FEM's 2017 EMEA Summit
A wealth of global mobility expertise gathered in London for the 2017 FEM EMEA Summit, on 9-10 November at the O2 InterContinental, London.
Many thanks to all our speakers and attendees who travelled to the FEM EMEA Summit from across the region – from continental Europe and the Middle East and Africa, to the UK and Ireland. With more than 70 distinguished global mobility specialists at the last count we had a range of perspectives from a huge variety of industries and sectors.
As ever, we had a packed agenda and it is impossible to discuss every element of it, but I think we had some particularly strong sessions from the headline and module sponsors which covered diverse but compelling topics – a reflection of the myriad considerations and issues involved in global mobility.
There are many perennial and unavoidable issues to deal with, but in the case of Brexit, I think we provided a slightly different slant and a practical approach with our two discussions. We began with our immigration panel: Brexit, Schengen and the changing immigration landscape in Europe which featured legal experts from the UK and Europe, including Ian Robinson of Fragomen Worldwide, who previously worked at the Home Office on the European immigration policy and who gave one of the clearest explanations of the current situation we have heard to date.
Our second Brexit panel discussion: Brexit & Beyond took a pragmatic approach, and Dawn Hale of Johnson Matthey, Viv Mott of Aviva, Christopher Hawkes from KPMG and Nikki Williams of LUSH Cosmetics shared insight into the challenges they have faced since the vote last June and how they have supported staff and made preparations for the changes to come.
Getting ready for change
Another major change that every business needs to plan for is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) that will come into effect on May 25th 2018. Non-compliance could mean a fine of up to £500,000 on a data controller and organisations can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, so it has really serious implications for all. For our discussion: Countdown to the GDPR Our panel of experts was comprised of Sharon Christiaan of Bisaf, Chris Hawkes of KPMG, and Selina Jones-May of WorleyParsons. They each had a really valuable but different perspective on the issue and prepared a set of practical materials that delegates could take away to use to structure their own roadmap.
We also launched our brand new Mobility Masterclasses at this year’s Summit and all four were extremely well attended with a high level of engagement. I had invited some of our EMMAs winning companies and individuals to share some of the secrets of their success, and so on Day One we had Anja Vahldiek from EY and Sigrid Nauwelearts of Johnson & Johnson presenting superb individual sessions. On Day Two, Gareth Davies of Rolls Royce even made tax compelling, and Viv Mott of Aviva partnered with Selina Jones-May of WorleyParsons to give advice on improving the profile and practice of global mobility. The feedback so far has been excellent and we plan to offer more at our Amsterdam Conference on 22nd March.
Leadership under pressure
Our Opening Keynote Address on Day Two was delivered by Colonel Marcus Reedman who talked about Doing Business in a ‘VUCA World’. VUCA is an acronym coined at by the US Army at the end of the Cold War and is a way of describing the volatile, uncertain complex and ambiguous times that we live in. Colonel Reedman now has a strategic role at the MoD, but has been a Commanding Officer in conflict and disaster zones across the world - and shared some useful practical insights and advice on leadership and working under pressure.
A diverse and challenging agenda
The rest of the day offered more roundtable discussions, panels, presentations, workshops and masterclasses on topics including The key challenges of modern mobility; Segmentation and flexibility; mobility transformation and corporate change journeys; EU Intra-Company Transfer and Posted Worker Directives; and Diversity and security in a global landscape.
Despite a very busy two days, our closing panel discussion maintained the energy and momentum to look ahead to the ‘Future Workplace’. Ed Sides of Statoil, Victoria Christofides of Thomson Reuters, Charlotte Sword of global architects, Foster + Partners, Anja Vahldiek of EY and Sandra Winstanley from Heineken held a fascinating conversation about the changing nature of work and workers that gave us all plenty to consider as we returned to our own organisations.
Many thanks again to all our speakers, attendees, sponsors and exhibitors.
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