Deloitte University opens in Belgium
Facility to serve professionals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Deloitte University EMEA launched on December 16, 2013 during a day filled with learning and networking. Approximately 350 people including firm leaders, DU EMEA training participants, and VIP guests gathered to celebrate the official opening of the training and development facility in Brussels, Belgium.
The launch was the culmination of a three year effort which demonstrates Deloitte’s commitment to investing and developing professionals in the EMEA region, providing them with the leadership and advisory skills to better serve clients on both a local and global level.
Deloitte University Launch Ceremony and VIP Address
The ceremony was kicked off with a demonstration of team-building as DU EMEA “Business Simulation” participants, invited early to embark on a “secret mission,” unveiled the outcome of that exercise, performing The Beatles classic “Let It Be” as musicians and singers, all of whom had learned the routine during a two and a half hour training session the day prior to the launch.
DU EMEA Dean Jorrit Volkers welcomed guests, expressing his excitement and pride by stating that “the opening of Deloitte University EMEA is an important moment in the history of our organization.”
Deloitte Belgium CEO Rik Vanpeteghem addressed the audience as the evening’s host, acknowledging the teamwork that was necessary to make the project a reality. “I’m delighted to be embarking on this journey,” said Vanpeteghem.
The launch of the facility was then made official with twenty Deloitte EMEA region CEOs signing a commitment to Deloitte University, representing each member firms’ ongoing commitment to the facility and curriculum.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited Global CEO Barry Salzberg spoke about the history and importance of Deloitte University, and the journey he began in 2007, as the original champion of Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas, USA. “Deloitte University is the single greatest resource we have,” said Salzberg. “Never stop learning,” he encouraged the audience. “I will tell that to anyone that will listen.”
Finally, the audience was electrified by an address delivered by Sir Bob Geldof, world famous musician and activist. Geldof inspired with his reflections and experiences as a driver of change in Africa through his work as the founder of Live Aid and Live 8, two global movements focused on eliminating hunger and poverty on the continent. Geldof encouraged the audience to both lead and collaborate, stating “If you want to affect change, you must lead. Then, do what you can, but also use who and what you are for greater effect.”
DU EMEA Opening Day Roundtable Story/Summary
To mark the official launch of Deloitte University EMEA, DU EMEA Dean Jorrit Volkers hosted a round table event which brought together European-based corporate university deans and heads of European business schools, to signify the beginning of a new kind of collaboration and partnering amongst these organizations.
The discussion was energetic and inspiring from the start, with a focus on how the two groups can collaborate for greater impact. Participants shared their insights and lessons learned, as well as the key issues they experienced related to leadership, learning and development. The question of “what would you do differently tomorrow to stay relevant,” prompted colorful comments with leaders encouraging each other to be both more experimental and open.
The discussion was emblematic of how Deloitte University was developed in the spirit of collaboration and ongoing learning. Fausto Palumbo, Vice President and Head of Corporate Training and Learning at Nestlé expressed optimism about the impact this collaboration can have in the future, stating “Working together, this group can help us all stay relevant in today’s changing environment.”