The inaugural Zermatt Summit 2010 has taken place and was received well with international delegates and speakers attending from all over the world including businessmen, members of academia, CEOs, NGOs, and policy makers. Just as Davos was born nearly three decades ago and has now become a well renowned forum for business, similarly many of the speakers and delegates felt they had witnessed the birth of a vital new platform which will drive values and ethics in business in a post credit crunch era.
The breathtaking surroundings of Zermatt inspired people to think more strategically, exchange ideas and be challenged by the new business models proposed by the worldclass speakers such as Professors Nouriel Roubini and Hernando de Soto. Many alliances and friendships were forged during the three day conference together with a determination to maintain the impetus to do business differently.
Nouriel Roubini, one of the world‟s most influential and renowned economists described the implementation the Zermatt Summit vision as critical for the restoration and stability of the global economy and said,
The adoption of the Zermatt vision is critical as economic interactions are based on reputation, on trust, and the existence of a social, human, physical and financial capital. Therefore we have to be in an economic system where agents trust each other otherwise we will have social and political turmoil, this will lead to job losses and further fiscal costs for cleaning up the mess
The feedback from business leaders attending the summit was that they are seeing a growing need from a myriad of important stakeholders to implement corporate responsibility strategies across their organisations and they are looking to the Zermatt Summit to help them start that journey. Many people expressed the need for a central hub connecting influential policy makers keen to understand how focusing on the human aspect of globalisation could restore stability and stimulate growth in hostile market conditions.
Christopher Wasserman, president of the Zermatt Summit said,
My vision for the summit is to allow people to have the opportunity to hear new ideas and enlightened thinking which they can then take back into what ever field they are in and implement.
Many people attending the summit expressed a need for the Summit to become an agent of change and for it to become a platform to empower people to navigate through the systemic crisis and start to build stable foundations based on responsible business.
The rapid process of globalisation makes it an even greater challenge to balance the needs of human beings whether they are material, spiritual or emotional, with those of society at large. Under these circumstances, using terms such as the „common good‟ could be very helpful in defining new rules.
Implicit in the common good is a full respect for both the individual and collective interests of society, at the same time asking the individual to demand less while the community at large needs to concede some of its power.
Unfortunately it remains the case that despite unprecedented levels of wealth, there is more poverty and injustice than ever before. It is clear that globalisation is not working for the people it is meant to serve.
The delegates responded positively to the new paradigm and they also heard from heavyweight institutional investors such as Colin Melvin, CEO of Hermes Equity Ownership Services, on how they are working with company boards to change cultures and behaviours in multi-nationals around the world which is helping to restore long-term stability and growth.
Recently we‟ve seen a very significant financial crisis and the failures are manifold. One is the failure of the owners, the investors of companies in terms of risk management but also a lack of constructive support and lack of challenge has led to the crisis that we have seen.
We now have an opportunity to do better and in particular to join up the people whose money we invest with the companies that they invest in and that process of accountability down to the end asset owner is an important feature of where we are now and where we need to go.
With Hernando de Soto predicting further seismic shock waves to the global economy and warning that the recession will be far deeper than anticipated due to the scale of the problem and the extent of the shadow economy and toxic assets, the consensus at the summit was that regulation was not going to solve the volatility and turmoil in the global economy but the solution lies in transforming the leadership of our companies and organisations.
Bookings are now open for next year’s Summit which is taking place on 16-18 th June 2011 and as the summit has limited capacity early booking is encouraged.
Journalists interested in attending the summit should contact us