It was truly an honor this morning to be the keynote speaker at the CILT Sri Lanka International Convention which came on the heels of the CILT International Convention held on the preceding two days at The Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The room was full of delegates from Sri Lanka and surrounding Asian and African nations as well as people from Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It was a solid two days of quality writing and editing and testing-in-fire to come up with a presentation and remarks that would meet the keynote’s theme this year, “Evolution of Dynamics in Logistics to Facilitate Global Trade.”
The people attending the conference are their industry’s leaders, managing directors of major organizations and young people starting out in the industry who are learning the craft. The CILT places an emphasis on young professionals, their incoming President has made women in the profession a priority, as well as an education and certification program (nearly spelled it programme…spending a lot of time around British English) that will credential people from beginner upwards.
I owe a sincere thanks to CILT Sri Lanka for their invitation to this prestigious event. Speakers included a member of the Maersk Board of Directors who discussed the environmental impact of ocean shipping, a consultant and professor from Hong Kong who told us that China is on pace to build essentially an airport a week for the next four years (they’re slated to open 200 airports over four years), the MD of the company which produces Lion Beer (the national beer of Sri Lanka) and a Professor from a local university who talked about the issues of developing economies and how to handle public transportation sector growth, finance, participation and engagement.
Niral Kadawatharatchie of Freight Links has known me for approximately fifteen years (long enough that I knew his children when they were young and he informed me his daughter is currently an undergraduate at university in Australia) and the invitation was one that I felt a great deal of honor and personal pressure to meet the standards of the group. Based on feedback, it was well received. It was also a pleasure to engage the other speakers and ask them questions and when I get their slide decks, I’ll be sure to post somewhere.
For now, though, the pressure and excitement leading up to the speech (which earned me invitations to discuss speaking in other countries as well) has finally bled off and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get the first good night’s sleep of the trip. Tomorrow there is a tour scheduled of the Sri Lankan Port Authority’s Port of Colombo and I’m eagerly anticipating that.
I’m going to have to do a really good job wrapping this piece of hardware; it’s coming home intact and going to be proudly featured as an early accolade and great memory for me.