On Monday, May 9th, Capgemini CREATE members based in New York City and Jersey City attended the 2016 ASCEND Inspiring Across Generations Conference, hosted at the Microsoft NY office in Times Square.

The focus of ASCEND, is to bring together a diverse mix of successful Pan-Asian leaders who, through the discussion of topics relevant to today’s business professionals, will educate, inspire, and encourage them to reflect on their own goals and status as they strive to advance within their organizations. This year’s theme was ‘Campaigning for Success’ and focused on the three key elements of Power, Politics and Passion, and understanding their interaction in your career.

Panel topics included:

·      Keynote: Power, Politics, and Passion

·      Politics: The Art of the Career Campaign

·      Power: Powering Up Your Career: The Unwritten Rules

·      Politics: Are You Media Ready?

·      Passion: Successfully Following Your Passion

Minerva Tantoco, the keynote speaker, set the pace and atmosphere of event with a powerful story of her life which led her to become the Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York. Through her speech, she imparted many of the lessons she had learned over the course of her career, and encouraged the audience to stay passionate about their careers and to understand how power and politics have played a role in her successes.

The Panel discussion continued to reiterate the importance of Power, Politics, and Passion. Some of the discussions naturally gravitated towards discussing parallels with political tactics of the US election campaigning process, but the panelists were mindful of maintaining a neutral and constructive learning environment while highlighting many of the insights that arise from a campaigning process. Such lessons focused on the importance of cultivating a personal brand, navigating your professional network, and captivating others through effective communication.

The remainder of the evening consisted of breakout sessions where attendees could attend different discussions focusing on topics relating to business professionals at varying levels of their own careers. Professionals in the early stages of their careers were encouraged to attend sessions focusing on passion; while those with many years of experience were encouraged to attend sessions focusing on power and politics.

Finally, attendees were given the opportunity to meet with the various speakers and were encouraged to network amongst fellow attendees. Overall, it was an inspiring event, and those in attendance found incredible value in the experience.

See below for comments about the conference from a couple of our colleagues:

“It was inspiring to hear from successful millennials, with backgrounds similar to mine, on how they persevered and strove to follow their passions in their career paths. All of the various hurdles they overcame, and risks they took eventually paid off and led them to find fulfillment in their work lives.” – Wenyi Zhu, CSD.

“I enjoyed listening to the stories that the speakers shared with us. The event gave us the opportunity to relate with the speakers and see how down to earth and approachable they really were. I definitely learned a lot and I look forward to attending future events like this.” – Michael Sam, STAT


CREATE is Capgemini’s Asian Employee Resource Group and a forum for employees to network, collaborate, and develop both professionally and culturally. CREATE stands for Collaborating to Reach Excellence in Asian Talent & Expertise. In 2016, CREATE has updated its focus around three goals: community, leadership, and business growth. These goals complement and support the 4C’s focus for all Employee Resource Groups within Capgemini: Commerce, Culture, Career, and Community.

If you are interested in getting involved with CREATE, please contact Rob Paik and Amanda Yiu.

Follow us on Twitter @JoinCapgemini for more updates on our diversity and inclusion efforts.