JSC17 – day one: Excellence Awards, Panel Discussion, Keynote speeches

Many people were waiting impatiently for this day to come: The day of JADE Spring Conference, the celebration of JADE’s 25th anniversary and the 50th of the Junior Enterprise concept.

After their check-in in the Event’s Hotel des Colonies (situated in the center of Brussels), our guests went to the KU Leuven University to participate in the Opening Ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony started with a welcome speech by JADE President Yann Camus.
Just after, we had the honor to welcome Andrey Novakov, the youngest Member of the European Parliament. During his keynote speech, he talked about the importance of entrepreneurship values and the role of youth, highlighting that young people can do more for society, they have the power to do so. “Last time I checked, there is no someday in the calendar. The chance to make a difference is not someday. It’s today”

Following, a panel discussion took place gathering the main actors of the European scene to discuss about skills of the future for society. The panel was led by Yann Camus, President of JADE, and many experts shared their experience with the participants: Rodrigo Ballester of the European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture, Detlef Eckert of the Directorate General for Employment and Maciej Surowiec from Microsoft, as well as Steven Price, founder of the European Institute of Industrial Leadership.

Here are some quotes of the panel discussion:
“What we would like to develop is horizontal soft skills” – Rodrigo Ballester
“Surprisingly high number of people who can write code are present” – Maciej Surowiec
“To gain employability, you will have to “learn” learnability” – Detlef Eckert
“The soft skills are very much learning by doing skills.” – Steven Price
“JADE is the missing link between academia and the corporate world.” – Rodrigo Ballester
“Junior Enterprise is the way to start early and learn how to fail” – Maciej Surowiec

After this, Dr. Georg Tacke, CEO of Simon-Kucher & Partners talked about the innovative process and how to monetize effectively innovation to sustain growth.
“Why failures happen? Too many features in a product and very often wrong features.” – Dr Georg Tacke, CEO of Simon Kucher & Partners
“There are 3 kinds of companies: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.” – Dr Georg Tacke, Simon Kutcher & Partners CEO

We also had the opportunity of displaying a video acknowledgment of MEP José Manuel Fernandes, a strong and long-term supporter of our concept. “This meeting today with our Junior Entrepreneurs is a sign of union” – MEP José Manuel Fernandes

One of the main parts of the Opening Ceremony was the JADE Excellence Awards. The best Junior Enterprises got the chance to present their hard work and brilliant projects.

The finalist were:
• Lisbon PH and LSM Conseil for Most Socially Responsible Project
• ETIC Insa and CCT for Most Innovative Project
• IESEG Conseil Paris and TriRhena Consulting for Most Promising JE
• ESCadrille and WBC for Most International JE
• ESCadrille and LSM Conseil for Most Entrepreneurial JE
• Junior Supelec stratégie and Conquest for JE of the Year

The Jury was composed by:
• Simon-Kucher & Partners (Dr. Georg Tacke)
• Wavestone (Mark BOSQUET)
• EIIL (Steven Price)
• Amaris (Elie Brandmeyer)
• Linkedin (Zeno Panhuyzen)

For the Dinner, all the participants went to the Drug Opera, a unique establishment in the heart of Brussels, recognized as one of the most famous and typical pubs in the city.

After it was time for a casual end of the night with friends, beer and networking, and the best place for that in Brussels is Delirium. The bar is located in the small alley called Impasse de la fidelite, and it’s probably one of the most popular bars all over Europe.