The world is coming – are you ready? The 2015 Pan Am Games will soon descend upon the City of Toronto and the GTA, bringing with it thousands of athletes from 41 countries and a whole lot more cheering fans, family members, and spectators. But just days before the action on the track, in the pool, and on the field kicks into high gear, another gathering of worldwide importance will take place in Toronto that is equally exciting – that is, if doing business is your sport of choice.
The Toronto Global Forum: Pan American Edition will be held July 8 – 10th this year at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The Forum brings together global corporate leaders, Heads of States, and some of the greatest economic thinkers of our time - all intent on discussing some of the most pressing issues facing the global economy and the world today.
The Toronto Global Forum is an initiative of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA), which was founded in 1994, and has been a mainstay on the global conference circuit since inception. The mission of the IEFA’s annual summits is to bring together decision makers, government officials, governors and corporate leaders to promote partnerships for corporations and foster discussions around globalization, trends and issues. It was also created to promote the role of the Americas when it comes to reforms relating to the current global economic climate. Notable speakers that have participated in past forums include Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Henry Kissinger, 56th US Secretary of State, and Marco Annunziata, Chief Economist at GE.
This year marks the 9th edition of the Toronto Global Forum. The theme is Creating Opportunities in a Connected World, and over 100 speakers and 2,000 participants will learn, listen to, and discuss a variety of topics through keynote speeches, panel discussions, plenary sessions and networking events.
So what does this all mean to a business owner, executive or industry specialist? Here are the top three reasons why you should attend this year’s Toronto Global Forum:
1. Diversity, creativity and idea sharing
The Toronto Global Forum is the premier venue for idea-sharing and discussions. Last year more than 40 international delegations took part in the Forum – which brought forth many different opinions, perspectives and viewpoints on a wide range of topics. As its central focus, a major priority of the Forum is to bring together the greatest economic minds from around the world to share insights, promote innovation, and discuss what globalization means for the business world as a whole.
The Forum showcases leaders from an array of sectors. Over 200 speakers, including Heads of State and corporate executives, offer their ideas on global economic trend and business development and foster discussion with the audience through panel discussions and plenary sessions. To note, almost 100 bilateral meetings took place at the 2014 Forum, which helped continue dialogue and strengthen partnerships.
2. Creating global connections
The first step to forging successful partnerships is networking, and the Forum provides plenty of opportunity to do so. With networking sessions at least once a day and several cocktail parties and breakfasts to take advantage of, the Forum presents many occasions to engage in discussions with major global decision makers. There is also opportunity to arrange for private meetings throughout the conference, and VIP membership to exclusive Executive Club meetings and events is available upon registration.
Past Forums have welcomed representatives from more than 100 organizations, including Export Development Canada, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank. Not to mention that last year alone almost 80 media outlets, both national and international, participated in the conference as well.
3. Continuous learning in an evolving global market
If you’re thinking of going global or even partnering with a company that does work south of the border or overseas, you probably have a lot of questions and hesitations. Even if you are not as trade- or growth-focused but are considering adopting a new leadership strategy, there is always something to learn. Globalization and governance are huge determinants in the success of any company in today’s world. Markets, new technology, and economic challenges affect all businesses, regardless of the industry.
The Toronto Global Forum offers the opportunity to learn from those that have grown successfully and those that have effectively managed crises. A glance at the Forum’s plenary sessions offer discussions on such topics as: Growth in a New Economic Era, The Internet of Everything: Connecting for Better Business, and The Challenge of Leadership Today. Many of the topics will focus on progress, global trends, and how to leverage technology to your advantage. Gaining insights from global figureheads and titans of industry like Steve Brown, Chief Futurist at Intel, and Simon Cooper, Chief Executive at HSBC, can be invaluable if you are pondering next steps with your own business.
Above all, the Forum strives to encourage business leaders to continue pushing the envelope. Whether it’s learning something new, sharing an idea, or forging a new partnership. Gatherings like this keep us moving forward. It’s never too late to learn something new that might help your business grow, or help you anticipate a growing threat on the horizon. Above all, the Forum can help you stay connected and on the pulse with what’s happening in the world around us. Are you ready?
Click here for the PDF version.