We can do more together: mobility sector pulls together for virtual WECAN 2021 Conference

We’re all zoomed out but tapping into what others are doing around the world in the sector is what will keep global mobility relevant now and in the future. Fiona Murchie reports on the willingness to work together to drive the recovery. 

WeCan Conference
There is a limit to how many associations companies or individuals can join in these financial and time-constrained times. So, this was a great initiative to pull together the three organisations of Worldwide ERCEuRA and the Canadian Employee Relocation, that best represent global mobility at the grass roots. Their members across the three associations have pioneered much of what global mobility is today and sought to bridge the divide between corporate members and supplier services.The event was energetically hosted by Frances Edmunds, author, broadcaster and expert in the business of cross-cultural communication. The WECAN conference was the brainchild of Lynn Shotwell, President and CEO Worldwide ERC, Stephen Cryne President and CEO CERC and Tad Zurlinden, CEO, EuRA. They used the occasion to launch a joint declaration form the first-ever convening of US, Canadian and European Industry Associations (WECAN) emphasising the importance of talent mobility to economic recovery.“We firmly believe that countries and industries with a policy infrastructure that recognizes the importance of talent deployment to economic recovery will bounce back more rapidly,” wrote WECAN – the Worldwide ERC®, EuRA and CERC Associations Network. “That is why we have joined forces for the first time to deliver solutions for modernizing relocation and mobility policies and practices that will drive economic recovery and meet the new workforce realities of a post-COVID world.”
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Post-Pandemic World Demands Modern Workforce Mobility Policies

Joint Declaration from First-ever Convening of U.S., Canadian and European Industry Associations (WECAN) Emphasizes Importance of Talent Mobility to Economic Recovery.
Migration and compliance issues, technology and the assessment of risk must of course be priorities.  After a torrid year health and wellbeing in all its guises should also be a priority as well as evolving workplaces and meaningful work for employees now and in the future. Of course, the huge elephant in the room is climate change and the impact of travel on the environment which the mobility sector must grasp together somehow. Many of the most mobile workforces in industry sectors from energy to manufacturing and aeronautics are already committing to far-reaching targets and could potentially share their expertise and communication skills.Of course one of the great advantages of a Virtual Summit is that registrants can listen back to the replays at their convenience. However, the live discussions did have an energy about them particularly in the capable hands of members who knew their audience and the nuances of change and new direction that had been emerging over the Covid-19 pandemic year of 2020 and into 2021.This meet-up included insights from Claude Guay, President and General Manager IBM Canada in conversation with Frances Edmunds as well as a lively discussion on Acquiring Global Savvy in Post Pandemic World which as a topic could run and run. Esther Benjamin,  CEO & Executive Director, Trevor Lovig, CHRO Leader, Canada and Binwa Sethi, Principal Threefold Leadership, US World Education Services chaired the discussion with Hans de Wit Professor and Director of the Center for International Higher Education, Lynch School of Education Boston College US interviews panels. The follow up Q & A allowed live chat from familiar names in the mobility arena.The second day focused on migration and mobility with contributions from Meenno Bart, Public Affairs Manager, The Adecco Group, Zurich discussing a New Policy Framework for Migration and Mobility with  Julia Onslow-Cole, Partner Global Government Strategies & Compliance Fragomen providing immigration insights, Nino Nelissen, Managing Director Executive Mobility Group giving the tax perspective and Sonia Gandhi, Partner, Global Mobility KPMG LLP, Canada. A three-hour slot each day allowed delegates to attend virtually from different time zones as well as to network virtually. Even this snapshot of discussion and the tone of conversation illustrated a shift towards greater collaboration.There is so much knowledge in the global mobility sector which can be shared in the spirit of cooperation to accelerate recovery. Collaboration is the way forward and the work global mobility professionals do is valuable in shaping a new agile and resilient workforce. The world of work will never be the same again. There are plenty of global risks and challenges across environmental, social, political and cyber that futurologists have warned the global mobility community about at many Worldwide ERC, CERC and EuRA conferences over the years.These threats have not gone away but hopefully the mobility industry sector will continue to work together and widen its appeal further to the wider international management sector to ensure a solution-driven approach to obstacles to recovery and challenges ahead.Everyone is becoming more digitally savvy which is a good thing but in a global people sector designed to support international employees at the heart of complex organisations, large, small, remote and in country; authenticity and the value of the individual still needs to be at the forefront.

Think Global People: the Road to Future Fit

We at Relocate Global have been evolving too, with the shift to encompass the international management sector accelerated by the pandemic. Find out more here and do share your thoughts to keep the conversation live and relevant around the world.

Relocate and Think Global People Awards 2021

Relocate and Think Global People Award entries for 2021 reflect the dedication, innovation and expertise across the mobility sector and we invite you to celebrate the vision for the future of some exceptional organisations charting the way forward. Do join us on Friday, 11 June for the Virtual Awards Ceremony. We hope to put a spring in your step!

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