“It was a dark rainy October evening and I was sitting in my office when … OK, just kidding, I don’t remember anymore what was the weather and where I was at the moment when I received the SOS message from the Sustainable Business Conference team saying “We need a track leader for Infrastructure and Mobility track”; one of the 3 tracks of the conference.
What I do remember very well is that I immediately sat down and wrote back to the organizers … “Guys count me in!”. My motivation was simple. Firstly sustainability is a topic that interests me a lot, secondly I am originally a civil engineer that likes architecture and a city person interested in future city development and lastly I couldn’t miss the opportunity to participate in a project managed by an Italian ;). And as we had only few months to prepare the conference and the classes in core 1 just became to be very demanding, the SBC was really a very dynamic experience.
The format of the conference was 3 panel discussion for each of the 3 tracks through-out the day and the topics we chose for Infrastructure and Mobility track were first “Sustainable City planning” with the aim to bring examples of Sustainable projects from all round the world, second “Future of mobility” tackling the most pressing issue of today – cities ruled by cars, and finally “Financing Sustainable projects” with an aim to show where funding of such projects can come from.
Organizing a conference is a very particular activity as it is very important to get some good speakers as soon as possible to attract other speakers, good moderators and sponsors. Therefore our goal was to do as much as possible before Christmas and that was the moment when I started to realized how difficult was to manage a team composed of busy volunteers. It was a time of many academic commitments, including preparation for exams, numerous assignments and internship applications, and it was difficult to continuously monitor priorities and keep pushing the team to deliver the expected work for the conference. Fortunately enough we soon had newly motivated team members from January intake joining us.
With the freshly reinforced team, we needed to speed up with preparation, finalize the speakers list, and work with marketing team to promote the conference or logistics team to arrange everything for the conference day.
Then finally 22nd March came and all what we were preparing went live and I think I can say that the 9th issue of the HEC Sustainable Conference was a true success! To conclude, I have really enjoyed preparing it and working with such a great team of people and recommend this experience to all future HEC MBA students.”
Tomas Drasar, HEC Class of 2013