They say time can be your enemy. But it can also be your friend. And that's certainly the case for the team at Xynteo. Since the curtains closed on our award-winning Xynteo Exchange/Norway last November, the crew has worked ridiculously hard with our partners to create another impactful experience for this year's Exchange. And the moment we get to share those efforts with the world is now just 100 days away. We can't wait! In just 100 days, we get to once again engage with a range of pioneering leaders who will inspire us with their personal stories, challenge us to revisit age-old assumptions, and above all, urge us to double down on our efforts to create a new kind of growth. The likes of #metoo activist Rose McGowan, former renegade Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, and newly minted CEO of the Fortune#16 company Verizon, Hans Vestberg, promise to shake us up to the new realities and opportunities. In 100 days, we get to once again work shoulder to shoulder during innovation workshops with 500 committed changemakers – across a range of industries, sectors, disciplines and borders – to positively impact critical systemic challenges such as food and agriculture, resilient cities, development financing, and the ocean economy. And in 100 days, we get to once again experience another 50 live initiatives that are working at the intersection of commercial opportunity and human necessity. Each with the need to connect with the right talent and capital to drive impact at scale (and one with the chance to win a huge grant!). But of course, when we reflect on why we're doing this, time quickly becomes our darkest enemy. Across the physical, social, economic and political spheres, there are fractures that grow wider with every day. They not only threaten to unravel the progress made by those giants whose shoulders we now stand on, but also put at risk the futures of those who follow in our footsteps. We need to respond, and with purpose. As Svein Tore Holsether, CEO of Yara and Chair of the Xynteo Exchange/Norway, puts it, "traditional thinking often keeps us from rocking the boat. But if we continue to sit still in the boat, it will capsize!". And thankfully, as humanity has done time and time before in the face of crisis, it rallies to the challenge. Government, business and civil society are increasingly combining forces, injecting creativity with capital, and tenacity with talent, to unlock commercial opportunities that work with nature (not against it), that bring benefits to the many (not just the few) and that drive growth over generations (not just quarters).
As a result, we now have a window of opportunity to not only avoid meltdown, but rewire the way we grow. As our friend Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever, puts it, "we could be the generation, in the next 15 years, that solves the issue of poverty, that solves the issue of climate change." That is why we at Xynteo, together with the support of Exchange partners including Yara, Mastercard, the City of Oslo, Nordea, Norsk Hydro and Shell, are so keen to come together with a diverse group of like-minded, committed leaders in just 100 days to impact the way we grow our economies, our companies and ourselves – or as we call it at Xynteo, reinventing growth. In that sense, time is our friend – because we don't have a moment to lose. This is the first in a series of blogs on connecting talent, capital and ideas from Chester Cunningham, Director of the Xynteo Exchange/Norway. For further details, please visit https://xynteo.com/the-xynteo-exchange-norway-2018/