Along with my business colleague Mike Guttridge I attended the conference with high expectations as we had attended the previous one two years ago. The setting for the conference was the lovely Villa Rheinburg on the banks of the River Rheine and a few minutes walk from Lake Konstanz.
The format of the conference was a combination of lectures, workshops and a tremendous amount of networking and informal discussions over coffee in the beautiful garden at the rear of the villa.
The theme of this years conference was “Global Leadership Competence: Personal Qualities, Culture, Language” and it was simply a matter of choosing the particular sessions that appealed to me.
The start of the conference was done by a “performance artist / mime group” (my heart sank when I saw this on the programme!) but I have to say that it is the funniest and liveliest start to any conference I have been to. The young man doing the mime had me and the rest of the delegates in fits of laughter at some of his “gestures” (nudge, nudge, wink,wink).
The seminar / workshops were, as to be expected of a very high quality and from those I attended I would single out the following speakers as being a combination of thought proving, knowledgeable, challenging and in one case almost causing apoplexy amongst a good number of delegates.
In no particular order I enjoyed the sessions by David Trickey, Professor Guido Baltes, Dr. Ernest Gundling, Dr. Leandro Herrero, Dr.Yih-Teen Lee and last but not least Dr. Catherine Hakim.
It was Dr. Hakim’s seminar on “Erotic Capital, and Leadership Competence” which ended the conference and caused a storm of debate amongst both male and female delegates. It has to be said that Dr. Hakim is a very blunt speaker and tells it as it is, as she said to one member of the audience (and here I paraphrase) “I am a social scientist and all that I am doing is reporting back to you the findings of my research, if you don’t like it, tough!”
As I said to Prof. Peter Franklin, the organizer of the conference, “that is the best end of conference session I have ever been to” and a very big thank you to Peter and his team for the tremendous job they did in organising the conference again.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the sterling work done by the volunteer helpers at the conference (all students from Konstanz University) who saw to the delegates every need and worked extremely hard in very demanding hot conditions (33c on one day), so thank you.
We took the opportunity after the conference to visit Friedrichshafen, which is a 50-minute trip by catamaran to visit the Zeppelin Museum, which I would thoroughly recommend.