Keynote speaker Antonio Meza will share insights about transformation with his speech, The Burning Question, which he will present at EuroComm in London on 27 March. IABC EMENA Region board member Kasha Dougall caught up with Antonio in Paris, to find out more about him …
This year’s EuroComm theme is “Transformation: Adapt, Invent, Evolve”. What transformation have you personally experienced?
My first significant experience of transformation occurred when I moved from Mexico to France. I wanted to learn more about other people and their cultures. I wanted to understand what makes us similar as humans and how to make sense of the differences, especially cultural differences. When you leave your culture, you see yourself and your culture from a different perspective.
What did you learn from your move to Paris?
That we never stop transforming. It is an ongoing process. When I arrived in Paris, I discovered Neuro Linguistic programming (NLP), which gave me the tools to understand people with a structure. I was good at applying those skills, so I became a coach and a trainer. My first passion is telling stories through animation and film. I soon realized that I could combine storytelling and NLP to support people. Helping them answer questions like: Where am I coming from? Where do I want to go? What can I do to make it happen? I help my clients tell their own story and proactively define the next chapters in their lives. This is one of the keys to personal transformation.
How have you seen life transform since you arrived in Europe?
Times are changing very fast. People lost certainty and job security in 2008, which has been exacerbated by the digital world. Since no one can assure us certainly in our professional lives anymore, we are beginning to assume more responsibility in defining what we want to do. We are starting to ask how we can add value in a sustainable way and how we can define an offering that makes sense in our transforming world, today and tomorrow.
You are a man of many disciplines: speaker, coach, film maker, illustrator, storyteller, graphic facilitator. If you could choose just one, which would it be?
Animated movies have always been my passion. I came to Paris to study film and have recently gone back to my roots to start working in the movie world again. Sometimes transformation can come from your roots, especially if you can identify that passion and project it into your future.
I have found that all of my activities feed into each other and are interrelated. My work is both fun and varied because I am able to combine my wide and growing skill set.
You speak of growing your skill set, which is key to transformation. If you had time to acquire a new skill or learn something new, what would it be?
I would love to learn to play a musical instrument. I would write a book, perfect my German and learn Japanese. Although I am already in a very privileged position because I only do what I am passionate about. I work solely on projects that I am interested in and speaking at conferences, like EuroComm, is one of them. I’m looking forward to sharing this two-day experience of transformation. After we leave the conference, we will not be the same people as when we began!