The ICON Melbourne Forum 2018 was a great success. The day provided insights and addressed important topical issues – and proved very entertaining for the 70 select attendees from across industry. The format was dynamic and broke out of the traditional conference style.
ICON used the diversity of the speakers’ topics to shape the day. Participants had ample time to move around, change seats and network. In some talks, guests were able to interact with the speakers.
Speakers at the conference were dynamic and engaging, and we commend them for providing interesting addresses on relevant and poignant topics.
The forum’s theme was empowerment, looking at how to rebuild firms in times of difficulty. Speakers often raised the involvement and empowerment of women in business. They included Joanne Gray, Managing Editor, the Australian Financial Review; Jennifer Watt, General Manager – Commercial, Melbourne Cricket Club; Stefan Grun, Executive Manager – Marketing and Communications, VicHealth; Leilani Abels, Founder and Managing Director, Thrive PR; and Christine Finnegan, Chief Commercial Officer, St Kilda Football Club.
Topics discussed at the Melbourne forum of diversity and women’s involvement in media, sport and business are vitally important in the current political climate, especially considering the #MeToo movement. Speakers stressed that firms need to understand that increasing diversity not only improves business performance, it also sets industry standards and plays a part in resolving issues of under-representation.
The conference also looked at the future of service businesses and the uncertainties in the changing global economy that most organisations will face. Panelists Neil Cook, Head of Legal Operations, Woolworths; Libby Jarvis, Head of Legal Project Management – Australia and Asia, Herbert Smith Freehills; and Juliana Proserpio, co founder and Global Design Director of Echos – Innovation Lab, discussed the importance of restructuring our approach to problem-solving. They highlighted the benefits of design thinking and related innovative methods that have helped revolutionise problem solving and increase productivity - from law firms right through to national retail businesses.
Sander van Amelsvoort, Director of Policy and Research, Committee for Melbourne, spoke about how to scenario plan your way through the uncertain future of business. He speculated on various potential future scenarios and challenged the audience, questioning how prepared they and their organisations would be for those eventualities. Most guests were shocked at how unprepared they are – and some guests even noted that they are reconsidering their future business plans and advice to senior stakeholders.
These topical and insightful talks contributed to a fantastic day. The support and friendliness of all members, organisers and speakers was in true ICON style. No one left the Melbourne Forum without having made a new friend and valuable connection.
Stay tuned for more highlights of the Melbourne Forum. Follow the ICON twitter page @ICONAPAC and check out #ICONMELB to receive updates.
No one left the Melbourne Forum without having made a new friend and valuable connection.