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Transforming an Industry - When Incremental Change Just Isn't Enough

Guest Speaker: Giovanni Bisignani


On March 25, 2014 Beta Gamma Sigma Alumni in NYC will be pleased to welcome Giovanni Bisignani, Former Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association and author of Shaking the Skies, as our guest speaker for an insightful and informative program.

“You will have a blank sheet of paper, a license to change everything... We need you to lead a revolution”. Only two weeks after the 9/11 tragedies, those are the words with which Giovanni Bisignani was asked to take the helm of the International Air Transport Association, the central body of the world’s airlines.

Leveraging personal contacts that came to include, amongst others, GE’s ex CEO, Jack Welch, Pope John Paul II, UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon, Russian ex-president Dmitri Medvedev, and Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi, Bisignani accepted the challenge and spent the next ten years transforming the fundamental framework of the world’s airlines.

Few of us will be called upon to transform an organization as massive, as far-flung, and as diverse as the global airline industry. Yet, some themes are universal. Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating evening as Giovanni Bisignani discusses the challenges involved in bringing about fundamental change

Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location: Three West Club, 3 West 51st Street New York, NY 10019

Cost: $30 for BGS Alumni Club Members, $40 for non-Alumni Club Members

Click here to register

About our Speaker

Giovanni Bisignani was formerly the Director General and CEO of The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a post he held until July 2011. During his time with IATA, Bisignani played a key role in reshaping the aviation industry and its governance. Whilst leading IATA, he set about modernising the industry and steered airlines through crippling global crises.

In 2004 Bisignani introduced ‘The Simplifying the Business Initiative’, which modernised the industry by improving customer convenience and reducing costs. He enhanced the travel experience for passengers by eliminating 400 million paper tickets from the travel process, whilst introducing self-service kiosks at airports and making online check-in possible. He also championed a new risk-based security concept which focused on scrutinising people rather than just objects. At his last IATA AGM in 2011, Bisignani presented the ‘Checkpoint of the Future’, a concept which has now been accepted by the United States, the European Union and the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The ‘Checkpoint of the Future’ will be introduced in phases beginning in 2014. He also publicised the work of IATA, using advocacy and lobbying in order to ensure that governments focused on long-term issues for aviation. His particular interest in the environment, led him to drive the industry to achieve carbon neutral growth by 2020 and to cut aviation’s carbon emissions in half by 2050. Previously he has served as CEO of SM Logistics and Alitalia Airlines, Chairman of The Association of European Airlines and launched the European travel portal Opodo, serving as the company's CEO. Currently Bisignani serves on the Board of Directors of: Safran in France; AirCastle in the United States and NATS in the United Kingdom. Additionally, Bisignani is also a visiting professor at the School of Engineering at Cranfield University. In his early professional years Bisignani worked for ENI and Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale – IRI. Bisignani graduated from the Sapienza University of Rome and later completed his studies at the Harvard Business School.

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