Orquestra Tocá Rufar no Congresso The Performance Theatre
Lisbon 2015: ‘Exploring the new leadership landscape’
The leadership landscape is dramatically shifting: this year’s Performance Theatre meets in unchartered waters. Some of the world’s most inspiring and successful leaders are also some of its most dangerous. Calls for action around climate change will only get louder and bolder as the weeks continue to countdown to COP21 in Paris. And we are seeing one of the largest generations in history – the Millennials – poised to reshape the economy, forcing companies to examine how they do business for decades to come.
Our ambition for this year’s Performance Theatre, being held in Lisbon, is to draw on Portugal’s rich explorer history and build insight into the new leadership landscape. What does it look like? What can we learn from those at the front line of change? How can 21st century leadership be taught and learned?
A guiding principle throughout the theatre will be how we can reinvent growth: so it works with and not against nature; benefits larger numbers of people; and delivers value over the longer term.
The programme: Exploring the new leadership landscape
Taking our inspiration from theatre, our programme takes the form of five Acts.
The first, ‘Witnesses to history in the making’ will provide eye-opening context about the complexities of the new leadership landscape. Leaders from business, religion, humanitarian aid, and the military will each nominate a ‘witness’: a frontline actor from a major fault line of change.
Ajay Banga, CEO of MasterCard will appear alongside his nominated witness, Chetna Sinha, founder of the Mann Deshi Mahila Bank, which aspires to launch one million rural women entrepreneurs. Yves Daccord, director-general of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), will be with Omar Odeh, an aid worker specialising in protection and programme management, currently deputy head of delegation for Somalia at the ICRC. Lieutenant-general Sir Graeme Lamb has nominated James Le Mesurier, director of Mayday Rescue, Syria Civil Defence; and Bawa Jain of the World Council of Religious Leaders will appear alongside Masomah Regl, a young woman who was born in Kabul and survived a rocket attack. All have exceptional stories to tell.
Act 2 will explore entrepreneur Malcolm Forbes’ famous assumption that nobody is a leader if there are no followers. With the help of panellists including: António Mexia, CEO of EDP, António Simoes, CEO of HSBC UK; Remi Eriksen, group executive vice president and COO, DNV GL Group;and Per Heggenes, CEO of the IKEA Foundation, we will explore the nature of the current gaps – or fault lines – between leaders and their followers, and potential ways that leaders can bridge the gap.
Act 3 brings the Lisbon Dialogues, in which intimate groups of participants will discuss topics connected to our overarching theme: exploring the new leadership landscape. We will be debating the energy transition: evolution or revolution? (Dialogue 1); vanguard leadership: has our next generation of leaders been taught to play the wrong game (Dialogue 2); climate change: are we serious about two degrees (Dialogue 3); development: how can we shift the conversation from ‘aid’ to ‘investment’ (Dialogue 4); and finance: how inclusive should the financial world seek to be (Dialogue 5). With contributors including Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever;Baroness Bryony Worthington, shadow minister for energy and climate change, House of Lords; Remi Eriksen, group executive vice president and COO, DNV GL Group; and Jo Confino, executive editor of The Guardian, the stage is set for some excellent discussion.
Act 4 asks: ‘Leaders create value but can values create leaders?’ We will invite first panellists – including Jack Leslie, chairman of Weber Shandwick; and Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson – and then other participants, to share personal narratives about the role that values have played in their leadership.
Act 5 rounds off the theatre with a break-out ‘walk and talk’, where participants will be paired up to swap impressions about what has struck them during The Performance Theatre 2015 and how this might affect their leadership in the future. We will then return to plenary for a room-wide discussion, which will be followed by the presentation of the Inspired Leadership Award and the formal close of the theatre.