A month after wrapping up, the World Business Forum (WBF) had already received more than 120 media mentions, all calling it a major success. Firsthand reports from the attendees backed this up, with an astounding 99 per cent of delegates subscribing their interest in returning.

The success of the forum can largely be attributed to the star-studded line-up of speakers headed by Richard Branson and Chris Gardner — aka the CEO of Happyness.

The author of the 2006 autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness (on which the famous film starring Will Smith was based) brought genuine direction and conviction to the forum, stating quite plainly that when you have a passion, you need to follow it through at all costs. “When you’re doing something you’re truly passionate about, there is no Plan B. Plan B sucks. If Plan B was any good, then it would be Plan A. Plan B distracts from Plan A,” Chris says, charisma oozing from him.

Chris’s moving talk about his rise from homelessness to be a self-made multimillionaire and global ambassador for perseverance and hope was one that will stay with attendees for many years to come; he was the talk of the show.

Richard Branson explained that the best way to operate business tends to be to promote from within. He says that if you find the best within the people you already have, they will bring out the best in your business. It was a trademark Branson presentation that reinvigorated many of the simple elements of business that get taken for granted, all the while inspiring the audience and making it abundantly clear why he is still at the forefront of global decision-making.

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