Preparatory steps for a journey with Peter Drucker
The journey began in 2006 on the retirement of Richard Straub from IBM. He immediately began work on a framework for an international conference to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Peter F. Drucker (b. 19-11-1909, d. 11-11-2005) in Vienna, where Drucker was born.
From Peter Drucker Society of Austria to the first Global Peter Drucker Forum
Encouraged by both Doris Drucker, Peter’s widow, and the Drucker Institute based in Claremont, California, Richard Straub and his wife Ilse established the nonprofit association Peter Drucker Society of Austria in 2008.
To mark the centenary of the “father of modern management”, the 1st Global Peter Drucker Forum, organized by the Drucker Society of Austria, was held in Vienna on November 19 and 20, 2009. Speakers included C.K. Prahalad, Charles Handy, Joseph Maciariello, Philip Kotler, and Rick Warren. Doris Drucker, then 97 years old, gave an acclaimed keynote.
She advised us “not to make a museum for Peter”, but to build on his principles and ideals with like-minded thinkers and practitioners to carry his legacy forward.
From Peter Drucker Society of Austria to Peter Drucker Society Europe
With regard to the resounding success of the Centennial Drucker Forum 2009, Doris Drucker and the Drucker Institute in Claremont approached Richard und Ilse Straub and suggested to broaden the remit of the Peter Drucker Society of Austria. First by giving it responsibility of accrediting and overseeing all local Drucker Societies in Europe, which led to the forming of the Peter Drucker Society Europe in 2010. Second, to run what would now be called the Global Peter Drucker Forum as the single world-wide annual event carrying Peter Drucker’s name. The Drucker Institute agreed to discontinue their own annual Drucker Conference and to support the Vienna Forum instead.
The Peter Drucker Society Europe began appointing Advisory Board members already in 2012. To confirm its important international role, it became an “International Advisory Board” in 2017. The mission of the International Advisory Board is to provide strategic advice and guidance to Peter Drucker Society Europe. Members are senior executives who have a track record reflecting their strategic savviness and insights into the business, academia and/or nonprofit area.
From the 1st to the 12th Global Peter Drucker Forum
With the support of a broad community of loyal followers, in subsequent years the Peter Drucker Society Europe successfully staged a further 11 annual conferences. Although the Drucker Society has never paid speakers fees (“it’s an honor to be invited”), among its strongest supporters have been prominent speakers from business, government, public sector and the civil society; steadfast sponsors and partners; association members; and last but not least a small devoted team.
Subsequent favorable coverage from global media - Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Financial Times, Forbes and Les Echos, to name a few - turned the autumn forum in Vienna into what Les Echos called the “Davos of Management” - an essential date in the management calendar.
The Drucker Forum is committed to quality in all its aspects: speakers and content, organization, facilities, networking, interactivity, personal exchange and social opportunities. As Charles Handy put it: “The Drucker Forum is a party, but a party with a purpose”.
In response to travel restrictions imposed during Covid, the 12th Drucker Forum in 2020 took place for the first time in fully virtual form. With virtual speaker contributions and a broad, globally distributed audience following on Zoom and by livestream, the new format gained an enthusiastic reception.
Peter Drucker Challenge: Young Generation flagship program
Mindful of the need to give a voice to up-and-coming young managers and entrepreneurs, the Peter Drucker Society Europe hosts the annual Peter Drucker Challenge, an essay contest for students and professionals aged 18-35. Its aim is to keep a Drucker-inspired, human-oriented philosophy of management alive in the minds of the new generation.
Engaging with eager young authors from all over the world, the challenge has become a major locus of exchange and understanding between cultures. The winners are invited to join the Forum and to apply their learnings in their home country.
→ Additional Young Generation program: International Entrepreneurship Schools Program
In June 2021 PDSE added “A Day of Drucker”, an additional one-day conference, to its spectrum of activities. Our aim was “to give the opportunity to learn what Peter Drucker considered most important about managing in the midst of disruptive events, technological transformation, and increasingly knowledge-based economies – and to explore how well his answers respond to today’s burning questions”. The feedback from participants exceeded our expectations.
The 13th Global Peter Drucker Forum has taken place in a novel format comprising two parts: virtual on November 10 and 17, and part-virtual, part-in-person, on November 18 and 19. Theme: “The Human Imperative – Navigating uncertainty in the digital age”
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES. Stay tuned !