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Cost efficient; highly effective; sustainable - the world’s first-ever Virtual Global Inclusion Summit


Profit generation, cost reduction and efficiency gains, using diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a driver, have been the key themes of IDC’s best practices in recent months, in tune with the recession. We continue in that vein; but with a radical new approach.


The FutureWork Institute (FWI), which I cofounded with colleagues in 2002, and which researches and models organisations of the future, recently hosted the first-ever Virtual Global Inclusion Summit to discuss inclusive leadership behaviours and initiatives with nearly 1000 registrants from event sponsors Microsoft and Sodexo. Participants came from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa to engage in a series of activities with their colleagues.


IDC in collaboration with FWI and Group Partners is pioneering this type of highly cost effective engagement and learning. British Telecom (BT) recently told the Economist that “agile working” saves the company $355 million a year. BT advises both internal and external clients on "agile working", to help them reduce CO2 emissions, improve work-life balance and ensure compliance with the European Union's Working Time Directive. As a result of its recent efforts to curtail unnecessary travel and focus ever harder on virtual conferencing, BT says it’s reduced its expenditure on air travel and accommodation by around 70% in the last 12 months.


Given the increased interest in sustainability and cost-reduction, IDC, in partnership with FWI, is introducing clients to new, virtual approaches in global learning, networking and collaboration. The Virtual Global Inclusion Summit is the first of its kind and enabled participants from their laptops in locations across five continents to:

-          Hear live updates from top executives on the business case for inclusion and their company’s action plans for moving forward and the progress achieved.

-          Take part in a panel dialogue with company executives on their global diversity and inclusion strategy.

-          Participate in an interactive theatre experience on Microinequities in the Workplace.

-          Meet colleagues from around the world and share ideas in a virtual, networking lounge.

-          Visit virtual exhibit booths staffed by Sodexo, Microsoft and FutureWork Institute diversity and inclusion staff.

-          Collect information and resources in a virtual “briefcase,” which can be saved or exported.

-          Experience the event live on a later date; and from anywhere around the world.


We’d be delighted to talk with you about the virtual delivery of engagement and learning activities. It has to be right for the times in terms of cost savings and sustainability.


Dr Ian Dodds,

25 May 09

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