Graham Martins and Stany Pereira from Dubai and B.R.Sudhir from Abu Dhabi attended the Global Gathering organized by PKF International in Munich, Germany. The Gathering’s theme ‘A Need for Urgency – Change is coming….do we do something now? Do we just wait and do nothing?’ focussed on raising awareness of future opportunities in our profession, including practical steps on topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, digitisation and generational changes. The Gathering was held over the 24 to 27 October 2017. Tuesday evening, 24 October, opened with a welcome reception that set the stage for renewing friendships and forging new relationships with members across the globe.
The Global Gathering kicked off on Wednesday morning, 25 October 2017, with a welcome address from Dr. Bertram Fischer of PKF Germany. A Peek into our Future was the focus of day one where delegates took a look at the current environment and received some insights into PKFI’s future strategy from CEO John Sim and Chairman Sebastian Wohldorf, and also a peek into the future (presented by Franziska Krauskopf from Trendone GmbH).
Delegates were also introduced to new member firms from Azerbaijan, China, Croatia, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Moscow, Nepal, New Zealand and the USA. Thereafter, delegates were given insights into the millennial generation (‘Generation Why?’) by Graeme Codrington of Tomorrow Today.
The BMW Museum was the venue for the evening’s gala dinner. Delegates were able to view models from the BMW brand over the years, and then be treated to an elegant dinner. The guest speaker for the evening was Karsten Ottenberg, CEO of Bosch Siemens Home Appliances.
The sessions on Thursday, 26 October 2017, focused on Growth & Strategy, Current & Future Technology (Blockchain), PKFI’s Key Economic Centre (KEC) initiative, websites & PKF 365, and were presented by the PKFI team. Additional breakaway sessions were also conducted on ‘Attracting & Retaining the Best Talent’ and on ‘Benchmarking’. The day concluded with a lively and interactive workshop by Richard Newman of Body Talk, on ‘Pitching for Work’.
The group enjoyed a rousing evening at Augustiner Keller with traditional German fare along with traditional Bavarian music and dancers. PKF ‘Diamonds’ were awarded at the event to PKF family members who made an exceptional contribution to PKF in 2017.
Friday morning, 27 October 2017, saw sessions on ‘Becoming a Fully Branded Family’ by Fiona Burnett of Brand Insiders and ‘The Listening Leader’ by Emilio Galli-Zugaro, Chairman of Methodos spa, based on his previous experience as Head of Global Communication at the Allianz Group. Later, Kevin Gertenbach of PKF Durban unveiled the plans for the 2018 Gathering in Cape Town, South Africa which concluded the meet.
The group then embarked on a tour of Castle Herrrenchiemsee commissioned in 1873 by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The palace, a replica of Versailles, was constructed in honour of King Louis XIV of France. Dinner that evening was at the well-known Munich restaurant, Der Pschorr, with its rustic atmosphere and classic Bavarian fare.
On Saturday, 28 October 2017, a group toured the Neuschwanstein Castle also commissioned by King Ludwig II in 1869 but never completed. Built and furnished in medieval styles but equipped with what at the time was the latest technology.