On Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th June 2019, I had the amazing experience of attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (#GES2019) in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Co-hosted by the governments of the United States and the Netherlands, it showcased the depth and breadth of innovations that are improving lives around the world, and the critical role of governments in enabling environments for innovation to thrive.
Making the world a better place
Around 2000 entrepreneurs, investors and decision makers from around the globe came together with a focus on making the world a better place for us all. It was structured around five themes:
Recap and overview of #GES2019
Whether you attended the event or not, their website is a well worth a visit, it’s a treasure trove of information: https://www.ges2019.org
The recap video below gives a good overview:
GES TV captured much of the action, you can watch videos from the main stage, solutions stage and other parts of the event here: https://www.youtube.com/c/theGESsummit
Ideas from Europe Solution Stage
I attended with the Ideas from Europe team, and spent most of the two days at the Solution Stage. Based on the five themes above, (Health, Energy, Water, Food, Connectivity) the Solutions Stages brought stakeholders together to provide a 360 view on purpose and profit driven innovations. It aimed to help innovators and investors move from constraints to opportunities, leading to better and faster development of solutions to global problems.
At these sessions, I was managing the Ideas from Europe Twitter account. This was a high paced role where I was listening for “tweetables” (short summaries of what was happening on stage) and sharing on their account: https://twitter.com/ideasfromeurope
Ideas from Europe
Tess Rutgers van Rozenburg-Rottier and Sonja van Meerbeek are the dynamo leaders of the Ideas from Europe team. It was an absolute privilege to work them as well as Zuzana Wilms, Mats Spitholt and Hannah Foaden.
Launch of new Dutch Startup Policy
One of the most valuable elements of this event was the opportunity to talk to lots of very inspiring people, including Prince Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau, who leads a support programme for the Dutch startup/scaleup system. The new policy was launched at #GES2019, called #TechLeapNL. This follows the previous #StartUpDelta project.
Both initiatives work towards making The Netherlands a supportive environment for Tech StartUps to grow. The video below is a recording of the press conference I attended. You can hear me ask a question at 21:45 about what tech skills I should be teaching myself, my students and my children. I loved their answers, and was fortune to further the conversation briefly after the press conference.
The Hague University of Applied Sciences
For the last few years, I’ve worked on connecting my students at The Hague University of Applied Sciences with the Ideas from Europe team for real world experience and case studies. It was fabulous to be able to do this in the past by bringing students to the 2018 Ideas from Europe final.
This year, my third year Bachelor’s Students (in the International Business programme) and MICM (Masters in International Communication Management) students worked on an assignment to analyse the social media use of Ideas from Europe, and propose a new strategy. Three students then had the opportunity to attend #GES2019. Unfortunately one was sick, and another had a family emergency but Master’s student Hanneke Vermeulen joined the Ideas from Europe team to talk with attendees about the online marketplace programme they just launched.
After Party at the Beach
The event wrapped up with a fabulous after-party at the beach. Fabulous food and great company made it an amazing night. The atmosphere was something I wish we could create more in everyday life, where people from all around the world simply struck up conversations with others. We all have so many things in common and so much to learn from each other.
The opportunity to attend this event was incredible. I learned so much from the presentations and conversations. I’m raising two little global citizens (who are now 10 + 12) and I really hope that we can ensure a positive future for them. There are so many global challenges we face, but it gives me so much more hope and positivity knowing that there are initiatives like this that are tackling them in a practical way on a global scale.
My own (extensive!) photo album is here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/7R2PzdPfNnzbFZAKA