The few weeks in September 2023 was a somewhat whirlwind of excitement, insights, and learning for Prof Evans Osabuohien as he had the incredible opportunity to attend three extraordinary events in Germany. These experiences were not just about academic enrichment; they were about building networks, gaining new perspectives, and witnessing a powerful lesson in team management.

Empowering Collaboration: DIaDeRC and Open Binnacle Group Forge Ahead

On September 1, 2023, in Bonn, Professor Evans Osabuohien, Founder and Group CEO of Open Binnacle Group, along with Faith Gabriel, Head of HR at Open Binnacle Group, took a significant step toward enhancing virtual collaboration.

The mission at DePECOS Institutions and Development Research Centre (DIaDeRC), led by Professor Osabuohien, focuses on pioneering innovative solutions for research, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration. The versatile OBmeet virtual platform by Open Binnacle Group became an indispensable tool for achieving these goals.

OBmeet’s user-friendly interface and rich features have seamlessly connected experts worldwide through workshops and conferences. This meeting centred on optimizing OBmeet’s usage, enabling live streaming via YouTube, and promoting open access to knowledge. Furthermore, the discussion delved into the critical aspect of audio quality during virtual events, aiming to troubleshoot potential issues and ensure a seamless experience for the audience.

The generous decision to provide OBmeet to DIaDeRC at no cost perfectly aligns with Professor Osabuohien’s vision of democratizing access to knowledge. The meeting with Emmanuel Gabriel and Faith Gabriel signifies the start of a promising partnership between DIaDeRC and Open Binnacle Group.

HARIBO's 20th Anniversary Celebration: A Lesson in Employee Engagement

he second phase of expeditious journey was with an exceptional celebration of HARIBO’s 20th anniversary in Germany on 2nd September 2023. This was not a typical corporate gathering. HARIBO went above and beyond to show their appreciation for their employees. They organized an open buffet celebration and extended a warm reception all their workers, irrespective of status or rank.

The key takeaway from this experience was the importance of making your team members feel valued and fostering a sense of belonging. The event was more than just a picnic and buffet; it was a testament to the power of emotional care. By inviting families and encouraging fun during the celebration, HARIBO created an environment where team members felt a deep sense of belonging and respect for the organization. In a world where job-hopping has become common, this event exemplified how to retain valuable team members. It reminded us that your team is your most significant resource, and when they feel appreciated, they are more likely to stay.

Berlin Conference on Shaping Africa's Economic Future

The journey continued with the Berlin Conference, an event that brought together policymakers, business leaders, and academics from both African and European countries. The conference was dedicated to understanding the intricate forces shaping Africa’s economic future. It addressed critical questions about doing business in Africa, influenced by global developments, opportunities and risks arising from global resource demand, geopolitics, and the impact of a tighter global lending environment on African countries. 

The one-day conference was held on 19th September 2023 where he had the opportunity to meet with his mentor (Dr Michael Bruentrup) since 2012 who is presently a member of DePECOS Institutions and Development Research Centre (DIaDeRC)’s Advisory Board.

The notes and insights from the conference were a treasure trove of knowledge. The discussions highlighted the need for sustainable entrepreneurship, promoting group-owned businesses, and the significance of a grassroots approach to economic development. The importance of building institutional trust and fostering resilient value chains was underscored. It was evident that discourse and collaboration are essential in shaping Africa’s economic future.

Witten Conference on Crisis and Transformation

The final leg of the September eventful journey took was at the Witten Conference on Crisis and Transformation. This conference brought together the Political Economy Section of the German Association for Political Sciences, the International Centre for Sustainable and Just Transformation, and the Young Scholars Initiative of the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

While Prof Evans did not make a formal presentation at this conference, he actively participated with his collaborator (Prof Magdalene Silberberger) at Witten/Herdecke University on their Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) Foundation funded research linkage programme. He utilised the moment to soak in the rich discussions and knowledge-sharing opportunities. It was evident that in a rapidly evolving world, managing talents effectively is crucial. The conference served as a reminder of the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and the need to navigate the complexities of our changing world.

In retrospect, these experiences were not just a series of conferences; they were a profound journey of learning, connection, and personal growth. They showcased the power of appreciation and belonging in team management, the importance of dialogue in shaping economic futures, and the significance of nurturing talent in a dynamic world.

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