Meetings with the CEOs of large Spanish companies to reflect on the social and business impact of good sustainability management. We have already held three editions in which the top executives of companies such as Ebay, Ericsson, General Electric, HP, IBM, Leroy Merlin and Pfizer, among others, have participated.
third edition of CEO Challenges has brought together executives from large Spanish companies to reflect on the use of technology in search of a challenge of common and responsible use.
Digitizing with values. Creating technological and responsible business models, organized together with APD, Valora and Pfizer, served to share a multi-sector perspective on the challenges that companies face in the era of data and technology to also be a responsible company.
The focus of this conference has been on new responsible business models and has deepened in the second panel in the digitalization in the health sector. The meeting was welcomed by Antonio Brufau, president of Repsol; Enrique Sánchez de León, Managing Director of APD and Francisco Román, president of SERES Foundation. The meeting was closed by Francisco Polo, Secretary of State for the Digital Advance of the Ministry of Economy.
The first panel,
Digital Strategies for a Sustainable Future, featured
José Antonio López, President and CEO of
Marta Martínez, President of
IBM Spain, Portugal, Greece and Israel; and
Juan Orti, President and CEO of
American Express Spain.
The second panel discussion,
Health and Development, Models of shared responsibility between society and business, was formed by
Maite Hernández, director of the
José Manuel Inchausti, CEO
María Vila, president of
Medtronic Ibérica and was moderated by Ana Sainz, general director of the SERES Foundation.
"Technological disruption demands the ability to adapt at a speed of change that humanity has never known. Faced with this new reality, what is a stake is the very essence of the social contract, with which we have been able to grow, in societies like ours. In this context, companies are the bodies with the greatest and best capacity to adapt."
“There are two great phenomena happening in the world right now, one has to do with all of us in the long run. What I would sum up as the risk of ecological collapse. The other has to do with technological disruption and the speed of change that impacts all of us. On the one hand, we have the ubiquity of digital technology that is absolutely present in everything and, on the other hand, the increasing union of the physical, and biological and digital worlds.
Technological disruption requires the ability to adapt at a speed of change that humanity has never known. Faced with this new reality, what is at stake is the very essence of the social contract, with which we have been able to grow, in societies like ours. If inequality is growing, if the gaps are widening because we are unable to adapt to this change, the very essence of our own society is at stake. The social contract is what is at stake.
In this context, companies are the most adaptable agencies in
Darwinian terms. It is logical that their response in terms of rapid change is the most immediate and the most necessary. They are an indispensable agent in the transformation of society. Moreover, society is demanding it. All stakeholders, from the employees themselves, to the investors, to the customers.
In SERES we are aware of this transformation. In SERES we are a transformational movement of the companies themselves. 140 companies that represent 30% of the national GDP and 70% of the Ibex 35. We aspire to transform the companies, the businesses so that, in a profitable way, you increase your social impact. We focus on social impact because when we talk about Corporate Social Responsibility we understand that it is the most demanding dimension. The other dimensions, the economic, environmental and good governance dimensions, are more demanding in terms of compliance, in some ways they are better known, more regulated. The truth is that the social part is not the natural terrain of action of companies.
These 140 companies come together to learn together, to develop tools that are useful to us, to show the way, to scan the horizon, to cooperate, to innovate.
Somehow I like to quote a phrase from Emerson that says,
"don't go where there is a road but, where there is no road, go forward and leave your mark.” That's what we aspire to do. To be one of the lights in this movement of transformation, which needs catalysts to accelerate change.
We have been in this effort for 10 years, this year is our tenth anniversary and we want to celebrate it in a special way, taking new energy and offering new challenges to the companies that are in SERES and inviting all the others. It is an enormous satisfaction to be able to participate here today and that the people who are going to debate share with us visions of the companies that they represent.”
"The group of pioneering companies that make up SERES believes in alliances and collaboration between different organizations to multiply the positive social impact. The ideal scenario we expect for the company in general: leaders committed to the digital transformation, taking advantage of the opportunities of technology, but always putting people at the
Ana Sainz, General Director of the SERES Foundation
“In SERES we work to promote economic progress hand in hand with social progress. A company can only be competitive when it builds a healthier and stronger society at the same time.
When we speak of digitalization, it is inevitable to allude to the social transformation it causes. While the challenges are global, technological disruption has a direct social impact on sectors such as health. There are 820,000 children dying annually from waterborne diseases. Currently, one third of the population is ill. How is it possible that we still do not have applications of technology that would allow the most vulnerable groups to enjoy a better quality of life?
In this sense, in Spain we must be aware of two demographic challenges that impact the health sector. That of child poverty, which brings with it issues such as obesity, and that of the ageing population.
The group of pioneering companies that make up SERES believes in alliances and collaboration between different organizations to multiply the positive social impact. We are proud to see how companies like those present in this debate are being transformed. The ideal scenario that we expect for the company in general: leaders committed to the digital transformation, taking advantage of the opportunities of technology, but always putting people at the centre.
We need a leadership with a global vision, which takes into account the needs of the most vulnerable groups, always taking into account how the purpose of our work and our organization can contribute to the person.”