WHO IS WHO
Biographies of Participants
Nick Adamus is the founder and CEO of Swiss Dragon Group Ltd. in Hong Kong and Switzerland, an active investor and advisor to founders and start-ups, helping them to shape their business and grow to the next level. Through 2016 he was the COO for Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, responsible for Regional IT, Operations, Change Management, Controls, HR, Communications and Philanthropy. Other positions at Credit Suisse since his joining in 2005 comprised Head of Securities Trading and Sales Switzerland, Head of One Bank Collaboration and Global Head of Corporate Development, including Strategy and Corporate M+A. Before that, Nick was a Partner at McKinsey and Company, where he had worked for 12 years, mainly in Zurich as well as New York and San Francisco. He predominantly served Global Financial Institutions as well as Industrial Clients in a Corporate Finance context. Nick holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Zurich and an M.B.A. with Distinction from INSEAD and speaks five languages. Nick lives with his wife and their two children in Zurich and Hong Kong, is an avid wine collector, a passionate cyclist and loves traveling with his family. His multiple further interests comprise contemporary arts, new technologies (e.g., fin tech), philanthropy, as well as building businesses and bridges between Europe and Asia.
Daniel Aegerter is founder and chairman of Armada Investment AG, which he established as his family office organization after the successful merger of his B2B software company, TRADEX Technologies, with Ariba for USD5.6 billion in March 2000. Armada manages the diversified, public and entrepreneurial investments of the Aegerter family. Since starting his first company at age 18 (although still an apprentice at Swiss Bank Corp.), Daniel has been passionate about entrepreneurial activities. He has unique investing and entrepreneurial experience on both sides of the Atlantic. Daniel’s first business venture was the import and distribution of Macintosh peripherals. Besides his business career, Daniel is a passionate polo player.
Viola Amherd is the Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport. Her political career began 30 years ago as member of the city council of Brig-Glis. Since then, she has gained vast experiences across different roles in Swiss public institutions. She holds a Diploma in Law from the University of Fribourg.
Jonas Anker is the founder and CEO of Anker Capital, a Zug-based startup which offers services in the area of corporate finance.
Christiano Arnhold Simões started his professional career as a business consultant but soon realised that entrepreneurship was his true professional inclination. Christiano has founded and co-founded different enterprises, and he currently holds non-exec roles in companies located in Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America. Aware of the importance of Impact Investing, Christiano is an active investor in Fintech, Braintech, and Agritech. All of those investments take into consideration financial inclusions, sustainability and fair trade. When not overseeing his businesses or family estates, he engages in his true passions: teaching and learning.
Jan Bayer is member of the Executive Board at Axel Springer SE. As such, he is President of the News Media US business and deputy CEO of the Executive Board of Axel Springer. The portfolio in the US encompasses leading news brands like Politico, Insider, Insider Intelligence, and Morning Brew. Jan has been working in the media industry since 1995 and started his career at Süddeutsche Zeitung. After several leading positions in media companies, he started at Axel Springer in 2006, where he became Executive Board member in 2012. Jan studied media and law in Germany and in the US. Key mandates in supervisory bodies (as of: July 2022) ~ Politico Media Group, USA (Chairman of the Supervisory Board) ~ Insider Inc., USA (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Vesna Bengin is the co-founder of the BioSense Institute and the coordinator of H2020 project ANTARES, which, with a budget of € 30 million, aims to evolve BioSense into a European Centre of research excellence. Besides developing institutional scientific excellence, Vesna also directly focuses on fostering the economic growth of the region, as well as on the development of the national policies in the field of research and innovation. Vesna is a scientific advisor at BioSense, a full professor at the Depart. of Physics, University of Novi Sad and an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She also serves as a member of UNICEF Business Advisory Board in Serbia, a consultant for UN FAO, and a consultant for UNDP. She is a mother of three children. Vesna was a speaker at the inaugural WORLD.MINDS Belgrade in 2019.
Kipper Blakeley is the Chief of Staff and Producer at WORLD.MINDS. In this capacity, he runs the operations of WORLD.MINDS, including all of its physical and virtual events throughout the year, and is the Managing Editor of the WORLD.MINDS Magazine. Kipper is originally from Boston but, after traveling to over 90 countries (and living in 6 of them), decided to settle down in Switzerland over a decade ago. He lives at a lake in eastern Switzerland with his wife and son.
Kristine Braden is the Citi country officer for Switzerland, Monaco and Liechtenstein and the corporate & investment banking head for Switzerland. Based in Zurich, she assumed her role in April 2015. Kristine has enjoyed a 19-year career with Citi working across EMEA, Asia and Latin America in various capacities. Before moving to Switzerland, Kristine was head of the Global Subsidiaries Group (GSG) for Europe, based in London. Kristine joined GSG from Citibank in the Philippines, where she was managing director and global banking head for three years. She has held other positions in Asia in Industry Banking, Capital Markets and Transaction Services. She started her career as a Global Emerging Market Management Associate with postings in the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Egypt. Kristine is a keen advocate of advancing women’s diversity at Citi, serving as co-chair of the Human Capital Development Committee for CitiWomen and founder of the EMEA CIB Women’s Leadership Exco. She is also Vice-President of the Foreign Bankers Association of Switzerland and has been recently appointed a board member of the Swiss Bankers Association. In 2014, Kristine was named as one of the top 100 women in EMEA finance by Financial News. Kristine is married with two children adopted from Hong Kong, aged 19 and 15.
Ralph Büchi is Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE, Berlin, since April 2019. From 2008 until May 2017 Ralph was President of Axel Springer International. In this function he was a member of the Executive Board of Axel Springer SE from 2012 to 2014. His various activities during that time included the launch of the European edition of POLITICO. He was also one of the founders and the Chairman of the Central European joint venture between Axel Springer and the Swiss publishing group Ringier since 2010. Prior to that he was co-owner and CEO of the Zurich-based business publishing group Handelszeitung, which he sold to Axel Springer in 1999. From 2017 to 2020 he was a member of the Group Executive Board of Ringier and in charge of their national and international publishing activities. Additionally, Ralph is a member of the European Advisory Board of Samsung. He is also a former President and currently a board member of FIPP, the global media network, and the European Business Press Group EBP.
Michael Busch is Managing Partner at Herder Thalia Holding GmbH & Co KG and speaker of the shareholder assembly of Thalia. After completing his degree in Economics at the University of Cologne, he began his professional career at KNIGHT WENDLING Consulting GmbH where he worked in the field of corporate restructuring and M&A. Michael joined DOUGLAS HOLDING AG in 1993 as a controller in the Douglas Group. In 1995, he was appointed to the management board in the DOUGLAS Group’s Book division, before becoming the division’s CEO in 1998. From January 2003 he represented the Book division within the executive board of the Douglas Group. From September 2012 to March 2015, Michael was an executive board member of Douglas Holding AG. After Thalia’s separation from Douglas Holding AG, Michael remains CEO of Thalia Bücher GmbH. In 2016, after acquiring Thalia together with three partners, he has additionally become the Managing Partner. In June 2022, he passed the role as CEO to his successor and became Managing Partner at Herder Thalia Holding GmbH & Co KG and speaker of the shareholder assembly of Thalia.
Martin Daut runs as CEO Germany’s Nr.2 B2C Robo Advisor & Digital Assetmanager, quirion, with 60.000 clients, collecting 1.3 Bn Assets under management. After studying Business Economics in Nuremberg, his business life started 1988 in Sales & Marketing at Digital Equipment, one of the biggest computer firms in 80s/90s. After 8 years, he became Managing Director at BBDO/Sellbytel heading Operations & Business Development with international clients. From there, he entered after 3 years the financial scene as Managing Director and later CEO of Consorsbank till 2010. After additional 9 years as CEO and Co-owner of simple fact AG, a Business Intelligence advisor and implementer for banks and insurance business, he joined quirion AG 2019 as CEO. The mother company, Quirin Privatbank, and quirion are driven by their mission, that is, democratizing wealth management for individuals.
Jos Dijsselhof joined SIX in January 2018 as CEO. He holds degrees in computer science and business administration, and has a long track record in international management in the financial sector. He has previously held positions at ABN Amro Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and ANZ Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in various countries including Hong Kong and Singapore. His most recent role was Chief Operating Officer (2014–June 2017) and CEO ad interim (2015) at Euronext in Amsterdam. Jos is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), Madrid.
Rolf Dobelli is an avid admirer of science. He is a novelist, non-fiction author, and founder of WORLD.MINDS. Rolf studied philosophy at University of St. Gallen, where he received his Ph.D. On a personal note: He loves books and doesn’t consume news. His books have been translated in 47 languages. He lives with his family in Bern, Switzerland.
Mathias Döpfner, born 1963, is the Chairman, CEO and a 22% shareholder of Axel Springer SE in Berlin. Axel Springer is one of the leading digital publishers in the US with brands such as INSIDER, MORNING BREW, and POLITICO. In addition, Axel Springer is the largest European media outlet with publications like WELT, BILD, and Upday. Mathias studied German literature, theater, and musicology in Frankfurt and Boston. He started his career as a journalist in 1982 and joined Axel Springer SE in 1998, initially, as editor-in-chief of WELT. He has been CEO since January 2002 and focused on the digital transformation of the company ever since. Under his leadership, Axel Springer introduced paid content models and diversified revenue streams through strategic investments. Today, over 80% of the group’s revenues come from its digital activities. Besides his directorship of Netflix, Mathias is a member of the Board of Directors of Warner Music Group.
Christian Dussey is the Director of the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service. Christian has vast operational and strategic management experience, is very familiar with the processes of politics and public administration at the federal level and has a profound knowledge of the national and international intelligence environment. He holds a Diploma in Social Sciences from the University of Fribourg. He also studied international relations at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Boston University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in international relations in 2003.
Bernhard Düttmann started his career at Beiersdorf. With broader experience in controlling, sales and marketing and managing the adhesive business in Asia he led the spin off of the tesa division into a subgroup and became CFO of tesa before joining the executive board of Beiersdorf as CFO in 2006. In 2011, he moved as CFO to LANXESS. Since 2015, Bernhard is involved in start-ups. Delegated from a boardseat of CECONOMY (Holding of MediaMarktSaturn) in 2019, he became Interim CFO of CECONOMY. At the end of 2019, he was again delegated as CEO of CECONOMY which he managed through the Corona pandemic up to September 2021. In 2017, Bernhard founded a small investment company with the aim to support and advise start-ups as business angel. He is also active as teacher for master students at the university of Cologne with focus on behavioral economics in seminars cooperating with the regional industry.
Fabiola Fernandez, born in 1977 in Sao Paulo, is the Co-CEO at Gegenbauer Holding SE & Co KG, one of the Facility Management leader companies in Germany with app. 18.000 employees in Germany, Poland and Luxembourg. Previously to her career at Gegenbauer, she had different finance positions (Tax Director, CFO Latin America, CFO Potash Business) working specially for the German mining group K+S AG internationally (in Germany, Canada, US, Chile, etc). Currently, she lives with her family in Berlin, Germany.
Claudia Frese is the CEO of STRATO AG and member of the Executive Board of IONOS SE. Claudia has over 25 years professional experience in the digital space, with a focus on developing, growing and scaling consumer internet and marketplaces businesses. She is passionate about technology, entrepreneurship and digitization and the way that the digital revolution is shaping our world. She advocates a stronger role for women in technology and actively mentors younger women to become future leaders in the area. Claudia has a background in economics, politics and international relations and holds a Masters in International Management from the University of Cologne.
Rainer-Marc Frey is the Founder and Chairman of SO Holdings AG and its subsidiaries, including Horizon21 AG, a private investment office established in 2004. Rainer-Marc has a proven track record in investment banking and is a recognized expert in the field of global alternative investment strategies. He began his international career in 1987 and held various positions at Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers. In 1992, he founded his own company, RMF Investment Group. Under his leadership, RMF evolved into one of the leading hedge fund organizations in Europe. In 2002, he sold his company to the publicly listed Man Group in London. The merged entities formed the world’s largest Hedge Fund Group at its time. Subsequently he founded Horizon21 in 2004 as his investment platform across a wide range of global investment opportunities. He is active as a strategic minority investor in a range of Mid-Cap companies. In 2013, he led the buy-out of Lonrho Ltd., a pan-African conglomerate where he is the lead investor and acts as its Vice Chairman. He has substantial public Board experience, incl. member of the Board of UBS AG (2008-2014) and DKSH, the largest market expansion services company in South East Asia, from 2008 to 2018. Further he is engaged in a broad range of activities incl. founder and member of the Board of the Frey Charitable Foundation (FCF) which engages in topics of Social Entrepreneurship in Africa. Beyond he is a leisurely pilot and travels the world. He holds a degree in business and banking (lic. oec. HSG) from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.
Pius Fritschi is a Managing Partner at LGT Capital Partners and member of the Executive Committee. In his functions, he is chairing the Firm’s market commitee as well as the Liquid Alternatives business unit. Prior to joining the firm in 2009, Pius was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, serving banks, insurance companies and asset managers on a broad range of topics. During his 15 years at McKinsey, Pius worked out of Zurich, Sydney and Mexico-City offices, serving clients from all over the world. In 2006, Pius joined Horizon21, an alternative investment boutique in Switzerland, as partner and deputy-CEO. He holds an MA in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Basel.
Thomas Frutiger leads, together with his cousin, Luc, the family-owned Frutiger Group, one of the leading construction companies in Switzerland. He holds a business degree from the University of St. Gallen and a real estate degree from the European Business School (EBS). He is a fellow member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS).
Lorenz Furrer is managing partner and founder of furrerhugi, which started as a public affairs agency and became a public affairs and political communication interlocutor in Switzerland. Today furrerhugi is a communication agency with big sensibility for sociopolitical communication and campaigning, and employs 50 colleagues in Bern, Zurich, Lugano, Lausanne, Fribourg and Brussels. Besides his business career, Lorenz is a passionate cook and polo player and has two girls with his wife Nicole Loeb.
Peter Gomez is professor emeritus of management and former director of the Institute of Management at the University of St. Gallen (HSG). He was professor at HSG since 1990, when he returned to academia after 10 years of practical experience in Swiss industry (Ringier Group, Distral Group and Valcor). From 1999 to 2005, he was rector of HSG and led the fundamental change process of the university. In 2005, he became founding dean of the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law, the umbrella organization of all executive education activities of the HSG, which he headed till 2010. In 2006, he was appointed chairman of the board of SWX Group, the Swiss Exchange, which he merged in 2008 with SIS Group and Telekurs Group to form SIX Group (Swiss Infrastructure and Exchange). He retired as chairman of SIX Group in 2013 and is presently president or member of several foundations and holds memberships in academic boards and professional organizations. He engages in major projects to strengthen corporate leadership committed to society. Finally, he likes to travel, play golf, and collect butterflies—a good combination. The most beautiful butterflies are often found on golf courses in exotic countries.
Ingrid M. Haas is Managing Director Group Communications & Marketing at Deutsche Börse. Before joining the market infrastructure provider in 2018, the passionate singer was Director of Corporate Affairs and Member of the Executive Committee at Vodafone Germany and held various management positions in media corporations such as Gruner+Jahr, RTL Television, and Bertelsmann. She started her career as Civil Servant in the Ministry of Education and Culture in Dresden and was seconded to the Israeli Ministry of Education in Jerusalem. Ingrid studied Political Science, German and Romance Studies in Heidelberg and Paris and holds Executive MBAs from IMD Lausanne and the Harvard Business School.
Nils Hagander is co-founder of a-connect, a leading global staffing and project execution firm for highly qualified independent professionals. He is also an active investor in Secheron Hasler, Studer Cables, several start up companies and in air-connect. Nils was most recently a director with McKinsey & Company, and co-leader of the firm’s European corporate finance and strategy practice. He previously worked as an account manager with Citibank in Zurich. He holds degrees in business and economics, as well as in law, from the University of St. Gallen. Personal note: Nils has been an air-show pilot since 1986 and has won several aerobatic medals in Swiss and European championships. He is a frequent participant in air-shows demonstrating his aerobatic as well as old timer aircrafts.
Ilka Hartmann is Managing Director of the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany (BCCG). Prior to this, Ilka worked for Commerzbank AG in various positions. As a specialist for national and international economic and governmental relations, she established the International Counter in Berlin. Thereafter, she represented Commerzbank’s interests with relation to politics, ministries and embassies in the liaison office until 2020. During this time, she founded and cultivated numerous networks, such as Campus of Excellence, Get Connected, SHE VIP, SHeconomy and is a supporter of the WunderNova Women’s Summer and Think Festival. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Global Female Leaders Summit, Frauen mit Format at Goethe University in Frankfurt, member of the Königswinter Conference Steering Committee an the executive committee of the Interessengemeinschaft Deutsche Luftwaffe e.V. (German Air Force Association). Ilka joined the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany (BCCG) in 2005. She was appointed as Member of the Board of the BCCG in 2007. Ilka is a pssionate networker and mentor!
Florian Haupt is a Partner at TruVenturo – a leading venture builder and family office in Germany. He has more than a decade of experience in company building, venture investing, banking and consulting. Florian is spearheading TruVenturo’s push into neurotechnology, bringing together world leaders in the field of neuromodulation to ideate companies. In his role, he serves on the board of several companies across Europe and the US. Prior, Florian was a management consultant at Deutsche Bank. He was educated at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and completed his Master in Management at ESCP Europe.
André Helfenstein is CEO of Credit Suisse Switzerland and member of the Credit Suisse Group Executive Committee. Credit Suisse is a global bank focused on Wealth Management and Investment Banking. Beyond Banking André is passionate about history, reads eclectically, enjoys sports in the summer and winter as well as being together with his daugther and friends. With a bit more time at hand he would like to expand his travelling and to further develop the charitable activities he has started to share with his partner.
Michael Hengartner (born in Switzerland, and grew up in Canada) is the president of the ETH Board. Prior to this, he was president of the University of Zurich (UZH). Michael was recruited to Zurich in 2001 to become the first occupant of the Ernst Hadorn endowed professorship at the University of Zurich (UZH) and, in 2009, he became dean of UZH’s Faculty of Science. Michael’s research focuses on the pathways that lead to programmed cell death—knowledge that will be critical in fighting cancer. Michael has a long-standing interest in improving science education and education policy. He was the founding director of the Molecular Life Sciences Ph.D. program in 2003, and of the joint UZH–ETH Life Science Graduate School in 2005. In 1997, together with T. Bogaert, Michael founded Devgen, a developmental genomics company based in Gent, Belgium; in 2005, Devgen became a publicly traded company listed on the Euronext Brussels. In 2008, together with Ernst Hafen, Michael founded Evaluescience, a scientific due diligence company. Michael was awarded several medals and scientific prizes, among others the Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at UZH in 2010. Michael is a member of the board of WORLD.MINDS.
Marina Henke is Professor of International Relations at the Hertie School in Berlin and Director of the Centre for International Security. She researches and publishes on military interventions, peacekeeping, nuclear security and European security and defense policy. Before joining the Hertie School, she was an Associate Professor (with tenure) at Northwestern University, specialising in international relations, as well as at Princeton University where she was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a PhD in Politics and Public Policy from Princeton University, a Double Master of Science in Development Studies and International Political Economy from Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics and Latin American Studies from Sciences Po Paris.
Björn Hering (born in Bern) is a Swiss entrepreneur, TV and film producer living in Bali. He started his career as a TV and radio presenter at the age of 14 and worked for over sixty TV shows in Switzerland and Germany. From the age of 18 onwards, he produced his own TV formats. He then studied business at the University of Bern and trained to be a teacher. In 2001 he founded the TV production company FaroTV . After having sold his company to the renowned Condor Films in Zurich, he served on the executive board of Condor Films for several years. His show „Joya runs“ earned the „Rose d‘or“ for „best interactive TV Show“. He left the company in 2008 and – after a well-deserved break traveling around Europe in a old caravan – founded several media companies in Switzerland, Singapore and LosAngeles. He decided to put down roots with his Swiss wife and two children in Bali in order to live the spiritual and business life. He started the Bali Beach cleanup initiative and is president of a drug rehabilitation program for teenagers in Namibia. He is a mediocre surfer and a passionate private pilot doing aerobatics with a vintage airplane from World War II.
Anton Hofreiter is the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs in the German Parliament “Bundestag”. As a member of Alliance 90/The Greens, Anton has been a member of the Bundestag since the 2005 elections. He studied Biology and holds a PhD in Botany.
Corinna Hoyer is the Chief Operating Officer at WORLD.MINDS. Prior to this, she built the European business for Oxford Economics. In her role as Managing Director Europe, Corinna set up offices in key cities across the region, including their European HQ in Frankfurt. She hired and grew the diverse teams and was responsible for the business development strategy and overall revenue. At the beginning of her career, Corinna worked in Cairo and Jakarta on country branding and government consulting projects. She holds a BSc in Economics with Geography from the London School of Economics, a joint Masters degree in Politics from SciencesPo Paris, Humboldt University Berlin and the University of Bath and completed an executive degree from Saïd Business School, Oxford, in Global Business.
Andreas Hürlimann is an entrepreneur with 30 plus years international leadership experience across all technology-centric industries. Currently, he chairs the board of LEM Holding, with over 1400 employees and more than 2.5 billion market cap, focusing on sensors for e-mobility, robotics, renewable energies and other power electronics applications. He also chairs the board of Sustainable Real-Estate SICAV, a transformative RE investment vehicle to apply holistic sustainability concepts with defined energy and climate objectives and corresponding reduction paths. Andreas also actively contributes to the Boards of Condis (components for energy transmission), HMT microelectronic (Chip design, i.p. ASIC and ASSP), Steiner Investment Foundation, (RE development), ElectricFeel AG (SaaS for shared e-mobility) and novoMOF (novel materials for CO2 capture, humidity management, etc.). He is the founder of the boutique consultancy themissinglink and holds an MSc from ETH Zurich as well as a DAS in Corporate Finance from the University of Zurich.
Jörg Kampmeyer is a General Partner and Co-CEO of Knauf KG. Before Knauf, he worked from 2002 until 2019 with Hilti AG, thereof nine years as Member of the Group Executive Board Group CFO. Jörg started his career as management consultant with Roland Berger and the Boston Consulting Group.
Christoph Keese is executive vice president of Axel Springer, Europe’s largest news publisher and leading digital media company. He leads the effort to transform traditional and print publishing to digital and define Axel Springer’s position in the new ecosystem of quality web media. Prior to his current position, Christoph was senior vice president Public Affairs and Investor Relations. He served as editor-in-chief for the leading Sunday newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” from May 2004 onwards, acting in parallel as editor-in-chief of news portal Welt Online from 2006 until 2008 as well as heading the board of editors of Welt Group. Christoph came to Axel Springer from “Financial Times Deutschland” (FTD) business newspaper, the German language edition of the “FT,” which he co-founded and served as its editor-in-chief. Prior to “FTD,” he was managing editor and business editor for “Berliner Zeitung.” An economist and graduate of the Hamburg Journalists’ School / Henri Nannen School, Christoph joined Gruner + Jahr as assistant to CEO Gerd Schulte-Hillen after completing his professional training. Throughout his career, Christoph has been active in television. He is a constant guest on German talk shows. From 2005 to 2007, he hosted his own show on news channel n-tv and national radio interviewing almost all German bluechip CEOs and many international executives including Steve Ballmer of Microsoft. In 2011, he presented a weekly n-tv portrait series featuring dozens of European business leaders. Starting in 2009, Christoph became member and later chairman of the jury of “Deutscher Fernsehpreis,” the national TV award. As an author, Christoph focuses on economic policy. He is the author of the widely noted books “Rettet den Kapitalismus”—Save Capitalism—(Hoffmann und Campe, 2004) and “Verantwortung jetzt”—Responsibility Now—(C. Bertelsmann, 2006). He runs a private blog, presseschauder.de, on media and internet policy.
Martin Keller is the Chief Executive Officer of IHAG Privatbank since January 2021. From 2017 to 2020, Martin was CEO of Falcon Private Bank and a member of the advisory board at Aquila Capital in Hamburg, the leading global asset manager in the renewable energy sector. Previously, Martin held various international senior leadership positions at Credit Suisse, Man Investments and Deutsche Bank. Martin is a graduate of the Swiss Banking School.
Stefan Kirsten is Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer of MONARCH; a private intelligence organization for the 21st century, which specialises in democracy-tech. He has been CFO and Member of the Management Board of Vonovia SE from 2011 until 2018. Vonovia SE is Europe’s biggest provider of residential real estate. Stefan´s professional career goes along with his excellent reputation in the international financial market place as well as financial accounting and controlling. He successfully managed Europe’s largest-ever residential refinancing also being awarded with the European Real Estate Finance Deal of Year 2013 for its GRAND refinancing by The Banker magazine and has been Germany’s CFO of the year in 2017. Since leaving Vonovia he attends to various non-executive directorships and invests as a business angel. His engagement in Switzerland comprises of an investment and a seat in the administrative board of Planted Food AG. When not traveling or teachig at varios universities, Stefan enjoys the quietness and beauty at his home at the North Sea.
William (“Bill”) Klein is Consulting Partner at FGS Global. Bill helps international corporates and investors assess geopolitical uncertainties and complexities and advises them on how to navigate political and regulatory environments at the national and global level. Prior to his current role, Bill has worked for over two decades as a US diplomat, with a special focus on China, and earlier as an investment banker in Germany.
Jasmina Knežević, founder and CEO of Bel Medic, started her professional carrier as pediatrician in a public hospital. Over the years, Bel Medic became the leading private health system in Serbia with a general hospital and out-patient clinic, on 5 locations, with 500 full-time employees, more than 400 leading consultant physicians and over 500.000 patients. Jasmina is permanently devoted and active in the creation of a better business environment. As the leader in the private healthcare sector, a member of the Healthcare Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Managing Board of the Serbian Association of Managers, a member of Serbian business club “Privrednik”, as well as a founder and member of Executive board of Association of Serbian Private Healthcare Providers, she has a great impact on the changes taking place in the private sector, mostly in the medical field, which has resulted in numerous awards. During the pandemic, Jasmina won the traditional prize “The Manager of the Year” for 2020. She was willing to take the risk and make everyone around her safe during the pandemic simultaneously demonstrating courage, positivism, determination, constructiveness and quick adaptation to new circumstances, while successfully managing Acibadem Bel Medic healthcare system, its staff, doctors and patients. In 2019, she won the Award “Paragon of Virtue“ by Mokra Gora School of Management. Also, it is important to mentioned that Jasmina won the award “Woman Leader in Change” given by the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia in 2014, as well as many other awards. Today, Jasmina is CEO of Acibadem Bel Medic group. Through strategic integration with the world renowned healthcare provider Acibadem, Jasmina recognized the need for bringing the highest quality of healthcare services to Serbia and thus, making her contribution to the Serbian economy.
Roger Köppel is the Chief Editor and Publisher of Weltwoche Verlags. Educated in Zurich, Stuttgart, and New York, Roger graduated in political philosophy and economics (M.A.) at Zurich University. He is one of the most prominent journalists of Switzerland. He was editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine, “Das Magazin,” from 1997 to 2001, and was the youngest deputy editor-in-chief in the history of Switzerland’s largest quality daily “Tages-Anzeiger” back in 2001. He gained national stature as editor-in-chief of Switzerland’s most traditional highbrow weekly “Die Weltwoche,” which was founded in 1933, and in which the writings from leading European intellectuals from Thomas Mann to Winston Churchill and Henry Kissinger could be found. Roger’s work drew international attention at “Die Weltwoche,” as he changed the format of the paper into a magazine and made it highly profitable again. In 2004, he got a call from Germany ’s largest publishing company, Springer Verlag, and took over the post of editor-in-chief at the traditional quality daily, “Die Welt,” located in Berlin. He was the first Swiss journalist ever to be appointed editor-in-chief of a German daily newspaper. After three years in Berlin, Roger went back to Switzerland and became publisher of “Die Weltwoche” in 2007, which he bought from the former ownership. He still writes articles for the editorial pages of “Die Welt.” As a writer, Roger is one of the leading conservative and free trade journalists of Switzerland. His articles have appeared in “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,” “Die Welt,” “The Wall Street Journal” and “The Spectator” of London. Roger has strong transatlantic ties and supported the American position before the war in Iraq. He does not share most of the intellectual habits of European mainstream media and is considered to be an original, independent thinker and provocative commentator among his peers. Besides, he has a reputation as a successful newspaper manager and an energetic leader.
Ralph Körfgen is the Managing Director of Ambulatory & Pharmacy Information Systems. He has held global responsibility for the Ambulatory & Pharmacy Information Systems divisions since 2018. Prior to this, he worked at Deutsche Bahn, where he was in charge of corporate development and the CEO of sales; before this, he worked at Roland Berger & Partner and specialized in the development of growth potential in various industries. Ralph studied business administration at the University of Münster and has extensive experience in tapping new markets and the growth of digital business models.
Stephen Kotkin is one of the world’s preeminent experts on Russia and Vladimir Putin. He is a professor in History and International Affairs at Princeton University, where he is also co-Director of the program in history and the practice of diplomacy and the Director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. Stephen joined the faculty at Princeton University in 1989. He holds a PhD in History from the University of California (Berkeley).
Fabian Krug is Director of Partnerships at WORLD.MINDS. Before joining WORLD.MINDS, he helped building the European Business Development team of Oxford Economics, the leading provider of economic forecasts and consulting. After starting as a Business Development Manager, he then acted as the Deputy Head of the DACH BD team, implementing new sales strategies and being responsible for a variety of sectors. Fabian holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Erfurt and a M.Sc. in Economics from the University of Leipzig.
Uwe Krüger is the Head of Industrials, Business Services, Energy & Resources at Singapore-based Temasek, where he also serves as the Head of Europe, Middle East & Africa. Uwe was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of WS Atkins plc and was responsible for one of the world’s largest engineering firms providing professional, technology-based consultancy and support services for clients in both the private and public sectors globally. Prior to Atkins, Uwe was the President of Cleantech Switzerland. He was also an Operations Director and Senior Adviser with TPG Capital based in London and San Francisco. Before TPG Capital, Uwe was the Chief Executive Officer of OC Oerlikon Management AG and had assumed multiple roles with Hochtief AG, among them Chief Executive Officer Central/Eastern Europe (Warsaw, Moscow) and Chairman Turner International (Dallas/US). He started his career as a Project Manager with A.T. Kearney. In addition, Uwe serves on the Boards of Aggreko plc and Gategroup Holding AG. Uwe holds a Doctorate of Physics from University of Frankfurt and was conferred a Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He also holds an Honorary Professorship of Physics at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt. He received the European Chief Executive Officer of the Year Award in 2016.
Henrik Krüpper has been CEO and Managing Director of HCS Group and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the company since 2019. As Chief Executive Officer, he is also leading the functions HR, Legal & Compliance, Supply Chain Management and Group Communications. Henrik joined the company in 2012 as Chief Commercial Officer. He started his career in 1998 at former Th. Goldschmidt AG in Essen, Germany, and held several positions in operations, including a four-year assignment as plant manager in the US. In 2006, he took over the marketing and sales responsibility for the photovoltaic segment of former Degussa’s chlorosilanes product line. From 2008 until 2012, he held several marketing & sales positions in the photovoltaic industry, was responsible for global sales of Q-Cells SE and was appointed Chief Sales Officer and managing director of Soltecture GmbH. Henrik was born in Dresden, Germany, and earned his Master’s degree in process engineering at RWTH Aachen in 1998. Henrik is married with two children.
Thomas Ladner is an attorney at law, a professional board member and an investor. He started his legal career with the law firm Homburger in Zurich. From 2000 to 2004, he lectured on corporate law and contract law at the University of St. Gallen HSG, from where he also holds a Ph.D. In 2002, he joined one of Switzerland’s leading law firms, MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep, as their youngest Partner. In 2009, Thomas moved on to become Partner at a San Francisco-based Private Equity firm in charge of their European investments (until 2014) while simultaneously serving as Counsel with MLL, a position he still holds. In addition, he acts as professional board member in more than a dozen companies ranging from biotech and blockchain start-ups to mature companies in the construction, investment, trading and service industries with a consolidated turnover of several billion Swiss francs. Since 2021 he is also a Partner at Green Sands Equity, a Silicon Valley-based Private Equity firm. In a personal capacity, Thomas founded and co-founded a number of tech and financial services businesses, two of which went public. Throughout his professional life Thomas has been passionate about creating communities of business and thought leaders. In 1999, he founded the Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable (with chapters in Switzerland, Germany, France, Holland and Poland), which he still chairs. He continued to co-found several other organizations such as the prestigious Club zum Rennweg (Honorary Chairman), the Zurich-based Grasshopper Griffith-Club (Founding Vice-Chairman until 2006) and WORLD.MINDS Foundation (Founding Chairman until 2018). He also served on the board of the Swiss Management Association (Schweizerische Management Gesellschaft SMG) for seven years. In addition he is engaged on a board-level with non-profit initiatives such as the Swiss Technion Society and the Swiss Society of Defence Technology (STA). The leading Swiss business publication Bilanz has described Thomas as one of Switzerland’s “most influential business lawyers”.
Jorge Paulo Lemann (born in Rio de Janeiro) is an investor and co-founder of 3G Capital. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University in 1961. Jorge founded and was Senior Partner of Banco Garantia from 1971 to 1998. From then until 2005, he was a director of the Gillette Company in Boston and of Lojas Americanas and AmBev in Brazil. He was also Chairman of the Latin American Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange and a member of the DaimlerChrysler International Advisory Board. He is controlling shareholder of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Restaurant Brands International (owner of Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons) and Director Kraft-Heinz Company and of 3G Capital. Jorge is a co-founder of Fundação Estudar and Fundação Lemann, non-profit organizations that provide scholarships and new educational techniques for Brazilians.
Susanna Mally Lemann is co-founder and partner in Matueté, a travel boutique, based in São Paulo, Brazil. Susanna also is a co-founder and board member of the Lemann Foundation, which supports educational and leadership initiatives mainly in Brazil. Further Susanna is a member of the board at the Roger Federer Foundation. The foundation is committed to educational projects in southern Africa and Switzerland.
Filippa Lentzos is a Norwegian social scientist researching threats posed by biological agents. She is a Senior Research Fellow at King’s College London, holding a joint appointment in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine and the Department of War Studies. Filippa also holds the position of Associate Senior Researcher at the Armament and Disarmament Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Moreover, she is the NGO Coordinator for the Biological Weapons Convention since 2017, the biosecurity columnist at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 2018, and an Associate Editor of the social science journal BioSocieties. With a background in human sciences, Filippa obtained a PhD in sociology from the University of Nottingham, England. She then spent 10 years as a researcher at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) before joining the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine at King’s College London in 2012. In 2017, she became cross-appointed to King’s Department of War Studies. Filippa’s research focuses on the international governance of biological threats, especially in relation to the 1975 Biological Weapons Convention, an international treaty prohibiting the development, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons. She has published widely on biodefence, compliance assessment in the context of multilateral biological arms control efforts, and the governance of emerging life science technologies, such as synthetic biology and gene editing. In her role as the NGO Coordinator for the Biological Weapons Convention, Filippa has regularly delivered statements at the United Nations since 2017, in particular at the annual Meeting of States Parties, the Meeting of Experts and the First Committee of the UN General Assembly. Her work has been featured in various media outlets, including the BBC, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Telegraph, the Atlantic and Der Spiegel. Filippa also taught the module on biological weapons in the EU’s Non-proliferation and Disarmament e-learning course.
Torsten Leue is Chairman of the Board of Management of Talanx, which is with premium income of EUR 41,1 billion (2020) and about 23,527 employees one of the major European insurance groups. In September 2010 Torsten joined Talanx as Board member responsible for international retail business of the Group. Since then he had consistently increased the premium volume and profitability of the division through organic and inorganic growth. Torsten is also trusted with responsibility for human resources as Labour Director of the Talanx Group. Since finishing his studies in 1998, Torsten has spent almost half his working life abroad. In his personal life, he enjoys spending time with his family and engaging in sports.
Kishore Mahbubani is the former Head of the UN Security Council. He is a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Kishore has been privileged to enjoy two distinct careers, in diplomacy (1971 to 2004) and in academia (2004 to 2019). He is a prolific writer who has spoken in many corners of the world. In diplomacy, he was with the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years (1971 to 2004). He had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and New York, where he twice was Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and served as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. As a result of his excellent performance in his diplomatic career, he was conferred the Public Administration Medal (Gold) by the Singapore Government in 1998. Kishore joined academia in 2004, when he was appointed the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKY School), NUS. He was Dean from 2004 to 2017, and a Professor in the Practice of Public Policy from 2006 to 2019. In April 2019, he was elected as an honorary international member to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which has honoured distinguished thinkers, including several of America’s founding fathers, since 1780.
Isabelle Mansuy is professor in neuroepigenetics at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. She obtained a Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from the Friedrich Institute in Basel and Université Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France then trained as postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Eric Kandel at the Center for Learning and Memory at Columbia University in New York. She has a research lab in Zurich since Dec 1998. Her lab studies brain functions and behavior in mammals, and is pioneer in the new field of epigenetic inheritance. It discovered that traumatic experiences in early life can affect mental and physical health and cause depression, risk-taking, memory deficits and metabolic dysfunctions across several generations in lab mice, and that the inheritance of symptoms depends on epigenetic mechanisms in germ cells. These findings in experimental animals were validated in humans exposed to trauma. They are fundamental for biology and medicine because they provide evidence that adverse life experiences can leave traces in descendants through epigenetic factors, highlighting the existence of a form of epigenetic heredity complementary to classical genetics. They are expected to help the development of diagnostic and therapeutic treatments for psychiatric disorders. Isabelle co-authored numerous research articles, reviews and book chapters in neurosciences and epigenetics, wrote a book for the public “Reprenez le contrôle de vos gènes” Larousse (April 2019) and “Wir können unsere Gene steuern” Berlin Verlag (August 2020). She is member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, of the European Academy of Science and of the European Molecular Biology Organization. She is also Knight in the National Order of Merit and holds the Legion of Honour in France.
Axel Meyersiek worked in private equity for 20 years and was a Partner at BC Partners based in Hamburg and a Partner at TowerBrook Capital Partners based in London. Prior to working in private equity, Axel was a member of the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs and also worked at Giving Capital in the US, a technology company providing products and services to the nonprofit sector. Axel holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the Technische Universität Berlin and is a CFA Charterholder.
Christian Miele is a Partner at the global VC fund Headline (former e.ventures). He currently oversees Headline’s investments in Sparetech, Sorare, Leapwork, PlanRadar, numa und Kenbi. Christian holds a master’s degree from INSEAD and is Chairman of the German Startup Association. He is frequently quoted as an expert for entrepreneurship and Venture Capital by international media outlets such as Wallstreet Journal, Bloomberg, and Handelsblatt, Germany’s #1 business newspaper. Christian also aires as a startup expert on national news channel n-tv. He was voted among Germany’s “40 under 40” twice by finance magazine Capital.
Simon Mitterreiter is the Community Manager at WORLD.MINDS. During his studies in Business Administration in Germany, Austria and Spain, he gained valuable experiences in the Automotive Industry (e.g., OEM, Tier-1 Supplier and special interest group). Before joining WORLD.MINDS, Simon worked as Strategic Assistant to Christoph Keese, one of Germany’s best known thought leaders on digital transformation. He began his career as Research Associate at ESCP Business School in Berlin. His research focused on top manager’s careers and the antecedents of top managers’ tenure on executive boards. He earned his PhD with distinction from ESCP Business School.
Florian Nehm is the Head of European Public Affairs at Axel Springer. His field of managerial work covers Sustainability as well as European Media Policy. Florian studied Agriculture at the Universidad Católica in Santiago de Chile and the University of Applied Sciences in Soest, Germany, as well as Economics (Master of Science) at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, USA. This was followed by a journalistic traineeship at the daily newspaper DIE WELT as well as a traineeship in editorial management.
Peter Niederhauser is the founding partner at Redalpine, a venture capital firm. Already during his studies, he founded a software company for enterprise software, which quickly became a market leader and grew to several hundred employees. In 1999, just prior to the dot-com crash, the company was listed on the stock exchange. Peter then put his experience to work as a business angel. He supported startups, some of which later became world-famous. When he saw how difficult it is for founders to acquire venture capital, he sought suitable partners and co-founded Redalpine in 2006. He is inspired by working with brilliant people who are willing to give everything to achieve their lofty visions. Highlights for Peter include the moments when it becomes definite that an idea is working. In his rare moments of spare time, Peter enjoys being out on the water – sailing, diving or kitesurfing.
Sigrid Nikutta is Member of the Management Board of Deutsche Bahn and CEO of Deutsche Bahn Cargo. Sigrid graduated from Bielefeld University and received a doctorate in Psychology. Sigrid began her career in the management of a medium-sized company in Bielefeld, and joined Deutsche Bahn in 1996. She was soon appointed Head of Production and became spokeswoman for the management of block train transport in Mainz. Subsequently, she held the position of Board Member for Production at the subsidiary, DB Cargo Polska. In 2010, Sigrid left DB to become Chairperson and Chief Operating Officer at Germany’s largest public transport company, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). As the first female Chairperson, she made the company operate profitably for the first time before she left to join Deutsche Bahn again in 2020.
General David H. Petraeus (US Army, Ret.) is a Partner with the global investment firm KKR and Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which he established in May 2013. He is also a member of the boards of directors of Optiv and FirstStream, a venture investor in more than 15 startups, and engaged in a variety of academic endeavors. Prior to joining KKR, David served over 37 years in the U.S. military, culminating his career with six consecutive commands, five of which were in combat, including command of the 101st Airborne Division during the fight to Baghdad and the first year in Iraq, command of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq, command of coalition forces in Iraq during the Surge, command of U.S. Central Command, and command of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Following retirement from the military and after Senate confirmation by a vote of 94-0, he served as Director of the CIA during a period of significant achievements in the global war on terror, the establishment of important Agency digital initiatives, and significant investments in the Agency’s most important asset, its human capital. David graduated with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy, and he is the only person in Army history to be the top graduate of both the demanding U.S. Army Ranger School and the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College. He also earned a Ph.D. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. David taught international relations and economics at the U.S. Military Academy in the mid-1980s, he was a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the Honors College of the City University of New York from 2013 through 2016, and he was for 6 years a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California and a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute, Co-Chairman of the Global Advisory Council of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Senior Vice President of the Royal United Services Institute, and a Member of the Trilateral Commission, as well as a member of the boards of the Atlantic Council, the Institute for the Study of War, and over a dozen veterans service organizations. Over the past 15 years, David was named one of America’s 25 Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report, a runner-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year, the Daily Telegraph man of the year, a Time 100 selectee, Princeton University’s Madison Medalist, and one of Foreign Policy magazine’s top 100 public intellectuals in three different years. David has earned numerous honors, awards, and decorations, including four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, two NATO Meritorious Service Medals, the Combat Action Badge, the Ranger Tab, and Master Parachutist and Air Assault Badges. He has also been decorated by 13 foreign countries.
Ulf Poschardt has been Editor-in-Chief of WELT since 2016. In September 2020 he also became spokesperson of the WELT Managing Board. Ulf studied Journalism at the University of Munich and the German School of Journalism (Deutsche Journalistenschule DJS). He graduated in 1995 with a PhD in Philosophy from the Humboldt-University Berlin, with his thesis titled “DJ Culture”. Between 1996 and 2000, he was editor-in-chief of “Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin”. In 2001, he started as Creative Director for “WELT AM SONNTAG”. From 2005 to 2008, he was founding editor-in-chief of the German “Vanity Fair”. In 2008, he returned to “WELT” as deputy editor-in-chief. Ulf lives and works in Berlin.
Philipp Raidt is a Partner on FGS Global’s Government Relations, Policy and Advocacy team. Philipp brings more than a decade of experience in the tech, media and mobility sector to his clients. He helps companies and investors unlock value, manage risk and navigate regulation when they venture beyond established markets and industries. Prior to joining FGS Global, Philipp was COO at Axel Springer Digital Ventures. Previously, he was Managing Director at Axel Springer International and Head of Portfolio at Axel Springer Digital Classifieds. Earlier in his career, he was a lawyer at Hogan Lovells International LLP.
Laura Rudas (born in Vienna) is the Executive Vice President Strategy at Palantir Technologies, a US software company. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors (Verwaltungsrat) at Ringier AG, the leading Swiss media company. Palantir Technologies supports large international companies and institutions in their digital transformation, analysis and use of big data. Laura has been playing a key role in building Palantir’s now highly successful European business over the past 6 years. In her role, she works directly with Palantir founder and CEO Alex Karp and also advises him on higher-level strategic corporate issues. Prior to her time in the private sector, Laura was, at the age of 28, Secretary-General of the Austrian governing political party, the Social Democrats, for more than 5 years whilst also being an elected member of the Austrian National Council. Laura graduated at Stanford University in California, she completed the Sloan Fellowship. She also holds a master’s degree in political science from the University of Vienna.
Schoscho Rufener studied economics at St. Gallen University and scenography at the Zurich University of the Arts. Being the born entrepreneur and a devoted observer of trends in society and economics, he soon started building various ventures mainly in entertainment, events, and lifestyle. A dominant role in his work became Rufener Events, the event agency he founded in 1999 and sold to MCH group in 2009. Rufener Events is a leading agency organizing events throughout the world with offices in several countries. His portfolio of equity holdings includes top bars and restaurants in the Zurich area, successful entertainment formats and high profile communication agencies. He is a board member of WORLD.MINDS.
Gisbert Rühl held a number of management positions in industry and consulting and joined the Management Board of Klöckner & Co as CFO in 2005. From 2009 until 2021 he has been CEO and Chairman of the Board. Gisbert has driven forward Klöckner & Co’s unique digital transformation and built one of the most successful digital hubs in this context. Furthermore, Gisbert launched the open industry platform XOM Materials, in which the company plays a pioneering role within the steel and metals industry. Gisbert is also an experienced angel and VC fund investor. He currently serves as CEO of GFJ Acquisition I SE and Co-Founder and Co-CEO of G&J Invest GmbH.
Rüdiger Schmid-Kühnhöfer serves as Managing Partner of the investment group Deutsche Invest Capital Partners (DICP). DICP is a European alternative asset manager with a special focus on Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Today, DICP manages more than EUR 3bn across its 4 investment strategies: Capital Solutions, Special Situations, Venture Capital and Real Estate. Rüdiger supports several organizations in the financial services and property industries as a board member, advisor, investor and founder. He has significant international experience investing in, building, transforming and restructuring organizations across diverse industry sectors, including banking, asset management, insurance, automotive, real estate, business services, technology and leisure. Rüdiger studied law at the Universities of Bayreuth, Geneva and Tübingen as well as business administration at the Universities of Bayreuth and Geneva, London Business School and Harvard Business School. He holds a Ph.D. in European business law from the University of Cologne. Rüdiger is a member of YPO/Young Presidents’ Organization (Zurich & Germany-Switzerland-Austria Chapters) and Atlantik-Brücke.
Wolfgang Schmidt is the German Federal Minister for Special Affairs, Head of the Chancellery and Commissioner for the Federal Intelligence Services. He studied studied Jurisprudence in Hamburg.
Uwe Schroeder-Wildberg is Chairman and CEO of MLP SE, one of Europe’s leading wealth advisory firms. Before beginning to work at MLP in 2003, Uwe was the Chief Financial Officer of Consors AG. He has a business degree from the University of Mannheim. Uwe is also a professional baritone voice singer and is heading the “Foundation Heidelberger Frühling”, supporting one of the most sucessful classic Festivals in Europe.
Simone Schürle-Finke is Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) for Responsive Biomedical Systems at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), Switzerland. Her group develops diagnostic and therapeutic systems at the nano- and microscale with the aim of tackling a range of challenging problems in health care. Prior to taking this position, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, researching nanosensors for in vivo tumor profiling as well as methods to enhance drug transport into tumor tissues (2014-2017). She earned her PhD from ETHZ in 2014, where she focused on magnetic manipulation techniques for biomedical applications at the Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems. She was awarded with the ETH medal for her doctoral thesis and with research fellowships by the Heinrich Hertz foundation, Swiss National Science foundation, German Academic Exchange Network, and the Society in Science. She is recipient of the Prix Zonta 2019 for Women in Science and was honored with the distinction of “Young Scientist” by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for her scientific contributions to society. She also served as a fellow on the WEF Global Future Council on Human Enhancement from 2016-2018. She is a co-founder of MagnebotiX, an ETHZ spin-off. When she is not in her lab, Simone can be found running along the Limmat river, or enjoying the mountains year-round with family and friends. Simone was one of the speakers at the 2012 Annual Symposium, and was one of the speakers at the inaugural WORLD.MINDS Belgrade in 2019.
Ursula Schütze-Kreilkamp is the Head of Group Executives DB. Prior to her duties at DB, Ursula has worked at REWE Group’s HR Department for more than six years, being responsible for the Group Executives’ development. She holds a PhD in human medicine.
Urs Schwarzenbach is a Swiss financier who, among other properties around the world, is a major shareholder of the Dolder Grand Hotel in Zurich. After working in the Foreign Exchange Department of UBS for 5 years in Zurich, and following a stint in London, Urs returned to Zurich to set up a family office to look after his own affairs in the 1970’s. He has since acquired a substantial farming interest in Australia, his wife’s native home, a base in England near Henley-on-Thames, a shooting estate in Scotland, and holiday homes in Morocco, St Moritz and the South of France, and various assets in the aviation and nautical fields. He also has his own polo team, the Black Bears, which was rated among the top teams in the world, with horses in Australia and in the UK.
Paul R. Seger is a Swiss diplomat, lawyer and international law expert. He has been Swiss Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany since 28 August 2018. He has more than three decades experience in diplomatic services, and holds a Doctorate Degree in Law from the University of Basel.
Markus Seiler is the secretary general of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. He holds a PhD in international relations from the University of St Gallen and pursued his studies, mainly in the field of security and management, in the United States, France and Singapore. He entered the civil service in 1997, where he began working as adviser to then Federal Councillor Kaspar Villiger, Minister of Finance. In 2002, he transferred to the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) which was headed by Federal Councillor Samuel Schmid at the time. From 2005 to 2010, Markus held the post of DDPS secretary general before he was appointed as first head of the Federal Intelligence Service, a post he held from 2010 until 2017. On 1 December 2017 he was appointed secretary general of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis. He is a native of Ermatingen in the canton of Thurgau and is married with four children.
Kadri Simson is European Commissioner for Energy in the von der Leyen Commission since 1 December 2019. Kadri holds two Master’s degrees in History and Politics from the University of Tartu and the University College London.
Gerassimos Spyridakis is a Managing Director at Bank Julius Baer in Switzerland since January 2016. Prior to joining Julius Baer, he spent 19 years with Citigroup in NY, Brussels, London, Athens and Geneva. While at Julius Baer and Citi, Gerassimos held senior management positions including Global Head for Africa, Israel, Monaco, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey for the wealth management divisions. Before joining the finance sector in 1997, Gerassimos worked in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Greece and Romania as a brand manager and management consultant for multinational companies such as United Distillers, Gallaher and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Gerassimos holds a BSc in Business Administration from the American College of Greece and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Manchester Business School in the UK. He has attended Executive Education courses at IMD in Lausanne and Insead in Paris. He is also an alumni of Singularity University in Silicon Valley in California, London Business School in Investment Management and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Fintech. Gerassimos is also the President of MITEF Greece (2020-2023) which is MIT’s acceleration program for startups. He has also served as a board member, senior advisor and investor in a number of startups in Artificial Intelligence companies and the health care space. He currently serves at the European Executive Committee of YPO (Young President Organization). He is also part of Harvard Business School’s President Program, a member of Executive Coach International and member of the Supervisory Board of the Argonaughts Leadership Community. He is a keen motorcyclist and the Founder of the Global Charity Initiative “Photography Without Frontiers”. His photography has been exhibited in London, Milan and Athens with the aim to support children in need around the world.
Daniel Surbek is a medical doctor and professor at the University of Bern since 17 years, and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Inselspital Bern. He was trained in Basel, London, and Philadelphia. His scientific interest focuses in stem cell research and prenatal medicine. His research is funded by Swiss National Fund, EU and NIH. Daniel is board member of several national and international medical societies. He is author of over 250 scientific publications and has received numerous awards. Daniel was founder of the Bern Charity event in favor of children with leukemia. His general interests include art and ethics in reproduction und human development.
Veronika Tasić Vušurović is a management consultant and business skills trainer. As a consultant, she works with clients all over Central and Eastern Europe, covering topics of strategy, sales and marketing, and investment – and helps employees advance their business skills. Veronika acts as strategic advisor for a leading corporate law practice in Southeast Europe, Karanovic & Partners. And she loves finding time to mentor tech startups via several incubators and accelerators. Veronika is passionate about creating and performing words, music and movement. She almost shamelessly uses every opportunity to promote the amazing wines from Serbia.
Eva van Pelt joined Eppendorf in October 2017 as the Chief Commercial Officer and Member of the Management Board for the Eppendorf Group. She has been appointed to Co-CEO of the Eppendorf Group in December 2019. Eva has a strong background in the Life Sciences and Medical Technology business, acquired over more than 25 years in various management positions in commercial organizations, as well as advisory roles to NPOs and start-up companies. Eva is particularly passionate about developing and exploiting innovation in the field of Life Sciences and Healthcare to help improve people’s living conditions. Eva holds a Master of Economics, majoring in Innovation Management and Technology Research as well as in Organizational Psychology, from the Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich. Further, she participated in the Siemens Corporate MBA program “Change Agent” at MIT, Stanford University and INSEAD. Eva’s professional career began with Siemens, holding positions of increasing responsibility in Germany, Great Britain and The Netherlands. From 2000 to 2005 she was Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Service and from 2005 to 2010 she served as the Managing Director of Health Services and Global Solutions. In 2010 Eva joined Accenture (Amsterdam) as Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences. In 2012 she moved to Hitachi Data Systems (Santa Clara, California), where she was Business Unit Manager of Healthcare and Life Sciences EMEA until 2015. Eva was Vice President and General Manager EMEA with Leica Microsystems from 2015 to 2017, immediately prior to joining Eppendorf as Member of the Management Board and Chief Commercial Officer and took over the Co-CEO role in 2019.
Dietrich von Klaeden is a leading policy strategist, media lawyer and journalist. As Senior Vice President Public Affairs, Dietrich is responsible for the group-wide public affairs activities of Axel Springer SE in Germany and internationally and reports directly to CEO Mathias Döpfner. He is representing Axel Springer in the Board of Directors at the US-American Publishers Association News Media Alliance (NMA) and in the Board of Directors at Digital Content Next (dcn). In parallel with his legal studies, his doctorate and his legal training, Dietrich worked initially as a reporter, correspondent and moderator for broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR). His second state exam was followed by positions as a lawyer and counsel for the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group, as well as press spokesman and marketing head of broadcaster Südwestrundfunk (SWR). Since 2007, he has fulfilled various management functions at Axel Springer SE, most recently Head of Public Affairs. Dietrich is a Young Leader and member of the transatlantic organizations Atlantik-Brücke e.V. and American Council on Germany (ACG).
Andreas Waelti is CEO and co-owner of Evatec. Born in Basel, Switzerland, Andreas completed his apprenticeship in electrical and mechanical engineering before he completed his degree in Microsystem Technology at University of Applied Sciences in Buchs, Switzerland, in 1999. After returning to the vacuum and thin film technology industry as Product Manager at Unaxis Balzers, he was responsible for successful growth of their rewritable optical disc equipment business before founding Evatec AG in 2004. Under his leadership since that time, the company has grown to a global workforce of more than 600 people delivering thin film production tools to the Advanced Packaging, Semiconductor, Optoelectronics and Photonics industries. From 5G to Micro LED, face recognition or autonomous driving technologies, the thin film sensors and filters manufactured on Evatec systems enable innovations in connectivity, mobility, data processing, energy efficiency and smart sensing.
Alex Wassmer is owner, chairman, and delegate of the board of KIBAG Holding AG, one of the leading construction companies in Switzerland. He is also a member of the board of Probst Maveg SA, Crissier. Since 2002, Alex has been a member of the board of the Kunsthalle Foundation in Bern and, since 2014, a member of the board of trustees of the Dachstiftung Kunstmuseum Bern and Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. Since 2020 he is also the Chairman of CVVC AG, a venture capital company in Zug, Switzerland that specializes in blockchain investments. Alex holds a law degree from the University of Bern. He is Chairman of the board of WORLD.MINDS.
Peter Würtenberger is Executive Vice President at Axel Springer (Europe’s leading digital publisher). Previously Peter held positions as CEO of UPDAY for SAMSUNG, CMO of Axel Springer SE, responsible for growing print and digital advertising revenues, as CEO of the WELT Newspaper Group and as CEO of BILD.T-Online. Before Axel Springer he served in various management positions at Yahoo! and Bertelsmann. Peter holds a degree in Business Management from Cologne University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. From 2008 to 2012 he was an active member of the Group of Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland. In 2013 he spent 10 months on a digital research project in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley, in order to support Axel Springer’s digital transformation. In his free time he enjoys music, contemporary arts and sports.