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What a day! Let’s unpack Fa!r Barcelona together!

Hello, fa!r friends,

Can you believe it’s already been more than a week since we waved goodbye to the whirlwind of insights, inspiration and invigorating discussions at Fa!r Barcelona? If you were there, I bet you're still buzzing from the energy. If you missed out, let me paint a picture of what unfolded and why you'll want to mark your calendars for the next one.

From the get-go: bright mornings and brighter ideas

Remember how we kicked things off at the ungodly hour of 8:45 AM? I know, I know—who thought that was a good idea, right?  But from the moment you stepped in, the buzz—oh, the buzz was palpable! The kind that fills you with a sense of ‘something special is about to happen’. And wow, did it deliver!

Sarah Harmon - Strategic Advisor and Board Member, Sngular, opened the day with her session on what does your board think about talent inclusion policies, and it was like she was reading our minds—speaking about navigating DEI at the very top: to echo changes where it truly resonates.  Hint: they don’t just think about it, they hold themselves accountable, so push that agenda! 

And just when you thought you could catch your breath, Pawel Adrjan - Director of Economic Research, from Indeed stepped in with a focus on how companies can signal their commitment to inclusion through their recruitment strategies. His evidence-based approach offered a compelling view of the impacts on candidate perception and behavior. Groundbreaking? Absolutely.

Then, our beloved Hannah Awonuga - Group Head Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Knight Frank took the stage with her masterclass on Inclusive Leadership. Honestly, it was more than just a talk; it felt like a heart-to-heart with a wise friend who’s walked the walk and is now holding the torch high for all of us to follow.

Midday musings: culture, strategy, and a dash of ethics

After a much-needed coffee break (and yes, those pastries were as delicious as they looked—guilty as charged!), we dove headfirst into more enriching discussions. 

Fiona Garvey - Chief Executive Officer, Softonic was not just speaking; she was demo-ing going Above and Beyond with intuitive leadership. You could see the awe across the room—many 'aha' moments were born right there.

The Culture panel was like a mini United Nations; so diverse, so vibrant and so skillfully moderated by Mark Ivan Serunjogi - Strategy Director, TheTruthWorks. It featured a dynamic discussion with experts like Claudia Issa -  Faculty Professor, Autonomous Univ. Barcelona, Expert Corporate Inclusion and Mitchell Davis - Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Programs Lead at Autodesk, exploring effective strategies for fostering intercultural performance within global teams, with Viviane Vicente - VP Client Experience at Cultural Intelligence Center and Barbara De Micheli - Social Justice Area Coordinator at Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini adding depth to the conversation, highlighting innovative approaches to social impact and talent inclusion research.

Miguel Castro’s - Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director at SAP followed and his session questioned whether AI technology is a friend or foe to diversity efforts, sparking a thought-provoking debate on the ethical implications and opportunities of emerging technologies in advancing DEI. Definitely pushing my thinking buttons—engaging us in a pivotal conversation about the role of technology in our future.

Afternoon insights: gender, race and creative expression

Post-lunch, the conference continued to address critical issues with Kristen Anderson - Chief Executive Officer, European Women on Boards, discussing gender equality in decision-making board roles across Europe. Her analysis of the current state and paths to progress provided a clear directive for achieving results, as well as micro actions we can all adopt today to hold that space for everyone.

Executive Director at European Network Against Racism - Kim Smouter’s talk on race and policy and Anita Lettink’s (Compensation Expert and  Author of "Equal Pay for Equal Work") insights into the Pay Transparency Directive, the Law that changes everything underscored the essential alliances and legal frameworks needed to foster systemic transformation. The sessions were powerful reminders of the structural changes required to uphold principles of equity and transparency.

And can we talk about Louis The Hippie’s spoken word performance? If you saw people wiping their eyes, that wasn’t just a stubborn eyelash. Louis, with his Spoken Word Journey into Inclusion and Unity performance wasn’t just heard; it was felt. It reminded us of the power of words and art in pushing forward the conversation on inclusion.

Evening wrap-up: deep dives and networking

Diversity and Inclusion Leader, Microsoft, Author and Activist - Magdalena Rogl’s session on Empathy as a Strategy in Development Culture was a masterclass in sponsorship for underrepresented talent, blending insights with actionable strategies and powerful storytelling. Just a snippet on Magdalena’s effect on people: “True encounters are the ones that change you. I was changed!!”

The Education panel moderated by Roxana Marin - Communication Director at Fa!r and featuring Katrina Walker (Chief Executive Officer, CodeOP) and Xavier Domínguez (AI & Education Specialist, Fab Lab Barcelona), explored the frontiers of AI and Talent. The discussions here were not just informative, but truly revelatory,  projecting us into a future where technology is reshaping learning and development.

And before we knew it, the sessions were wrapping up with our guest of honour, Saniye Gülser Corat, former Unesco Director and founder of NoBiasAI?, whose continuous service in highlighting the strong bond between culture, technology and an inclusive workplace was channeled to us by the amazing interviewer, Marcela Ospina - VP of Sustainability and Culture at Both People and Comms. 

Finally, as the sun dipped over the Miro Museum's beautiful terrace and we cheered glasses during the panorama cocktail & networking event, it wasn’t just about celebrating the end. It was about cherishing the new beginnings, the connections made, the plans drafted. It was about feeling grateful for every single person who made this possible.

Looking ahead

From morning till dusk, Fa!r Barcelona was a whirlwind of inspiration, connection, and a whole lot of fun. To everyone who joined us, thank you for bringing your energy and ideas, making this not just a successful event, but an unforgettable experience.

For those who missed it, we missed you more! But don’t worry, there’s always a next time, and we promise, it will be just as enriching, engaging and yes, impactful.

Here’s to growing together, learning together, and being fair together.

Can’t wait to see what we achieve together next. 💚

Oana and the Fa!r Team



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