• Presenting “Entrepreneurs and their Future in Society”: Lessons from Accor Group’s Success Story

    Lausanne, Switzerland - December 3, 2012

    ShARE, a think-tank that connects talented students with corporate and social leaders to discuss global economic issues, organized an event around the question of the future of entrepreneurship on December 3 at the EPFL Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson, co-founders of the Accor Group, a world leading hospitality group with over 180,000 employees and 530,000 rooms around the world shared their inspiring entrepreneurship experience (or adventure) with an international audience. Adopting a forward-looking perspective, Impact Economy’s Dr. Maximilian Martin’s impulse presentation then related Accor’s entrepreneurial success story to the larger context of entrepreneurship in our changing world: where are today’s and tomorrow’s value creation opportunities, and how do they fit with megatrends such as social entrepreneurship and sustainable capitalism? The subsequent panel discussion showed that in many ways, building blocks of the Accor co-founders’ success such as employee empowerment, downscaling quality services to previously unattended customer segments, and resource efficiency foreshadowed the drivers of value creation that are now coming to the fore with the rise of social entrepeneurship and “impact” as the emerging common denominator of economic and social action.

  • Making the Rise of Africa Sustainable: Panel at the Accenture Geneva Business Lounge

    Geneva, Switzerland - November 29, 2012

    Taking Africa to the next level is the next big thing – and it is already happening. In 2008, Africa counted one billion people with USD 1.6 trillion GDP and USD 860 billion combined consumer spending; foreign direct investment in 2010 was USD 55 billion. The 2020 forecast is USD 2.6 trillion GDP, and USD 1.4 trillion in combined consumer spending. And in 2040 when Europe and China will have greyed, we can expect 1.1 billion Africans of working age. Today, consumer facing industries on the continent already grow two to three times faster than in the OECD. Early entry into African economies provides opportunities to create markets, establish brands, shape industries, influence consumer preferences, and foster long-term relationships. But fully seizing the opportunity means empowering people on a large scale and ensuring inclusive growth. Cross-sector partnerships between corporate, public, and development sectors are key to achieve this. They carry transformative power to deliver sustainable development for all, benefitting everyone, including business. To debate these and other questions, Impact Economy Founder & Global Managing Director Dr. Maximilian Martin participated in a panel discussion at the Accenture Geneva Business Lounge on Africa’s prospects.

  • Teaching Social Investment and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Gallen

    St. Gallen, Switzerland – November 9, 2012

    Since starting the first social entrepreneurship course at the University of Gallen, Switzerland, in 2004, Impact Economy’s Dr. Maximilian Martin has returned every year to teach a course that is now titled ‘Social Investment and Entrepreneurship’. Catering to a select group of Masters students from a variety of academic backgrounds, this year the course focused on innovative financing methods, social impact measurement, and exploring how the social entrepreneurship field is developing new tools and approaches as it grows.

  • Investing in Change: Panel at Stockholm Impact Investment Seminar

    Stockholm, Sweden – November 1, 2012

    Impact Economy founder Dr. Maximilian Martin spoke alongside UK and Swedish leaders of the social investment field at an Impact Investment seminar that focused on how we can build a thriving impact investing sector in Sweden. The country seeks to build on its excellent track record on good public policy, ambitious development aid and responsible investments to now focus on finding innovative financial solutions to emerging problems. The event was co-organized by the Forum for Social Innovation Sweden and the British Council.

  • From Millionaire Entrepreneur to Monk: Drawing Inspiration from a Personal Journey of Change

    Greifenstein Castle, Switzerland – October 16, 2012

    Hosts Christian Krüger, Chairman of Krüger & Co. AG and Dr. Maximilian Martin, Founder and Global Managing Director of Impact Economy, welcomed the internationally recognized teacher Master Han Shan for an interactive evening to present his new book “Mindfulness: The Highest Form of Self-Management”. Forty guests gathered to enjoy an evening of readings and reflection with the millionaire-turned-monk in the serene setting of Greifenstein Castle in the Lake of Constance region.

  • Engagement is the Name of the Game: Impact Economy at the Sustainia Action Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark

    Copenhagen, Denmark – October 11, 2012

    The inaugural Sustainia Action Forum was a special event for Impact Economy: One of its flagship portfolio partner companies, Bio Energy Resources Ltd. (BERL) was among the world’s Top 100 sustainable initiatives honored at the Sustainia Award Ceremony at the Danish Royal Theater in Copenhagen, Denmark. Founder of Impact Economy’s partner organization R20 Regions of Climate Action and Honorary Chair of the Sustainia Award Committee, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the winner of this year’s Sustainia Award, honoring outstanding performance with regards to sustainability. Before attending the Award Ceremony, Impact Economy’s Dr. Maximilian Martin engaged in the roundtable discussion hosted by the CEO of Monday Morning and Founder of Sustainia Erik Rasmussen and Sustainia’s Executive Director Laura Storm, challenging select sustainability leaders in attendance not to be content with the current rate of progress of sustainability initiatives, but to instead seek nonlinear ways to truly put sustainability at the center of driving long-term prosperity and empowerment as the twenty-first century unfolds – finding new ways to foster engagement and making sustainability “cool”!

  • Co-Leading Ashoka U Faculty Institute at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), College of Business

    Daejeon, Republic of Korea – October 9, 2012

    In his role as Founding Ashoka U Faculty in Residence, Impact Economy’s Dr. Maximilian Martin co-led Asia’s first Ashoka U Faculty Institute on best practices in social entrepreneurship education at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the Republic of Korea, together with Marina Kim, Director of Ashoka U, and served as Faculty expert. The Faculty Institute was held on October 9-10 in connection with the inauguration activities around the new SK Center for Social Entrepreneurship at KAIST and the School’s new Social Entrepreneurship MBA (“SEMBA”). On October 10, the incoming Director of the Center, the Korean Minister of Education, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, the KAIST President, the President of the Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency, as well as other dignitaries from KAIST and Ashoka U officially inaugurated the Center. As this ambitious SK-KAIST Initiative kicks off, the goal was to enable university professors from KAIST and Korea to access best practices in social entrepreneurship education and curriculum and program design, and conduct private strategy sessions on the new program and Center.

  • French Regions’ Regenerative Energy Future: Impact Economy at reMAC Workshop in Paris

    Paris, France – October 5, 2012

    With its strategic partner reMAC, Impact Economy’s Dr. Maximilian Martin participated in another rollout session for the Regenerative Energies for Metropolitan Areas and Cities tool held in Paris, France. Representatives from the Marseille and Paris metropolitan regions participated in the workshop, with a combined population of 10.97 million, or roughly 17%% of France’s total population. Producing 78% of its electricity by nuclear power, France’s case for regenerative energy is particularly intriguing.