Nestlé took part in the sixth Women’s Forum Global Meeting last week to discuss and exchange ideas on major societal and economic issues.
As one of the sponsors of the event in the French town of Deauville from 14-16 October, Nestlé joined in various debates, brainstorm meetings and sessions, highlighting this year’s theme ‘Change: Make It Happen’.
To kick off the Company’s presence at the Women’s Forum, Paul Bulcke, Nestlé CEO, provided a keynote speech at the plenary session ‘Change in global health: How to combat malnutrition’ on Thursday, October 15.
The session – led by interview moderator Maria Livanos Cattaui, Member of the Board of Directors at Petroplus Holdings in Switzerland – was also attended by other keynote speakers including Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and Director of the Gapminder Foundation in Sweden; and Chris Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi-Aventis.
Also, Janet Voûte, nominated Nestlé Vice President for Public Affairs, took part in the BBC World Debate ‘Feed the World Better’ on the same day.
Mrs Voûte was joined by Dr Tim Armstrong, Coordinator of the Surveillance and Population-based Prevention Unit at the Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion, at the World Health Organization (WHO), and Professor Shiriki Kumanyika, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and co-chair of the International Obesity Task Force Steering Committee.
The debate – which will be broadcast on October 23 – also featured Karen Miller-Kovach, Chief Scientific Officer, of Weight Watchers International Inc, and Dr Sean Rickard, Senior Lecturer in Business Economics, Cranfield School of Management at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.
A brainstorming session hosted by Nestlé also took place later that day, focusing on ‘How can Africa succeed in its green revolution?’
Topics included ‘How does the African green revolution propose to address the challenges of food security on the continent?’ and ‘What are the potential obstacles, political, social, environmental and ethical, and how can these be overcome?’.
The session was facilitated by Christina Jordan, Chairperson of Evolutionize It in Belgium. Discussion leaders included Luc Christiaensen, Senior Research Fellow of UNU-WIDER in Finland; Isaac Gyamfi, Country Manager IITA in Ghana; and Lucy Kanu, Founder and Executive Director of Idea Builders in Nigeria.
Finally, Mr Bulcke featured in the ‘Diversity in action: A need or an opportunity?’ session, on Saturday, October 16. Chaired by Jean-Michel Caye, of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Mr Bulcke addressed the audience in an interview and Q&A session.
Nestlé’s participation in the Forum reinforced its commitment to its gender balance initiative, launched internally in 2008. Identified as key to the future success of the Company, the initiative will promote the environment, culture and leadership to facilitate a balanced gender mix.
During the Forum, the Company also reaffirmed its engagement in Creating Shared Value (CSV), a fundamental part of Nestlé’s way of doing business, which means that for a company to be successful in the long term, it should not only create value for shareholders but also for society at large.
A Nestlé booth at the event showcased fondation Nestlé France and the Company’s drive on CSV, alongside two interactive sessions to raise awareness on nutrition, rural development and water.
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