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Don’t make your profit over the back of our planet!

We are not going to make it with a “business-as-usual”. That is why, for our annual board symposium with decision-makers from Achmea (The Netherlands), Caser (Spain), Covéa (France), Gothaer (Germany), Länsförsäkringar (Sweden), LocalTapiola (Finland), Reale Group (Italy) and la Mobilière (Switzerland), we have taken the opportunity with both hands to contemplate on “business-as-it-could-be”. What does that look like? What are the possibilities to solve the biggest problems of our time? How can we, as mutual insurers, make a meaningful contribution to the health of society?

This year a physical meeting was impossible, and we faced a big challenge of making it a virtual experience. By finding the right balance between speakers, stimulating the senses and physical movement, we have managed to take people on a refreshing journey.

Nothing stays like it was

The world as we knew it, has changed. And when that happens, then every human being is invited to change as well. During our Board Event 2020 we rolled out the red carpet to everybody towards a world of ‘the new normal’. Everything was about developing a new roadmap for a world in which traditional control mechanisms are no longer in place. Luca Filippone, chairperson of Eurapco and general manager of the Reale Group, personally shared how important it is to collectively acknowledge what is going on and from there to come up with other solutions that are not yet thought of. "As mutual insurers, it is once again a unique moment in history to show a positive difference to the world.”

The bionic insurer

Dr. René Rohrbeck, professor of strategy at the EDHC Business School, shared how we as organizations can use predictive tools and methods to drive transformation, strategic innovation, and desired future scenarios. At its core, he took us on a journey to imagine how we can build the company of the future. Pia Tischhauser, of the Boston Consulting Group, spoke of a bionic future in which human intelligence is powered by technology. "I don't believe that the future is completely digital without the need for people - but I do believe that technology can make people super powerful.” She painted a challenging picture of the ‘bionic insurer' in which technology serves mankind in a far-reaching way.

From disease to health

Niels Hagenaars of Gupta Strategists, studied pharmacy and obtained his PhD in research on the development of flu vaccines. He presented a roadmap to the new normal with an eye for new forms of healthcare. He encouraged us to look at health in a different way. As far as he is concerned, a transition in our thinking from ‘disease' to ‘health' should be done as quick as possible. He sees working together and sharing best practices as a key to accelerating innovation. That is exactly what we in Eurapco stand for.

Meaningful economics

The economist Rebecca M. Henderson of Harvard Business School, gave us another point of view on making profit and capitalism. She shared a warm plea for an authentic and a healthy driven enterprise that adds meaning to society. She advocated for a healthy world with a serious eye to contribute to climate change. "Don't make your profit over the back of our planet.” She also stressed the importance of the employees involved, fuelled by genuine care and attention for the individual by the employer. According to Henderson, real change is not possible from a solo approach. The secret lies in "together, going beyond the differences between us". Alone, we achieve little, together we can move mountains. Even if it is a bit at the expense of our personal ego.

New possibilities

Diana Derval from Derval Research showed how sensors and biomarkers can play a key role in easily obtaining in-depth medical information. Derval translates the latest neuroscientific research results into practical tools to positively influence human behaviour. For example, the Oura ring, a sensor which automatically monitors your health during your sleep, and biomarkers that make it possible to easily detect as many as twenty diseases! Her fresh take on new methods of data analysis can have groundbreaking implications for how we as insurers are going to facilitate health care. It unlocks possibilities that we did not dare to dream about a year ago.


Thanks to the combination of those state-of-the-art speakers, which stimulated the audience to look in different directions than we are used to, and a dynamic alternation with all kinds of interactive moments where body, mind and brain were stimulated in surprising ways, we have managed to create a true experience within the boundaries of the digital framework. A cartoonist drew 'a road map to the new normal' from the vision of all the speakers. Under the motto ‘Life is Better When you Laugh’ standup comedian Rob Andristplourde took care of a ‘wrap up’ after each presentation with humor and wisdom. A physiotherapist invited everyone behind the PC to do stretching exercises. A knowledge quiz about Eurapco managed to feed the brain in a different way. Inspiring film fragments were a creative ingredient to create an unforgettable event. We have shown to each other that a virtual board symposium can be a beautiful one. Lots of thanks to all the people on the team who managed to make it such an energetic happening!  

If you have any questions and/or comments about my blog, do not hesitate to share them with me. You can reach me by email: Are you stimulated by the content of our board symposium? Send me an email and tell me why. You will have a chance to win one of the three copies of the book “Reimagining Capitalism in a world of fire" by Rebecca M. Henderson, which I bought specially for the readers of my blog!


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