World Chambers Congress

11th World Chambers Congress concludes in Rio

  • 15 June 2019

The 11th World Chambers of Congress drew to end in Rio de Janeiro today following three days of engagement on key issues affecting chambers and their respective business communities.

A highlight of the chamber calendar, the Congress brought together over 1,000 delegates.

Here are three key takeaways from day three.

1.) A sustainable future for all

United Nations Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, Luis Alfonso de Alba, called on chamber and business leaders to join policymakers in the fight against climate change during our day three opening plenary on the Sustainable Developments Goals. Mr de Alba said that there was now wide recognition that no one stakeholder could address issues alone and that collaborations and partnerships with the private sector and other stakeholders was key. “There are risks ahead but there are also great opportunities,” he said. Addressing the root cause of challenges rather than treating symptoms, enabling policy frameworks for innovation and investments, a rethinking of business models and engagement with the UN were all highlighted as ways to secure a more peaceful and prosperous future for generations to come.

2.) Skills for the future

Rethinking education was the focus of a second plenary session asking how chambers can play a leading role in developing a dynamic and effective global workforce. Tania Cosentino, CEO of Microsoft Brazil said education is at the core of Microsoft´s development, with special emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goals. The consensus among panel participants was that with limited visibility on what the jobs of the future would be, development of skills for life-long learning such as problem-solving, collaboration, adaptation and creativity were essential.

3.) Thinking beyond banks

Despite being the last session of an intensive three-day gathering, it was a full room for our session looking at alternative finance. The session featured inspirational startup case studies and examined how chambers can engage with next-generation entrepreneurs and companies. “As a company, we have a commitment to financial inclusion,” said Mastercard General Counsel Tim Murphy who said there was a role for ICC and chambers to bring business to the table to communicate private sector messages for creating appropriate regulation.

4.) Chamber innovation celebrated

Winners of the 2019 World Chambers Competition were announced during the Congress concluding Gala Dinner. Of 74 entries from 29 countries, 16 finalists were in Rio to present their initiatives to Congress delegates during dedicated workshops covering the three Competition categories: Best Education and Training Project, Best SME and Entrepreneurship Development Project and Best Unconventional Project. Find out who our winners were here.

5.) #SeeYouInDubai!

A festive closing ceremony, featuring performances by Brazilain roots dance troop, Jinga Tropical, saw the official handover of the Congress from Rio to Dubai. Hassan Al Hashemi, Chair of the World Chambers Congress organising committee of Dubai Chamber, presented a video giving a glimpse into what delegates of the 12th World Chambers Congress can expect in 2021.

So with enormous thanks to all of our Congress speakers, delegates, sponsors and our 11th World Chambers Congress co-host, the Brazilian Confederation of Trade and Business Associations (CACB), we are saying “adeus” and thank you Rio de Janeiro and #SeeYouInDubai.