Geopolitical Outlook for Long-Term Business Success

Seven regions of the world in three days – it would’ve been an exhausting vacation, but it was actually an exciting trip into the future for the roughly 160 participants at the Management Summit in California in mid-July.

The presentations traced a route from China to Southeast Asia and Japan. They went on to India, straight across the Indian Ocean to sub-Saharan Africa and then northward to Europe, and on to the United States. The project teams handled the travel preparations and delved deeply into the geopolitical, social, economic and ecological conditions in their respective regions. The task at hand: to represent the region and – with help from futurists, consultants and communicators – develop potential scenarios for the year 2035. 

A deeper understanding of these regions, plus a realistic view of the future are essential.

Dr. Mohsen Sohi, CEO of the Freudenberg Group

Driving Force for Strategy

The idea was not to have the regions compete with one another or even to rate them, said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, CEO of the Freudenberg Group, in his closing remarks after three intense days at the conference. On the contrary, the regions and countries in the selection were already important to the Group or will be in the future. “A deeper understanding of these regions, plus a realistic view of the future are essential,” said Sohi, “because it isn’t going to be easier in the future to make business globally.” He described the conference as a driving force for the upcoming 2024–2026 strategy period. 

Networking as a Success Factor

Other success factors include personal interactions and diversity, said Esther Loidl, CHRO of the Freudenberg Group and sponsor of the Management Summit. Last year, the DIALOG senior management conference had to be held entirely virtually but, this year, there was plenty of opportunity for networking. The participants themselves contributed to the event’s diversity. Representatives of every Business Group, region, function and even hierarchical level traveled together on the journey and returned to their respective facilities full of inspiration.