Executive Innovation Dinners

In past years, the Future Economy Forum hosted a series of dinners for senior leaders from diverse industries and sectors. They included presentations and gave participants the opportunity to engage for hours in intentional discussions and informal dialogues that supported reflection and concrete outcomes. The feedback we received again and again is that there are too few such opportunities where senior leaders can meet their peers for a meaningful exchange of views and experiences that also build relationships that can lead to collaboration.

We held one such dinner on a private home’s terrace overlooking Rome at the end of the prep conference of the U.N.’s Food Systems Summit that was particularly challenging. Most of civil society left the Summit in protest. In the light of public attention it was difficult to find the compromises that bridge divides and lead to mutually acceptable solutions. The dinner was attended by over 70 leaders from all sectors, many of whom had leading positions in the Summit. The sheer beauty of Rome and warmth of the summer evening, the delicious food and organic wine supported an atmosphere where summit leaders of diverse views and opposing camps could enter into real dialogues that led to greater understanding and concrete outcomes for the Summit that was later held in New York, and beyond.

Another such dialogue accompanies the Messe Munich’s ISPO fair that was attended by over 50,000 industry leaders from around the world (for details click here). Also this dinner was attended by 44 senior leaders from business, finance, policy and other stakeholder groups. It focused on the following questions: How shall we as business leaders respond to the challenges of multiple crises and the opportunities inherent in mega trends for customers, talent, investors and regulators?

While we struggle with urgent challenges in energy and climate, supply chains and inflation, our stakeholders call with increasing intensity for Regenerative Value Creation – the integration of business success with the regeneration of the climate and nature, people and society. How do we respond?

The leaders and the situation that met in Rome and Munich were very different. But the feedback was very similar. There is a clear hunger for real dialogue among peers. This year we will again host a number of such dinners around the world to contribute to intended and unintended outcomes.