Horasis Global Meeting

22-23 October 2023, Gaziantep, Türkiye

Creating Impact with Innovation, Sustainability and Reconstruction


The eighth Horasis Global Meeting took place in Gaziantep, Türkiye over 22-23 October 2023, co-hosted by the City of Gaziantep. The theme of the Horasis Global Meeting was to consider how to have a positive impact on Innovation, Sustainability and Reconstruction. More than 1000 of the most senior members of the Horasis Visions Community gathered for an unparalleled experience advancing solutions to the critical challenges facing corporations and societies today.


Visiting Rumkale, a fortress on the river Euphrates – the cradle of civilization


The co-hosting city may be thought of as the center civilization as it was a center of learning and commerce in the Mesopotamian era with its development, innovation and trade continuing to the present day. The geolocation of Türkiye ensured that Gaziantep both thrived under many different rulers, and most recently the Ottomans giving rise to modern Türkiye.


Earlier this year, Gaziantep was struck by a major earthquake and just prior to the Horasis Global Meeting a war broke out between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip. This confrontation occupied parts of the panel’s discussions as did the earlier incursion upon Ukraine by Russia from February 2022. These wars were mentioned by participants as readings of the general global unease and the fracturing of globalization.


From the outset, Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, Türkiye was praised in so far as it was evident that her leadership and support have been instrumental in hosting this event, especially in the wake of February’s earthquakes. Her words resonate with hope and a unified vision for leveraging innovative technologies in a journey towards reconstruction and resilience. Ömer Bolat, Minister of Trade, Türkiye said that every time he visited Gaziantep he saw progress, development and an uprising of new buildings.


Ömer Bolat, Minister of Trade, Türkiye Mehmet Şimşek, Minister of Treasury and Finance, Türkiye keynoting the Horasis Global Meeting


Minister of Treasury and Finance Mehmet Şimşek emphasized that Türkiye is carefully introducing beneficial fiscal and economic policies that look well beyond the immediacy of rebuilding the earthquake damage. This is creating a stronger business outlook based on the country’s business culture which has deep historical roots.


Bjørn Berge, Deputy Secretary General, Council of Europe, France emphasized the necessity of working together to solve the huge global challenges that the global community face today, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate change, Artificial Intelligence and democratic backsliding. Specifically, said Mehmet Kemal Bozay, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Türkiye, we need to work on finding synchronism with the EU: Türkiye is the gatekeeper so we need to strengthen our relationship. While Senida Mesi, Former Deputy Prime Minister, Albania advised caution asking we don’t forget the low-income nations. The Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) President Nail Olpak touched upon the changing paradigms with COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war. Fatma Varank, Deputy Minister of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change, Türkiye emphasized the importance of digitalization in revitalizing cities hurt by natural disasters.


Adil Sani Konukoğlu, Chairman, Sanko Holding, Türkiye explained that while presently inflation exploded in the smallest incident, but we must make the world livable by green transformation and reducing the carbon footprint. While Emily Slater, Executive Director, Bretton Woods Committee, USA, looked more broadly stating that the IMF and the World Bank should support the Turkish crisis with loans during this period. Pranjal Sharma, Contributing Editor, Business Standard, India said that countries will need to move beyond self-interest and look to their neighbors for sustained economic growth. Rhett Power, Forbes Columnist & Chief Executive Officer, Accountability Inc, USA felt a consistent theme had emerged throughout the extensive discussions on global and regional challenges: this was hope.


Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep, Türkiye, welcoming participants Sekai Holland, assessing the state of the world


Deep collaboration is one way to achieve lasting results suggested Demet Sabanci, Chairwoman, Shopsa, Türkiye. Sentiments supported by Josef Stadler, Vice Chairman, UBS, Switzerland who declared we need to see high levels of collaboration to have any chance of tackling the alarming environmental and societal challenges that face humankind. Sekai Holland, Chairperson of Board of Trustees, Zimbabwe Peacebuilding Initiative; Former Minister of State for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration, Zimbabwe called on participants to embrace a capitalism that is highly inclusive, serving the people.


Similar sentiments were taken up by Eelco van der Enden, Chief Executive Officer, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Belgium, noting “ESG has gone from a marketing gimmick to now being an essential component of corporate strategy”. Bo Inge Andersson, Chief Executive Officer, Uzauto Motors, Uzbekistan said the worldwide ESG rules challenge and offer opportunities and noted four very personal guidelines that have remained his guiding star applying not only to sustainability but also to operating and growing a healthy organization. Bora Isbulan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Plaza Premium Group, Hong Kong SAR operates the world’s largest network of airport lounges, “we cannot ignore the realization of ESG rules. They become pervasive in the way we work.” Girish Ramachandran, President Asia Pacific, TCS, Singapore emphasized the heightened need for ESG standards.


Renita Kalhorn, Forbes Contributor and High-EQ Leadership Coach, France chaired the closing summary plenary panel on Creating Impact was hopeful that one of the things that will remain from this meeting is that we still have the chance to work together. Emrah Baydemir, Deputy Director General, İlbank, Türkiye stressed that the primary goal of purpose-driven corporations shall be to build a successful business and make a positive difference in the world. Fahim Hashimi, Chairman, Hashimi Group; Former Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afghanistan, was clear “We need agile, bionic structures where we can communicate clearly to create sustainable impact for countries through technology.” Rajeev Peshawaria, Chief Executive Officer, Stewardship Asia Centre, Singapore affirmed the values-based movement has indeed started “the world is slowly but surely realizing that force, regulation, and incentives are not the only answers to today’s existential challenges. We humans are capable of rising together to defeat climate change, social inequality, and the threats of tech misuse.” Murat Seitnepesov, Chairman, Integral Group, Switzerland, demonstrated purpose-driven leadership, serving on several philanthropic boards. Catherine Carlton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sapiens Impact, USA added: “We need to alter our values to collaborate and not be in conflict; believe in interdependence rather than self-interest; stress innovation; and have a long-term view, not short-term and search for values-based actions that maximizes the good and reject regulation that maximizes the bad”.


Panel at the Horasis Global Meeting Summary Plenary – Creating Impact


The co-chairs were:

Bo Inge Andersson, Chief Executive Officer, Uzauto Motors, Uzbekistan
Catherine Carlton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sapiens Impact, USA
Eelco van der Enden, Chief Executive Officer, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Belgium
Jeffrey Goh, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air Group, Bahrain
HRH Princess Dr Nisreen El-Hashemite, Executive Director, Royal Academy of Science International Trust, USA
Fahim Hashimi, Chairman, Hashimi Group; Former Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Afghanistan
Mustafa Rifat Hisarciklioglu, President, Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye, Türkiye
Adil Sani Konukoğlu, Chairman, Sanko Holding, Türkiye
Betty Enyonam Kumahor, Founder and Managing Partner, The Cobalt Partners, Ghana
Ahmad Wali Massoud, Founder and Chairman, Massoud Foundation, Afghanistan
Ben Nelson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Minerva Project, USA
Rajeev Peshawaria, Chief Executive Officer, Stewardship Asia Centre, Singapore
Girish Ramachandran, President Asia Pacific, TCS, Singapore
Demet Sabanci, Chairwoman, Shopsa, Türkiye
Murat Seitnepesov, Chairman, Integral Group, Switzerland
Emily Slater, Executive Director, Bretton Woods Committee, USA

Horasis is a global visions community committed to inspiring our future. Horasis’ summits have become some of the most influential high-level global gatherings which every year bring together governments, international organizations, and the business community to offer solutions to global challenges. In addition to the Horasis Global Meeting, Horasis hosts the annual Horasis India Meeting, Horasis China Meeting, Horasis Asia Meeting, as well as the annual gatherings of the Horasis Visionary Circle.