“Our Road to Becoming Climate Neutral” – this is the topic that the budding executives participating in the 2021/22 Berndorf Academy programme are focusing on. After an enforced year-long hiatus due to the pandemic, the Berndorf Academy development course for high potentials got underway once again this autumn. Choosing the topic to be addressed this year was straightforward: three of the Berndorf companies had suggested tackling topical issues connected with climate neutrality at the Academy’s opening event.
International travel restrictions and social distancing measures the previous year had called into question the value of going ahead with the face-to-face, network-building elements of the development programme for aspiring Berndorf executives. So the tough but unavoidable decision was taken to postpone for a year until the situation had improved. Finally, on 13 September 2021 the participants got to meet up for the first time. Everyone was required to show proof of vaccination, recovery from a Covid infection, or a recent negative test result, and all participants also took a lateral flow test on arrival at the Höllrigl Hotel in Kottingbrunn, where the opening event took place. This year’s intake was made up of two women and 14 men, who came from eight different Berndorf companies.
Linking up face-to-face and online
The organiser of the Academy, Regine Midder, is relieved that they were able to proceed as normal: “We hope to be able to go ahead with all of the face-to-face components the 2021/22 programme. Especially when it comes to finding solutions to complex issues – such as becoming climate neutral, which is this year’s topic – the Academy thrives on participants being able to share ideas based on Berndorf’s values.” The participants are also able to keep in contact online between the scheduled elements of the programme, says Midder: “Irrespective of the pandemic, this has become an integral aspect of the group learning approach and programme delivery.”
Established 2009: The Berndorf Academy
The Berndorf Academy is a tailor-made development programme for high potentials at Berndorf Group companies. It is an opportunity for staff to broaden their individual skills and abilities, and to build up their networks in an international, intercultural context.
For Berndorf AG, the Academy functions as a platform for demonstrating its corporate culture and values, and participants act as multipliers who carry these values back into Group companies. Since its inaugural year in 2009 a total of 176 staff members, including 26 women, have attended the Berndorf Academy in 12 annual intakes.