On 25 and 26 May, the Come CloSeR Show 2017 took place in Cracow. Here you can find materials and multimedia related to the event.

Waiting for the Show to begin: a historical tramway in the depot, next to it are Yves Veulliet, Ireneusz Białek and Małgorzata Perdeus-Białek.
Waiting for the Show to begin: a historical tramway in the depot, next to it are Yves Veulliet, Ireneusz Białek and Małgorzata Perdeus-Białek.

The guests were welcomed by Ireneusz Białek, Chairman and founder of the Managers of the Future MOFFIN Foundation. Other speakers of the opening session included representatives of the event sponsors Aleksandra Ossowska-Owczarczyk of Roche Polska and Country Chair of Shell Companies in Poland Piotr Dziwok. They were followed by the Member of the European Parliament Marek Plura and Bogdan Dąsal, Disability Officer appointed by Cracow City Mayor. All the speakers agreed that the main topic of this year’s event, the Accessible Company in an Accessible Environment, should bring together the activities of the business sector with those of public entities such as local government units and universities as well as non-governmental organisations.

They underlined the fact that the Come CloSeR Show was a opportunity to meet in a charming place for enthusiasts of CSR, and in particular of the notion of diversity, as well as to hold debates while benefiting from the great ambience thanks to the participants. The Country Chair of Shell Companies in Poland also announced a competition for a Manager of the Future in the fields of disability and social inclusion and said that managers and employees should be able to influence the selection and distinction of those who contribute in practical terms to companies’ being truly accessible for persons with disabilities. The MOFFIN Foundation is going to manage the competition.

Then Dorota Piotrowska of Strefa Job, Karolina Długosz of Capgemini Polska and Justyna Cuże of the Come CloSeR to Disability Task Force presented a guidebook for enterprises entitled “The Accessible Company in an Accessible Environment”. It has been published by the MOFFIN Foundation and its contents developed by company managers and social experts specialising in disability. They were all involved in the work of the Come CloSeR to Disability Task Force, a group established on the basis of the Business Closer to Disability signed during the 2016 edition of the Come CloSeR Show. The guidebook includes valuable tips, collected in a single place, for companies wishing to implement the policy of including persons with disabilities into employee teams in practice. Its undeniable asset is the fact that its language is clear and understandable and that it contains a wealth of illustrations.

The Accessible Company in an Accessible Environment was also the title of a panel discussion with Konrad Rychlewski of Google, Jesse Cortez of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Yves Veulliet of IBM, Marek Plura, MEP, Aleksandra Ossowska-Owczarczyk of Roche Polska and Robert Salisz from the Museum of Municipal Engineering in Cracow. The notion of an “accessible company” inspired a lively and very interesting debate moderated by Ireneusz Białek of MOFFIN with active participation of the audience. Despite diverse opinions, there was a consensus as to the fundamental direction of changes in enterprises: they should definitely create conditions for the implementation of equal opportunities for all, yet their social environment must also support accessibility, for instance through inclusive education and removing all the barriers that still exist around if not inside companies.

Chairmen Talk stands for conversations between company chairmen and leaders of innovative social organisations. The series is a brainchild of the Ashoka Foundation that has been delivering it as part of the initiative called Volunteering Chairmen. Ashoka’s operations were brought closer to the Come CloSeR Show participants by Martyna Rubinowska who underlined the fact that it would be the first time for the chairmen to talk not inside their offices but with the involvement of an audience.

And so they did. The role of enterprises’ community engagement, relations between small and large international organisations, and modern capitalism were discussed by Marek Grodziński, Vice President of the Association of Business Service Leaders in Poland and Ireneusz Białek, Chairman and founder of the Managers of the Future MOFFIN Foundation.

One of the things associated with the good atmosphere of the Come CloSeR Show is exquisite coffee available throughout the event. Holding a cup, made of china or plastic, we try to take up some more difficult topics as well. This year, those were adaptation problems faced by employees, their wellbeing and sustaining it, as well as burnout, depression and other mental-health difficulties.

The discussion was definitively helped by drawings by Ola Krawczyk made using the Graphic Recording technique presented here as well.

The Come CloSeR Show also included the “CSR from near and far” session, this time with guests from very far, India and the United States: Anurag Pratap, in charge of CSR at Capgemini India, and Jesse Cortez who leads global processes related to diversity and social inclusion at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Laura Fabbri and Nina Kaczmarczyk of Cisco, in turn, talked about what their company did in terms of diversity, while Janet Pope of Capgemini Group about unconscious bias. A very broad overview of CSR, including the notion’s history, was offered in a winning presentation by Vice-Rector of the Cracow School of Economics, at the same time a researcher and CSR expert Professor Janina Filek.

We did not forget culture, a permanent feature at the Come CloSeR Show. Broad access to it was discussed by Justyna Mańkowska of the Katarynka Foundation who showcased a flagship project of her organisation called Adapter and Lech Kolasiński of the MOFFIN Foundation who discussed Light Relief, a programme of visual-art adaptation to the needs of elderly persons and those with sight disability. This topic is bound to return in the successive editions of the events as culture is always going to accompany us. How could it not on the premises of the Museum of Municipal Engineering in Cracow?

Although no material from less formal meetings is presented here, believe us that the participants of the Come CloSeR Show also enjoy themselves a lot as the essence of the Show is a combination of high quality substance, networking and good fun. Feel invited to the successive edition of the event in 2018. Follow us on Facebook and Linkedin and join Managers of the Future.

Electronic publication of "The accessible company in an accesible environment" guide

Discover “The Accessible Company in an Accessible Environment” guide as an e-book.

Guidebook “The Accessible Company in an Accessible Environment is under Creative Commons 3.0 licence.