May 2015, ebbf international learning event – lisbon

make it meaningful series

This video offers an idea of the dynamics that occur at ebbf learning events. ebbf’s make it meaningful series is the result of 25 years of experience, evolving its international events. We discovered that people are not just looking for knowledge. They want to participate. And even more important, they want to contribute. Together we challenge the working environment and come up with  ways of making our work more meaningful, connecting it to a wider purpose. Making change happen at  the level of the individual, organizations and institutions.

list of participants

CLICK HERE to download details about the event participants

meaningful conversations with  diverse, global spread of inspiring participants

What makes this learning event series unique? The international spread, quality and passion of the group of like minded people who attend these events. The humble yet determined posture of learning of participants means that ebbf facilitates the context (theme) and content (speakers and discussions), but you will determine the outcome.

ebbf is an open global learning community

What people value most in attending ebbf events are the meaningful conversations. We have therefore developed a program to make them the central part of the three-day experience. The second layer is the visitors, who come to have meaningful conversations around the theme of the event. The third layer is the speakers, learnshops, and action labs that give us different perspectives on this theme. We leave the event with new processes, new ideas and tools for change, new connections that each of us can use in our own communities allowing us to spread those meaningful conversations and learning.

interconnected business
how organizations can improve people and how people can improve organizations

Over many years ebbf‘s ”make it meaningful” series of events has allowed participants to exchange ideas and examples of how to build a just, prosperous, and sustainable civilization both through our daily work and also by rethinking and gaining a new perspective on current and future economic models.

This next ebbf international annual learning event will focus on the theme of interconnected business and specifically on the mutual influence between organizational culture and structure and the people who work inside a system and give life to it.

In this age of interdependence many people are still ignorant about these connections, and so we aim to encourage a better understanding of the impact of the choices we make on the world by asking the question: How do we as individuals affect positive change in the organizations where we operate?

On the other side of this question we need to acknowledge that the world around us is defining our reality. As human beings we need to better understand what influences us and how we can influence and create organizations fit for the 21st century and for the values that we believe in, organizations that address the higher noble purpose of human beings. How does an organization enable that? Exploring different governance models, how can people organise themselves for the better, how can organizations enable instead of disabling people?

FROM 18:00 ON FRIDAY 29th MAY 2015 until AFTER LUNCH ON SUNDAY 31st MAY we will explore new ideas and concepts around this theme, in Lisbon.


PRE-EVENT “EBBF CONSULTATION” MEETING(Click here to find out more about this “ebbf consultation” two-day meeting and how to apply for this event)

FROM 9 AM on THURSDAY 28th MAY until FRIDAY 29th AT 16:00 we will hold a pre-event two day session where we aim to learn from the cutting edge ideas in organisational design how to create an evolved organisational structure – for ebbf – as a global organization. Allowing ebbf to fully live its values, its mission and its ambitious aims of impact.

What we will learn and what we will co-create will give us ideas and insights we could also apply to our own work environments.

Below a few testimonials from people who attended recent ebbf international learning experiences:

Enrico Giraudi shares why he keeps coming back to international ebbf learning events

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 11.19.10“I invite not only my team but also customers to ebbf learning events because having a shared experience in learning, makes it so much easier to build unity of vision.
The result of that is unity of action. Really effective, joyful and a great learning experience.”
Sjoerd Luteyn – CEO at Refresh Interactions, Netherlands
elizabeth walker sobhani“I landed back in Beijing today and have great memories and new connections from the conference. It was wonderfully organized and really showed how we can have meaningful conversations related to our work.”
Elizabeth Walker Sobhani – Managing Director Lotus Consulting, Beijing
kami“It is a time of profound change for many of the global organisations we work with. Me and team found the EBBF events a rich environment to explore new trends and build ideas on how we can better serve society through the work we do. The diversity of experience  and the participants hopeful outlook made this a wonderful opportunity for us to think new thoughts and dream new dreams.”
Kami Lamakan – Principal at The Loop, UK
Nauman and Anila Hussain“It was an amazing conference, the quality is very very high, my wife loved it as well. EBBF is a great soil of cultivating great and inspiring business ideas… I LOVE IT and then put it into practice”
Nauman and Anila Hussain
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.12.46“Many thanks to you and all of the group for their tolerance, acceptance and fully including me and allowing me to contribute freely to the debate. Indeed, I have enjoyed quite positive and constructive time. Free meaningful conversations, with little agenda or pressure, and real positive spirit. I have also enjoyed many people and started to develop friendship. I have already linked up at least with seven interested people/organizations around growing trees. Went back to Geneva quite charged with positive energy and thinking, which are badly needed for heavy work schedule during rest of the year” Mohammed Mukhier
natalija gnezdova“I want to thank you for the fantastic conference in Barcelona. From many different events and conferences I have been on, I have a feeling that ebbf ones have the biggest impact on me. And I was thinking that it is probably because people I meet there share the same values and want to make a difference. And when you share the same values and have similar inspirations, the subject you discuss doesn’t really matter. Because you can find yourself in pretty much every conversation. So thank you for all the hard work to you and the team for organizing the conference!”  Natalija Gnezdova 
michel zahrai“Very enriching event by the depth of the conferences and workshop but also by the quality of the individual discussions. A great place to meet likeminded people in search for personnal enhancement. I will definatly maintain contacts open during the year and look forward next year’s encounter.” Michel Zahrai
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.23.05“I am so glad I went to EBBF this past weekend. I had a great time, meeting people and joining in on some great conversations. Thank you to you and the other organizers for putting on a great event. …. I was starting to lose hope, you know. EBBF was a good reminder that it is possible to have it all. However long my life is, I can have a life driven by purpose and passion, doing what I love with people whom I love.” Rachel-Xiaolu Han
Roxann StaffordFired-up, inspired, and ready to take action, thanks everyone! Hope! Empathy! Trust! Redefining success opens us up to opportunities and is transformative.
Roxann Stafford
Monique Blokzyl“What a wonderful ebbf weekend with so many opportunities to support, serve and encourage aspiring entrepreneurs – I enjoyed running two great workshops with Jahan Tavangar with an incredible variety of dream enterprise ideas, rounding it off powerfully yesterday morning when three of the ideas were presented to the great ebbf conference audience… an idea to offer a very nourishing drink to millions of kids in Africa avoiding brain damage before they turn 15, one idea to build a financing company to support an autistic children support foundation and one creating a hallmark and connection platform for corporates, customers and social causes to support ethical production. If each one of these ideas become a dream enterprise they will make a huge difference.”
Monique Blokzyl
jelena hercberga“ebbf has this ability to create a great environment where you can interact with people and enjoy each conversation, getting a new insight, discussing it and coming up with a new fresh mindset.
In one same event you can have different conversations on different topics of interest to you and new ones you had never explored, each time enjoying the interaction with different people from very different backgrounds and experiences: this is inspiring!
It’s so much more than just reading an article or watching a TED talk. Through these interactions you can get more, exploring, deepening and getting information and new ideas in a different way.”
Jelena Hercberga

Whilst the central part of ebbf learning events are the “meaningful interactions”, we list here the speakers that will spark the elevating explorations.

vafa akhavanVafa Akhavan, USA
Global executive and management consultant. He is a senior adviser at NueBridge, a values based advisory firm serving corporate, early stage and private equity clients.
Previously Vafa served as President and CEO of The Forum Corporation, a global consulting firm based in Boston. Prior he was responsible for Global Operations at McGraw Hill’s $1.2 billion Information & Media segment. He moved to McGraw Hill after its acquisition of J.D. Power where he was leading the global consulting division of the firm.
Vafa has worked with clients around the world including Wells Fargo, T-Mobile, Mazda, SunTrust, ONEX, VW, LAX, Alaska Airlines, Avis, Rogers Communications, SiTEL, Barclays Bank, Comcast, H.I.G. Capital, Standard & Poor’s, Chrysler, Telecom Italia, Ricoh, TD Ameritrade, AT&T, Xerox, Oracle, and MetLife.
Vafa is an award winning filmmaker and has served on the Board of Advisers for The Children’s Theatre Company in New York, Counselling In Schools National Network, and CDS Global. He is currently an Executive Board Member of SwissVBS, a Swiss based L&D Management firm.

luis monteiroLuís Monteiro, Portugal
After ten years of consulting experience at Altran, he was responsible for Altran Portugal nearshore business unit, focused on European business engagement/development, talent recruitment and team management. Luis has very recently made the jump to a new challenging experience and is currently the Head of the Professional Services at Unit4 in Portugal managing a brand new nearshore Global Delivery Centre located in Lisbon.
He is passioned for people, and he truly believes on people oriented leadership which has helped him to create strong bonds with his old teams and is now allowing his new team to thrive.
Luís holds a Master’s Degree in Telecommunication and Information Systems Engineering from the Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa, Lisbon.

Alain GauthierAlain Gauthier, France & California
As an international consultant, coach, educator-researcher, and author, I now focus my work on developing evolutionary co-leadership and partnering capabilities in and across the private, public, and civil society sectors. I am passionate about integrating the inner and outer dimensions of change and leadership, both at the individual and collective levels – in the service of a new evolutionary paradigm. An HEC (Paris) graduate, Stanford University MBA, and former senior consultant at McKinsey & Company, I have served for 50 years a wide range of clients on four continents. Last year, I published the Kindle eBook “Actualizing Evolutionary Co-leadership – To Evolve a Creative and Responsible Society”, which points to breakthroughs in leadership and organizational development. I have also been teaching a Master’s degree course on evolutionary coaching at Paris 2 University for 10 years

emanuel gavertEmanuel Gävert, Sweden
After joining Cadbury in 2009, Emanuel is, via various marketing and innovations roles in Cadbury, and post-acquisition in Kraft Foods, now Senior Manager, Global Chocolate, for Mondelēz International, the world’s largest chocolate company (Mondelēz International is a spin-off of Kraft Foods Inc.). Before joining Cadbury he led AIESEC, a youth leadership development organization – locally, nationally, regionally and globally.
In 2012 he was one of 28 scholars of the UK marketing academy, an un-matched learning program aiming at ‘turning the marketing talent of today into leaders of tomorrow’.
In 2014 he was an inaugural member of the Marketing Week and Adobe ‘VISION 100’ list and awarded young marketing leader of the year in Marketing Society awards for excellence.
Clarity, compassion, conviction and integrity are his values and personal interests include sport, nature, reading, psychology, creativity, meditation, education and sustaining-ability (sustainability).
He is a driven, thoughtful and inspired leader who is passionate about brands and loves the intersection of strategy, creativity and values driven business performance. Ultimately he wants to grow brands and businesses in harmony with all aspects of society. He is the author of two books within the area of organizational psychology and influencing.
During his professional career he has lived in 5 countries and traveled to 50, now making his home in Zurich, Switzerland.

Graham Boyd, UKgraham boyd
Graham’s passion is helping people and organisations find better ways of being profitable and a force for good for society and nature. He’s always worked with systems, from his first career as a particle physics theorist, through his second career as a manager with Procter and Gamble in Belgium and China, to his current career. These days Graham is helping people in companies do better work with less stress. Some of this is in hosting dialogue processes, consulting on innovation across the organisation, but mostly this centres on a new way of looking at learning and development, looking at it as a process starting long before the learning event and lasting until long after the event. The outcome of the learning process (how much new learning someone puts to work on the job) depends much more on the work environment, and very little on the learner. We help companies see clearly what to do to release their human potential through effective learning processes. Which means people can learn faster, with less stress, and are enabled to deliver at a more meaningful level.

marc avanzoMarc Avanzo, India 
Marc is a leadership consultant, executive coach and change facilitator, passionate about personal transformation and helping create work cultures that foster self actualisation, mutual understanding and communication flow across functions. The diverse world cultures are his favorite playground.Marc has been working as an external coach and leadership facilitator for Mc Kinsey and regularly taking part in ambitious long term cultural change programs in organisations consisting of personal transformation workshops with groups and one on one coaching.Since 2009, Marc is based in Delhi where he worked for the World Health Organization as Head of the Staff Development and Learning Department for the South Eastern Asia Regional Office, before setting up his own company in leadership consulting and coaching: Art 360 Consulting and Coaching Pvt Ltd.Marc has a background in Electrical Engineering from Grande École Supélec, Paris, and the Techniche Universität Darmstadt, Germany, and an MBA from INSEAD Fontainebleau. He started his career in the Marketing field for telecom providers both in the UK and in France (AT&T and Vivendi Universal).Marc’s other passions include playing musical instruments and jamming with musicians. He also enjoys Yoga and Somatics practice to keep his inner balance and awareness.

marc riversMarc Rivers, Switzerland
CFO Roche Pharma.
Marc Rivers was appointed Head of Finance of the Pharmaceutical Division of Roche in February 2013. Previously he was the Region Finance Head of Western Europe after four years as the Region Head of Finance for Asia Pacific. He joined Roche in 2005 in Basel, Switzerland as Head of Finance for Global Pharmaceutical Development.
Prior to joining Roche, Marc held various finance roles at Eli Lilly including Regional Finance Director for Eastern Europe, CFO of Japan and various financial roles at Lilly’s US headquarters.
Marc obtained a Masters in International Business Studies from the University of South Carolina in 1995 and is a dual US and Swiss citizen.

s200_valerie.davisValerie Davis, Canada
Valerie is a respected leader coach who supports transformational change. Her experience in senior leadership roles in global corporations allows her an informed perspective on the challenges leaders face. Valerie has founded two successful leadership development companies in her career and she also works with a number of international consulting consortia. Recently she served in the role of Head Coach at the Niagara Institute for International Studies. She holds a Masters of Science in Organization Development from the American University/National Training Labs in Washington, D.C., a Masters of Arts in Human Development, is a certified Professional Coach from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, and is currently a Ph.D. student at the Fielding Graduate University, focusing on leadership.

Mariana Brilhante, Portugal
Mariana works for the Social Business Lab at the IES-Social Business School, bringing social innovation to companies and developing the B Corp movement in Portugal & Africa Lusophone.
She has spent the previous five years of her life working in countries around the world, Nigeria, Uganda, Colombia and Guatemala, where she explored her love for travelling and understanding different cultures. Mariana joined the IES-Social Business School to work in the area of training, but feels truly made to work at the Social Business Lab, where she contacts with companies who want to make a difference in the world. One of Mariana’s favourite quotes is “Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” (George Bernard Shaw)

majke ronneMajke Rønne, UK
Maike is currently Head of E-Commerce at on AG, responsible for bringing a new innovative running shoe to the market through e-commerce.Previously she was Senior Digital Strategy Consultant at Webrepublic AG in Zurich, responsible for growing the consultancy through client and project acquisition as well as defining the department’s strategy and method, agile strategy.Prior to that she was Senior Product and Account Manager at Next Jump in London, United Kingdom.Her global exposure started when she lead the strategic direction of AIESEC Western Europe and North America (2006/2007), AIESEC Denmark (2005/2006) and AIESEC Copenhagen (2004/2005). Responsible for project development.

Nikyta Guleria, India
Nikyta has packed many years of international work experience into her 24 years of life. Work in AIESEC, in global self-managed NGOs, non-profit and for-profit enterprises. Each experience has brought Nikyta closer to her passions of understanding businesses structures, and how each individual, with all their complexities, is a catalyst in this environment.
Her ever evolving experience working with students, start-ups, social enterprises and international organization, showcased the complexities of individual understanding of themselves and their environment, which further fuelled her understanding of how structures need be a means to an end, and not the end itself.As current head of edge in India, Nikyta has been a key partner in the edge leadership team, working with Graham Boyd (CEO) to transform edge from a non-profit to a for-profit business. Nikyta currently works with a number of businesses, many of whom have shared common understanding of this wave of transformation that is taking place across business.

wendi momenWendi Momen, UK
She is chair of ebbf, a publisher, working for George Ronald, Publisher, Oxford.She describes herself as a social activist and is involved in a number of organisations with a related purpose: the betterment of humanity. Her interests range from business to health, housing and criminal justice, to the advancement women, the arts, philanthropic giving and interreligious dialogue. She serves on a number of boards, including as NonExecutive Director of NHS Bedfordshire, secretary of the UK National Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, now part of UN Women), Trustee of the MultiFaith Centre at the University of Derby and Vice Chair of the Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation. She has recently been appointed Governor of the London School of Economics.She has been a magistrate in the criminal court since 1982 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). She is a founder member of Advance and is a member of Soroptimist International (SI Bedford) and an individual member of the National Council of Women.She holds a BSc in Economics and a Ph.D. in International Relations, both from the London School of Economics.