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FHH - Raising Consciousness

FHH Raising Consciousness

Our correspondent and FHH ambassador reviews this year's FHH Forum.

You probably know that the Foundation of Haute Horlogerie organises the world-famous SIHH and also actively promotes awareness about fine watchmaking around the world through international watch exhibitions. But did you know that it also hosts the FHH Forum since almost a decade?

The FHH Forum is not just about watch-making. It comprises wide-ranging topics of social relevance. Last year, the topic was “Age of Transitions”, while this year it was “Age of Meaning”. I have been fortunate enough to attend every one of their Forums over the past nine years. It is heartwarming to see the FHH contributing to the world by giving a wonderful and rare opportunity to its 300-odd attendees to reflect on life’s most important matters. These attendees, in turn, become ambassadors of the messages they receive, and pass them on to the people they interact with, thus triggering a chain reaction.

Now you might be thinking, why would a foundation for watches undertake such a venture? The answer is that they strive to protect craftsmanship in any and all forms. Fine watch-making is all about the details and the forum epitomizes this paradigm. Craftsmanship and art ought to be preserved for the next generation and never has this been more crucial than in the digital age we are witnessing.

Raising Consciousness

Fabienne Lupo, President of the FHH © G. Maillot, point-of-view.ch

At the forum, a number of learned people are invited to share their insights and concerns about the planet. This year we had the likes of professor Arturo Bris, philosopher André Compte-Sponville and editorial cartoonist Patrick Chapatte, who added a touch of humour to this intense Forum.

Tim Leberecht, author of The Business Romantic and one of today’s most original business thinkers, advised business leaders to be themselves in the business they build. He asked people to take off the mask and be authentic.
Ms. Karin Jestin, philanthropy advisor, who advises high wealth donors on their philanthropic endeavours, talked about how the act of giving is the source of the greatest happiness. She emphasised the need to continue to give back to the world, because we receive a lot from it.

Although Franco Cologni, chairman of the foundation, was unable to attend the Forum this year, he sent a powerful video message. He said that the Age of Meaning is the age of common sense. We should pause our fast moving digital lives to reflect and understand how important our basic values of giving, being authentic and just being human are.

The overall message conveyed was to-the-point: anything used in excess by anyone harms the entire humankind, be it food, work, money, travel, gadgets or anything else. We can’t allow digitization take over our lives. Sometimes, I wonder about the wonders of the world like the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Vatican and how they were built without the benefit of information technology. Wasn’t that generation superior to ours? Today, we can hardly get anything done without computers and, let’s face it, no one is going to build such monuments any time soon.

Summing up, I think it’s remarkable that the watchmaking industry is taking such noble steps and I offer my sincerest gratitude to their effort.

Raising Consciousness

Speakers of the 2017 Forum © G. Maillot, point-of-view.ch