Simon Henzell-Thomas, Global Head of Public Affairs with IKEA Group interview with Matt Bird at Humanity 2.0 (Vatican City)
- As a business society, we need to build more trust with our customers
- Climate change is happening now, we need less framework and more action
- IKEA’s vision is to create and inspire a better world for all their customers
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS: Simon Henzell-Thomas, Global Head of Public Affairs for IKEA Group with Matt Bird
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 00:00
Welcome back to the Traders Network Show and as we wind down or coverage of the 2019 Humanity 2.0 event. I Matt Bird broadcasting worldwide from the Vatican for Equities.com and our affiliate network partners. My next guest is Simon Henzell-Thomas. He is the, the global head of public affairs for Inca group, which is services about 750 million customers worldwide represents about 90% of all the retail stores IKEA retail stores. Is that correct? You’ve got an incredible footprint, a lot of responsibility. And we’re here at this event, which is a convergence of corporate social responsibility, innovation and philanthropy on so many different levels. Um, it was strong enough to bring you out here. Tell us about what it is that you’re finding so far about the event and what, what’s really captured your attention.
Simon Henzell-Thomas – Global Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Group: 00:50
Yeah. Uh, I mean the Ikea vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. And for us that’s as much about our furniture and our service offering as it is about our values and how we live our business and also how we inspire those 750 million customers. So we’re always looking for ways to maximize that impact. And so a place like this is a fantastic place to meet like-minded people.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 01:11
This is a melting pot of ideas is being thrown around out here. And so I would imagine you’ll find at least something that’s a little bit meaty for you guys to, to be able to run with that from concept to implementation. There is a, a lot of avenues. I, I’ve finally that they’ve done a really good job. I’m pulling together some influencers and to continue that conversation, is there anything that you will be able to take away from today’s event?
Simon Henzell-Thomas – Global Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Group: 01:28
Hmm, absolutely. We had a really good discussion about trust and we looked at the Edelman trust barometer, for example, which is fantastic discussion about how, you know, we’re driving trust with our customers and how as a society we need to build more trust as a business community with those customers. I had discussions about purpose. We also had a really good discussion about AI in the future of work and how we can really have a positive view on that. How could AI actually be good for society instead of this robot sustaining new jobs, a dialogue that we sometimes have. So I think it was a really good to have that positive view on how can we unleash the power of business for good.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:10
So you’ve got, and I think you touched on some of it, but you’ve got a lot of responsibility. You are presenting a massive ecosystem. What are some of the hurdles that you go through day to day?
Simon Henzell-Thomas – Global Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Group: 02:16
Hmm. I think, um, you talked about the 750 million customers. Yeah. We did some research recently that found most of those customers are super passionate about sustainability and particularly climate change for example, but they simply don’t know how, how to do, what to do and how to solve the problems they have at home. So we see that as a really good opportunity as a business to inspire, to enable them to live more sustainably
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:40
And, or as a proxy through them, through the work that they do or through, through as a customer, enabling you to do that for them.
Simon Henzell-Thomas – Global Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Group: 02:47
Exactly that. So I think we take our responsibility, but we also enable and inspire them to do the same at home as well.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 02:52
That’s excellent. So you just came off a panel, I saw about a little bit of it. You want to recap for the audience what you guys talked about and some of the highlights?
Simon Henzell-Thomas – Global Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Group: 02:59
Yeah, I mean it was, it was a panel of, I guess businesspeople talking about ethics, talking about the role of business in society and how it’s changed and how we need to move from, talk to action. Less frameworks, more action. Uh, the world can’t wait. Climate change is happening now. How can we actually solve the problems today as businesses, and really make an impact and have a contribution?
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:21
Well, listen, we, we’re like we had to cut to commercial break. We’re wanting down here. Is there anything you’d like to get out there before when I hear standpoint or a eco standpoint? Any messaging you want to put out an at or a shout out to Humanity 2.0 or
Simon Henzell-Thomas – Global Head of Public Affairs, IKEA Group: 03:33
I think, thank you for convening the group.
Matt Bird – Show Host, Traders Network Show: 03:37
Right? They did a terrific job and you know what that is? The bell is literally just ringing. Listen, it’s great to have you here everybody, the global head for public affairs for Inca group, which is Ikea. We’ll be right back with our next guest. We get a few more coming on. You’re not going to miss that. Before we wrap up this, today’s extravaganza of guests and panelists. We’ll be right back after these messages.