Conferences | WiBE Momentum Virtual Summit

19 October 2021

Our director of Business School Services Ian Hawkings reflects on witnessing the birth of a new movement. 


When an international business education conference kicks off with a dance party, you know something different is in the offing. Especially when it’s 0845 local time.

Having attended my fair share of bized conferences over the years, both physical and virtual, I can confirm that the first WiBE Momentum Virtual Summit delivered on that early assertion.

WiBE was set up, mid-pandemic, to ‘bring together women academics on issues that matter’, and the various sessions, spread over three days earlier this month, covered issues including empowerment in careers, leading through uncertain times, the future of teaching, and embracing diversity.

All of which are issues business schools have been grappling with for some time – but on this occasion the speakers were all female. And it made for a big difference. Different perspectives, different problems to solve, different solutions and, less tangibly, a different.....vibe. Right from the opening session when Lisa Leander adopted the ‘power pose’ and stated that women would ‘no longer accept 87c on the dollar’, the energy throughout was optimistic and undeniable.

On day two, there was a great roundtable, which CarringtonCrisp was proud to sponsor, featuring Monica Adya from Rutgers and Nicola Kleyn from RSM in the Netherlands on the ‘Upsides of Disruption’ - looking at how the scramble to deal with a global pandemic has led to some positive outcomes. And there was a lively session on how business schools can better embrace cultural diversity.

The event rounded off on day three with a call to action from Lisa: 'There is strength in numbers, there is strength in who you connect to, and you never know how and when your network will be useful – in your life and in your professional journey. Build your network, start your own movement.'

So if there was a theme for a conference titled ‘Momentum’, that started with a dance party, perhaps that’s it. Movement.


Photo credit: Kampus on Pexels.

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