It was the Publicis CEO, Maurice Levy, however, that lent a breath of fresh air to the discussion. "The fact that there are populists is not the problem, it's that nobody is listening to them," he said.
That line stuck with me. How is it possible that we live in the most connected, digitally aware period in history and people aren't being heard? It's human nature to gravitate to smaller circles. Look no further than the halls of Brussels, tech conferences and economic forums for evidence of elites building silos.
But we should expect more from the politicians who are elected with a mandate to serve the people who pay their way.
What's done is done. The U.K. is going to leave the EU. But if leaders sitting across the English Channel want to do what's best for the kids in this divorce, they should listen to their citizens and work toward a smarter, more accountable union.
Now that the most polarizing figures in the leave campaign have taken a bow from their party's top posts, it's time to work towards reconciliation.
The U.K. may have asked for this split, but the EU committed plenty of wrongs in the marriage along the way. Take a page out of Gwyneth Paltrow's textbook and "consciously uncouple."
Correction: This story has been updated to show that Martin Schulz is the president of the European Parliament.