World Conference recap Monday: Inspire, connect, engage, collaborate

Keynote Anab Jain, photo credit: Sabrina Belzil

by Paula Bernardino

I started my day at the World Conference by attending the mindfulness meditation session by local coach Lucie-Anne Fabien. What a great way to kick off the week.

I was told to be prepared for an interesting keynote address, led by futurist Anab Jain. I was quite curious about what I was about to hear. As communicators, we always need to keep an eye on what’s next, right? I was blown away by some of the videos Anab showed and left with some key takeaways:

  • The world will always be in a state of change and we need to accept it and adapt to it. We must accept the idea that we don’t know and will never know everything.
  • The tools we are creating to master the world are remastering us.
  • We imbue technology with ideals of the people who have created it, rather than those who use it.

I was then off to Jon Hammond’s session “Motivation as a skill,” eager to find out whether motivating and inspiring is something we are born with or if it’s a learned skill. Jon’s excellent presentation skills got everyone in attendance entertained and listening to every word he said. We can all motivate and inspire if we follow the principles Jon discussed, which come down to knowing your audience.

The afternoon speed presentations on employee engagement were fun. I really enjoyed the 10-minute format followed by questions. Kudos to Shruthi Bopaiah, who delivered a very interesting presentation about Infosys in times of disruption while experiencing technological issues in the room. Shruthi was followed Louisa Graham who showcased a case study on creating resilient employees during times of change. I then went up and presented how to engage employees through corporate responsibility. And last but not least was Subhamoy Das, who got us thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) and the impact on communication.

I ended Monday in Carol Kinsey Goman’s session on the power behind collaborative leadership. She emphasized the importance of empathetic listening and to demonstrate her point, made us do an exercise where we had to spell what we like to do to our neighbor instead of saying it. It’s a quite a challenge for the person listening but what it made us realize is that it got us to focus on what the person was saying instead of getting ready to reply. Try it!

And day one for me couldn’t end without some socializing. I attended the French Connection Happy Hour event organized by the local chapter at a hotel nearby and then joined fellow communicators from across Canada and the U.S. for Indian cuisine at Devi downtown as part of the traditional Dine-Around activity.

About the author

Paula Bernardino has more than 15 years of experience, is bilingual, and has been specializing in corporate responsibility since 2014. Paula completed a certificate in business sustainability management from Cambridge University in May 2017. She has solid expertise in strategic corporate communication and public relations acquired while working for large corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Bernardino has also received her master’s degree in communication management from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.