The power of real-life connection is very hard to beat. As I reflect on a few days onsite, there is one word that comes to mind: celebration, with figurative and literal fireworks all round.
We are quickly becoming familiar with a landscape of political, economic, social and climate unrest, plus unpredictable global events. Our world is tumultuous to put it mildly, so challenging the status quo can seem scary. But herein lies our greatest opportunity to make a difference. There were incredible displays of innovation, ESG & supply chain resilience in abundance. With $7 trillion of spend under management in the room, it is easy to conceive of the power and impact this community can have. A small fraction of that expenditure devoted towards real positive and purpose driven impact would and could shape the future of our planet.
Insights from the 95 sessions are too many to mention, and several came from outside of the function. Dame Helena Morrissey celebrated diversity in leadership and the importance of challenging our colleagues. Danny Bent, happiness guru and runner, reminded us of the importance of celebrating your unique self (as well as engaging the entire audience in a game of Rock Paper Scissors). Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Kanya King and Tamara Lohan, who are pioneering in their own industries, inspired us to celebrate brave leadership, while Sam McAlister gave us the tools to negotiate in any circumstance.
We culminated our time together with the World Procurement Awards 2022, hosted by the wonderful Claudia Winkleman, presenter, journalist & co-host of Strictly Come Dancing. The energy in the room was palpable as we collectively raised a glass to recognize peers and industry leaders. Hearty congratulations to Len DeCandia for a very deserved win of the Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition to celebrating, we were also able to give back through our charity partner, Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) also known as Doctors Without Borders with their valuable work in Ukraine and further afield. Alex Wade, Emergency coordinator in Ukraine from MSF spoke about their work and the impact of our support.
I am deeply grateful to all who attended: our partners, members, delegates, guests and speakers. I cannot thank my own team enough for bringing this huge event together safely…and I eagerly look forward to the next one.