On October 12, approximately 200 business leaders gathered together at IPADE’s campus in Mexico City for the 2017 ISTMO Forum. The 2017 event was organized around the theme “Encouraging Reinvention” and featured a series of keynote and panel sessions focused on personal, professional, and societal reinvention. The audience of businesspeople, academics, and members of the IPADE community enjoyed talks from IPADE faculty and outside experts, including Silvia Cacho-Elizondo, Professor of Marketing Management at IPADE; Ferenz Feher, CEO of Feher & Feher; Eduardo Gutiérrez, Vice President of IBM México; Florentino Bernardo, CIO of Grupo Empresarial Ángeles; Guillermo Güémez, Deputy Director of Innovation of Grupo Financiero Banorte; Rodrigo Pacheco, Grupo Imagen; and Mexican alpinist and entrepreneur Héctor Ponce de León.
In her opening session, Professor Silvia Cacho-Elizondo focused on the meaning and the importance of reinvention following times of crisis. The workshop provided attendees an opportunity to discuss the meaning and importance of reinvention, as well as a cathartic opportunity to discuss the future of the city and the country following the series of major earthquakes that struck during the month of September.
Structuring her session in the form of an interactive workshop, Professor Cacho-Elizondo actively engaged with attendees to work with them to define reinvention and the benefits and challenges that it can provide on a personal, professional, and societal level.
“The fundamental question here is ‘Why?’ What is our why?” said Professor Cacho-Elizondo. “Reinventing oneself involves working to figure out if there’s a better way. Reinvention means reconfiguring our paths… leaving the beaten path, our comfort zone, to take more challenging paths without knowing where they will end, but with the hope and expectation that they will take us somewhere better than where we are now… It involves creating and improving.”
Following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on September 19, the conversation regarding reinvention took on an entirely new perspective.
“Creativity comes from crisis, fear spurs creativity… and this creativity can be applied to the many social problems that we have in Mexico,” said Professor Cacho-Elizondo. “It’s important that we not rebuild on faulty foundations. We cannot stay quiet about the current state world that we live in; it’s our responsibility to question our surroundings. The past few weeks have been extremely challenging, but it’s important to take the initiative to challenge our surroundings. We’re living in an era where it is not only a possibility but a responsibility to change the world for the better.””
“Reinvention requires rebirth, and reinvention requires non-conformity,” shared one of the many participants that contributed to the discussion. “Reinventing oneself means recognizing that something isn’t right with the way things are and then returning to the most basic aspects to build up something new.”
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