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The Next Opportunity in Rome

Surrounded by the utter beauty of the "eternal city", I got to do my last Master of Ceremony duty this year for "EMEA Confluence" by Infosys in Rome. They became carbon neutral in 2020, so the event's topic was: how can the digital transformation be the next opportunity to become more sustainable?

Alan Smith OBE & Grace Francis presented "The Climate Game" - with no smaller goal than saving the planet by keeping global warming to 1.5° by cutting CO2 emissions. Yes! Let's play here:

Yanis Varoufakis, the cool professor, ended his compressed lecture on history & economics on a rather dooming note regarding the future of our economies, but still sure "technology has immense power to do good" and calling out for "reason and hope - both at the same time."

Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever, knows the world of business sharks first-hand. Now a self-declared "prisoner of hope", he outlined his vision for "Net Positive" from his eponymous book and described why the needed change can be one of the "biggest business opportunities of all times".

Megan Reitz knows that if we want employees to be innovative, we have to create space that allows them to speak up, as "speaking up is relational" and "how you show up affects the voices around you".

Also, I got the chance to talk to surely my most famous interviewees to date, Formula1 legend David Coulthard & former tennis world champion Garbine Muguruza - about the long path to success, failures and the importance of teams in a sports that puts only one person into the limelight.

David, nicknamed DC since he was little, certainly had a driving that was "pure dead brilliant" - as a real Scot would say - but since retiring from the racetrack 14 years ago hasn't managed to get even one speeding ticket, he disappointedly admitted.

"Mugu", as friends sometimes call her, shared that yes, dealing with failure gets slightly easier - but winning never does.

And both shared about how they give back. Garbine is an ambassador to Room to Read, a charity enhancing the literacy of girls. David set up "More than Equal" - bringing women into Formula1 - because, he told us, his sister was equally talented when they were kids. Still, only he got pushed further. His sister died at the age of 35, so at the end of his life, when he meets her again, he wants to be able to tell her - at least he tried to bring change.

After all of that, I received a feedback that touched me deeply when one participant said: "Watching you on stage, I had to think of my daughter. She is 14, and I thought when she is your age, I hope she will be as graceful as you are."

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