The EACD is happy to announce the upcoming EACD Anniversary Event in Zurich on April 25th from 4.00pm to 7.00 pm.

This event will focus on the following topic: Thought Leadership and Strategic Positioning in times of “quarterly capitalism”

Return on Investment alias ROI has become over the years the mantra of communicators seeking a legitimacy for their function within the business environment they are operating in. Alas, in our trade, ROI is never immediate, it’s linked to intangible assets that deliver over a given period of time on reputation and positioning of the organisation as a thought leader, a market leader, an innovator etc. A position which ultimately leads to differentiation, customer loyalty, further market penetration, in short a direct impact on bottom and top line with more business! To some, this may sound far-fetched, to communicators this is very plausible. Here comes the dilemma, how to build the case for investment in ambitious thought leadership programmes that will generate the communications golden nugget when the shareholders are breathing down the neck of organisations for earning per share results every quarter? Can thought leadership be quantified? What is the ROI for bright ideas? How can communicators support their organisation to act as thought leaders?

We are happy to announce our speakers:

Thomas Oury, Director DuPont Performance Materials, EMEA

Mr. Thomas Oury is the Managing Director of DuPont Performance Materials for Europe, Middle-East & Africa since November 2015 based in DuPont European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Since he joined DuPont in 2002, Mr. Oury held various global positions in sales, marketing and business management across several DuPont Business Units in Europe and North America. In 2013, Mr. Oury was appointed Director of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers Business Unit for the EMEA region and in 2014 he moved on to lead the Performance Polymers Business Unit. Thomas started his career at Michelin from 1995 to 2000, first as a Manufacturing Engineer in Italy and then leading a Product Development team in the Michelin headquarters in France. Prior to joining DuPont, Mr. Oury enhanced his business acumen by joining the Paris office of A.T. Kearney where he took on the role of Strategy Consultant. A French citizen, Mr. Oury holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from ENSIC Engineering School in Nancy, France. Mr. Oury is married with four children.

Maeve Gallagher, Global Head External & Digital Communications at Zurich Insurance Group

Maeve Gallagher is Global Head of External & Digital Communications at Zurich Insurance Group. Based at the head office, Mrs Gallagher is responsible for managing all Group communications, including strategy, planning and implementation across the full range of on- and off-line channels. She manages a global team of digital and media relations specialists. Mrs Gallagher is a member of the Zurich Leadership Team. Prior to joining Zurich, Mrs Gallagher held a number of roles at investment banks, including Barclays Capital where she was Asia Pacific Head of Communications and Marketing, based in Hong Kong. Before joining Barclays Capital, she held similar roles at JPMorgan and UBS. In all, Mrs Gallagher spent more than 12 years in financial communications roles in Hong Kong, and an additional three in Tokyo, Japan.

Christiaan Prins, Director European External Affairs at Unilever Joined Unilever in May 2008.

Christiaan Prins holds a Master degree in International Relations from the University of Groningen (NL) and a PhD in Arts from the University of Groningen (NL). Before joining Unilever, he worked over five years in the European Parliament as a policy advisor to an MEP. Christiaan Prins was the Sherpa for Unilever CEO Paul Polman in the European Resource Efficiency Platform (2014) and he participated in the European Commission expert group on Eco-Innovation (2014-2015). Christiaan Prins heads since January 2014 the Unilever European External Affairs Office in Brussels.

The panel will be moderated by Hanane Taidi, Marketing Communications Director, EMEA at DuPont

Hanane Taidi is Regional Marketing Communications Leader for DuPont Performance Polymers. In this new role that Ms Taidi took on as of February 2015, she leads, develops and directs integrated marketing communications strategies for the Performance Polymers Business in the EMEA region. Before joining DuPont, Ms Taidi was Director of Communications at PlasticsEurope where she led PlasticsEurope’s communications and public affairs efforts in Europe together with a team of regional Communications Managers. A graduate of Ablemalik Essaadi University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, Ms Taidi started off her career working with Brussels-based “Thinks-Tanks” where she gained insight into European Affairs before joining the plastics industry back in 1999. Since then she has gained extensive experience across a range of communication disciplines, and has been responsible for the coordination of both internal and external communications programmes across 28 EU countries. An accomplished linguist, Ms Taidi speaks English, French, Spanish and Arabic to native speaker level.


16.00 – 16.30 Welcome and registration

16.30 – 16.35 Welcome by Hanane Taidi

16.35 – 16.45 Power Speech by Maeve Gallagher: “Giving Thought Leadership the Peso treatment” Ensuring the money and time invested in Thought Leadership is effectively used via a campaigning style and multi-channel approach in context of the external environment

16.45 – 16.55 Power Speech by Thomas Oury: “Thought leadership to create competitive advantage?” In times of heavy financial pressures and accelerated pace of change, would it pay off to engage in long term strategic positioning? Do we need thought leadership to thrive financially?

16.55 – 17.05 Power Speech by Christiaan Prins: “Moving from issue management to issue solving” Companies are increasingly challenged by society to solve problems and therefore cannot limit themselves anymore to issue management. Issue solving through advocacy is the new style that is required in external communications. This requires a willingness from companies to be bold in their communications and not afraid to stick their necks above the parapet.

17.05 – 18.30 Panel discussion moderated by Hanane Taidi

18:30  Networking reception including snacks and drinks

The event will be held at the Auditorium of Zurich Insurance Company Ltd, Mythenquai 2, 8002 Zurich, Switzerland. The meeting is free of charge compliments to the EACD and Zurich Insurance Company. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

We are looking forward to welcoming you in April!