A Student’s Experience at Horaris Extraordinary Meeting 2020

By Yaryna Balabanyk, Student at Ivan Franko National University 

November 16, 2020

“Horaris Extraordinary Meeting 2020” gathered 900 speakers from all over the world to discuss a number of important themes during one day, Oct. 1st, 2020.   Presidents of countries, prime-ministers, CEOs, entrepreneurs and other experts in different fields talked about politics, business and civil society during the conference. It is hard to imagine how it is possible to hold 150 panels in one day, but the organizers of did it and it was really inspiring.  I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Frank-Jurgen Richter (The Chairman of Horasis) for giving me a chance to become a little part of “Horasis Extraordinary Meeting 2020”. It was a great pleasure for me as a student to be there.

There were so many useful topics in this conference that it was very difficult to choose, because some meetings that I was interested in, were held at the same time. Fortunately, all the meetings were recorded and the participants had a chance to play it back later.

From the huge variety of topics,  I tried to choose meetings I found to be more useful for me in the future. That’s why I joined a couple of panels that were connected with business. The conferences that I chose were “Business Toughness During COVID-19”, “Business Transformation to Champion Social Change” and “Family Business: How to Shape the next Chapter post-COVID?”

I am finishing my master’s degree in journalism and I think that these topics will be helpful after my graduation. I have experience working in a local newspaper and I now realize that I do not want to work as a regular journalist for a long time. My dream right now is to set up a business entity in the nearest future. I have no idea when it will happen but I am sure it will be something connected with journalism, because I am passionate about this field. The problem is that I do not have any knowledge about the business.

One of the most interesting meetings for me was “Business Toughness During COVID-19”. It was great to see and hear speakers representing different types of businesses from different countries. Moreover, some of them were investors and it was interesting for me to hear how they are conducting their businesses.  They talked about their strategies of survival when the whole world is locked down. The moderator asked really insightful questions, not only about their businesses in general, but also about the situation in the countries where the members of the meeting were from. It was also mentioned, that government support is very important in these difficult times. This conference made it very clear that we are going through an unprecedented situation. It’s the courage of the leaders of these companies and the hard decisions that they had to make that produce growth for their businesses, fight the effects of this pandemic and pave the way to economic recovery.

Another meetings called “Family Business: How to Shape the next Chapter post-COVID?”  looked at different family interactions in the business world and how it affected the family businesses. It was very interesting to find out that usually the majority of family wealth is lost by the 3rd generation. There are many reasons responsible for this. Many of the values of the founders were not shared by the younger generations, also the extremely important work ethic lacked in the heirs.  Only the businesses that managed to combine the founding values with the ability to implement not-traditional investment strategies were able to withstand the test of time and adapt to the consumer needs. The part of this conference that influenced me the most was that two speakers of the panel were father and son. They talked about the same business but from the different points of view because of their difference in age. Their experience is extremely valuable, and it allowed me to see the same situation from different perspectives. I was glad to hear that young generations are very important in the family businesses. One of the examples mentioned was the improvements that young members of the family introduced by creating a better way of communication between all members of the company. I was really inspired by their experience, because there is a misconception that young generations are not good for businesses. I am, once more, convinced that it is not true.

In conclusion, I am really glad, that I had the opportunity to join this conference. It gave me more insight about business that I am sure will help me in the future as an entrepreneur.