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Preparing Global Leaders in a Modern World : Panel Summary.

On April 2nd, 2019, the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden co-organized a panel discussion named “Preparing Global Leader”, with the participation of actual and future leaders of this global world.

Grant Thornton, a leading company in the accounting services sector, generously hosted this event co-organized with the Dutch Chamber, the British-Swedish Chamber, the Scandinavian Gay and Lesbian Chamber, AFS, the American Chamber et the Swiss Chamber.

The main discussion topic was the future vision of leadership, in the context of globalization and diversity. Various speakers, from different sectors and positions, intervened to share with the attendees their thoughts and vision of the subject. The panel was brilliantly moderated by Margareta Neld, Chair of AFS Intercultural Programs Sweden.

We were honored to have Peter Bodin, Grant Thornton Global CEO, participating in this event despite its schedule constraints. During 15 minutes, he presented his career, his vision of leadership in a global company, and emphasized the crucial importance of incorporating diversity and gender equality, to succeed in a global context. This social issues consideration has been awarded recently as the accounting company has been elected best employer in Sweden in 2017 by Universum.

Then, Mathias Wikstöm, founder of Doconomy and Chair of RKB communication spoke to introduce his activity. According to him, ecology and environment protection are the major issue of globalization. Doconomy personifies the modern Fin-Tech company that takes into consideration those issues. The company is offering a payment and credit card service, which calculates the ecological footprint of users’ acquisitions and offers them to compensate it by financing sustainable projects.  

Following that, AFS, an institution offering intercultural exchanges for young people, asked two young ladies to speak in front of the audience. Juliette Joly-Le Gouic, actually in Sweden with the program, and Linnea Ymsén that participated in the program 2 years ago in the US, shared their vision of interculturality and how it feels to be a young person in a global world.

After that, two witnesses of globalization intervened: Håkon Vist, Veolia Nordic CEO and Manon Escoula, Product Manager for OBH Nordica, SEB group Scandinavian subsidiary. They presented their own careers, highlighted the crucial role of diversity for a good decision-making process and the need for a “Glocal” approach. This term is a fusion of “Global” and “Local”, which means local adaptation for global products and services. They also insisted on the necessity to overcome stereotypes, put forward people real values and maintain a trust and mobility opportunity atmosphere to attract and keep young talents.   


The panel was concluded by Niclas Karlsson, pharmaceutical company GSK Sweden CEO. He mentioned the question of diversity and inclusion as well, with the scope of leadership. He took his own example, with his past apprehension to do his coming-out. He feared to be treated differently, and to have some growing opportunity threatened because of that.  He concluded by saying that we have to be ourselves and that companies needed to make their values alive.

Finally, speakers and attendees gathered around a drink and some food to meet each other and discuss the subjects evoked by the participant during this panel.

The French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden thanks Grand Thornton for having hosted and made possible this event. We also thank all the other Chambers and AFS for their collaboration.

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