As we meet the extraordinary environmental, social, and political challenges of our times how can we deal a better hand for our society? That’s what we asked of our speakers at the 13th WiBF Annual Forum hosted by Deutsche Bank, delivered by livestream to hundreds of members right around Australia and our neighbouring regions.
A timely and topical discussion ensued, with plenty of retrospection and optimism that seemed to be ‘just right’. Looking back over the last 18 months, our panel took their individual learnings from the COVID crisis and applied it to how we can make business better from a social perspective in a number of crucial ways.
We extend our thanks to our Diamond member, Deutsche Bank, for their ongoing support of this acclaimed annual event and to our wonderful speakers:
- Vanessa Hudson, Group Chief Financial Officer, Qantas
- Nashen Moodley, Director, Sydney Film Festival
- Fiona Trigona, Executive General Manager and Group Treasurer, NBN Co
- Moderator: Adam Spencer, commentator, polymath, podcast host and author
As usual, the composition of the panel offered a level of intrigue that was complimented by one panellist to another, just some of the highlights and key takeaways included:
- With aviation arguably the most impacted industry and the QANTAS fleet grounded, Vanessa share her insights from a crisis management approach: how could the airline meet stakeholder expectations, while managing large scale stand-downs and frustrated customers. Focusing on what could be controlled, in spite of all that could not, the focus shifted to bringing customers and stakeholders together on a shared journey to rebuild the organisation. This thinking is now being extended to encouraging customers to take ownership of their travel-related carbon emissions, enabling passengers to share in their efforts to make the business carbon neutral as we move most pandemic.
- For the first time in its 66 year history, the Sydney Film Festival could not go ahead which was devastating news to Sydney creatives and the wider arts scene. Nashen and his team used this challenge to think laterally and develop ways for the show to go on and to ensure the festival remained a means for the community to connect. Rather than attending an international film festival, the lineup was curated entirely from Nashem’s home, an unimaginable concept prior to the pandemic. Through the use of technology, the festival delivered in spite of the physical barriers presented by the pandemic. Nashem noted that having social conversations has always been a key facet of the arts industry, with the creative industries always on the front foot of social awareness, so this year they were excited to launch a new category in the festival highlighting the film with the most social impact.
- Fiona reflected on the way in which having the NBN as a service available to all Australians was crucial to the connectivity and social fabric of the country. Throughout the pandemic, Australians were connected to telehealth, work from home, and virtual meetups with friends and loved ones. As a large infrastructure provider, she noted the imperative to factor in the full economic and social cost of their own footprint in all decision making. Maintaining infrastructure in a sustainable way is a key factor in the future of the NBN and Fiona emphasised the holistic, organisational wide emphasis on culture to drive this vision.
If you were unable to join us, or you just want to revisit the rich discussion, you can access a full recording of the livestream on your WiBF Member dashboard.