London Gathering Showcases Game-Changing Innovations, including Robot Waiters and New Startups

London, October 17, 2017 —Sodexo, global leader in quality of life services, today brought together inventor, author and futurist Ray Kurzweil, Sodexo Chairwoman Sophie Bellon and Angel Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to headline the concluding day of Sodexo’s Quality of Life Conference in London.

In his remarks, Kurzweil painted a picture of our future world, where nanotechnology, robotics and life extension technologies all converge. Referred to by Forbes as “the ultimate thinking machine,” Kurzweil is above all an optimist.

“The pace of change, and innovation, in today’s digital landscape is incredible,” said Sodexo Chairwoman Sophie Bellon. “While it may bring uncertainty and complexity, I am confident that it offers far greater hope to solve many of the world’s biggest challenges.”

More than 30 game-changing innovations and creations—from robot waiters to virtual reality demonstrations —were showcased in the Discovery space, an immersive, interactive exhibition. The Spark Life Contest organized by thecamp, sponsored by AccorHotels Group, SNCF Gares & Connexions, Le Village by CA, Sodexo and Steelcase, recognized those startups that have the power to meaningfully transform people’s quality of life, Winners are: eelway (AccorHotels Group and SNCF Gares & Connexions), bioo (Le Village by CA and thecamp), Smunch (Sodexo), Orosound (Steelcase) and Bioo as the Coup de Coeur.

Sodexo’s Trailblazer Challenge also made way for an intimate dialogue between seasoned leaders and rising change makers, including Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Sissel Hansen, Wendy Luhabe and Takunda Ushe. Together, they explored the climate for startups, focusing on sustainable development and economic empowerment for women.

“Today, we learned that the future s here,” said Denis Machuel, Deputy CEO and Chief Digital Officer of Sodexo. ”It’s up to us to broaden our minds and embrace these forward-thinking solutions in our businesses, governments and society as a whole.”

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