09 Nov Paul Deneve: Finding balance in life
On the second day of LEADERS MEETING PARIS the visionary entrepreneur Paul Deneve was the first to take the floor. Since “The Next Gen” is the central theme of this edition, Deneve thought it would be a good idea to share the stage with someone from that next generation: his daughter Joy. Father and daughter presented their visions of the current and the next generation, based on their experience as a business leader with experience in technology and fashion on the one hand and as a 14-year-old child of the new generation, raised in an increasingly globalising world on the other hand.
To talk about the future, Paul looks back on his rich career at ExxonMobile, Apple, but also at various fashion brands such as Courrèges, Nina Ricci, Lanvin and Yves-Saint Laurent. Deneve remarked that the fashion industry is not necessarily the best informed about the next generation, despite the fact that they have to adapt their collection to the latest trends every six months. Deneve joins the vision of futurist Tom Palmaerts, who says that it is important to keep an eye on the next generation in order to know the future. Deneve gives the following example:
“The fashion industry was stuck in a fixed model. That model was completely changed by two trends that they had not immediately seen coming: the rise of Instagram and their influencers on the one hand and the commercialization of hip-hop and rap music on the other hand. As a result, trade journals such as Vogue no longer became the unique determinants of what fashion is and what it isn’t, but small brands suddenly became suddenly super popular and real fashion brands, even expensive ones. “
On the other hand, Deneve also stresses the importance of balance in life. He refers to his work experience at Apple, where he was expected to be almost constantly busy with his work. “My colleagues became my friends and some of those friends became family”, he declares. That’s why he argues that it’s important to take a step back from time to time, so that you don’t lose yourself completely in your work, but also keep an eye on the other values that life has to offer. That’s why Paul regularly takes sabbaticals to focus fully on his family. Although he doesn’t call on everyone to take sabbaticals: “Find your path and find balance in life to achieve the things you want to do and the roles you want to play”, he concludes.
That’s how his daughter Joy was introduced. The guests of LEADERS MEETING PARIS overwhelmed her with several profound questions about the new generation. Something that 14-year-old Joy could always give a smart answer to. Her message for the current generation is clear: stimulate the next generation and give them every opportunity to grow and be independent. She also calls on her own generation to be mindful of everything you do and the choices you make. “They have a huge impact on your life,” she says.
The visions of father and daughter certainly inspired the guests at LEADERS MEETING PARIS. According to Deneve, the next generation will be a generation that will have to work hard and will have to map out a path to find balance in life. And they can do that, concludes daughter Joy.