August 2002 – World Summit on Sustainable Development

Aerial View of BMW display during World Summit on Sustainable DevelopmentThis is the culmination of my career as an event producer.

It is also its end….

In the past 10 years I have produced more than 160 events, ranging from small conferences where I only had to manage a laptop for the presenter, up to huge corporate events (once I shipped 12,500 from all over Europe to Cologne for a one-day event).

Adidas, Citibank and Proctor & Gamble. Donatella Versace, Franz Beckenbauer and Brian Ferry. I was part of the Winterolympics in Japan, the soccer Worldcup in France and an event at Universal Studios in the US.

I had met many amazing people and been to great places.

BMW at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in JohannesburgAnd now I was here at the meeting of our worlds’ leaders, trying to figure out how to manage our future. BMW was my client. They were showcasing their leadership in sustainable development.

It was the last even in a series of 10 events in different locations world-wide. I had gotten to know not only the people that were responsible for the event, but also the people that lived and breathed sustainability each day. The ones that really wanted to make a difference in the world.

And they had the backing of this large and successful company that encouraged them to spend time and money on research how BMW could be more environmentally friendly, more socially productive within the company and in their workers’ communities.

At the same time, the company was highly profitable and plans to stay that way in the future. That was a complete shift in mindset for me. My father had always told me that you have to be bad to profit. Reckless, careless, just watching the Dollars.

And yet here I was with a company that was the complete opposite. On top of that, there was a whole exhibition of companies that were on that same path.

My mind was clear: From now on, I would use my skills to support sustainable businesses.

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Passionate Management