Led by Nyenrode professor and senior management consultant Tom Cummings, around 50 participants discussed impact, partnership and leadership in The Hague during the NLWorks networking event ‘Creating Business with Impact’ on April 7th 2022. Partners across industries and from different nationalities contributed to the discussions. With a visit from Wampie Libon, Director International Enterprise at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Leading business with impact
“Creating impact starts with purpose: what do you want to do in the world? And what do you want to inspire others to do?” During the event, Professor Tom Cummings cleverly guided the attendees through table discussions about 3 important pillars of business: impact, partnership and leadership. With plenty of room for sharing experiences. The partners were asked to reflect on the questions: ‘what is impact in a changing world?’, ‘what is essential for an effective partnership?’ and ‘what makes a great leader?’
When asked about why it is important to discuss business and impact together, Cummings is clear: “I think we have no choice. We are in a stage and age of humanity where all businesses have to start thinking about their contribution to the well-being of humanity. And that well-being means staying within the earth’s limits, and making sure the social aspect of our businesses is sustainable. In order to achieve that, collaboration is key, and it was a lot of fun to see that collaboration in practice today with the NLWorks partners.”
In different groups, the attendees discussed the topics and, most of all, networked. Analyst at ECOR Global Giulia Viero says: “I’m very happy to be here. I came here to meet old friends, after not being able to see each other due to the global pandemic. But I’m also here to brainstorm how we can cocreate together in the future. It was important for us to be here so we can kick-off new initiatives but also to continue where we left off in our current projects.”
Another attendee, Sustainability Strategist at Except Integrated Sustainability Pelle Berkhout agrees: ‘With the challenges we face today it is necessary to focus on business with impact. There were so many people from different sectors here, with one common goal: creating impact. That made it easy to align with people and create new partnerships, so that was great.”
Facing global challenges together
To highlight the importance of creating business with impact within international enterprise, Wampie Libon, Director International Enterprise at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs also visited the event. She says: “To use Dutch solutions for global challenges, we need to work together continuously. And I think talking about the topics of impact, leadership and partnership together today, makes it possible for us to achieve that impact. We have a lot of Dutch knowledge and expertise to offer, and working together with other countries, we can make that impact even bigger.”
During the lively drinks after the table-discussions, it is clear that – after a long time of not being able to meet in-person – it is great to see partners and colleagues again. Karin Bax, Director of NLWorks reflects on the day: “I have seen so many people bouncing ideas off each other, but also exchanging phone numbers and e-mail addresses. And that is what we wanted to spark with this event, to help facilitate new partnerships and business.” The April 7th event was NLWorks’ first live networking event of its kind. “And I am sure it will not be our last”, Bax says.
Download a visual summary of the discussed topics of impact, leadership and partnership during the event below.