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Episode 11: Unified Under People & Planet Episode 11:

Multimedia

Episode 11: Unified Under People & Planet Episode 11:



My _____ Story: Join hosts Funda Kalemci and James Anderson as they sit down with guests Daniela Montes de Oca, Dr. Binesh Jose, Lukas Koch, and Ryan Hart as they discuss our first People & Planet Day as a unified company.

Guests
Guests
Daniela Montes de Oca

Daniela Montes de Oca

Global Manager, culture and Engagement in the Diversity, Talent & Culture Team

Dani joined NIQ 7 years ago in a local HR role in Chile where she had the opportunity to learn about the business and start developing her creative skills. Since her first year at NIQ she was involved in the volunteer opportunities, where she had the privilege to start leading initiatives locally and then take on a regional leadership role where she learnt much more about the importance of helping the communities and the impact that is done. Since July, 2021 she joined the Diversity, Talent & Culture team as Manager, Culture & Engagement being the responsible for the global onboarding program and part of the Engage! survey team. Her interests of connecting with others and meeting new people has helped her to be part on different and fun projects, and to take the global leader role for this 2023 People & Planet Day. 

Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart 

Senior Director of Consumer & Marketing Insights

Ryan Hart is a Senior Director of Consumer & Marketing Insights at GfK – an NIQ company. In his current role, he partners with automotive marketing teams throughout US, Canada and Mexico. He currently leads his team in consulting, consumer insights, market research and analytics. Ryan has also received his B.S. in Business and Masters in Business Administration. In addition, Ryan recently supported a company wide initiative during People & Planet where he coordinated GfK/NIQ efforts to support local communities in Southern California.

Dr. Binesh Jose

Dr. Binesh Jose

Director, Technology 

Dr. Binesh, a technology leader with over two decades of industrial expertise, resides in Kochi, India. Renowned as an adept architect of intelligent systems, Dr. Binesh specializes in leveraging advanced data science methodologies and big data frameworks to maximize business value through insightful data analytics. They have a remarkable track record of delivering cutting-edge applications and championing the elevation of data as a strategic asset. Proficient in team building and people management, Dr. Binesh fosters collaborative and high-performing work environments.In the academic realm, Dr. Binesh stands as an author of more than a dozen reputed publications and holds the prestigious position of Chair at flagship conferences for both IEEE and ACM. Their influence extends to industry-academia collaboration, where they play a pivotal role in driving meaningful partnerships, advancing research, and bridging the gap between theory and practical application. Notably, Dr. Binesh is an advisor to law enforcement agencies, offering expertise in crime analysis and predictive policing, showcasing their dedication to societal well-being and safety. Beyond their professional pursuits, Dr. Binesh finds joy in cricket and American football. Moreover, they are deeply committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the industry, leaving a lasting impact wherever their journey takes them.

Lukas Koch

Lukas Koch 

Global Employer Branding Manager

Lukas works as the Global Employer Branding Manager at GfK. In his role, he focuses on talent marketing and HR branding, acting as a liaison between the brand, creative, and HR teams. He supports talent acquisition teams in finding and attracting new colleagues across all talent touchpoints. This includes building promotional material, running marketing campaigns, and offering event support. Following the merger with NIQ, Lukas assumed the position of Global and Regional Leader for Europe at GfK for this year’s People and Planet Day event. In this capacity, he played a crucial role in establishing the required organizational frameworks to enable GfK employees to volunteer in their communities worldwide, positively impacting people’s lives and the planet.

Resources
Resources

Transcript

felt again, as I all the years I felt in the same way, I feel so fortunate to be part of a company that gives us this opportunity to do it. But at the beginning, I felt a little bit distressed because I was saying oh God, I cannot believe that I don’t have a spot available, but it turned in a good way.  

Lukas Koch: That’s great, great story. And I can really relate, because after all the planning time we spend and, I mean, we love to spend, when the day arrived, it felt like there was so much going on. I went to the office in Nouremberg and there was so much going on and I was like, just a small puzzle piece, making it happen, but then arriving there, there was so much from so many people involved in different initiatives that it felt like it’s somehow not part of this real on the ground work because I was more the background. But yeah, I was lucky I had a spot safe. I participated in the flea market. We all had a flea market in the office and what we did, as I’m part of the brand team, we sold outdated branded items to our colleagues and they just donated money for it. And we took all the money and donated it to a local charity organization. It was. It was only us. It was al-also colleagues from other departments and they, for example, sold delicious food, and yeah, we took all the money, donated it to a local charity. At first we thought that it might be a 2-hour initiative like we just put on the table and put the stuff there and then people can come and we will be ready by lunch. Yeah, we ended up being there, busy all day, two people just trying to sell all the stuff from the branding team until the end of the day and we got a lot of money together and it was- it was fun. So, people were nice food and nice friend and items. And yeah, everyone was happy. That’s definitely a win/win situation for everyone. 

Funda Kalemci: Those are the words and phrases I love to hear. It was fun. People were happy. We raised this much money. I love that. Lukas, thank you so much. 

James Anderson: So as Funda was mentioning, this was entirely a volunteer position, role, activity. And, so, I’m just wondering from each of our guests today when it comes to volunteer actions, processes, it’s- it’s driven obviously by a desire to do good, to make change to, you know, to help make the world a better place for ourselves and everyone and everything in it. So, I’m just wondering, when you saw the invite or when you were made aware that this event was going to happen, why did you want to be involved? Was- what inspired you to share your time and your energies on the day in the project? 

Ryan Hart: At least for me, I thought it was just a great opportunity. One, this is my first time actually doing a People & Planet event and, again, just kind of talking with HR, seeing what was entailed. I thought it would be really good to kind of do something a little bit more than our, you mentioned, our day-to-day activities, right. So, in general, I think everyone kind of mentioned that the volunteer work is it’s always additional right. It’s things you kind of do when you’re not fulfilling your regular duties here. But you know, in general, it was one of those opportunities to kind of leave something a little bit different. 

Dani Montes de Oca: From my side, I can say that I feel so fortunate for all of the privilege that I can have like, having a good place to live, having a-a family, having an amazing work that I love to do all the time. I feel like volunteering is somehow giving a little bit back to the people in need and also to the planet that is helping us to live this life and, and sometimes we think that if we do little things, we are not doing a great impact. But I think that as long as we want to do it and we keep doing it and we have the opportunity to change. If it is a little, or if it is too much, someone or something, I think that is something that we should do and we should keep doing. And I also feel like, I was saying before, the fortune to be in a company that is giving us this opportunity to do the change that I will be jumping into the position or the different responsibilities that I can help with to keep doing, working to make a difference. 

Lukas Koch: For me it was a pretty easy decision. When I first heard about it, it’s like, you get something offered that has absolutely no strings attached. So there is only win, win, win for everyone involved and that was a no brainer for me. So, having the opportunity to spend up to one day during my most active hours of the day. Not at the end of the day, not on the weekend, where of course you all have to also find some rest – no. You will have the chance to use the best time of your day to do good. That makes you happy. That makes the people or the environment happy. And you also be more focused and more energized coming back to work, so there is absolutely nothing you could say against it. So it’s maybe I’m easy to convince, yeah, but that was a no brainer for me. 

Funda Kalemci: OK, I’m getting emotional here. Thank you so much, Lukas. Thank you, Dani. And thank you, Ryan, for, for sharing those, because it means the world to me, personally, but also professionally. I want to close us with a fun question. My biggest fun for this global day of volunteering and, uh, now it’s People & Planet Day. For years, I am strategically located right in the middle of the world when it comes to time zones, right? I live in Istanbul, Turkey, and my People & Planet Day starts for me the night before around like midnight, 1:00 AM when New Zealand starts their day and then like until like I can sleep like 2:00 AM or something, China already started theirs and started posting on social media. Then I go to bed, sleep for a few hours and then get up and go to my own event. And like, watch entire Asia, then Africa, Europe. And then of course, goes into the same night until California finishes their events and starts posting. So, that’s my biggest fun of the event – like following that whole day of, you know, 24 hours from New Zealand to California. What is your favorite moment for the day or what was it? If it was your first time?  

Dani Montes de Oca: I feel like the whole experience it is, and as you were saying, I was sleeping, when the first one started, but I was like, feeling a little bit anxious and excited, too, because of how is everything happening around the world. So, I would say, like, I don’t know if it is funny, but, but more emotionally is when I open my computer, I log on, and I started to see all the things that people were doing and I was like also in the funny piece of it, I was like, oh my God, I don’t know. I don’t have anything to do. I want to be part of it. I want to, to have my my T-shirt and, and go out there and do the things But also, I will say like the other part, if I if I can be a little bit more emotional was when, when I finally had the chance to do the activity, a mom came to me and said to me like, thank you so much for all that are you doing for the for the kids, but also for us as a moms, because we don’t always have the time to care about ourselves. And I was like, Oh my God, this is what it is! And then feeling like, the opportunity to see through the pictures the experience of all the other teams. That was amazing. 

Lukas Koch: For me, I think it’s not a different part that made me really happy. So the first part was of course really playing a key role in enabling us as an organization, making this happen. So at first, it was just that bold goal having that day and we didn’t know what to do, how to do it and we worked, only made it happen. That was just a good feeling that we saw the progress and also the organizational support growing The second was on the day itself. I mean, I had no time like checking in on social media or really connecting with other regions or countries. I was busy doing my initiative. But, after that day, logging into social media like LinkedIn and my stream was flooded with pictures of people doing their work and they were sharing on their private social media pages, so they are just proud of what they’re doing and then seeing what’s happening around the world. Like you said, Funda, just a whole running picture page of what’s happening. That was amazing, and in particular, the realizing that all of our work led to real outcome, was just amazing. For example, there was a team painting at a women’s shelter and in Noremburg. So there was – they took a picture before and after and before it was not a really welcoming place. It was really cool, clear, not really inviting place and after that it was like painted. It looked great. You you felt like, OK, this can be really a safe place to go there and that wouldn’t have happened on that day without all of us making this thing happen. And it’s really like this small experiences that really stick with me. 

Dr. Binesh Jose: Yeah. For me it’s a great opportunity to directly impact the life of many others and in a different meanings as well, right? For example, say, all of the events we conducted in India is…conducted a workshop on creating Bird Nest. So that is something directly impacting the planet, especially the cities like Delphi and using the profit or money we are making out of that or as a result of that workshop, is using for the victims enablement. That is also great initiative. And especially like market like India where we have a wide variety of a culture, maybe some concept just like a sustainable menstruation where we are educating and empowering other students of underprivileged group on the importance of a sustainable menstruation. From that extent to say that cleaning the planet in a very massive scale, again providing, going to the orphanages and it’s not just to feed them, sit with them, talk to them and give them the hope and give them the promise of education will empower them. So, it was a really, really heart touching event. And also I believe that it’s a great opportunity to work with diverse group of people and it’s an great opportunity to expand our social and professional network. Even in the social media platform aspect. So for me again, just like a soccer coach who, or his team is playing on the World Cup Final and the coach cannot play, right, most of the cases and he need to be on that sideline biding the knights, something like that. 

Ryan Hart: And I think what’s really interesting, getting everybody’s feedback in the comments too, because I think there’s like, there’s a lot of similarities, right. Like I think for me it was really two favorite parts of that. And I kind of talked a little bit about that earlier. It’s, it’s coming together as a bigger, broader team and kind of just experiencing that excitement, that enthusiasm from both the organizational, and really just one organization at this point and just being a team together. I think that was initially like one of my favorite parts of it. At the latter part of the event was really the charity aspects. After kind of doing these clean-ups, gathering recycling, doing all that stuff, it was really donating that money back to some of the needy that’s coming around to our offices, around the Long Beach area. So kind of having them say thank you and doing all those types of things and it’s a lot of people that you see kinda of on a regular basis, when we’re walking into the office, so being able to help some of those people, those individuals, that’s a really important part of our journey here. So, again, those were kind of the two things that stood out for me. 

Funda Kalemci: Oh my God, thank you so much. All of you, for sharing your favorite points. As a recap, there’s so much that you have said that I want to talk about, but I think what I want to highlight as our last words for the event is that privilege is invisible to the privileged. We have an enormous privilege to have, if nothing else, a job. Right. And everything else. So this day, I think, gives us an opportunity to, one, make those privileges visible to ourselves, but also use that privilege to make a difference in the world. So thank you all so much for everything you have done to make this day a success, but also joining us today to share your stories with us. So, before I get emotional, James over to you to close this out. 

James Anderson: That’s no problem, Funda. I know some wonderful stories today, very moving, very touching stories today. Thank you all for sharing your stories with us and your time with us and to our listeners who have tuned into this episode of My____Story, a DEI podcast. Be sure to check out our other episodes in the series, and stay tuned for our next release. Thank you all for listening. 

Jake Conlin: Hey, y’all, it’s Jake again. We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of My__Story. Tune in next time to hear more stories from the NIQ community.  

Dr. Binesh Jose: Seeing our collective initiative come to your life and witnessing the positive impact we are making was incredibly gratifying. 

Dani Montes de Oca: I feel so fortunate to b part of that company that give us this opportunity to do it. 

Ryan Hart: Being a team together, I think that was one of my favorite parts of it.  

Lukas Koch: So, there is only win, win, win for everyone involved.  

Dr. Binesh Jose: My experience in organizing the People & Planet Day in India was truly, truly remarkable.