Some weeks ago I had the privilege and honor of representing IESE Business School at the 2015 MBA World Summit. The second edition of the summit took place in Barcelona – last year it was held in Hong Kong – with IESE acting as the host school.
The event is spearheaded by the Germany-based Quarterly Crossing, a worldwide network of young and experienced leadership talents that organizes initiatives to foster their members’ professional and personal development. The summit gathers the 100 most inspiring MBA students from all over the world , as well as top executives from a small number of carefully selected companies that offer exceptional career opportunities. From a pool of 3,000 applicants, some students were shortlisted for a qualifying round of video interviews, of which only 100 of the most exceptional were invited to attend the 2-day summit.
The summit was structured in the following way:
- Wednesday, March 25: Evening cocktail reception on the terrace of the Grand Central Hotel, which gave attendees the first opportunity to connect and get to know each other.
- Thursday, March 26: The whole day was spent on the IESE campus (both south a north) where MBA students held the “Summit Laboratory Sessions” (75-minute sessions where participants shared their ideas and insights on a given topic); companies gave presentations and interviewed potential candidates; and Barcelona-based entrepreneurs shared their experiences. To conclude the day in the best way, a tapas dinner was held in the emblematic La Flauta restaurant.
- Friday, March 27: Tour of the city in the morning, an amazing lunch on the beach in Castelldefels, and a closing party held at CDLC Lounge Club in Barcelona.
The whole experience was amazing, but there are some interesting facts that I clearly remember which I would like to mention:
- This slogan of this year’s edition was “inspiring con brio,” which conveyed the idea of connecting people and letting them grow by inspiring each other.
- During the introductory presentation, Thomas Fuchs, founder and CEO of QX-Quarterly Crossing, explained how IESE Business School was chosen to host the 2015 edition. During the 2014 summit, he met the IESE Career Services director, who did a very good job of promoting the school, which was selected among other 30 schools.
- 40% of the applicants volunteered for the Summit Laboratory Sessions, a platform to nurture entrepreneurial ideas.
- Professor Franz Heukamp gave a very touching introductory speech about the Germanwings tragedy, which claimed the life of an IESE graduate.
- During the Big Idea Lounge (a session held by the five Barcelona-based entrepreneurs), the speakers listed all of the good reasons to start a business in Spain’s most innovative and vibrant city.
- One of the Summit Laboratory Sessions I attended was about millennials and how our generation can have an impact on the world and inspire future generations. Among the topics discussed were how technology is affecting society and how to best leverage it to improve living standards (e.g. mobile bank in Kenya is now used by two-thirds of the population since its inception in 2007), and how the future generation will be different from ours (e.g. faster information processing, less work orientation, more turnaround and flexibility). The best quote I remember from the session was “If you want to make €1 billion, then help a billion people. “
Next year’s edition will be held in Miami and, based on my experience, I strongly encourage students to take part in this extracurricular yet very educational experience to broaden their vision through inspiration and expand their network through proactivity.