Stumbling into the world of telecoms is exactly how I would describe my first contact with the industry. It was as if I had walked into Narnia. I had never considered it, just like I have never considered canoeing or skydiving, or something that I couldn’t really identify with (yes, us Millennials are really into this identity stuff). Despite the dozens of telecoms-related business projects and cases we did in university, it still never crossed my mind. Plus, almost all of my classmates picked the ‘obvious’ companies to do projects or research on, the companies whose logos and products were branded into our culture and shone like scars, and in that imbroglio of Nike-Apple-Google, Vodafone and Telefonica were always taken.

That’s why my teams rarely picked them. Too obvious. There was an odd thrill in introducing your classmates to a more ‘interesting’ company in our presentations. A quirky start-up or a small but intense Google-sque powerhouse. My teams weren’t fond of the suits and the stamp of prestige associated with a company’s name, but everyone looked for a purpose they could identify with (‘purpose’ and ‘identity’ in one sentence, how many Millennial points do I get?). Basically, your typical uni naivete and leftover teen angst before entering the work force, the real world.

As if to fully mark its territory inside people’s minds, Vodafone went ahead and struck a sponsorship deal with the Madrid regional government and one of the busiest metro/train stations in the capital was renamed to ‘Vodafone Sol’. I remember when it happened and I’m not going to lie, I was one of those people who rolled their eyes almost every time they saw it. For years. And I was practically there every day.

But things change and so do people.

Peeking behind the curtains certainly improves your understanding of how things work, and yet so few actually do it, especially when it comes to telecoms. People who have never worked in the industry still have no idea what it is that I actually do. They think it’s probably boring and unrewarding, when in fact, this is one of the most interesting and inspiring industries I’ve ever worked in or done research on. It reignited my passion for things I considered dead, ashes of the past, and that resurrected dream unlocked new doors in the hallway of opportunities that is life.

Opportunities take us places. Barcelona, Dubai, Rovinj… what’s next?

Cadiz, Andalucía in good ol’ Spain. Back to my adoptive country. When? In January, which makes me immensely happy considering I live in the Northlands of Sweden, and you can imagine what it is like at the peak of winter.

ROCCO will be hosting its first annual Global Strategy Review (GSR) event and as a digital nomad, I cannot be more excited to see the team again and soak in every word from the leading voices in the industry. Jason Bryan, Stefano de Zottis, James Williams and Sibel Gazozcu will take the helm and guide us deeper into unexplored horizons and through that Stephen King- esque mist of BS shrouding the industry’s newest obsessions.

The new year will bring with itself new challenges and opportunities – as the cliché goes – and the best way to face it with confidence is to be not only informed, but fully armed with the curious observations around current mega trends and buzzwords of the industry, which ROCCO has successfully captured in reports, interviews and talent…  and those make all the difference.

Every detail and question previously overlooked at bigger events will get its time to shine because there’s a maximum of 30 delegate places. We’ll have 3 full days at the southwestern coast of Spain to bask in the sun and pick apart relevant topics, layer by layer.

Cadiz is one of the oldest cities in Western Europe and we’ll be exposed to its full splendour in the Old Town. Moorish, Phoenician and Roman cultures clash into the walls to form a small, charming peninsula jutting defiantly into the Atlantic Ocean.

The exotic sights morph into a Cuban splash of colour here and there, a unique touch acquired from Spain’s very first Transatlantic voyages, and this old spirit of danger has blossomed into the hope and courage needed to glance directly in the face of the unknown with the determination to conquer it.

I reckon some may find the beauty in it if they’re enamoured by the prospects of 5G, IoT and RCS… and if not, maybe a little sun and Spanish wine in the company of ROCCO and other members of the industry will set the tone for a prosperous and more honest future for the industry.

For more information about the GSR please see here