News story

MERIT Summit Brings Together HR and Executive Education Thought Leaders

Barcelona, SpainLearning NewsAdvent Group

A new executive education and corporate learning conference took place in Barcelona, Spain on January 18-19, 2017, organised by Advent Group. The international event and media agency reported that the MERIT Summit assembled over 200 senior representatives from HR and higher education at Barcelona’s World Trade Center.


“The MERIT Summit gave international business schools and companies from around the world the opportunity to learn, connect, and share their expertise,” Christophe Coutat, Advent Group’s Managing Director said.

The two days of learning and networking assembled 106 decision-makers in corporate HR, Talent Management, Learning and Development, People Management, and Leadership Development from companies such as PwC, EY, Deloitte, Virgin Media, McKinsey & Company, PepsiCo, and Uber. In addition, 32 international business schools were represented at the Summit, including sponsoring schools IMD, HEC Paris, ESCP Europe, IESE Business School, IE Business School, Alliance Manchester Business School, and Télécom Ecole de Management.

MERIT 2017 received praise for its novel concept that connected companies with executive education providers. Marie-Laurence Lemaire of INSEAD says, “Most of the time, it’s a group of HR or a group of schools, but very rarely a group of HR and schools together. And this is where MERIT has really done this job – for the first time – to put those two groups together, under one roof, in a beautiful city.” Corporate HR leaders and business school representatives met to discuss company needs and goals, training concepts and methods, and how together they can make organizations, and people in organizations, thrive.

Through workshops, panel discussions, MERITalks, case study presentations, and One-to-One meetings, the summit provided an agenda full of various learning, brainstorming, and benchmarking options for all 200+ attendees. The topic of the inaugural conference was “Learning in Times of Globalization” and contemporary Learning & Development and talent management topics were exposed and debated by experts on stage and in private meetings.

People and Organization Director of PwC, Koenraad Goris explains, “It‘s not just about meeting a business school, or meeting Learning & Development people, but it’s also about meeting them on a global level, a multinational level. I think we need this kind of cultural mix to make sure that we’re on the right track in terms of talking about learning & development across all of our cultures.” Twenty-three nationalities were represented at the Summit.