: speakers, conference organizer, and guests alike.
We will publish a short video from the summit shortly. It’s currently in the making.
All the best,
Mette & Stephen🍀