Leadership Summit sees business leaders showing how to re-invent the future

Business leaders from four major companies told a 700-strong audience from the business community about leaving the post-crisis period behind and reinventing themselves for a new business future in Rotterdam last week. The event was the fifth annual RSM Leadership Summit hosted by Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM).

The audience – drawn from management and leaders from the business community, alumni, students and students from the RSM community – gathered at the Beurs World Trade Center in Rotterdam on Friday 4 October, with Dutch TV journalist and presenter Twan Huys leading the proceedings.

Dean of RSM Professor Steef van de Velde welcomed the event’s largest-ever audience to the business school’s flagship event. Business is well aware of the challenge of reinventing the future, he said, and there are no more rules or ‘tried and true’ solutions to create business success across the board. “What should business do now?” he asked.

Prof. Van De Velde said businesses must redefine themselves. The first step is to leave the ‘post-crisis period’ behind and recognise the new potential for a new economy with new roads for long-term success, as well as badly-needed short term gains. “Our job is to remind the world that there are more contexts than the one we’re in.”

Prof. Van De Velde summarised the Netherlands’ tremendous strength and potential, with a 600-year legacy of international business and trade. A recent report from the World Economic Forum had labelled the Netherlands economy as highly productive, innovative, and with quality infrastructure.

The Dean explained how RSM contributes to reinventing the future of business as its graduates enter business, its top academics and researchers explore new ideas, and through teaching and the connections between academia, alumni and corporate relations. “We are thinking long term with all stakeholders in mind,” said the Dean. “RSM is creating whole new areas of research that have the power to reinvent our collective future.”

RSM’s Advisory Board of business leaders means that the school is connected not just to the top echelons of business, but also to the world of policymaking. “RSM alumni are our most convincing evidence for the school’s impact on future,” he said.

RSM’s power to reinvent the future is also demonstrated by the business leaders on stage talking about their experiences; each one had dealt with challenges and created a new future for their organisation, influencing the positive perception of Dutch business throughout the world, said the Dean.

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