Riddle me this: what will you do if you have the opportunity to interact with some of the most
brilliant minds from all over the world? Will you jump at the opportunity?
This was what I did when I heard the Dialogue application had started. I jumped at the opportunity with
utmost enthusiasm. I wasted no time in carefully putting my application documents together in
order to apply for the 20th World Business Dialogue.
“change is the only thing that is constant in life, you can either learn to swim or go down under”
You see, prior to this, I had heard amazing stories about how awesome the World Business Dialogue is,
and naturally, being someone greatly invested in personal and professional development,
I strongly craved experiencing this myself.
The theme of the 20th World Business Dialogue was “Facing Change” and this resonated
personally with me at that time because I had recently moved to a country where English is not
their primary language and one which has a somewhat different culture altogether. Oh and almost
two years down the line, the language still drives me nuts, just in case you were wondering how
that is going. As you can imagine, I was facing real change, and practically drowning in it.
But you see, given that change is the only thing that is constant in life, you can either learn to swim or
go down under. I am not being dramatic. This is just the truth.
“I left the Dialogue inspired more than ever to be the best me that I could be.
So, what I am trying to say is that I wrote my motivation letter from somewhere deep; born
from a strong desire to know for certain that individuals, governments and businesses are thinking
ahead and preparing to ensure we as a collective species are ready to face inevitable change. That
we are learning to swim. I got selected to attend the Dialogue and subsequently got matched to a
3-day Creation Lab with one of the partner companies. From day one, interaction with every
delegate I met proved to be an exhilaratingly enlightening experience, and on the final day, I left
the Dialogue inspired more than ever to be the best me that I could be. One would think that after
so many days full of intensive activities, one would almost be drained of physical and mental
energy. This was not the case. I left the Dialogue with more energy than I went in with. I left with
renewed strength to face change head-on; with utmost faith in our collective ability to innovate
and stay ahead as a species.
To sum up my experience, the 20th World Business Dialogue taught me three key things:
– When it comes to innovation one should assume there is no box; let your imagination run
wild. Do not attempt to tame it.
– No matter how crazy your idea may seem, put it out there. You will surely find someone
who your idea will resonate with. It’s not impossible, it just hasn’t been discovered yet.
– There is strength in diversity. If we truly want to solve pertinent world problems, we need
to embrace diversity. Tackling problems from different perspectives is a surefire way to
discover sustainable and lasting solutions
The Dialogue creates an enabling environment which fosters interpersonal relationships; a
place where you can strike up a conversation with random people about Artificial Intelligence
and proceed to have an intellectual discourse about this. A place where you can learn from
others while making friends from around the world. This is but a snippet of the amazing time
I had at the Dialogue. Are you seeking to expand your horizon also?
Author: Ayodeji Oloruntoba
Ayodeji, originally from Nigeria, is currently doing his masters in Environmental Engineering at the Technische Universität Hamburg (TUHH).
Ayo took part in the 2017 World Business Dialogue and attended a Creation Lab together with our partners Covestro.