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The Year that Ruined the CEO’s Agenda: Istmo Forum 2020

Established in 1959 by Dr. Carlos Llano and a group of other illustrious businessmen, Istmo magazine was founded to provide a source of information and discussion among the Mexican business community. Over the course of the past 61 years, Istmo has adapted and evolved to respond to the needs of its readers. In 2008, the first Istmo Forum, the magazine’s flagship event, was launched to provide the Istmo community with an opportunity to engage with cutting-edge ideas and expand their networks.

In 2020, the Istmo Forum was held online for the first time in its 13-year history. Focused around the theme “Insights to Transform your Leadership,” the 2020 event was split into two separate programs, scheduled for October 20 and November 10, 2020.

The first program brought together more than 380 businesspeople, female entrepreneurs, and members of the IPADE community. With the title “The Year that Ruined the CEO’s Agenda,” the program offered participants the opportunity to reflect on the upheaval and uncertainty that have defined 2020, as well as the importance of recognizing when it’s time to change course. However, the program also encouraged participants to recognize the incredible opportunities that have also emerged.

José Antonio Dávila, Professor of General Management at IPADE Business School, gave the welcoming remarks during the first program. He later spoke with Juan Zamora, General Director of Laboratorio Médico Polanco, and Moisés Flores, CFO of KAVAK, who shared their experiences with and reactions to the crisis, as well as how they’ve used inclusive leadership to motivate, inspire, and, above all, unite their teams.

Later in the program, Carlos Ruiz, current President of the Istmo Editorial Board, interviewed Fernando Madrigal, President of the Costa Rican Chamber of Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism and President of the Sensoria theme park in Costa Rica, and Germán Santana, Global Partnerships at Google NYC. Tax professional, writer, and international speaker Oswaldo Reyes also participated, offering a financial perspective on the situation.

Within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 ISTMO Forum focused on the importance of transformational leadership and highlighted the importance of responding to the current crisis with resilience, commitment, and hope. In the words of Rafael Gómez Nava, Dean of IPADE:

“In the face of the pandemic, there is an urgent need for leaders that are able to reinvent themselves and emerge from this challenge with new priorities, agendas, and, above all, with a singular focus on unity. Today, more than ever, the business community must unite to support the country’s economic reactivation and the development and acceleration of both new and complementary processes that allow us to reinvent and restart our activities.”

The second Istmo Forum program will be held online on November 10, with programming focused on the theme “Ensuring the Stability of Your Business.”

About Istmo

  • The magazine celebrated 60 years of uninterrupted publication in 2019, and is committed to encouraging intellectual dialogue with and among its different audiences.
  • The first Istmo Forum, held in 2008, was attended by Carlos Llano, the first dean of IPADE, and Sergio Raimond-Kedilhac, who held the position from 1980 to 2002.
  • Committed to facilitating discussion and knowledge sharing, prior Istmo Forums have focused on concepts such as Management 2020, Ideas that Inspire, Reinventing Concepts, Managing Uncertainty, and Leadership 360: Choosing Your Mindset.

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