ICCO Global Summit 2022 – People and Purpose

After witnessing the ICCO Global Summit digitally for the past two years, we had the chance to attend it in person this year on October 12 and 13 at the Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah. Participants had the opportunity to hear from a select set of international speakers followed by an engaging networking session with peers from around the world.

The theme for Day One was People and Purpose. The day long session consisted of interesting presentations by eminent women speakers ranging from Jo-Ann Robertson, President – Global Markets, Ketchum, Gail Heimann, CEO, Weber Shandwick and Sue Hardwick, Co-Founder, Global Women in PR followed by engaging panel discussions by distinguished leaders from PR and Communications world.

As people are the most precious asset in our business, day one commenced with an engaging presentation by Jo-Ann Robertson on People-Centric Culture Drives Global Performance.  She shared her experience and insights on the importance of being people centric and how the productivity and profitability can go up if we focus on our people.

Followed by an inspiring session by Gail Heimann, CEO, Weber Shandwick session on Front Row on the Vibe Shift. Gail spoke about the changes that we are experiencing today but more so the cultural shifts that are happening across the globe. The shift is seen in the economy, politics, media and weather as well. Lot of conversations are happening around the shift at work, from less work (Quiet quitting) to more work (older generation are still keen to work). She also spoke about FOMO (Fear of missing out) culture to JOMO (Joy of missing out) and most of us are back to FOMO (Thanks to post pandemic things opening up) and want to do more and not miss out on anything. Another trend that is clearly visible as per Gail is the way technology is reshaping the world and focusing inward – Globalisation to Nationalisation.

A power packed panel presented their views after Gail’s session on talent retention which is one of the topmost issues for all. The discussion had some great takeaways on solutions the leaders offered for retention and growth of the employees. The panel was moderated by Maja Pawinska Sims, Associate Editor, Provoke. The participants included Abdul-Rahman Risilia, Founder and CEO of ARC Talent Mazen Nahawi, Founder and Group CEO, CARMA and Alison Clarke, Principal, Alison Clarke Consulting.

Considering the concerns women still face at work, Sue Hardwick shared insightful result of the GWPR index survey. The survey looks at the changes and issues women working in the PR business. Predominantly led by women work force, there are lots that can be done or needs to be addressed to make the role and the situation better for the workforce. Sue shared highlights of this year’s survey (the findings will be available for all in November) followed by a panel discussion of senior communications leaders from across the globe to discuss the findings and solutions for the issues raised in the study. The panel for ‘Harnessing the Flexibility Revolution for a New Kind of Leadership included Rachel Dunn, Microsoft, Communication Director, Neha Mehrotra Executive Vice President Avian WE and board member of GWPR India, Ana Maria Diceanu, Founder and CEO, Brain 4 Strategy & GWPR President Romania and Vanessa Tan, Associate Director, Consulting & Head of Public Relations, That Marketing Guy.

Day one also witnessed a remarkable presentation titled ‘At the Heart of Rapid Change’ by Mohamed Al Ayed, CEO, TRACCS. Mohamed shared his experiences and lessons from the past ten years in the Middle East. Perspectives on how the business and communication landscape is changing and how that is affecting the economy. This session was followed by a panel discussion Moderated by Julian Boulding, Founder, thenetworkone. The discussion MENA 2022: Business as Usual or Brave New World? focused on the changes and the impact the region has experienced in the last few years. The panelists included Shereen Bushehri, Vice President of Innovation and Managing Director – TRACCS Bahrain, Dina Samhout, General Manager of Acorn Strategy in Abu Dhabi and Dana al Mubaidin, Founder of DaBuzz Consulting.

Post lunch sessions included great conversations around ethics in business. Another engaging session was on India Insights and Trends. The panel was moderated by Nitin Mantri, CEO, AvianWE. The panelists included Deeptie Sethi, CEO PRCAI, Atul Sharma, MD, Ruder Finn India, Ashwani Singla, Founding Managing Partner, Astrum, Abhilasha Padhy, Co founder and Jt MD, 80 DB Communications and Deepak Jolly, Founder and Director, Consocia Advisor. The session provided some excellent insight into the influence of PR and how a brand was developed through smart communication tactics. Many insights and suggestions for retaining people and expanding businesses in the India region were shared.

Another insightful session titled Global Diversity Strategy, Local Diversity Action was moderated by Sudha Singh, Founder, The Purpose Room. The panelists Perece Kirigiti, Regional HR Director for Middle East & Africa, Kantar, Koray Camgoz, Communications and Marketing Director, PRCA and Anit Varkey Kurian, Managing Director – MEA, Redhill discussed about diversity and inclusivity in local markets. The last session of the day before the concluding remarks by Grzegorz Szczepanski, President, ICCO was a fireside chat with Chad Latz, Chief Innovation Officer, BCW moderated by Maja Pawinska Sims, Associate Editor, Provoke on theme of the summit ‘Be the Change’

Overall, Day One ended with a vibrant evening of cocktails, dinner and entertainment over great conversations at the Ritz-Carlton – Al Mamsha St – Jumeirah Beach Residence.

To read Day 2 report – Click Here

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Sarika Chavan
Sarika Chavan is a public relations professional with over 15 years of work experience.

Sarika has previously had stints with with Weber Shandwick as Vice President - Client Experience, Adfactors PR, Text100 (now Archetype) and Perfect Relations. With keen observation and analytical skills, Sarika has successfully led PR campaigns for key brands across multiple sectors by leveraging her strength and expertise in the communications arena.

She is a post graduate in communications from Xavier Institute of Communications. She is based in Mumbai and in her free time loves to spend time with her daughters, play with her dogs, read and travel.

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