2006…Another First….GBC Goes to Europe for the first time at Copenhagen Business School
From the 6th – 9th of April, Copenhagen was swarming with young internationals. 110 delegates representing more than 40 Top Business Schools and Universities worldwide were sharing knowledge, ideas, laughs and lunches throughout the intensive academic and social three-day programme – the Graduate Business Conference 2006 had finally arrived!
From the very beginning of the conference, there was an observable energetic and optimistic atmosphere. After a socializing evening Wednesday the delegates were officially welcomed to the conference and to CBS Thursday morning by Director of Graduate School, Sven Junghagen and Peter Kiær, Director of the Organizing Committee.
Synergetic Cultural Clashes
Later Thursday the delegates were introduced to the conference theme, Discovering Potential, and were divided into working and discussion groups of 4-5 persons. This division into groups – aimed at facilitating a more focused environment when working with the learning points from lectures and workshops – paved the way for some very interesting ‘cultural clashes’ between US and European students and demonstrated that problem statements can be understood and dealt with in numerous ways. Members of the CBS Organizing Committee were during the conference acting as facilitators for the working groups, which for many was a great learning experience.
Dinner at Danisco
Thursday evening, Danisco, a large Danish Food Ingredients Manufacturer, had invited all delegates to dinner at its headquarters, where CEO Alf Duch-Pedersen gave the conference’s first keynote speech and addressed in detail the notion of Discovering Potential through Danisco’s long period of restructuring and international M&As. Entertainment was provided by the CBS International Choir plus organizing committee member Lasse Haugaard, who introduced all delegates to the soon-famous concept of Danish “Hygge”.
Mergers & Maestros
Jan Leschly, the Great Dane, kicked off Friday with a very inspirational speech about the difficulties related to International M&As and afterwards the delegates were divided into four workshops, where they could experience CBS professors placing representatives of some of the corporate sponsors, Novozymes, Novo Nordisk and Booz Allen Hamilton, on a knife’s edge during intense discussions of the companies’ approaches to discovering potential.
In the afternoon, Peter Hanke, Artistic Director of Center for Art & Leadership at CBS, led a session on “Conducting Leadership” and invited some of the delegates onto to the stage at the Kilen lobby to try to conduct the large group of singers from Voces Copenhagen – which in turn demonstrated that it takes more than just a full-time MBA from Harvard or MIT to become a Maestro.
CEMS Student received Student Leadership Award
At the Friday’s Award banquet with the scenic surroundings of the Copenhagen City Hall, HRH Crown Prince Frederik handed over the GBC2006 Student Leadership Award to this year’s winner, CEMS Student Wieteke Dupain from RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam. Jim Deveau, Chairman and founder of Graduate Business Forum, described Wieteke as being hard working, dedicated and persistent. One of her main achievements has been the creation a virtual CEMS community, which has been a huge success so far. A modest Wieteke commented: “I owe it all to my team of co-CEMS students”. It is the second time a European Students receives the prestigious award.
President’s Forum and The GBC Beacon Award
During Saturday the Presidents of the represented schools were discussing the demands to future leadership in the context of Globalization and the whole conference was rounded up with a Cocktail Party at “The Owen Hall” at campus.
At the closing of the last formal plenary session Saturday afternoon, Jim Deveau announced that he was so content about GBC2006 and the work of the CBS Organizing Committee that Graduate Business Forum had decided to award the Committee the “GBC Beacon” for an excellent organization and design. This is only the third time that the Beacon Award is given to a member school in GBC’s more than 20 years of history, and it was therefore a proud Peter Kiaer to receive the award.
Mr. Deveau furthermore thanked Sven Junghagen and CBS for his and the school’s involvement in and support of GBC2006 and Graduate Business Foundation and finished off by stating: “CBS – you really raised the bar!”