Bled Strategic Forum 2017
September 4 – 5, 2017 – I was delighted to be back in the beautiful country of Slovenia. In 2011, I presented for the Young Executives Society in Ljubliana, and in 2015, moderated the Conversation with a Master program with my teacher/mentor Tao Porchon-Lynch. This time, I was speaking on the opening panel for the AmCham Business Breakfast as part of the Bled Strategic Forum 2017 – a leading conference in Central and South East Europe that provides high-level platform for discussion of pressing regional and global issues. There were 1,067 participants from 66 countries, including heads of state and government, ministers, diplomats, representatives of the business sphere, scholars and the media.
Ajsa Vodnik, Executive Director of AmCham Slovenia, was an expert host. Her energy set the tone for an honest and interactive exchange. The key question for the panel was: What is the role of the individual, business, politics and society in the new rapidly changing world?
I spoke about heart-centered leadership, as well as the importance of mindfulness, stress management and integrative health for an individual’s success. Energy is the new currency, and we must become adept at managing ourselves in order to innovate and contribute fully. I was also asked to provide a picture representing my vision of the future. I chose a girl blowing a dandelion in a green field. For me, this image represents a world where our children are free to dream and reach their highest potential regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or where they happen to be born. Dandelions grow on all continents so it also represents our interconnectedness and the importance of principled leadership for a sustainable world. This includes acknowledging the pure potentiality in each and every one of us.
Christel Hofman, an experienced professional in the field of change management, touched upon the changing the reality of society and leadership without leaders. Fellow World Economic Forum Young Global Leader Mark V. Vlasic spoke about what the new reality means for political and economic organizations. He is a Professor of Law, film producer, former soldier and diplomat who has worked for the White House, the Pentagon, the World Bank, the United Nations, and large international law firms.
Slovenes who are creating the new reality also presented including: Dr. Aleks Jakulin, a former Professor at Columbia University, doctor of Computer Science, entrepreneur and recipient of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence EurAI 2005 doctoral dissertation award on the topic of artificial intelligence; Andrej Pečjak, a Slovenian innovator and visionary in the field of electric mobility; Dr. Matjaž Humar, a researcher who implanted the first laser inside a human cell as part of his post-PhD studies at Harvard Medical School; and Tim Mitja Žagar, an entrepreneur who is developing blockchain technology and creating the future of the new economy.
I stayed at Hotel Park just a few steps from Lake Bled. Since I arrived a day early, I got the chance to walk around the lake, explore the quaint town, swim in the hotel pool and having a relaxing dinner on the rooftop looking at the castle. It was simply divine! I also got to catch up with some Slovene friends including Til Lajovic and Matej Cer. It was also a delight to see Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Administration Boris Koprivnikar again. I met him at the World Government Summit in Dubai through Matej. See pictures below.