Building European Competitiveness in Portugal

Over the weekend of 20-22 June, two major INSEAD events travelled to Portugal for the first time since their inception: the Global Business Leaders Conference and the Alumni Forum Europe. Both were held in Sintra, near Lisbon, to discuss European competitiveness and to honour the memory of António Borges (view tribute video), whose outstanding vision spearheaded the global expansion of the School during his tenure as Dean of INSEAD between 1993 and 2000.

While the Global Business Leaders Conference approached the topic of European competitiveness from a macro perspective, emphasising the effectiveness of capital and talent markets as key drivers to consolidate the recovery of European economies, the Alumni Forum adopted a company-level viewpoint, proposing strategies for growth in post-crisis Europe. Leading INSEAD faculty, senior management from global companies and disruptive entrepreneurs exchanged views along different panels ranging from bridging the talent gaps to competition through collaboration.

Building European Competitiveness

By virtue of its location at the westernmost end of the European continent, Portugal is also the closest one can get to the Americas without crossing the ocean. This centrality offered an unprecedented opportunity to discuss transatlantic ties and partnership challenges with senior business leaders from both sides of the pond. Mikael Hagstrom, representing American companies providing growth and jobs in Europe, engaged in a lively dialogue with Thierry Breton, who leads one of the biggest European multinationals in the IT services sector.

A passionate group of alumni led by the outgoing President of the Portuguese NAA, Joaquim Paiva Chaves MBA’85D, invested countless hours and energy to put together a world-class event culminating with a Summer Solstice Party, held at the Cabo da Roca, continental Europe’s most western geographic point and the fifteenth-century citadel of Cascais. In true INSEAD style the party merged the traditional with the modern, demonstrating the diversity and entrepreneurial spirit of Portugal. The alumni team’s dedication was rewarded by the support granted to both the Conference and the Forum by some of Portugal’s leading companies and institutional bodies, such as Turismo de Portugal, the municipalities of Sintra and Cascais, Semapa, Secil, Portucel Soporcel, NOS, Microsoft, Ford, Público and Travelstore.

Our congratulations and thanks go to all volunteers!

Save the date:

INSEAD Alumni Forum Asia 2014: 17 – 19 October 2014 in Sydney, Australia

INSEAD Alumni Forum Europe 2015: 12 – 13 June 2015 in Italy

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