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April 3 2017: over 500 people witnessed the very first edition of the Business Night. Grand opening of the Economic Business weeks Tilburg (EBT), the Business Night was the showcase of what Tilburg is capable of. Every single one of the 5 speakers was a capo di capi in his field: from the CEO of Randstad to the Global Head of Sustainability at ING.
In line with the fashion we see in major companies these days, the event’s theme was “Profiting Society: Leading towards a Sustainable Future”. The speakers were characterized for their diversity and refreshing views on sustainability. Some speakers were truly evangelists in the field of sustainability, such as Ynzo van Zanten (Tony’s Chocolonely) or Maurits Groen (WakaWaka) while others had a challenge in convincing the audience of their sustainable character. John Heller (CEO Louwman Group, main distributor of brands like McLaren, Maserati, Lamborghini) said that “sustainability is also about building a strong company brand”. Jacques van den Broek (CEO Randstad) centered their sustainability strategy on people, people and people (the well-known three Ps).
There were plenty of reasons to join the Business Night this year. Whether it was the appealing image of CEOs (Randstad, Louwman, WakaWaka), the always energetic and critical Chairman of the Day from De Speld, or the tasty promise of earning 2 chocolate bars from Tony’s Chocolonely: every part of Tilburg University’s student market was served. And there were also Alumni involved in the event, both speakers and attendees, rendering the Business Night a great bridge between the current and the former student of Tilburg University. Emile Aarts, rector magnificus, emphasized the importance of these events and praised the strength of EBT/Asset in its ambitions.
The night ended at 22.00h and there was happy chatter and discussion afterwards. What we now know is that this first Business Night, like a bar of Tony’s Chocolonely, tastes like more.