Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2018

SOURCEby Amy C. Cosper

Optimism, diversity lead at Global Entrepreneurship Congress

The 10th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) kicked off today in Istanbul and the tone was overwhelmingly optimistic. An audience of enthusiastic — and very global — entrepreneurs and delegates packed the opening session.

The themes of entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly important as a way to impact and improve economies and guide policy globally. According to Jonathan Ortmans, founder and president of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), this global entrepreneur ecosystem “… stands for community and connectedness in an otherwise divided world.” The key to this connectedness is based on trust and part of that trust must happen between governments and entrepreneurs.

“Governments need entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs need governments,” says Ortmans. “New ideas play an important role in the development of economies.”

It starts with Innovation, which is a major factor in the success of entrepreneurs and the success of all companies. “You have a choice. Innovate or become irrelevant,” says Muhtar Kent of The Coca-Cola Company. “We must all create a culture of innovation. And sometimes the best ideas are not found inside a company, but outside.”

Diversity is an important tenet of innovation. “The best ideas come from diversity,” says Kent. As does the best leadership. “The best and most innovative leaders have a global worldview” he explains and urges everyone to get outside more to see new things and get new ideas.

The general sentiment at GEC Istanbul seems to be that entrepreneurs can change the world and entrepreneurial thinking will lay the foundation for the future. According to Kent, “The future belongs not to the cynics, but to the optimists.”