«Nothing endures but change» - this well-known statement from Heraclitus of Ephesus has been quotet millions of time, and still holds true today. But our globalized world seems to turn faster and faster. The pace at which the waves of change wash over us is becoming increasingly hard to keep up with, and the space between waves leaves us only just about enough time to come up for air. Is stability, a sense of continuity, becoming a rare commodity? And how do we deal with those waves of change?
These were the questions that the Entrepreneur’s Organization’s annual conference EO Unlimited 2017 tackled in Zurich earlier this month. Themed «Waves of Change», entrepreneurs talked about the changes they face and how they deal with the resulting challenges – often not only in business but also as private citizens.
«There are basically two ways of dealing with change», says Sjaak Vink from TheSocialMEDwork, «either you unleash the waves yourself, or you learn how to ride them». Mona El Isa from Melonport falls into the former category – she wants to revolutionize traditional fund management by using blockchain technology, aiming to raise security and lower market entry barriers significantly.
In the first panel of the event, EO members discussed their personal experiences with the «Waves of Change». From left to right: Thomas Bachem, CODE University of Applied Sciences i.G.; Sjaak Vink, TheSocialMEDwork; Natalia Matveeva, Probiovita; Orlaith Carmody, Gavin Duffy and Associates. Photo: Tamara Reinhard Photography.
Others shared how they were forced to experience first-hand what it means to be hit at full force, to the point of running the risk to be thrown off track by change – like Joachim Schoss, founder of MyHandicap.ch. After a severe motorcycle accident, he had to learn to live in a dramatically changed body. He strongly believes that even such an intense change, a stroke of fate, can be turned into something positive: «You need to look at change as a challenge that allows you to grow as a person, because it’s not about what happens to you – it is not, what happens to you – it is what you do about it».
Change is omnipresent and unstoppable, no matter if the wave rolls slowly towards us, hits us unexpectedly and at full force, or whether we want to unleash it ourselves. Roughly quoting Joachim Schoss, it does not matter how the «Wave of Change» hits us, but how we deal with it. People who are keenly aware of this don’t need to be afraid – they know that change also brings new opportunities.
It was our pleasure to contribute to this excellent event by coaching the hosts, looking after speakers and helping with the coordination of planning and organizing the event – and it was a privilege to get to know extraordinary people along the way!