ENG - Tackle Global Challenges & Seize Opportunities congress

I participated in the Tackle Global Challenges & Seize Opportunities congress and shared my opinion in a panel on International Corporate Sustainable Responsibility focused on fashion and textiles. 

The conference was organised by The Ministries of Foreign Affaris, Economic Affairs and Infrastructure & Environment, VNO-NCW and MKB-Nederland and was aimed to answer the question of ‘how the Netherlands can contribute to solving global challenges related to food, water, circular economy and innovation through its role as a innovative trade- and investment partner’. The Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Liliane Ploumen, opened the event and among the speakers were Frank Heemskerk (administrator at the World Bank), Jan Willem Scheijgrond (Head of International Partnerships at Royal Philips) and Jennifer Kockx (Head of Global Initiative at the TU Delft).

Together with my colleague panellists: Alexandra van Selm Programme Director IMVO at SER, Sibbe Krol Programme Manager Textiles in Vietnam and Pakistan at IDH and Frouke Bruinsma Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at G-star we discussed international trade and CSR within fashion. Moderator Hans Docter, Ambassador of Business and Development and Director of Sustainable Economic Development invited us to respond to statements around the complexity of supply chains, responsible production, creating awareness among consumers, engaging stakeholders and true pricing. 

As an independent contractor it can be challenging to level with an audience of mainly government and corporate professionals as I'm used to working on a very different scale. I find it hard to fathom that some organisations don't take responsibility for the realisation of services or products that they send out into the world. In one breath huge efforts are taken to research, develop and add value in numerous ways. In another breath an organisation doesn't have a complete and clear understanding of all of the kinks in the chain, contractors, subcontractors etc. and can't independently influence foreign policies. It was interesting to meet and hear from the different stakeholders and to broaden my knowledge or their varying perspectives. I enjoyed the interactive nature of the session and look forward to working with these parties towards a unified vision, new policies and a sector-wide and multi-stakeholder approach that will stimulate sustainable fashion.   


EventsHolly Syrett