New York Times Bestselling Author Simon Sinek Unravels the Secrets of Visionary Leadership during the Record-Breaking PH Digicon 2023: VISION

PLDT Enterprise once again brought together thousands of innovation enthusiasts and forward-thinkers from across the world for yet another digital revolution, staging the Philippine Digital Convention 2023 (PH Digicon 2023), with the theme “VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise,” at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City last October 12-13, 2023.

Already on its 9th year, the corporate business arm of PLDT, the country’s largest integrated telecommunications and digital services provider, successfully hosted the highly anticipated digital convention where global industry mavens, thought leaders, and pioneers in technology come together to meet face-to-face and help drive technological enablement for SMEs and large enterprises.  

“It’s going to be an exciting ride, fueled by our own collective Vision of a dynamic future, where technology seamlessly converges with the essence of humanity. That very word right there, Vision, that’s where it all begins. And while the future we are building is one where ideally humanity and technology seamlessly coexist to propel innovation and progress, only humanity possesses the heart and the spirit to create a Vision of where we want technology to bring us. And this is why we master and harness technology according to this Vision,” said Mitch Locsin, PLDT and Smart First Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Business Groups, during his opening speech.

“We will explore transformational leadership, the art of guiding our digital odyssey where visionary leaders steer the organizations towards a brighter and more prosperous future. Sustainability will take center stage in all of our discussions where we bridge the gap between technology and ethics, ensuring a better tomorrow for generations to come. We will also explore the delicate balance between innovations and responsibility, fostering a world where progress aligns harmoniously with our environment and societal values,” Locsin continued.

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Historic Attendance Milestone

This year, the PH Digicon 2023 broke all records and saw over 5,500 physical delegates with over 3,000 companies and organizations participating, building greatly on its success from previous years, and raising the bar even higher for the next installments to come.

“We are sincerely grateful to everyone who attended and participated this year. Planning and hosting an in-person PH Digicon 2023, with many ‘firsts,’ has been an exhilarating journey, especially coming from the pandemic, when most events were conducted virtually. We knew that our attendees, leaders, and tech-enthusiasts from across the nation would be very interested in coming here in person to really experience all the technologies and innovations firsthand. This year, we’ve prepared a range of exciting new initiatives, such as opening the event to the public, our SME Zone, the Digicon City with innovative digital booths, and the Start-up Innovation Challenge, among others,” said Chet Alviz, PLDT Enterprise Vice President and Head of Marketing.

“But expectations were exceeded, and we were very much pleasantly surprised by the full show of support and record-breaking numbers in terms of registrants and actual attendees. It was a truly heartwarming, encouraging, and humbling scene seeing the crowd. Looking ahead, we are filled with excitement for what lies in store at the 10th PH Digicon in 2024,” Alviz added.

Visionary Leadership

Every year, for the past decade, PH Digicon has served as a hub for innovation, digital transformation, and technology advancements in the Philippines. For 2023, the adopted theme of “VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise” reflected the goal to empower tomorrow’s tech titans and enterprises, ignite future-forward thinking, explore cutting-edge technologies, and inspire leaders and business owners to drive success in the evolving business landscape.

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Cathy Yang, First Vice President and Group Head of Corporate Communications of PLDT and Smart, moderates the exclusive livestream interview with Simon Sinek, renowned speaker and New York Times Bestselling Author of Leaders Eat Last and The Infinite Game. During the interview, various topics were discussed ranging from visionary leadership and human connection to digital transformation and innovation.

In line with this, representing “Infinite Vision,” PH Digicon 2023’s Keynote Speaker was Simon Sinek, New York Times Bestselling Author of ‘Leaders Eat Last’ and ‘The Infinite Game’. In his session, Sinek unraveled the secrets of visionary leadership, unveiling the essential qualities that drive success, and showing the incredible power of purpose. Sinek also educated the audience on how to cultivate trust and harness innovation for long-term prosperity.

The renowned speaker and writer of bestselling books on leadership and innovation addressed attendees in his exclusive live broadcast on Day 1 of the event. 

Talking about the qualities that make a great leader, empathy being among them, Sinek highlighted, “When we feel that somebody actually cares about us and sees us as a human being, when we feel seen, heard or understood, that is when those human connections happen.”

Sinek also stressed the importance of the partnership between a Visionary and an Operator in a company, saying, “A visionary can see the future, a visionary can look four, five, ten years ahead. Visionaries could start to have ideas of what we could become. But a lot of visionaries aren’t necessarily the best executors, and that’s why we have the Operators. Operators are fantastic executors, who don’t necessarily have the imagination to see ten years ahead, to look beyond our existence now.”

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He explained the importance of nurturing the trust between the two, pointing out that “great organizations have Operators that believe in the Vision of the Visionary and Visionaries who realize that they need the Operator. It’s always a partnership.”

Purposeful Innovation

Speaking about existential flexibility, or the capacity of an infinite-minded leader to create an extreme disruption in strategy or product, amidst the rise of new technologies and innovations like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Sinek commented that, “To ensure that a company will survive for generations, we need those profound shifts and strategy in order to harness the new technology and advance their cause.”

He went on to discuss how the vision and purpose of a telecommunications company like PLDT to ‘connect’ is commendable and goes beyond just innovating and utilizing the latest technologies, or the service of providing phone lines or internet to its customers, but also includes strengthening, “The connection that we have with each other and having strong, loving connections. Connections are easy, but are those connections meaningful?”

Ultimately, Sinek emphasized the integral human element in any business, or when using any technology. “A hundred percent of employees are people. And a hundred percent of customers are people. And so, if you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business. Business is a human enterprise,” Sinek concluded.

With his insights into leadership having inspired millions worldwide, Sinek was truly the ideal keynote speaker for PH Digicon 2023’s VISION: Reimagine Tomorrow’s Enterprise, the largest digital summit event in the country.

PH Digicon 2023: VISION is powered by Amdocs, Cisco, Huawei Technologies Phils. Inc., Nokia, Google Cloud, Samsung, ZTE Corporation, Avolution Inc., Fortinet, Soprano Design, CSG, Dell Technologies Philippines, Ericsson Telecommunications, Inc., and Maya Philippines, Inc.

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