Leadership Innovation and L&D Insights to Look Forward to on 15-16 June
Leadership Innovation and L&D Insights to Look Forward to on 15-16 June

The new world of work is certainly here. As we continue to facilitate virtual teamwork, communication, and learning, it seems appropriate to look back and reflect together – also in a virtual environment. The first volume of the MERITS Summit & Awards for 2021 will present an interactive opportunity to get inspired and connect with leading L&D and HR executives.

During the two-day online event, participants will have access to insightful keynotes, impactful case studies, and collaborative workshops – all united under the theme “Leading and Collaborating in the New World”.

If you already have your free pass to attend, we look forward to welcoming you online. This quick overview will help you get the gist of the programme. For the rest of you, we still have available passes for June’s dynamic event. Get acquainted with the main formats and topics below and sign up to attend.

Disruptive keynotes on change, culture, and the post-pandemic workplace

Four inspiring thought leaders from the international HR and L&D scene will engage the audience with the latest insights from the new world of work.

Prof. Stefano Brusoni, Co-Director, EMBA-ETH Zurich and University of St.Gallen (embaX), will examine the dynamics of change. Why do we resist it and how can we open up to the healthy process of transformation? In his keynote, Prof. Brusoni will propose a learning and development format to leverage recent work in neuroplasticity and innovation sciences.

Hani Nabeel, Chief Behavioural Scientist, iPsychTec, will do a deep dive into workplace culture. In his session, he will focus on measuring culture through quantitative behaviour diagnostics and analytics. Join this keynote to learn how to reduce risk, generate sustainable value, and apply behavioural science in workplace cultural measurement.

Those of you looking for quality reading material that evaluates the major shifts resulting from the pandemic will find Mark Esposito’s keynote eye-opening. Thunderbird’s clinical professor of Global Shifts and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will equip leaders with a roadmap for a more sustainable and equitable future, inspired by Mark’s next book.

Presenting a positive outlook for the future, Diana Sonnenberg, Associate Principal & Director Client Experience, Gallup Germany, will share findings from Gallup’s global research on what constitutes a life well-lived. There is no better opportunity to refresh your view on engagement, leadership, and culture during these times of uncertainty.

Collaborative workshops to enhance virtual and hybrid teamwork

If you find people analytics fascinating or need a new perspective on recruiting, performance evaluation, job design, or other people-related matters, this interactive workshop will be more than useful to you. With Brandy Aven’s guidance as associate professor at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, workshop participants will learn the value of using analytical techniques to enhance talent management.

Do we need to think differently about team culture when we go virtual? Leading with this essential question, Chris Pether, CEO & Founder, PeopleSmart, will facilitate a fun and creative “workshop of discovery”. Switching between different exercises and collaborative techniques to provoke their imagination, participants will explore the possibilities of high-performance teamwork.

In another highly engaging workshop led by PeopleSmart, Michael Banks, Principal Consultant, is ready to take you on a journey through smart leadership. Find the right approach to care for employees who are facing roadblocks such as virtual isolation while also driving results on a commercial level forward.

Touching on this topic, Peter Ivanov, keynote speaker and bestselling author, Virtual Power Teams, will provide pragmatic tips and tricks for leading agile virtual and hybrid teams. Workshop participants will leave energised and ready to take on new methods for facilitating individual productivity, collaboration, and co-creation.

Influential case studies and awards

This year’s edition is special for another reason – the MERITs Awards. The most impactful transformational initiatives in the corporate and higher education sectors will be honoured by an expert jury during the event. Organisations will present their most impressive achievements in three categories: organisational development, leadership development, and people development.

On 15 June, Tiffany Poeppelman, Director Business Leadership Program, LinkedIn, will reveal more about “People Development: Developing Early Career Talent at LinkedIn”. Jerry Pico, Head of Learning & Development, Daiichi Sankyo Europe, will focus on “Talent Strategy for Success at Daiichi Sankyo”.

On 16 June, the audience will hear another impactful story with a focus on cross-country digital upskilling: “Organisational Development: Digital Escape Rooms for Deutsche Telecom EU”.

We are living in unusual times, but one thing is certain – the world of work is changing and it might be for the best. Now you can be part of the conversation too.


Join fellow HR and L&D thought leaders as they anticipate and discuss the upcoming trends in the world of work. Hear their transformational journeys, find inspiration in industry case studies, and share your own feedback at the online MERITS Summit & Awards, 15-16 June.


By Zornitsa Licheva