Finding meaning beyond profit: NZ hosts summit


Following on the heels of an international American Express survey that confirms the vast majority of millennials want to change the business landscape to one that does good, New Zealand is to host a summit on the subject in February.

The theme of the Global Speakers Summit (GSS) to be hosted at Sky City in Auckland in late February –also possibly the biggest gathering of high profile influencers in 2018 – will tackle the subject “From Leader to Legacy: A Global Journey”, which deals with how business can find meaning beyond just money.

The GSS follows the just released American Express report, Redefining the C-Suite: Business the Millennial Way, which surveyed 1,363 Millennials and 1,062 Gen Xers in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The report found that millennials overwhelmingly want a double bottom line (profit and purpose) – and they’re prepared to make career and income sacrifices to achieve it.

Susan Sobbott, president of American Express Global Commercial Payments said “Millennials are seeking work with meaning beyond just making money, and they’re willing to make trade-offs to achieve their own definition of success”.

The GSS is brought to Auckland by The National Speakers Association of New Zealand (NSANZ) to help kick-start the discussion locally about how businesses can make a positive difference for people and the planet, while also being well-run and profitable.

NSANZ’s Elias Kanaris, who is also the President-Elect of the Global Speakers Federation, said he has just returned from a meeting in South Africa about diversity intelligence and reconciliation, where it became clear to him that New Zealand can help lead much needed social transformation – this time in the workplace.

“New Zealand was at the forefront of the anti-apartheid and anti-nuclear movements, and we championed the right of women to vote. We can do the same for leading a change in business attitudes from one that is focussed on profit at all costs, to one that places equal importance and investment in staff and purposeful business.

The GSS will bring some of the world’s leading thinkers together with local businesses to discuss how global business can leave a legacy for generations to come.

New Zealand’s only Global Speaking Fellow Mike Handcock will chair GSS 2018, which will feature speakers such as female Black Hawk pilot and combat veteran, bestselling author Elizabeth McCormick, Australia’s ‘The Relationship Guy’ Lindsay Adams (CSP) and author and speaker on business creativity Fredrik Härén who, Forbes magazine writes, owns multiple islands where he lets people stay for free.

The summit in Auckland is only the fifth worldwide event to be held since 2000 and is expected to earn the city more than $2m in revenue – a considerable achievement because Auckland had to be beat out Monaco, the USA, Germany, the UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia for the rights.

Part of New Zealand’s business case was the opportunity for corporate companies to purchase a table at GSS 2018, where those attending will be treated to stories about triumph over adversity, meet high profile thought leaders and learn how to tell their own compelling stories, write a book or succeed in online marketing, or unravel the mysteries of science, spirituality and entrepreneurship.


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