Home / News & Speeches / 3 highlights from Day 2 of the World Chambers Congress

It’s Day Two of the World Chambers Congress and discussion has ranged from sustainability and workplace diversity to SME finance and media trust.

Here’s our wrap-up featuring three highlights from all the action of Day Two.

1. Ditch the business plan? Yes, you heard right!

The presentation of author and serial entrepreneur Gunter Pauli in our first plenary of the day was described by one participant on Twitter as the “drop the mic moment of the Congress”. Enlightening the audience with entrepreneurial ways to attain sustainable business models, Mr Pauli called on delegates to ditch business planning in favour of taking concrete action. “Scan for opportunities to implement new business models that will transform economies,” he said.

Pedram Soltani First Vice-President of the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture—a Congress sponsor—said that, because chambers already have the skills to work with both governments and business organisations, chambers are the most professional players to take a leading role in promoting sustainability. Mr Soltani called for sustainability guidelines that chambers could use to unify activities and leverage chamber networks. “The sustainable development goals provide a framework for our services, we do not need to reinvent the wheel,” he said.

2. Chambers as facilitators of migrant integration

Delegates today got insight into how protectionism, when it comes to migration, is leading to missed opportunities and inefficiencies. Giving refugees a chance makes good economic sense and the key to success is integration, delegates heard. So what is the role for chambers in this regard? According to speaker Volker Treier, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, they can take a lead informing and advising business on the benefits of migration, identifying and assessing refugee skills, and providing training and qualifications.

3. Can chambers trust the media?

Trustworthiness was the key word in an afternoon workshop on trust in media. Damian Cave, International New York Times Australian Bureau Chief compared new media to an all you can eat buffet where you don’t know what it is you are eating or whether it is good for you or not.

Roger Fisk, the driving force behind the electoral victories of US President Barack Obama, shared some great tips for chambers to communicate their key messages.

  • Be authentic.
  • Pick one or two tools and use them well rather than trying to keep up with the latest technological trend.
  • Don’t rely on media to tell your story. Have a comprehensive strategy and ensure your members are all telling the same story.
  • Build up a reservoir of case studies so that when you are attacked, the story hits a credible and informed network.

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