Today at ISM World 2024: Charitable Leadership and Fun

April 30, 2024
By Dan Zeiger

The ISM World 2024 Annual Conference kicked off on Monday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with a new event that aimed to combine three key elements of business: leadership, teamwork and fun.

The “Supercharging Your Team” charity event featured insights from two of the world’s top business leadership experts, followed by a race to fill hygiene kits for Clean The World, which collects and recycles soap and other hygiene products discarded by the hospitality industry and distributes them to people in need. The Orlando, Florida-based nonprofit organization is Institute for Supply Management®’s charity partner during the Conference.

“A company can’t say, ‘We’re going to have fun at 4 p.m. today,’ ” Mandy Flint, CEO and founder of Excellence in Leadership in the United Kingdom (U.K.). “Fun needs to be a part of the company culture, part of our being.” She and Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, co-founder of Think Solutions in the U.K. and Sweden, spoke before the attendees’ hygiene kit-stuffing.

Flint and Vinberg Hearn are longtime collaborators, and their fourth book, Supercharged Leader: Develop Your Mind and Skillset to Deal With Anything, debuted during the Conference. The pair also conducted two workshops on leadership on Monday.

Humility and a willingness to be coachable is a critical part of leadership, Vinberg Hearn said. “We can’t be know-it-alls; we need to be learn-it-alls,” she said. “With the world changing so rapidly, we need to be able to learn, or we can’t work.”

The event concluded with attendees breaking off into teams to fill 2,500 hygiene kits with such items as recycled soap, a comb, socks and a hand-written personal message of encouragement. Those messages are typically kept and treasured long after the kit’s supplies are used up, said Caitlin Leps, senior sales manager at Clean The World.

The three teams that filled 100 kits the fastest received such prizes as an MGM Resorts gift card and a consulting session with Flint and Vinberg Hearn.

Innovation and Insights

During the general sessions, the audience seating format will be a first at an ISM Annual Conference: a circular theater, with attendees surrounding the stage in the center of the Premier Ballroom at the MGM Grand.

Outside the seating area is ISM’s Innovation Park, with vendor booths again laid out in “neighborhoods,” grouped by product or service categories — Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG), Logistics, Risk and Technology — and “Insight” stages for more detailed presentations.

The Innovation Park setting helps foster interaction, as well as the “experiential learning and an immersive experience” that are hallmarks of an ISM Annual Conference, says ISM CEO Thomas W. Derry. “Adults are often best suited to learn new things by practice and by seeing examples, not just book learning,” he says.

For the third straight year, the Innovation Park opened early, during the Welcome Party on Monday night.

Board of Directors Meets in Vegas

Committee updates and final ISM World 2024 preparations highlighted the agenda as Institute for Supply Management®’s Board of Directors met on Monday at the MGM Grand. ISM’s Nominating, Finance, and Human Resources & Compensation Committees provided reports and progress updates.

Also, the Board:

  • Voted on the Nominating Committee’s slate of Board candidates for the 2024 ballot, as well as updates to ISM’s governance policies
  • Reviewed research regarding ISM events
  • Discussed the financial outlook and planning process for fiscal year 2025.

Copies of meeting minutes and appendixes are available at — select “Governance” under “About ISM” — within 90 days of the meeting. They are also available by emailing Kristen Moreno at

The next meeting of the ISM Board of Directors is on September 5 in Napa, California.

Tuesday’s Highlights

The Conference’s first full day kicks off with the Opening General Session at 9 a.m. PT, which features keynote speaker Ian Bremmer, president and founder of Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm, and GZERO Media, which covers international affairs. Bremmer will discuss geopolitical events and other issues impacting supply chains.


  • Breakout sessions on such topics as risk, data and analytics, fleet management, soft skills, nearshoring and artificial intelligence, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Presentations on various topics by ISM Supply Chain Trailblazer Award-winning companies, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • ISM International Student Case Competition, 3 p.m.
  • ISM Awards Gala reception (6:30 p.m.) and event (7:30 p.m.)

A detailed ISM World 2024 agenda can be viewed here.

About the Author

Dan Zeiger

About the Author

Dan Zeiger is Senior Copy Editor/Writer for Inside Supply Management® magazine, covering topics, trends and issues relating to supply chain management.