12WCC in Dubai calls on global chambers to turn strategic plans into action

DUBAI, This is the time for chambers of commerce to adopt new strategic plans and turn them into action as they navigate their way through the post-Covid era and prepare for the future, said Ted Souder, Head of Industry Retail, Google and Vice-Chair at Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Souder was delivering the keynote address at the 12th World Chambers Congress in Dubai today.

Kicking off day three of the congress during a session titled “Pioneers of progress: Call to action!” Souder called on chamber leaders to take action and walk the talk.

“We are never going back to 2019, and we have to build a new strategic vision for the future. Chambers are at the centre of the community, and now more than ever, we have an opportunity to lead and to help our communities rise,” he said.

Stating that the congress was focused on action, Souder said this was the chambers’ moment. He added that members should take inspiration from Expo 2020 Dubai, where 192 countries have met to showcase their culture and future opportunities.

He stressed that digitalisation was going to have “a profound impact not only on your business but your community and your life.” With the coronavirus having created new realities, the chamber needed a new updated business model to remain relevant, he added.

“The 400-year-old chamber business model was just trucking right along. The pandemic was almost like this giant global pause, but it was also a great reset in the sense that over the past year-and-a-half, we have seen incredible progress towards getting our way out of the pandemic. Industries have started to reopen. People have started to travel again. Here we are in-person, so there is progress being made,” he said.

Souder continued by saying that new businesses have emerged from the pandemic and the common thread was digitalisation. He referred to megatrends such as fintech and cybersecurity, adding that the next time such a pandemic happens, chambers of commerce will be in a better position.

Souder also praised the hybrid format of the congress, which has seen people participating from around the world as well as attending in person, saying: “The future is hybrid.”

“Let us get things done so that when we meet in Geneva in two years, we can tell all the progress that has been made by all of you, the members,” he said in conclusion.

The 12th World Chambers Congress is co-organised by Dubai Chamber, the International Chamber of Commerce and its World Chambers Federation under the theme Generation Next: Chambers 4.0.

 

Source: Emirates News Agency

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