About last Thursday ….

Growth. Shaping the future. 

What are the economic consequences in current times of rising protectionism, increasing geopolitical tensions and growing fundamentalism. Is there still hope?

On 30 March, 2017 global M&A dealmakers gathered with entrepreneurs, banks, private equity firms and service providers to discuss growth and how to shape our future. Has globalization come to an end? Is small the new big?

IMAP Chairman Jurgis Oniunas kicked off with his vision on the M&A market and IMAP’s position in this arena. The path to growth is a bumpy road. Jurgis stated that the path to abundance will never be in a straight line. That was also one of the topics of trendwatcher Adjieds Bakas who mentioned that trends are never linear and that we need sustainable economic growth for a growing world population. To achieve that we should stop focusing on efficiency- we need more craziness. In other words we have to get off the beaten track. Get out of our comfort zones.

With economist and journalist Mathijs Bouman we deep dived into the new mercantilism. Mercantilism is an economic theory and practice that was dominant in Western Europe during the 15th to the mid-18th centuries.  Its goal is to enrich and empower the nation and state to the maximum degree, by acquiring and retaining as much economic activity as possible within the nation’s borders. This implies that wealth should be obtained through trade with other countries; exporting more than it imports. By encouraging export and creating barriers for import.
According to Mathijs we are all mercantilists if we stop thinking. He believes that efficiency stagnated and that we need to embrace new technologies (e.g robots), or in his words: Please steal our jobs, to refuel labour productivity.

Our final speaker: Alexander van der Lof, CEO of TKH Group showed us how he realized TKH’s ambition to be the best company in the world. With racingsport in his families’ DNA they aimed their goals with a racing approach. “Racing seems risky – but you always take calculated risks. You don’t want to lose control, fly out of the curve and crash. But you don’t want to be so careful that you finish last either. It’s the same in business”.

Concluding the day to achieve growth you need to stand out and take risks but never forget to take your brain with you.