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The Lens – connecting current and future business leaders

The Lens is Business in the Community’s new podcast exploring what responsible business looks like in the digital age. Powered by Fujitsu and supported by McCann, this series of short and powerful encounters brings together current and future business leaders to explore some of the risks and opportunities that will define the future of responsible business.

Listen to the first episode with Amanda Mackenzie, CEO of BITC, and Ozzie Clarke-Binns, Chair of the Youth Advisory Board, BITC, Client Lead Designtalent.

Businesses are increasingly challenged by the sheer scale and speed of economic, social, and environmental changes, meaning leaders have to find new and imaginative ways to respond. Listen to some of the challenges we are facing, and get insights into the practical ways business leaders are addressing these.

Introducing The Lens with:
• Gail Greengross, Director of Communications, Business in the Community
• Sergio Lopez, Head of Integrated Production, EMEA at McCann Worldgroup
• Juliet Silvester, Head of Responsible Business EMEIA, Fujitsu

Why are you launching this podcast? Why does it matter to you?

Sergio: As part of an agency that has been built around telling the truth about brands and the way they are meaningful to consumers, we constantly study the world around us. We feel that The Lens is a project we want to be part of because it is a way for us to better understand how our world is changing, and it is a way for us to share that knowledge with other leaders.
Gail: We wanted to find an authentic and engaging way of sharing ideas, and to listen and learn from the next generation of responsible leaders. We hope this will be a new and engaging way of demonstrating what responsible business is all about.
Juliet: We want to provide a platform that is accessible and entertaining to begin the debate on responsible business. It matters to us because there are important disruptive discussions to be had. This is an opportunity for the collective voice of both current and future leaders to be heard, and for open and honest conversations. The future generation must not just champion responsible business but help to shape it.

Why is this podcast about responsible business going to be different from all the others? Why should people bother to tune in?

Juliet: The driving force behind this podcast is to open up a new channel where both future leaders and those with years of experience can learn from each other. Tune in to hear a frank discussion about the future of business.
Sergio: The podcast brings together the experience of established leaders and the vision of future leaders at a time of great disruption in the way we conduct business. All areas of our lives are evolving at great speed, and The Lens will explore the  thinking of the people who are shaping tomorrow’s world.
Gail: The Lens is an opportunity to bring together a fascinating group of current leaders and future leaders to focus on some of the unintended consequences of the digital revolution. Listening to different perspectives and sharing ideas while challenging each other creates a very different debate about responsible business. We’ve also got the fantastic Oli Barrett MBE, co-founder of StartUp Britain, hosting our discussions!

What can current CEO's learn from a future leader about Responsible Business? Why do we need to bring the generations together?

Sergio: We believe to succeed is to combine innovation and fresh thinking with experience. Two generations, 20 years apart, have grown up in worlds that couldn’t be more different from each other. We need to explore this difference because both generations will benefit from listening to each other’s point of view.
Gail: CEOs are enabled to step outside their comfort zones to see their business from a different perspective and ensures they are open to new ways of thinking and learning.
Juliet: The tech boom has meant that the days of sitting in a boardroom are on the way out.  Knowledge and ideas come thick and fast from young people. The most innovative companies are now becoming the most successful and are creating products that are making people’s lives easier.

How do you think the world of work is changing? What’s the biggest challenge for your business?

Gail: In this digital era, one of the challenges is the speed at which people communicate, another is understanding how people are sharing knowledge is key for businesses to grow.
Juliet: The world of work is changing, physical and geographic barriers are less important, meaning there is a genuine opportunity to do business with anyone from anywhere. The biggest challenge Fujitsu has is staying relevant with the continuous changes in the pace of work.
Sergio: We have a convergence of social, technological, economic, and environmental changes all happening at the same time. We believe the biggest challenges for business are being at the forefront of this change, understanding the bigger picture, and the implications of our long-term decision making.

How are young people changing your organisation?

Juliet: Attitudes towards work are changing, the concept of the 9 - 5 may soon become a relic of the past. Young people are challenging what it is to be a worker in the IT industry.
Sergio: Young people are incredibly valuable because they are “native” users of technology that previous generations are having to learn. This experience enables young people to bring fresh ways of thinking, instinctively using technology to solve business challenges.
Gail: Young people continually disrupt and challenge the conventional ways of doing things, bringing new perspectives, new skills and new opportunities.

Listen to the second in the series now. You can download our first episode also on iTunes.