The 2nd International HR Conference in Barcelona has become a reference in global HR


On October 9th, 2015 more than 170 CEOs and HR Directors from all over the world have gathered at this event of the highest level in the industry. 16 top level speakers from all over the world shared their ideas and experiences on global HR trends, digitalization and innovation in short and powerful presentations.

Creating synergies, getting inspiration for professional development, and turning Barcelona into the global platform for HR – with this triple objective Advantage Consultores, in collaboration with Career Partners International, organized the 2nd International Barcelona HR Conference in the Palau de la Música Catalana on October 9th, 2015.

After Sylvia Taudien, the organizer of the conference, welcomed all the participants and shared her pleasure about hosting the 2nd edition of this event, Karen O ‘Boyle from Career Partners International, presented global trends in outplacement and revealed that the sectors that mostly opt for this method are the financial, pharmaceutical, technology or health care sectors.

Florian Mueck, International Speaker and Trainer, then gave an interactive and vivid impression of the importance of positive and constructive feedback. He highlighted that often it is necessary to experience the sourness of lemons in order to grow both personally and professionally.

Afterwards Toni Spinazzola, Global VP Human Resources at Bruker Corporation, stressed the need of transparency being part of the company culture in order to win the trust of employees. At the same time, she pointed at the challenge that communicating transparently presents for leaders in the information age.

The third American speaker, Nancy Winship, VP Organization and Leadership Development at Waldron, used the forum to reflect on the challenges of leadership in multinational companies in a VUCA world (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) and claimed that leaders require four key leadership capacities: ambiguity tolerance, discernment, resilience and self-knowledge.

Initiating the discussion about digitalization, Simon Schoop, Managing Director at 4-advice, addressed the issue from the perspective of the HR department. In particular, he discussed the rise of “digital natives” and the need to adapt to new technologies.

Teresa Niubó, International HR Director, together with Xavier Serra, CEO at Affinity Petcare, elaborated on the approach towards digitalization within their company, the “Wow Project”, which has been led by the HR department and has been a great opportunity to transform the business. Teresa highlighted that the key for successful digitalization is not technology but rather managing change and achieving team commitment.

From the Mobile Gaming world, Joaquim Campa, HR Director of Social Point, was present and promoted the use of gamification in training throughout his speech. He emphasized that the vivid experience during games is what you will not forget and explained how he obtained relevant skills for his first job during various games.

Pero Micic, CEO and Future Manager at Future Management AG, addressed the role of technology in companies and explained how various innovations may impact our future. He highlighted that visualizing and aiming for a brilliant future will help to mobilize energy.

Another speaker was the Manager of Personnel Development at SEAT, Markus Schmaderer, who presented the dual training model of SEAT, emphasizing the benefits for both organizations and young professionals. For him, the dual training is an undervalued tool to – among others – respond to the lack of qualified personnel and management staff.

Moreover, Eri Nemoto, Corporate Development Director and Mireia Sabaté, Partner of Baker & McKenzie, analyzed alternatives to apply global employee handbooks locally. They highlighted that corporate culture already is a key part of strategy in leading organizations.

After the networking lunch, Manuel Rey, People and Organization Director at MARS, introduced the concept of “Global Mutuality”, which is based on a mutual benefit of all stakeholders ensuring the sustainability of any business project. He emphasized that you can only expect the best from your employees if you create a confidence-based environment in which they can grow.

On the other hand, Emma Giner, International HR Manager at Massimo Dutti, explained how her company experienced a fundamental change in the way of understanding the flow of knowledge and ideas through creating a bidirectional model boosting the creative capacity at their points of sale and promoting local success stories to move up the chain.

Katherine Semler, Program Director at Universitas Telefónica, talked about the digital revolution of companies and the need to find new business models. Additionally, she reported how Telefónica has adapted to this new reality by forming and training balanced leaders, on a rational, emotional, physical and spiritual level.

Finally, Olga Solomó, Director of Human Resources at Boehringer Ingelheim, explained why opportunities should be based on values like empathy, respect, trust and passion, and how Boehringer Ingelheim realized a new way of doing things through those values. Together with several professionals she then introduced the LipDub of Boehringer Ingelheim to the audience, allowing them to leave the conference dancing.

Especially due to the inspiring input by the speakers and the great networking platform, the event presented a unique opportunity to expand the own horizon and prepare for future challenges within the area of HR. The organizer Sylvia Taudien concluded: “My vision of converting Barcelona into the global place to be for HR is taking shape.” Due to the great success, she announced the 3rd International HR Conference in Barcelona on October 7th, 2016.

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  • I worked with Sylvia during several years. During this time I could discover probably the best Executive Search that I have worked with during my 15 years of experience. Sylvia is a high responsible, fully involved & competent professional. In addition to all of these, she really cares & listens to the people that she works with. Sylvia has my highest personal & professional recommendation.

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