ebbf's 29th annual conference #rethinkmaterialism

ebbf’s 29th annual conference

ethical business building the future

rethinking materialism


You aim for a balance between material and spiritual wellbeing in your work and career but you are surrounded by a materialistic work environment.

During this, ebbf’s 29th annual conference, we will shift the debate from the traditional materialistic concept of “stuff” and the focus on “more or less stuff”;
instead we will center our attention on the means that are required for progress to occur.

What are the underlying assumptions that sustain materialism?
How can we transition our organizations to a healthier work environment?
How can we and our organizations reach the dynamic coherence between the material needs of any company and its sense of purpose, its spiritual essence, in order to allow ethical business, our businesses, to build the future?


ebbf milan 2017

The practical experiences of the global diverse group of participants attending, together with elevated conversations that open our minds and break down old patterns to what is possible, will provide the ingredients to the art that ebbf has crafted over its almost 30 years of experience in creating these learning leading to action experiences.

“I come to ebbf to refresh my thinking, to create a new level of energy and to find new and much needed ideas and processes that I can then go an implement in my organization the following week.”  ( View here video testimonials )


ebbf barcelona 2016

The event will take place in Geneva.

It will start at 17:00 on Thursday 16th of May 2019 and end after lunch on Sunday 19th of May 2019


event contributors

ebbf international annual conferences are unique because of the role of participants, an elevated group of people who are designing the future of business, actively exploring the present and future role of their workplaces. Speakers and participants share an equal role in inspiring the thinking and shared learning that allows you to benefit from both a practical useful set of ideas that you can implement next week in your organization and elevated thinking that helps you re-think your role and that of your organization on a wider level.
“By far the most challenging, thought provoking, yet supportive and empowering event. The only place where diversity has an impact … from undergrads to CEOs everyone having meaningful conversations that lead to concrete actions. Unparalleled.” Ralph Blundell, past event attendee.

Below some of the first confirmed contributors ( we look forward to update the list soon, with the rest of the contributors)
Some of the people who will inspire your thinking and actions at this specific event:

Enrico Giraudi
Professional Counselor. Corporate Consultant. Author and Speaker.
With twenty years of experience in the world of brand communication and with assignments related to strategic planning, business development and innovation (Publicis, Saatchi & Saatchi, JWThompson), Enrico Giraudi is now involved in consulting in the field of organizational counseling and human resources, with particular reference to the themes of identity, change and innovation of organizational systems. Systemic, transpersonal and mindfullness disciplines represent a constant reference point for his work and his research. He is the author and speaker and will soon publish his book “Technologies of Intuition”Here a recent interview he offered to ebbf on the theme of the event
Mary Darling
Mary Darling loves to collaborate creatively in all things. She is the co-founder of WestWind Pictures, and has written, directed, produced or executive-produced a string of documentaries on topics ranging from art and religion to children and divorce. She also produced hundreds of hours of lifestyle programming including such hits as This Small Space and Designer Guys. Her television comedy, Little Mosque on the Prairie, is a good example of the kind of content she is interested in exploring “content that can stir hearts towards understanding while laughing”. That series has aired in over 100 countries. She has eight beautiful children doing their part to contribute to the advancement of civilization.
Jose Soto
José is the President of IS Corporation, founded in 1977 and Co Founder at OPTIMO Gestión Empresarial. It´s core business revolves around services and consulting in the areas of energy management, educational technology, document management services, cybersecurity and business applications. Jose makes explicit the foundational principles that make his company successful listing: Unity in diversity, Work as a means to serve others, Integrity and responsibility, Honesty and transparency, Justice and fairness amongst others.
Rhonda Gossen
Rhonda is Senior Policy Advisor, Political, Rohingya Crisis, Bangladesh Desk at Global Affairs Canada | Affaires mondiales Canada.

Over 30 years’ progressively responsible experience in international development, humanitarian and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction and peace operations programming primarily at the Canadian International Development Agency, UNHCR, Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia on human security and conflict; and consulting assignments with World Bank, UNDP & UNICEF.  She has been o Canadian diplomatic assignments in Asia and Africa, recently Pakistan and Afghanistan for the World Bank, UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDP assignments in Pakistan, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, South Sudan and Southern Africa.
She is also a r
egular contributor to Digital news media on OpenCanada.org

Roya Akhavan
Dr. Roya Akhavan currently serves as Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Department of Mass Communications, St. Cloud State University. In addition to research and publication in the field of international mass communication, Dr. Akhavan has maintained a research and teaching interest in peace studies. Her most recent work is a book entitled “Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach” (Calumet Editions: 2017). She is a frequent speaker at national and international forums on gender issues, social justice, and spirituality in the 21st century.
Dr. Akhavan’s organizational experience includes serving as Vice President for International Marketing at CVSC, a Chinese State-owned Company in Beijing. In addition to extensive international travel, Dr. Akhavan has lived and worked in four different cultures; Persian, American, Japanese, and Chinese.
Svenja Rüger
Svenja is a facilitator and designer of large scale collaborative sessions. Her passion lies in building resilient communities and facilitating collaborative processes to solve complex challenges on a systems level. She cares a lot about the challenges the world is currently facing and wants to support connecting the dots in order to create impactful, meaningful solutions. She promotes listening to understand, not listening to speak, and holds the space for what is trying to emerge.

She took on lead design and facilitation roles for international engagements with the World Economic Forum, LEGO Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, International Red Cross & Red Crescent, INSEAD Business School, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Berlin Civil Society Centre, and many others
She believes in servant leadership, and that facilitation is all about making it easy.

Gigi Alford
Ginous “Gigi” Alford leads the Sport and Human Rights strategy at UNI Global Union’s World Players Association. She also coordinates the Sport & Rights
Alliance, a global coalition of leading NGOs, sports organizations, and trade unions, which she represents on the interim governance committee of the new Geneva-based Centre for Sport and Human Rights. Previously, Ms. Alford
served in the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights,
and Labor, where she facilitated the first Sporting Chance Forum. She also
worked stints as a sports reporter and editor at the San Francisco Chronicle and San Diego Union-Tribune and in policy advocacy on human rights, governance, and development with Freedom House and the Baha’i International Community.
Gigi holds degrees from Oxford University, the University of Alabama, and
Loyola University in New Orleans, and is a former Knight Foundation Fellow.
Arlette George
A writer and educator with a background in theatre-making & directing.
Received a social innovation award in Edinburgh in 2013 to promote design principles and regeneration in a rural business. Moved out of London with family to Scotland in 2015.
Mottos: “Where there is love there is always time, and nothing is too much trouble.” – ‘Abdu’l-Baha and “Yes, let’s!” – Keith Johnstone.
Curious about how pervasive business culture can be helped to get out of its narratives of conflict: what materialism reveals about the human side of a culture of conflict? Primary interest is to invite creativity and human dignity into forming basic patterns for prosperous behaviour.
David Menham
Currently owner/director of Education and Language Solutions Austria, supplying a unique blend of language training, translation services and text correction. 30 years experience as a qualified Teacher/Tutor/Lecturer in colleges , private training agencies and the school system in Austria and the UK.
Last six years spent working for the Vienna Education Board as a native English Teacher. Former Teacher Trainer for Helen Doron Early English Austria. Former Peace Studies Graduate at Bradford University.
Active member of EBBF, International Environment Forum, Meetup Austria, SERVAS Austria, Plastic Planet Verein Austria.
Randy Vaucrosson
Randy is a certified professional Co-Active coach (CPCC) from Coach Training Institute (CTI), and Associate certified coach (ACC) from International Coach Federation (ICF). He currently works at the Nancy Campbell Academy as a residential assistant.
He enjoys facilitating workshops with his wife.
Sahba Sobhani
Sahba Sobhani is a Global Programme Advisor-Private Sector in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS). In this capacity, he provides programme support and policy advice on private sector development issues and technical oversight for UNDP’s multi-stakeholder initiatives including the Business Call to Action Initiative, the Connecting Business Initiative and the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business. He designed the first in the world mobile money-enabled housing repair initiative for early recovery in Haiti and the successful setup of a national CSR Center in Egypt and a global center in Turkey.  He has been the principal author and content manager of all 5 major UNDP-led reports in the area of private sector in development, including Making Business for the Poor, 2008 Global Growing Inclusive Markets Report: Mr. Sobhani was the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. He has also worked in the private sector at Idealab in Palo Alto and Newscom Limited in Singapore. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy

Samantha Fowlds

A knowledge management and research strategy design and implementation specialist. One of eight women nominated for the Oracle Women’s Leadership Group (Canada) Top Women Award in 2018 for bringing positivity to the organisation via workshops and coaching.
With a particular interest in knowledge management systems, applied positive psychology, and organisational learning she  earned an M.Sc in Knowledge Management and Consultancy,
Carlos Cordoba
He is the founder of OPTIMO Gestión Empresarial, A Costa Rican national, Psychologist by profession with a Masters in Business Administration, he held management positions in companies with national and international coverage. He is the founder and director of the company HUMANTECH, and is the International Tutor of training processes in human resources management by competencies for the ILO.
He is also an Associate Consultant of the Research and Training Center in Public Administration of the University of Costa Rica, and Associate Professor of the Master Programs and Degree in Human Resources of the Technological Institute of Costa Rica.
Moneshia Zu Eitz

Moneshia is co-founder of “toAccompany”, an organizational capacity development consulting practice focused on raising talent and well being from a material, social and spiritual perspective. Her method draws on leadership assessment and development, coaching and cultural integration experience impact on company performance based has 25 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and partnering at IBM and Philips. This human centered approach to growth and performance also draws from on the ground experience in India, Africa, Europe, Japan and the US . As part of bringing people and processes together in pro-bono she also worked in economic justice as part of IBMs Executive Service Corp in Taiwan, and Michael Porter’s Forestry sector team in Venezuela.

Moneshia completed her MBA at Wharton, University of Pennsylvania and is also an active mentor and is co leading the weAccompany program for ebbf. More at: www.toaccompany.com

Matthew Weinberg
Matthew Weinberg served as Research Director of the Bahá’í International Community, in Haifa, Israel, and led the initial work of the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity in contributing to international development discourse. He was a senior analyst with the United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment, in Washington, DC, where he directed studies in the areas of environmental and technology policy. He currently serves as director of the Baha’i Internet Agency.

Carmel Khalilian
She is presently the director of Planning Vision a company that provides comprehensive town planning advice to property developers and private individuals, as well as concerned residents and community groups. The key aim is for all stakeholders to fully understand the interdependencies of urban planing, involving all affected parties and creating a truly holistic and effective resulting architectural framework.
She also directed two other creative companies promoting sustainable architecture and responsible events. She brings work experience over ten years across cities including London, Myanmar, Italy, Morocco, Spain and Gibraltar.
Ilona Surgaile
Born in Lithuania, part of Soviet Union at that time, emigrated to US in 1996, crossed the vast ocean of ambiguity and unknown – adapting to the new country, new culture, economic system, language barrier and healed the pain of leaving home country behind… Ilona always considered herself a world citizen and believe that there is one human race on earth; united in diversity, strong in one faith and aiming for the betterment of the world. Through her observations and experiences, she learned something very important: If we are clear on vision, united in efforts and embracing each other’s differences we can reach our personal, professional and organizational dreams. It is possible to transform every end into a new beginning. It is not easy, but it is worth living!

Executive Leadership Coach at Leading Visions, Inc., Ilona specializes in career & life transitions and cross-cultural complexity, effective communication supporting diversity and inclusiveness. Insightful and effective organizational and relationship systems coach, Ilona works with clients on mindfulness to be open and receptive to reality and its gifts permanently honing thinking and behavior patterns that impact business and personal relationships, creativity, and conscious decision making. She has assisted individuals, teams, and organizations in developing the knowledge and skills to create long-term, productive relationships and work satisfaction. Ilona has run various workshops for diverse audiences helping people to excel self and social awareness as well as cultural sensitivity in order to navigate effectively in this ever changing intergenerational and multicultural world.

Oonagh Vaucrosson
Oonagh has been a Virtues Project enthusiast since 2014. In addition to facilitating workshops to share the virtues with others, she works at the Nancy Campbell Academy in Stratford, Ontario. Her professional history is an eclectic mix. She has worked as a prosecutor and defence counsel in Bermuda, a dorm parent at the Townshend International School in the Czech Republic, assisted in creating national Standard of Service certification for the Bermuda tourism industry and a coordinator for community building activities.. She views her professional history as a collection of bountiful opportunities to better learn to connect with people and meet them where they are at and offer life tools to navigate the inevitable peaks and valleys that may perhaps reorient their frame of reference.
Anila Hussain
Driven by a strong business mindset since childhood, Anila, a national level gymnast, was raised in Karachi, the cosmopolitan fashion hub of the East. Her zest for knowledge led her to become a Montessori International Educator, settled in Geneva, Switzerland. Alongside her teaching role as a Montessori educator, Anila’s formative years were spent pursuing fashion styling consultancy in Switzerland.

This led her to create SHENANNZ an international brand of couture collection across fashion events and platforms such as Montreux Moda Switzerland, London Fashion week, House of iKons, Swiss Fashion week Manor, Vevey and Globus Geneva.

Anila is committed to emancipation and empowerment of impoverished women, by fostering their creativity to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families. Her dream is to spread the message of gender equality through entrepreneurship and education, across the world.

DAY ONE : Thursday – Opening Minds

16:30 – Registrations Open

17:00 – Start of the Conference: Welcome and opening introduction to the event
Why are we all here? What do we aim for in this four day leaning experience?

18:00  – Setting the tone Keynote: Sahba Sobhani, opening minds, rethinking materialism
Opening minds and shaking our old convictions about the concept of materialism and helping us to start afresh, opening our minds and attitudes.

18:30  – First meaningful conversations, inspired by quotes and Writings we start a dialogue to make the theme relevant to me and to what I wish to achieve from this experience.

19:00 – Dinner: enjoying those informal yet insightful first conversations

20:30 – A World Cafe Style experience where we will all address:
What does materialism mean to me? Why should we rethink it?

21:00 – Check out reflection time, with a great question that will emerge for the night

DAY TWO : Friday – Dreaming the Future

09:00 – Start of DAY 2, today we start to dream the future, what can you expect, what are the key elements of the day?

09:30 – Dreaming Keynote with Enrico Giraudi

SPIRITUAL “MAKING” by Enrico Giraudi
An attempt to reconcile materialism with spirituality.

For years we have understood materialism as the antithesis of spirituality, cultivating a dualistic and often conflicting vision of these two dimensions of the human being.
If we conceive materialism and spirituality as life “models”, it is indeed very difficult to conceive of their peaceful integration.
But if we think of spirituality as a “source”, as the warehouse of our best intuitions, like that wavelength that puts us in tune with the “divine” and we think back to materialism not as a lifestyle but as our attitude to bring into being and make concrete in our daily life what is within us intangible and impalpable, then we can get a glimpse of the potential collaboration and benevolent, functional alliance between the two.
Our soul that inspires our hands, our being guiding our doing. Materialism seen as the ability to give tangible proof that our spiritual intuitions can generate change, can build new worlds, can leave their mark in our daily reality.

– What have I learnt from this keynote?
Share with your buddy key highlights from the keynote

10:15 – Creative session – dreaming the ideal future we want:
what will 2030 look like?
Inspired by Writings, quotes and new ideas, we will dream the future we are aiming to create, visualising what our workplaces, the organizations we work in and our own careers will look like in 2030

11:00 – Coffee Break

11:30 – Parallel Sessions Part I
Choose one of six parallel sessions, to go deeper and learn more about what you need and gather new ideas, insights, processes and inspiration you can then apply to your working life. ( see description of sessions below )

12:30 – Lunch

14:00 – Exploring the gap
A session to highlight what the current gap is between the ideal future state of 2030 and the current situation,
start to identifying the underlying assumptions, the people who need to be involved, the key elements that are necessary to narrow that gap

15:00 – Parallel Sessions Part II
Choose one of six parallel sessions, to go deeper and learn more about what you need and gather new ideas, insights, processes and inspiration you can then apply to your working life. ( see description of sessions below )

16:30 – Keynote with Matt Weinberg
The role of technology in connecting individuals, organizations and communities to bring a balance between material and spiritual

17:30 – A World Cafe Co-creation

Reflection of what I heard / learnt so far
Make it all meaningful for my individual / collective context

19:00 – Dinner

20:30 – keynote and art with Mary Darling

How can we help us and those around us to … rethink ?
how can art, movies, campaigns help us and society change their perceptions and consequent actions?

21:30 – Check out and one last question that will emerge, to nurture our night’s thoughts


DAY THREE : Saturday – Designing the Future

09:00 – Check in & Feed forward, what happened yesterday? What do we want to see happening today?

09:30 – Keynote Carlos Cordoba
Transforming a Commercial Business into a Social Enterprise
Is the future already here?
The case of a real life business that is learning through action how to reconcile materialism and spirituality.
How did the initial idea come up?  How were individuals working there involved? What was the role of the community they aimed to serve?

10:00 – Open Space Session Part 1
The time to voice what are the burning questions that I want to discuss with this community, taking into consideration the work and ideas that have emerged in the past two days, what do I now need most to Design the Future?
Identifying key elements, gathering like minded people to explore them, getting practical ideas and elevated concept to help us progress.

11:15 Working Coffee Break

11:45 – Open Space Session Part 2
Going deeper
what are the projects that have emerged and that are most alive right now and that I want to explore with the community?

12:30 – Lunch

14:00 – KEYNOTE Samantha Fowlds

Rethinking Materialism – Applied Positive Psychology @ a Global Tech Firm

After starting to dream the future, today we started to design it, not an easy concept to then bring back to my workplace.
Samantha will share we own experience first as an internal consultant for a global tech firm. sitting with the people who worked there and was enmeshed in the day-to-day. “At Oracle as a Coach and Mentor, no one came to me because they wanted to make more money.”
Our talk today is a synopsis of what her experience was, sharing some of what the Oracle’s Women’s Leadership Group did (men and women) and what I used to create the right energy and volition.

14:30 – Meaningful Conversation: what stands out for me from that keynote and approach? What is useful?

15:00 – Parallel Sessions Part III
Choose one of six parallel sessions, to go deeper and learn more about what you need and gather new ideas, insights, processes and inspiration you can then apply to your working life. ( see description of sessions below )

16:30 – Coffee Break

17:00 – what is the role of ebbf accompanying you forward?

voting the ebbf governing board and ebbf Annual General Meeting 2018

19:00 – Dinner

20:30 – Inspirational keynote arts and progress

21:00 – Getting into action … Bolliwood Style ( the highlight of the event for many )
Designing the future is exciting but delivering it is a challenge, how can we learn to stand up and express ourselves, together?
with Anila Hussain


DAY FOUR : Sunday – Delivery

09:30 – Fast Forward of what we have put in our (virtual) bag so far, harvesting ideas, learnings and actions.

10:00 – So what am I now missing to get into action next week, month, year in my workplace?

11:00 – Coffee Break


12:00 – Who will we now walk this path with? Harnessing the ebbf accompaniment

12:30 – Final Lunch and good byes


Choose between these parallel sessions



You can now choose between these six interactive parallel learnshops:

. Enrico Giraudi  – SPIRITUAL “MAKING” by Enrico Giraudi
An attempt to reconcile materialism with spirituality.

An opportunity to deepen the key points from the keynote where we will see how we can shift materialism as the antithesis of spirituality, cultivating a dualistic and often conflicting vision of these two dimensions of the human being, towards a new view.
If we conceive materialism and spirituality as life “models”, it is indeed very difficult to conceive of their peaceful integration.
But if we think of spirituality as a “source”, as the warehouse of our best intuitions, like that wavelength that puts us in tune with the “divine” and we think back to materialism not as a lifestyle but as our attitude to bring into being and make concrete in our daily life what is within us intangible and impalpable, then we can get a glimpse of the potential collaboration and benevolent, functional alliance between the two.
Our soul that inspires our hands, our being guiding our doing. Materialism seen as the ability to give tangible proof that our spiritual intuitions can generate change, can build new worlds, can leave their mark in our daily reality.

. Ilona Surgaile – Leading Through Changing Times

The intention of the workshop is to engage the participants to share their knowledge and experience. Educate the hearts by taking a holistic view of change where the core is being clear, open, honest and authentic. Encourage to take an action, coming up with few doable and practical action steps on how we can be committed leaders through these changing times when the world paradigm is shifting. This program will blend group exercises and discussions with intentional reflection time upon emerging themes, values, co-creating commitment and actionable steps.

. Arlette George ‘To be or not to be, that is the question.’-Hamlet

Because enslavement and freedom are essential to understanding the ideas that underpin materialism we will start with a ten minute slide presentation on the impact of Queen Victoria’s abolition of slavery in 1833. Be assured, some of it will surprise you.  We will also examine how the rights of every man, woman and child on the planet are intrinsic to rethinking materialism. From the big picture we will then turn to everyday habits:

As you know, our beliefs, and what we think, drive our behaviour: We will play some games to discover a little more about ourselves. Games are helpful as they allow us to, safely and freely, examine different conversations and negotiations in the light of understanding.

What are we really doing in a negotiation? When are we buying our freedom at someone else’s expense? Do we ever enslave ourselves too? Can we make technology our slave instead? What’s the answer? Is there ever a way out? What does it mean: ‘to be’ without negating the others/ourselves?

What kind of environment frees the will of mankind?  What does the independent investigation of reality mean? How is our work an expression of the relationship between ‘being’ and ‘doing’? What is service to humanity? What’s the relationship between service and true freedom? What’s that got to do with business and prosperity?

. Silvia Ferlito – AYNI – the power of reciprocity

Ayni (gifting in Quechua) is the Andean principle of reciprocity, respect and the mutual flow of giving and receiving. It is a creative process based on the reality of abundance. It starts with the genuine need of a person, responds with a generous spirit of another and is based on a long lasting trust based relationship to accomplish more than one person or group alone could manage alone. Ayni creates strong networks of ties between and within communities and is described with the power to vigorously redistribute vital forces in a way that maintain the health and well-being of the community.

It is the most important of the five life principles of the Andean way of life that are munay – to love, yachay – to learn, know and remember, llan’kay – to work, kawsay – life, ayni – reciprocity

Reciprocity and collaboration is an innate trait that humans developed through a long process of evolution. It is based on mutual relations and has existed in one form or the other in many societies.
How can we today, in times of increasing materialism and individualism bring back the sense of community and make use of ancient concepts like Ayni? How can we improve our organizations and shift the mindset from I to WE, from pure monetization (more cash) and materialization (grow bigger) to building relationships based on trust, respect, generosity, care and justice that are the base to more effective, sustainable, creative organizations with happier people?

Questions to explore:
What do you see inside the 5 principles of the Andean way of life? How do the 5 principles of the Andean way of life interconnect?
What does reciprocity mean for you? What does altruism mean to you? What does collaboration mean to you? Are they the

. Nadja Schnetzler



. David Menham – Re-inventing Ourselves in  a Time of Turbulence and Tribulation

Is it time to start radically redefining materialism and solving some of the most complex issues of the age in which we are now living?

Could we learn to avoid some of the most deadly conflicts in human history by achieving the most urgent sustainable development goals of the UN and begin to transform the world for the benefit of all?

As part of this exploration to permanent peace and security we will also be spurred on to redoubling our commitment to constructive dialogue and action not just as professional participants in the world of commerce but also as part of our personal enrichment, building better communities for the betterment of all of our societies.

As an aid to our discussion and dialogue we will be examining some of the most dynamic and innovative examples of companies and organizations that have taken on the challenge of rethinking, reorganization and social transformation.

. Rhonda Gossen – developing universal protagonism and a vision of service in your workplace
. Carmel Khalilian – SMART way to rethink materialism

“SMART” is a management tool used to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Bound. During this interactive workshop we will learn more about this system of goal setting with the intention of helping one another set our next steps in the path towards balancing out materialism in our day-to-day lives with a specific focus on the workplace, your career/ business goals, and drawing from your network (both old and new) to aid in the process.

This is a useful exercise no matter what stage of business development you are at and will help facilitate critical thinking when it comes to the struggles of grappling with the intersectionality of businesses and interests following the remnants of the old world practices and in working to establish new foundations for responding to modern-day spiritual realities and requirements. It also aims to help you recognise and draw from your current support systems and help you establish new ones too!

. Randy and Oonagh Vaucrosson – Consider materialism through a virtues lens

This Learnshop will enable participants to consider that perhaps it is our reaction to materialism, not materialism itself that determines how our lives will develop. Discover the Five Strategies of the Virtues Project to awaken the virtues within us and determine our reactions. An experiential adventure to connect with one’s self.

  • learning a new language to transform the manner of our communication, strengthening our relationships in the workplace, moving beyond the superficial to the meaningful
  • acknowledging and recognising the teachable moments that enable us to challenge our assumptions about materialism, identify the virtues that will propel us forward, adorn our characters to face future obstacles and learn new skills
  • developing new organisational structures requires strengthening our abilities to set clear boundaries around workplace needs and requirements, enabling the workplace to evolve to better suit learning styles and focus on the higher purpose of economic activity
  • Introducing spiritual goals as a component for personal achievement in the workplace, guiding organisations to promote a culture of honoring the spirit as a necessity for cohesive development and progress
  • using the art of companioning as a tool to navigate inevitable challenges that will be present in any human interaction as people learn to build community in the workplace, each playing his or her role with a common vision and awareness of the valuable contributions each individual makes to the whole.

We will be including activities that will enable participants to connect with these strategies and consider how it is we may forge a way forward to collective prosperity.



You can now choose between these six interactive learnshops


. Carlos Cordoba & Jose Soto – learning from a personal experience creating a balanced enterprise

A continuation, going deeper in what the key elements of their social transformative company have been. What worked, what didn’t and what you can apply in your own company.

. Samantha Fowlds – Applied Psychology to help rethink materialism and bring change to organizations

A continuation of her afternoon keynote

. Gigi Alford – Sport for the coming post-materialistic age

A 90-minute interactive learnshop that will allow you to delve with Gigi into the question: What does sport look like in a world that has moved beyond materialism?

Sport at all levels has grown increasingly linked to the excesses and abuses of unchecked materialism. Citizens are rejecting their cities’ bids to host mega-games like the Olympics, families are evicted to build outlandish stadiums while construction workers toil under conditions of modern-day slavery, athletes are treated as commodities, and the sports federations, sponsors and broadcasters behind it all use aggressive tactics to maintain their control over the power, profit, and prestige of sport. Communities and institutions need to rethink sport’s values for an age that is beginning to reject materialism’s corrosive effects wherever they are found.

Five years ago, Gigi teamed up with a growing global movement to win back the humanity of sport. She invites you to join this learnshop to explore real world cases that will help us consider the questions: Are there values within sport that align with a more spiritual vision of a connected humanity? What would that look that and how would we get there?

. Roya Akhavan – Rethinking Materialism from a Feminine Leadership Perspective

Rethinking materialism involves asking two essential question, among others. First, what is the difference between “materialism,” which is hazardous, and “material prosperity,” which is a worthy individual and social goal? And, second, what is the most effective mode of leadership for moving society beyond materialism and facilitating the achievement of true material prosperity?

Materialism is self-centered and views amassing personal wealth as the locus of human happiness. Material prosperity, on the other hand, denotes a state of shared prosperity within a system that seeks to provide sufficient resources for all human beings to fulfill their potential. As such, material prosperity views human happiness as being correlated with the ability to serve others while pursuing one’s own personal growth.

It may be argued that the best mode of leadership in pursuit of shared material prosperity would be one that reflects compassion, caring, nurturing, communal behavior, and effective communication, all of which have traditionally been associated with the feminine aspects of the human society.

This workshop will attempt to open a conceptually clear path toward rethinking materialism and engage the participants in reimagining new models for future leadership in the context of the emerging consciousness of the need to balance the feminine and the masculine in all areas of human endeavor.

. Moneshia Zu Eitz and Svenja Rüger – “to Accompany” to Global Prosperity

Accelerating shifts towards globalization and the mix in economic participants it needs to include, including life on our planet of all kinds, is raising questions on how we can raise “people” synergies that allow for collective action. How can we focus not only on what we do, bu how we do it, and learn to pivot together, towards fulfilling our highest collective aims.

Learn what accompaniment is, the potential impact, and have an experience of it using movement and coaching tools. Understand and consider first hand how it can foster
– inclusivity with diversity
-technology can be a force for good
– link the whole person to organizational goals and vice versa
– Rise of the ethical enterprise in developing all our faculties by virtue of the human and capital resources it yields and in shaping the global society in which it operates

In this interactive workshop will explore the relationship of the individual at work and in society, debrief on the ebbf weaccompany program and plan for further action based on our unique situation and vision.

. Sjoerd Luteyn and Mika Korhonen – ebbf company membership

How can the new ebbf company membership help you to bring to your organization and understanding and the most successful application of seven core values?

Conference Prices

We keep conference prices to a minimum thanks to generous donations and to ensure as wide an access as possible.

Full 3-day Conference Tickets – access to over 20 sessions
(excludes accommodation and meals)

SPECIAL repeat event attendee rate
(ended 16th October) :
115 €

Early Bird Discounted Rate
(ended 28th February)
190 €  or  130 € (discounted for ebbf members)

Standard Rate
250 €  or  190 € (for ebbf members)

Corporate Rate
600 € (early bird ended 28th February)  then  Standard rate 990 €


Cancellation policy for conference fee:

Cancellations received before March 15th: 80% refund
Cancellations received between March 15th and April 15th – 50% refund
Cancellations received after April 15th – No refund
(don’t forget to check the cancellation fees of the hotel)

Hotel Room / Meals Booking & Rates

You can choose your own accommodations close to the event’s location ( SEE HERE )

Click here to download and then send to the hotel your booking form if you prefer to follow what most people do and stay at the venue where the event will take place

OR use the online hotel booking form you can find here

No payment will be due until you arrive at the hotel. (please see hotel conditions below).

Rates are FULL BOARD per person per day

. Single Room – 194,00 Swiss Francs
per person / per day (includes rooms and all meals)
. Shared Twin Room – 141,50 Swiss Francs
per person / per day (includes rooms and all meals)
. Shared Triple Room – 131,00 Swiss Francs
per person / per day (includes rooms and all meals)

. MEALS ONLY per day / per person
Meals Only – 74 Swiss Francs per person / per day (lunch + dinner no accommodation)

Pre Event Learning Sessions

ebbf has created for attendees and people not fortunate enough to be there, a series of six learning session that will start this December and continue prior to the dates of the ebbf annual conference.

You now have the opportunity to choose the problem statements that you feel should be covered.
Think of themes that are engaging, relevant and useful to you.
What would help you and your organization most, as you Rethink Materialism and move towards a more balanced dynamic coherence between material and spiritual needs.

Select your preference from the initial list below or add your own ideal topic.

Sign up and vote preferred topic here

  • Choose top three ideally or more if you really cannot leave some out.



Monday April 8th at 20:00 (Geneva time)
TOPIC: will be decided by your group vote ( see form on the left )
using ebbf’s zoom online video conference service link


Monday May 13th at 20:00 (Geneva time)
TOPIC: Interact with event speaker Sahba Sobhani understanding the implications and key underlying assumptions behind rethinking materialism
using ebbf’s zoom online video conference service link


MARCH – we Interact with event speakers Jose Soto and Carlos Cordoba on the case study of their company, that they transformed and brought to balance the spiritual and the material and creating three spinoffs from that.

FEBRUARY – We interacted with event keynoter Enrico Giraudi about Materialising spirituality in our workplace.

Here a recent interview Enrico gave to ebbf on this topic

What happens when you engage people in your workplace around the concept of rethinking materialism?
What works and what doesn’t ?

January 14th
What are the underlying reasons that push people and organizations to follow materialistic goals?


event location

meaningful conversations held last year at this same hotel



The event will take place at a hotel on Lake Geneva:

Hotel Best Western Chavannes-de-Bogis
Les Champs-Blancs 70B
1279 Chavannes-de-Bogis



The hotel is located close to GENEVA (GVA) AIRPORT and is served by a shuttle service.


by plane, by train or by car.

why should we rethink materialism?

A few initial views on why it is necessary and urgent to #RethinkMaterialism offered by registered participants coming to Geneva from around the world to share their views and explore together new ways forward, exploring the “what if” questions that will allow new paradigms to emerge and be implemented in our organizations.  You can comment your views in THIS POST HERE.

Testimonials of past participants

What I find at ebbf events and why I keep coming back
(Gijs van de Fliert – former world bank senior risk officer)

The role of ebbf and its events in developing meaningful careers
(Eleonora Ferrero – director european operations at mind the bridge

Three generations sharing why they keep coming back to ebbf events