Global Drucker Forum Ignites a Conversation for the New Generation

A few weeks ago, I had the extraordinary opportunity of attending the 7th Annual Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna, Austria. The ideas of Peter Drucker have always inspired and motivated me, but witnessing a live discussion and keynote presentations from global thought leaders was an experience that I will never forget. Here are my top 10 most memorable moments:

  1. Witnessing Rachel Botson of Collaborative Consumption and Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar and author of Peers Inc in action. I had greatly admired these two women prior to the forum, but to seeing them live was inspiring. They shared their determination to study the new ways of the world, and it ignited the conversation in such a dynamic and creative way. My twitter stream and notebook were both filled with 50+ quotes by the end of their panel. Afterwards, I was able to speak with Rachel, and she shared with me that her journey began with research based on a hunch. Thank you, Rachel, for validating my path as one worth staying steady.
  1. Watching Andrew Hill (Financial Times), Adi Ignatius (Harvard Business Review), Julia Kirby (Harvard Business Review) and Gillian Tett (Financial Times) lead and facilitate the forum with spontaneous humor, wit, and true representation of not just the conversation on stage but the one online, too. The four of them collectively left an unforgettable impression.
  1. Hearing Jim Keane, CEO of Steelcase and Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware speak with genuine passion about why and how people come first. Rick opened our eyes to an entrepreneurial institutional model with an equally compelling charge for investing in #millennialwomen as future leaders and the key decision makers. Jim spoke to restoring meaning to work and flipping the question to challenge peer leaders to evaluate their job and redefine it as a curator of culture. Note: To all the students I speak with across the country that tell me they are looking for an organization with an inspirational mission, authentic leadership, and an opportunity to shape and move the world, apply to work for @Tupperware and @Steelcase.
  1. Celebrating our Drucker Challenge Winners- Khuyen, Jaime, Namita & Brett- and seeing them blow the audience away with their brilliance. They dismantled every #Millennial stereotype in 45 minutes with their thoughtfulness, Drucker knowledge, and articulate responses. It was wonderful to see them onstage at the stunning Drucker Gala at Marx Halle and to celebrate their talent. The best part was watching the tweets unfold from the very people these emerging leaders admire! As they said, “Keep Calm and Drucker On.”
  1. Seeing our book on display at Manz bookstore. I was strolling through St Stephenson Square with my mother and I passed the Manz bookstore where they proudly displayed all the titles of this conference. Then I saw our very own on the top shelf! It was a pinch me moment. And I couldn’t wait to return to NYC to share this news with my mentor, Frances Hesselbein.
  1. Conversing over lunch with Joseph Maciariello and his wife, Judy, and also joined by Michael Wang of Drucker Academy in China and Phillip Pan of Bright China. Joseph Maciariello is a NY Times Bestseller, and was one of the closest peers, mentees, and scholars with Peter Drucker, keeping his work relevant to today and inspiring all of us. When Joseph took the stage with opening remarks on Day 1, I felt such warmth having heard his account of the deep personal impact that Peter had on his life and his family. His eyes lit up at one particular moment when he recounted a personal story with Peter that shaped his life, and how it was a great pleasure and honor to have been mentored by someone who in return gave him such great confidence, opportunity and inspiration.
  1. Watching Charles Handy come alive on stage standing before the crowd with so much clear, direct, tangible inspiration that I teared up twice. He was firmly supporting “going after your destiny and achieve your potential.”
  1. Being awakened by Kevin Roberts, Executive Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi from our sachertorte haze after lunch with the most hilarious and relevant remarks. Everything he talked about in his presentation mirrored his theories about how emotion can positively impact business. He applauded Millennials for their optimism and lack of fear, and encourages them to go after BIG dreams. For a good laugh, check out #babypooface
  1. Sitting next to Henry Mintzberg for both days of the conference I could not help but peek at the flurry of notes he scribbled, hoping I could catch his talent by osmosis or spy the secrets for distilling…. Instead, what I witnessed most was someone who was actively engaged in the moment, expertly processing the big ideas to carry the conversation beyond the moment.
  1. Being enlightened by Marten Meckos, Founder MySQL and School of Herrings with the idea that we have it wrong. Things aren’t moving faster, but our wait time that has accelerated. Perhaps that is what shows up in how we demand immediacy and instantaneous feedback.


This could easily be a list of my top 100 moments since the entire program kept me at the edge of my seat and may have caused me a case of “Twitter Carpal Tunnel”. I was honored to be in my role at the invitation of Richard and Ilse Straub, and am I recharged in my own connection to Drucker and to encouraging a new generation of Drucker followers, thinkers and doers based around the duty to serve society and our humanity!


Hi Joan! Just googled my name and came up with your blog. Sure was nice getting to know you in Vienna. Hope all is well !

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