Surviving the Pandemic: How to innovate in one of the hardest hit industries

Released: January 13, 2022    Length: 44 min


Imagine you’re running one of the biggest event companies on the planet, then all of a sudden the pandemic hits. All events are cancelled. You have thousands of staff members on your payroll. You have no idea when things will go back to normal.

This is exactly what Sebastien Tondeur, the CEO of MCI (, was facing in March 2020. In this January’s StratChat, Sebastien will share how he overcame the challenge.

Join Alex Osterwalder (author of The Invincible Company), Tendayi Viki (author of Pirates in the Navy), Nick Himowicz (Host of StratChat) and Sebastien Tondeur (CEO, MCI) on 13th January.

We’ll have a conversation and extract powerful lessons and practical advice drawn from Sebastian’s experience in leading MCI Group through the pandemic:

“When the first wave hit in March, we envisioned this “problem” as a 3 month thing. Sure it would hurt! but relatively speaking; it will be just a scratch. Then, here comes September, the second wave… then we realize the unavoidable: Oh Sh…it’s a perfect storm.” Seb T, CEO

“We had to face the brutal facts - as Jim Collins famously said; so we faced two important decisions: (1) do we believe that this industry sector is going to be relevant in 5, 10 or >20 years, (2) how are we going to survive to execute on our business plan & vision given the constraints.” Seb T, CEO

“Simply said, we think we are ready to thrive again because we plan for the long term, we listen to our instincts, and we work as a team.” Seb T, CEO

As usual, we’ll also have some fun exploring what’s hot or not in the world of corporate innovation. And we’ll spend some time reflecting on how we can apply these principles ourselves in the mini-assessment.

The show starts at 5pm CET (8am PT, 11am ET) on 13th January.

About The Speakers

Alexander Osterwalder

Alexander Osterwalder

Dr. Alexander (Alex) Osterwalder is one of the world’s most influential innovation experts, a leading author, entrepreneur and in-demand speaker whose work has changed the way established companies do business and how new ventures get started. Ranked No. 4 of the Thinkers50 list of the most influent... Read more >

Tendayi Viki

Tendayi Viki

Tendayi Viki is an author and innovation consultant. He holds a PhD in Psychology and an MBA. As Associate Partner at Strategyzer, he helps large organizations innovate for the future while managing their core business. He has given keynotes, run workshops and worked as a consultant for several larg... Read more >

Sebastien Tondeur

Sebastien Tondeur

Sebastien Tondeur is the Chief Executive Officer of MCI, he holds an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston, USA. Under his leadership, MCI has grown from a Swiss to a global organization with a presence in 31 countries, making it one of the biggest events group worldwide with a turnover of €434 million. Sebastien is driven by a passion for entrepreneurship and is a firm believer in the power of face-to-face interactions to build communities, inspire, and foster change.

Sebastien is co-founder of the Entrepreneur Organisation (EO) in Switzerland and in 2011, he won the prestigious « EY Switzerland Entrepreneur of the Year ».

When not working alongside his MCI team, he spends time with his family and enjoys trekking and trail running in the mountains – he even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and has done the well-known “Patrouille des Glaciers”.

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