Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post, and a panel of global future leaders headlined sessions on the concluding day of the first international Quality of Life Conference, hosted by Sodexo on Tuesday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 6, in New York, N.Y.

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, led attendees in a collective mindfulness session on the evening of the first day. Day two began with a panel discussion between generations -- up and coming leaders from the millennial generation alongside leaders in today’s business world. Young panelists evoked their generation’s commitment to service, flexibilty and freedom and posited that the organizations that will thrive tomorrow and attract millennial talent are those that listen to and value employees.

During the session, Sodexo revealed the results of a study of 1,000 students in five countries carried out by Sodexo and Harris Interactive. Sixty-nine percent of high potential millennials totally agree that improving quality of life will have an important impact on the performance of their future organization, versus 57 percent of current leaders. Next generation leaders ranked quality of life as the number one driver of performance for organizations, while current leaders ranked it fifth.

Huffington then led a forward-thinking panel discussion about ways to transform the way we live and work, challenging a definition of success that is based solely on money and power. The session probed the way quality of life plays out for the employer and the employee and how it is perceived differently in various sectors and businesses.

Renowned economist Jeremy Rifkin concluded the conference speaking about the shift to a world where social capital is more important than financial capital. He urged the audience to be open to a world beyond markets where we must learn to live together in an increasingly independent sharing economy.

“Sodexo has been committed to improving quality of life for 50 years and this conference validates the key role it will play in the future,” said  Michel Landel, Sodexo CEO. “There have been many inspiring discussions over these last two days, among the wide variety of researchers, corporate, defense, education, healthcare and community authorities who were present. The learnings and human connections we have all made at this Conference motivates us to drive forward organizational and societal progress.”

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