On November 20, EU welcomed the chairman of Nestlé, Paul Bulcke, and Peter Vanham, business writer and author of the popular book ‘Before I was CEO’, for an enlightening business conference in Barcelona. This event formed part of EU’s series of guest speaker sessions. These sessions aim to bring innovative and inspirational conferences to its students.
Mastering a VUCA world
During the event, Mr. Bulcke delivered an engaging presentation on his career, Nestlé values and how to navigate today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. During his presentation, Mr. Bulcke spoke about how Nestlé’s purpose and values have remained the same over the last 150 years and how they are still driving everything the company does today. “We are committed to enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. This is our purpose. That is why we exist,” he said.
Peter Vanham then joined Mr. Bulcke on stage to question him more deeply about his business career, his experience living in Latin America, his personal motivation and his family values.
Questions & answers
Guests also had the opportunity to put their questions to Mr. Bulcke in an insightful question and answer session. Students asked some incisive, challenging questions, giving Mr.Bulcke the chance to defend some of the negative Nestlé press in recent years. He offered some inspirational advice to EU students, highlighting the importance of gaining new experiences, learning about new cultures and languages, and enjoying every moment of the journey. “Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Always keep time in perspective,” advised Mr. Bulcke.
Before I was CEO
A book signing followed the conference. Mr. Vanham’s renowned book ‘Before I was CEO’, explores the personal journeys of some of today’s most accomplished business leaders, including Paul Bulcke. Students and guests also had the chance to exchange ideas and build meaningful connections during the networking coffee break.
A message from the president
Reflecting on the event, President of EU Business School, Dr. Dirk Craen said, “Mr. Bulcke is one of today’s most accomplished business leaders and Mr. Vanham is an incredibly talented business writer and professional with a wealth of knowledge and expertise. It was a true honor to welcome them to Barcelona to inspire our students, the future business leaders of tomorrow.”