Ubuntu – I Am Because We Are

Representing togetherness, and working together with a purpose, Ubuntu encompasses not only a core value of Supplier Day but also the spirit of DPW Amsterdam 2022. The Supplier Day Team had the privileged of attending DPW to showcase the power of start-ups and the true impact of collective action to a room full of procurement leaders, entrepreneurs and change-makers.
Supplier Day DPW_ Pitch.pptx


Ubuntu is a Zulu word, used widely in South Africa, meaning “I am because we are”. A celebration of the diversity found within the Rainbow Nation, it is a reminder of the progression that can be made when people come together with a purpose. And this spirit could not be demonstrated more prominently than within DPW Amsterdam 2022. A symbol of togetherness amongst a flourishing Procurement community, DPW gathered their global network of procurement leaders, entrepreneurs, and change-makers to showcase the power of tech start-ups for the future of procurement, all-encompassed within their event motto:

“We are what Procurement has been looking for” 


The Supplier Day Team alongside Matthias Gutzmann, Founder of DPW


DPW was an event that bore excitement, positivity and high energy from all who attended, including sponsors, speakers, and practitioners. From the relaxed atmosphere – which founder Matthias Gutzmann referred to as “start-up casual” –  to the inspiring speeches and panel discussions, every aspect successfully encouraged communication and relationship-building amongst over 5000 attendees. 

Everyone who attended stood as an advocate for the emerging role of Procurement, built on the foundation of collaboration and meaningful connections. And this is the exact ethos that Supplier Day attended DPW with: to promote the power of collective action. 

The Supplier Day Team spent their time at DPW Amsterdam speaking to procurement professionals and decision-makers about their strategic priorities, engaging in insightful conversations, and networking with global giants such as Unilever, Nestlé, and KPMG. What was clear from all our conversations was the seriousness with which leadership takes engaging with their supply chain in meaningful ways. Armed with our expertise in Procurement and Supply Chain Communication, as well as a demo of our event experience, the team spoke with hundreds of attendees about their SRM strategies and showed how they too could create unique supplier engagement programmes that align their suppliers with their key strategic goals and commitments, that catalyse action and progress. 


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Caitlyn Lewis, Founder and CEO of Supplier Day

We also had the pleasure of witnessing a number of keynote speakers and panel discussions across the 2 days, each providing a different perspective on the function of Procurement and the way Procurement has evolved over the years. Our very own CEO and Founder, Caitlyn Lewis had the privilege to take the stage twice, once to speak about the value that Supplier Day delivers to its customers and a second time, to interview Unilever’s Chief Product Supply Officer, Nutrition, Jennifer Han.

In this Fireside Chat, Caitlyn and Jennifer spoke about Unilever’s journey to Net Zero, and how their focus on waste reduction and regenerative agriculture is targeting a large chunk of their carbon footprint, whilst also bringing suppliers, across multiple continents, together to execute their long-term goals. Watch the full fireside chat here. According to Han, these strategies could only be achieved through the collective efforts of all Unilever stakeholders, buyers, and suppliers. Just one of many demonstrations of Ubuntu and the power of collective action. 

“You have to bring everyone together” – Jennifer Han, Chief Product Officer, Nutrition, Unilever

Jennifer Han, Chief Product Officer, Nutrition, Unilever speaking to Caitlyn Lewis on Unilever’s journey to Net Zero

Supplier Day’s goal for DPW was to develop as many meaningful connections as possible. Leveraging our visibility and event expertise within a room of procurement professionals, the Supplier Day team connected with many like-minded individuals and developed meaningful connections with thought-provoking conversations on supplier engagement, recession-proofing, risk and resilience, and long-term strategic goals.  The team were lucky enough to speak to representatives from  Accenture, Ecovadis, and Diageo, who all acknowledged the benefits a supplier day could bring to their organisation. 

“This is the power of procurement, of bringing people together towards shared goals and creating the space for great things to happen” – Caitlyn Lewis, Founder and CEO of Supplier Day   


As a small gift to all who engaged in meaningful conversations with us, Supplier Day has planted 100 trees in their name, within our Supplier Day Forest. Our way of saying thank you to you! We have added 1,400 trees to our forest, which has now saved 628 tonnes of carbon since we began planting it.

The value of attending an event such as DPW is unparalleled. Not only did it provide the opportunity to emphasise the benefits of supplier engagement and supplier days to our target audience, but it was also a chance to network and build long-lasting relations with a wider Procurement community. DPW is a platform that allows its attendees to witness and experience Ubuntu first-hand, with attendees actively engaging with start-ups to exchange ideas, foster stronger relations, and become an overall positive driving force for change. 

DPW truly encapsulated the essence of working together to achieve a purpose, showcasing start-ups, at the heart of it all. Set with new ideas and insights for our current and future clients, Supplier Day is ready to grow strength-to-strength and work harder to bring Ubuntu to everyone we encounter. 


And of course, we cannot wait to once again experience the wonders of DPW Amsterdam next year, in 2023. 


While Supplier Day believes in the Power of Virtual, the benefits of networking physically through an event such as DPW cannot be denied. But that does not allow us to ignore our social and environmental responsibilities, which is why we have planted a total of 1400 trees which will help to offset 1.35 tonnes of carbon – equivalent to the consumption of 2,109 litres of gasoline – produced by our team members in their travels to the event.

Check out all the trees we have planted so far within our Supplier Day Forest here