On November 26th, 2019, several hundreds of HR and mobility experts participated to the very first edition of Human Capital Europe, which took place at the ECCL. The morning session, entitled "Convergence", featured inspiring speakers who shared their knowledge and latest projects with the audience.

Erica Leclercq (Head of Operations & Strategy, Farvest) officially launched the first edition of Human Capital Europe, before handing the microphone to Patrizia Luchetta (Co-founder of Another Level Creative Group), who acted as Master of Ceremony.


Fighting against plastic pollution

Simon Bernard (CEO & Co-founder at Plastic Odyssey Expedition) took the stage, with a presentation entitled "Plastic Odyssey Expedition, around the world aboard a ship that turns pollution into new solutions". "My current mission started a long time ago, at school, when I realized how polluted our oceans are. Today, 18 tons are dumped into the ocean every single minute," first explained Simon Bernard. He continued: "how can we close the tap? Actually, 90% of the plastic comes for the 30 poorest countries in the world, that do not have access to waste management". He then explained that technical solutions are already available to turn pollution into new solutions, and notably build houses and even transform it into fuel. His solution aims at developing low cost technologies to recycle plastics and share the drawings to build an entire ecosystem. "Just like Solar Impulse which showed the world how solar energy can be used, we want to be seen as ambassadors. Our 40m-research vessel will be composed of two areas: a plastic recycling solutions lab to experiment on field and an area dedicated to reducing plastic waste," added the Frenchman. He then insisted on the need to focus on people and their habits in order to have them stop consuming single-use plastic. In this respect, Simon Bernard sees technology as just a small part of the global solution and therefore sees the human factor as more important. "We need to reinvent the way we use plastic! The expedition will start in 2020 and will first stop in Mediterranean countries to later reach Africa, South America and South-East Asia. It will last 3 years, with the mission of building a global network of small initiatives everywhere the world to turn pollution into new solutions but also to help people create local businesses. And obviously, the social part is most important here," concluded Simon Bernard.


The evolution of our work environment

The organizers then welcomed Tom Oswald (General Coordinator at Ministry of Labor, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy) who stated: "employees are the strength of the companies and the government is aware of it. Moreover, HR is at the heart of every company. More than just a resource, the employee is a human being, and there is a thin line between professional life and private life." He then added that employees who feel good at work will perform better and engage with the company. In this sense, companies will be able to attract more talents and also retain them. Tom Oswald also discussed the current digitalization of our environment which inevitably transforms our work relationships: "the ministry is therefore keeping an eye on the labor legislation and will act if it needs to evolve. For instance, teleworking brings several questions, notably when it comes to data and the right to disconnect". Tom Oswald finally discussed robots and the evolution of work, highlighting the need for all workers to constantly update their knowledge. "All these technologies need to be mastered but the human value must not be forgotten," concluded the General Coordinator.

Leading in a new world

Finally, the morning session ended with Fireside chat entitled "How to lead in a moving world" with the participation of William Lebedel (Founder of BlueRep), Abdu Gnaba (Ph.D. Social-Anthropologist Change maker and Founder and CEO of Sociolab) and Patrick Burensteinas (Author and Speaker). "A crisis is just the acceleration of time. Our society has evolved but we are not aware of it yet. Today, we have entered a society of leisure where people choose their work and mission. Here's what new generations want: experiment the world," first said Abdu Gnaba. According to Patrick Burensteinas, "the spirit of the company is the key. It's the added value which maintains the coherence of the group. And when there is no coherence anymore, personal interests rise". William Lebedel then shared a couple of practical examples to highlight the fact that working in siloes with no common objective won't end in success. He added: "what matters today is reaching a common goal, and to do so employees need to be engaged". Abdu Gnaba then discussed culture and vision, while Patrick Burensteinas insisted on information that needs to be delivered to the right person and shared to be used in the most appropriate way. On his side, William Lebedel talked about leadership and the ways to give sense to projects: "leaders need to work with their teams, they are not isolated anymore. And they also need to trust their experts, and ask the good questions rather than providing them with answers". The three experts ended their joint-presentation by addressing several questions to the audience: "as a company, what makes us different than others? What is really feeding us? What are we transmitting? What does your company bring outside of its scope? What's its mission?"


Alexandre Keilmann

Photos: Dominique Gaul

Publié le 26 novembre 2019