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Elsa Abreu is an ETH fellow alumni, working as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics of ETH Zurich since January 2015. Her work focuses on understanding the behavior and dynamics of complex condensed matter systems using ultra-fast laser sources. A deeper insight into the fundamental behavior of these highly versatile materials is essential to improve and diversify their engineering applications. Elsa’s position in Zurich follows a Ph.D. in Boston and a master’s in Uppsala, Sweden. This international experience has expanded her scientific and cultural background well beyond the influence of her Portuguese and French roots. Discovering new cultural and societal behaviors through travels, readings, music, and simply through experiencing life in different beautiful and vibrant cities, has been a constant and fascinating complement to Elsa’s scientific career.
Carole Ackermann is CEO and co-founder of Diamondscull AG, a company investing in early stage companies in the technology/ICT field. She is independent member of different boards such as Allianz Suisse, BKW, BVZ Holding, Plaston Group and Swiss TXT, president of Business Angles Switzerland and jury member of several start-up initiatives – among them Venture kick, venture and top 100 startups. Carole holds a PhD in marketing from the University of St. Gallen where she is senior lecturer for business administration. Prior, she had senior roles in international consulting and machine industry companies. As Unit Head Medical and GM China she worked closely with Private Equity Investors in a global company in surface technology before she joined a medical start-up in ophthalmology, as CEO. Besides her business career, Carole has a passion for rowing and offshore sailing.
Daniel Aegerter (born 1969) is founder and chairman of Armada Investment Group, 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.
Osh. Agabi has more than ten years’ experience working on neuroelectronic interfaces in the industry and academia. He was a robotics engineer straight out of college doing statistical learning from 2002 - 2005. He built and programmed pick & place robots in Zurich, CH. As a visiting scholar at MRC (London Institute of Medical Sciences, Hammersmith) and during his Ph.D. studies at the Imperial College in London, he built and customized two-photon microscopes for studying synaptic transmission in the mouse visual cortex. He is the Founder & CEO of Koniku Inc. Koniku combines synthetic neurobiology with silicon to solve next-generation computational problems. The first problem he is addressing is mapping all the volatile organic compounds (or "smell”) that touch human life. He aims to eventually put a Konikore™ in every home on this planet to diagnose disease. Help people manage their health by making small, seemingly inconsequential changes to their lives every day. He is currently building an enterprise revenue engine via a B2B play for Koniku. Osh. speaks 5 languages, lived in 6 countries across three continents.
Heike Allgayer is the Department Head of Experimental Surgery and Cancer Metastasis, and Vice Director of the Centre for Biomedicine and Medical Technology (CBTM), at the Mannheim Medical Faculty of Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, Germany. She received her MD and Dr. med. (summa cum laude) at Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich in 1995/1996, and her PhD (in molecular biology) at the University of Houston-MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1999. As a board-certified surgeon and molecular biologist she sees her mission in bridging basic research and the treatment of cancer patients as a dedicated translational researcher. Her major research interests include molecular determinants defining metastasis, microRNAs in metastasis, molecular determinants of response to novel therapeutics, metastasis prevention, translational metastasis research, and molecular staging of cancer. Her many well-received publications have received 23 scientific awards, including the Research Award of the Alfried-Krupp-von-Bohlen-und-Halbach-Foundation (one of the highest (1 million Euro), most prestigious and competitive research awards in Germany), the Langenbeck and Sauerbruch Research Award, the Young Investigator Award of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), and the Research Award of the Ingrid zu Solms-Foundation, for which she currently serves as the Chair of the Fellowship of the Awardees. She is active member of, e.g., the AACR (also as member of the AACR Surgical Oncology Task Force and Program Committee for the AACR Annual Meeting 2017), ASCO, and EACR (serving as Council Member and Ambassador representing Germany), Member of the EORTC Advisory Board for Translational Research, and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cancer, amongst other editorial appointments. In 2017, she became elected as a Fellow of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences (EACS).
Kathrin Amacker is member of the Swiss Federal Railways Management Board since 2013, responsible for Communications, Politics & Regulation, Strategic Marketing and Sustainability. Prior to this, she was member of the Management Board of Swisscom AG, Switzerland’s biggest telecommunications company. Kathrin is a pharmacist with a PHD from the University of Basel. She has been politically active for many years, serving as a Member of Parlament at the National Council of Switzerland. In her early career, Kathrin was with Ciba-Geigy and Novartis as Project Manager in Production and Development, as Human Resources Manager, President of the Employee Representation Council and Vice President of the Trustees of the Pension Fund.
Catarina Amon is the founder of Classeek, a platform for the Classical Music world. After a successful academical course with an HEC diploma of business management at the University of Lausanne, Catarina embraced the banking sector straight after her studies both by passion and family tradition. During this period she successfully graduated into the Certificate of Financial Asset Management and Engineering of the Swiss Finance Institute in 2001. She then briefly interrupted her professional career to give birth to her three children. From 2006 to 2014, she was a member of the board of a Private Bank in Lausanne. It was at this same time that she developed her passion for Classical Music and went back to playing the piano. She also created a Classical Music Summer camp, the Bougy Music Camp, for youngsters that is now in its 7th annual edition. This same passion, and more generally, for technology led her to the creation of Classeek.
Thomas Amstutz (born 1967) is President and CEO of Feldschlösschen, the biggest brewer and beverage company in Switzerland. With 11 own brands and its own logistic setup, Feldschlösschen is a key driver of pioneering innovations for the retail and the gastronomy segments. Since 2000 Feldschlösschen has belonged to the Carlsberg Group, the fourth biggest brewer of the world. Thomas has an extensive FMCG and leadership background. After some years in Unilever, he joined Hero, where the entrepreneurial spirit and branded mindset strongly influenced him. He is passionate about branded businesses and was given the opportunity to manage the biggest brewer in France as its president and CEO during four years. As a member of the Stifungsrat Schweizer Sporthilfe, Thomas actively supports young sport talents in Switzerland to get the necessary funding. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and loves playing tennis and Golf.
Jonas Anderhub (born in 1976) and Christof Wolfisberg (born in 1976) are OHNE ROLF. They are virtuosos of printed improvisation. With their absurd and ingenious play on words, they move somewhere between theater, comedy, and animated comic strip. In 1999, they tried out their poster idea for the first time. With deadpan faces they placed themselves in a crowded street holding up a poster saying: “There is nothing to be seen here.” Passers-by were puzzled. Was there really nothing to be seen? Another poster had the answer: “Move on, there is really nothing to be seen!” Over the last 15 years, OHNE ROLF have been performing their programs on many stages and in many TV shows in German, French, English, and Chinese. OHNE ROLF are winners of diverse theater awards.
Maria Asplund is group leader of the Electroactive Coatings research group at the department of Microsystems Engineering, IMTEK, in Freiburg, Germany. Her scientific interest is bio-electronic engineering with a focus on tissue-device interaction and biomaterials. Her work has resulted in several new coating technologies which help making future electrodes and sensors for neuro-electronic interfaces smaller, more energy efficient and durable. As a winner of an ERC Starting Grant in 2017, she is currently developing a new concept for tissue engineering which can support healing of complicated skin wounds by electrostimulation. Maria has a MSc in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering (Linköping 2003) and a PhD from the Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, 2009). She is a member of the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools, a grantee within ERC and the Brigitte-Schlieben-Lange Fellowship Program.
Stefanos Athanasiou, born 1981 in Germany, has studied Theology at the Universities of Munich and Thessaloniki. After gaining his PhD in Theology (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki), he worked as a Lecturer (Orthodox Dogmatic and Ethics) at the University of Bern and as a Guest Lecturer at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and the Theological College of Chur. Since 2017 he is Lecturer at the Theological study year of Dormitio in Jerusalem, since 2018 Guest Lecturer at the Theological Faculty of Fribourg and since 2019 Guest Lecturer at the Theological Faculty of Bonn. 2018 he past successfully a PostDoc Thesis at the Faculty of Theology in Thessaloniki. Since September 2019 he is Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Zurich. He is Geek Orthodox Priest in the Metropolis of Switzerland.
Artur Avila Cordeiro de Melo (born 1979) is a Brazilian and French mathematician working primarily on dynamical systems and spectral theory. He is one of the winners of the 2014 Fields Medal, being the first Latin American to win such award. He is a researcher at both the IMPA and the CNRS (working a half-year in each one). At the age of 16, Artur won a gold medal at the 1995 International Mathematical Olympiad and received a scholarship for the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) to M.S., all while still attending high school in Colégio de São Bento and Colégio Santo Agostinho in Rio de Janeiro. Later he enrolled in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), earning his B.S in mathematics. At the age of 19, Avila began making his doctoral thesis on the theory of dynamical systems. In 2001 he finished it and received his PhD from IMPA. That same year he moved abroad to France to do postdoctoral research. He works with one-dimensional dynamics and holomorphic functions. Since 2003 he has worked as a researcher for the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in France, later becoming a research director in 2008. His post-doctoral supervisor was Jean-Christophe Yoccoz. In 2005, at age 26, Arthur became known amongst mathematicians for proving the "Conjecture of the ten martinis", a problem proposed in 1980 by the American mathematical physicist Barry Simon. Simon promised to pay ten martini doses to whoever explained his theory about the behavior of "Schrödinger operators", mathematical tools related to quantum physics. Artur solved the problem along with mathematician Svetlana Jitomirskaya, and was rewarded with a few rounds of martini.
Beat Balzli (born in 1966) is the editor-in-chief of Wirtschaftswoche. Prior to this, he was editor-in-chief of the “Welt am Sonntag” publication. He grew up in Lucerne and studied economics in Bern and Paris. After a short period of working in finance, he committed himself to journalism and published the book “Treuhänder des Reiches” in 1997. In Switzerland, he wrote for the “Handelszeitung”, “Sonntagszeitung”, and “Facts” before he worked around nine years for “Der Spiegel”, where he won several prizes, i.e., Wirtschaftsjournalist des Jahres and the Henri-Nannen-Preis. In Hamburg, Beat has also presented his photographic art at several exhibitions.
Nenad Ban is a professor of structural molecular biology at ETH Zurich. He was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and earned his B.S. degree in molecular biology and biochemistry at the University of Zagreb. In 1994, he obtained his Ph.D. in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California at Riverside, where his research focused on structural immunology and virology. He continued his career at Yale University, spearheading the X-ray crystallographic structure determination of the large ribosomal subunit, the central cellular assembly responsible for protein synthesis in all organisms, and determined its atomic structure in the group in the laboratory of Thomas Steitz. In 2000, Nenad was appointed assistant professor of structural molecular biology at the ETH Zurich, becoming full professor in 2007. Since his start at the ETH Zurich, his group has been studying ribosomes and their functional complexes using a combination of crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, providing ground-breaking insights into the process of protein synthesis in all kingdoms of life. Nenad is a member of EMBO and the German Academy of Sciences and the recipient of several awards. Nenad is married to Eilika Weber-Ban, also a professor at the ETH Zurich, and they have two sons, Arvid and Ivo, who were born in Switzerland.
Raymond J. Bär has been chairman of the board of Alpine Select Ltd. in Zug since 2013. In 2014, he was appointed chairman of the board of Longbow Finance in Lutry, and member of the board of AMAG LTD in Zurich. Since 2015, he is chairman of the board of BENECARE Foundation, in Vaduz, focusing on charity, and the Vice-Chairman of the Foundation Board of the Asia Society of Switzerland, in Zurich. Since 2017, he has been a Member of the Board of Crypto Fund Ltd. in Zug. In addition, he is the honorary chairman of the Julius Baer Group since 2012, over which he presided from 2003 to 2012.
Rudolf Bär (born 1938) is currently a freelance collaborator at the black hole group of Prof. Kevin Schawinski at the Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics at ETH Zurich. From 1969 to 2005 he worked at the private bank, Julius Baer Group Ltd. in Zurich, which is quoted at the Zurich Stock Exchange since 1981. He was CEO from 1993 to 2000 and was a member of the Board of Directors until 2005, when the family gave up control. After studying electrical engineering at ETH and completing an MBA at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1964, he worked in Zurich and Brussels for the Dow Corning Corporation. He has travelled extensively to remote locations like the sources of the Orinoco River, where he visited the Yanomami tribes, or to Papua New Guinea and its indigenous people.
Boaz Barack is an experienced Banker, with over 30 years of international private banking Career. He is currently focusing on New Age Banking creating a transformation into digital & blockchain solutions of all banking products and services. He is taking disruptive technologies to market as a strategic leader. Boaz served for over twenty years as a Member of the Senior Management in the two leading Swiss banks. He joined Credit Suisse in 1994 when he became a Member of the Senior Management, Head of Key Clients Desk and a Market Manager for Israel. He then joined the Senior Management of UBS AG, as manager of the Ultra High Net worth clients and Chairman of Israel for eight years, to retire in 2014. The Rothschild Group acquired his private asset management and risk-management company, Dr. Boaz Barack, International Financial Management Ltd., in 1990. In March 2019 Boaz was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Swiss Crypto and Blockchain Exchange (SCX). SCX is the first regulated Swiss exchange platform for blockchain products and cryptocurrencies. It aims to provide safe, high quality and transparent access to blockchain-based products in a rapidly growing transaction market. SCX contributes to standardization, legitimacy, and transparency by Swiss quality and safety criteria. As of 2018, Boaz is a Board Member of a Geneva-based private bank Hyposwiss owned by the Lawi family from Switzerland and the Kadoori family from Hong Kong. Boaz is a board member in the operation of Plus 500, a Global online trading company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Amongst non-commercial organizations (philanthropy and scientific), his involvement is mostly with the Weizmann Institute, as a member of the international board of this world-leading scientific research Institute. Boaz has a Ph.D. Degree in International Law and Economics from the University of Cambridge, England; Diploma in Common Market Business Affairs from the European Economic Community college in Bruges, Belgium; Diploma in International law from the Academy of International Law in the Hague, Holland and a master’s degrees in law and Business Administration from the University of Tel Aviv, Israel. He is a member of the Israel Bar. He has also lectured on international trade issues at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University
Stefan Barmettler (born in 1958) is currently editor-in-chief of “Handelszeitung,” Switzerland’s leading business weekly and one of the oldest media brands in Switzerland (est. 1861). Stefan graduated from the University of Zurich with a degree in history of economy and economics, with a thesis written on measuring inflation. Later he did a postgrad at the University of Connecticut–Stamford Campus. He is a graduate of Ringier’s School of Journalism and won the Swiss Media Prize in 1990. He later wrote for “Weltwoche,” “FACTS,” and “BILANZ.” He was U.S. correspondent of “FACTS” and became its editor-in-chief in 2003. Later, he was deputy editor-in-chief at “BILANZ”. He joined “Handelszeitung” in 2013 and became a columnist at Radio 1 in Zurich. Stefan has a Swiss and an Italian passport.
David Basin is a full professor at ETH Zurich and chair of the Department of Computer Science. He is the founding director of the ZISC, the Zurich Information Security Center, which he led from 2003-2011. He is Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Privacy and Security and of Springer-Verlag's book series on Information Security and Cryptography. He has co-founded three security companies, is on the board of directors of Anapaya Systems AG as well as various management and scientific advisory boards, and has consulted extensively for IT companies and government organizations. He is an ACM Fellow.
Christoph Bauer is the CEO of DuMont, based in Cologne, Germany. Christoph was born in 1970 and has German and Swiss citizenship. He is married to Sari Katriina Bauer and lives in Cologne and Zurich. Christoph holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration, and studied at University of Mannheim, Arizona State University and University of Oldenburg. Since the advent of the Internet in the mid-1990s, he has been a pioneer in the digitization of media companies and business models of all genres right from the start. Against this background, Christoph has over 20 years of change management experience in the media industry with executive positions at Bertelsmann, NZZ, Ringier, AZ Medien. Since October 2013 he has been Group CEO of DuMont, a leading media company in Germany with its foundation going back to 1620. On his spare time, Christoph enjoys outdoor actives such as biking in the mountains and watersports. He is a music lover with focus on contemporary jazz and independent labels. Christoph, well-travelled and interested in the world’s cultural diversity, speaks apart from German and English also Spanish, French and Italian.
Urs Baumann (born 1967) is co-founder and CEO of PG Impact Investments, a global impact investment firm backed by Partners Group. He is the former CEO of Bellevue Group, an independent financial group domiciled in Küsnacht. He is also owner and founder of 3Horizons, which he established as his investment company in 2010 after the successful sale of Lindorff Group, one of Europe’s leading credit management companies. He started his first venture at the age of 21 and later became the founder and CEO of Swisscard AECS, which he built from scratch to Switzerland’s leading credit card company. Urs holds a Master degree from University of St. Gallen and a MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He is active as a social entrepreneur and likes outdoor sports, traveling, and riding his Harley.
Beatrice Beck Schimmer is professor of anaesthesiology at the Medical Faculty of the University of Zurich, where she actively involved in patient care at the Institute of Anaesthesiology at the University Hospital Zurich. Beside her clinical activity, which focuses mainly on complex thoracic and visceral anaesthesia, she has established a research group with highly motivated young physician scientists within the institution as well as at the Zurich Center for Integrative Human Physiology, where they perform basic, translational and clinical research. Beatrice’'s research topics are lung immunopathology, perioperative organ protection and nanomedicine. In August 2018, she will start a new position as Director of Medicine and member of the Executive Board of the University of Zurich. Beatrice has a family with two boys (23 and 20 years old). She is a passionate tennis player.
Vesna Bengin is the co-founder of the BioSense Institute in Novi Sad, Serbia. BioSense focuses on multidisciplinary, game-changing and needs-driven research of advanced ICT technologies and its applications in biosystems, primarily agriculture. She is the coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project ANTARES, ranked as the first in the most prestigious H2020 call Teaming, which aims to evolve the BioSense Institute into a market-oriented European center of research excellence. Vesna is the Assistant Director for Research at the BioSense Institute, a full professor at the Department for Physics of the University of Novi Sad, and a mother of three.
Armin Berchtold, CEO Swiss Securitas Group and Secretary General of the International Security Ligue, studied economics at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He then began his professional career at IBM Switzerland, where he held between 1990 – 2005 several positions including Sales Representative, Sales Manager, Global Services Business Development Manager and Manager of Strategic Outsourcing. During that time he was also on a 3 year assignment at the IBM EMEA HQ in Paris. In 2005, he was appointed as the CEO of the MailSource Group, a leading provider of mailroom outsourcing and document management services, fully owned by Swiss Post. In February of 2009, Armin was given the opportunity to join the Swiss Securitas Group as its COO and since 2013 he acts as their CEO. Swiss Securitas Group is a family-owned business, founded in 1907, and is a leader in the areas of security services and alarm and security systems in Switzerland, Europe and worldwide. The Securitas Group is headquartered in Zollikofen/Bern. Armin Berchtold is married and has three childrens in the age of 27, 23 and 21 years.
Simone Bernasconi is the Managing Director of the competence centre msfi (sustainable mobility and railways, innovation). Before being named MD in September 2015, Simone was a project manager and safety expert at the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Prior to this role, Simone has been an independent consultant in the aviation sector. From 2000 to 2010, Simone worked in different management positions in Switzerland and abroad for Swissair, SR Technics and SWISS. Simone has an extensive international experience having lived in USA, Germany, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Simone has a Bachelor degree in electronics from the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), a Certificate in Aviation Safety Management from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles and a DAS in General Management from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). He lives in Uster (ZH) with his wife and one daughter.
Cleo Bertelsmeier is a biologist and assistant professor at the department of ecology and evolution at the University of Lausanne. His research is about invasive species and particularly invasive ants.
Numa Bischof Ullmann (born 1970) has been the artistic and executive director of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra since 2004. During his tenure, the orchestra has become one of the leading Swiss orchestras with an international scope. Having nearly doubled both its budget and its number of concerts, the orchestra today performs in first-class venues all over Europe and Asia and records for global labels. Numa also developed a new entrepreneurial approach to financing and running a cultural institution. For this purpose, in 2008, he founded the private foundation “Stiftung für das Luzerner Sinfonieorchester” funded by major Swiss entrepreneurs. He is also the founder and artistic director of a new festival called Zaubersee, dedicated to Russian Music and centered in Lucerne, and serves as the vice president of the national association for symphonic orchestras. Besides this, he serves as a board member for an international charity foundation and acts as a jury member for competitions and award-giving institutions. Numa studied languages, musicology and cello in Basel and Zurich and received a degree in business in Basel. Raised in Switzerland, France, and Italy with extensive travels to Asia, Africa, North and South America, a multilingual environment remains a crucial necessity in his life.
Kipper Blakeley is the Producer of WORLD.MINDS and is the Managing Editor of the WORLD.MINDS Magazine, the closed circulation magazine sent out once a year to our community around the world. He lives at the lake in eastern Switzerland with his wife and son.
Philippe Blatter (Swiss, born in 1964) is President & CEO of Infront, a leading global sports marketing and media company. Infront's purpose is to unite people in sport with emotions, dreams and passion. It accomplishes this by delivering 4,100 event days per year in 25 sports for 180 rights holders with a 1,000-strong team in 39 offices in 14 countries around the world. In 2015, Chinese conglomerate Wanda Group acquired Infront and appointed Philippe as Vice-Chairman of the Wanda Sports Group, consisting of Infront, the iconic triathlon brand IRONMAN and Wanda Sports China. Before joining Infront in 2005, Philippe spent 10 years as partner at McKinsey & Company. He also served as a board member of the non-profit organisation Right To Play Switzerland for more than 10 years. Philippe holds a Master of Science degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and an MBA degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in Evanston, USA. Philippe is married, has twin boys and is a passionate triathlete having finished 16 full IRONMAN races to date.
Lukas Böcker (born in 1989) is food technologist and doctoral student in the Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory at ETH Zurich. The group lead by Prof. Alexander Mathys focuses on a system oriented approach to realize biomass and energy use efficiency, significant waste reduction along food value chains as well as healthy and high quality food production. Lukas’ research interest tackles downstream processes of microalgae proteins to enable this innovative high potential raw material. Prior to his doctoral studies, he explored in internships the Ecuadorian meat industry and the Consulting industry. Besides his microalgae at ETH, Lukas enjoys to be in the Swiss Alps.
Martin Bosshardt studied at the ETH in Zurich and Todai University in Tokyo. He has a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH). After completing his studies, Martin worked as an IC lead engineer for ABB in Switzerland and abroad. In 1998 Martin was appointed to the management of Futurecom Interactive, the leading corporate consultants for digital communication, with responsibility for consultancy. In 2011, Martin was awarded with the SVC Entrepreneurs Award. Since 2013 he has been a member of the Advisory Board of PwC Switzerland.
Chris Bowler is CNRS Director of Research at the Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Using genomics approaches, he studies the biology of plants and a group of marine phytoplankton known as diatoms. He is a scientific coordinator of the Tara Oceans expedition, which performed a worldwide analysis of plankton in the global ocean from 2009-2013 using high-throughput DNA sequencing and cellular imaging approaches. The project has generated the most complete picture to date of plankton species diversity and function in today's global ocean, and represents the most complete description of any planetary-scale biome. Chris is now adding to this knowledge by exploration of ancient DNA from diatoms in sediments accumulated over the millenia on the seafloor. From such studies, he hopes to learn how diatoms were affected by past environments, thus helping to understand how they will be affected by climate change in the future. Chris completed his PhD at Ghent University, in Belgium, followed by postdoctoral studies at the Rockefeller University, in New York. In 1994, he established his own research group working on higher plants and marine diatoms at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, in Naples, Italy, and in 2002, he took up his current position in Paris. He has been an EMBO member since 1995 and was the recipient of a CNRS Silver Medal in 2010, an ERC Advanced Grant Award in 2012, and the Grand Prix Scientifique from the Fondation Louis D. at the Institut de France in 2015. He has been a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Christoph Brand (born 1969) is designated CEO of Axpo, an energy group operating in over 30 countries, generating almost CHF 5bn revenue with 4500 employees. Today, he is Deputy Group CEO and Head of Classifieds & Marketplaces at Tamedia AG, one of the largest Swiss media groups. In this role, he is also chairman or member of the board of a number of companies held partially or fully by Tamedia, such as Homegate, Jobs, Ricardo, Tutti and others. Before that, he was CEO and shareholder of Adcubum AG, a strongly growing, privately held leading software company. From 2006 to 2010, he was CEO of Sunrise Communications, the largest private telecom operator in Switzerland, which he turned around to make it the fastest-growing operator in Switzerland in terms of revenue and profitability. Before that, he was chief strategy officer of Swisscom, restructured the national and international wireline network unit of Swisscom and, from 1998 to 2002, built up Bluewin to become the biggest internet and portal service provider in Switzerland. Christoph is married and father to two sons.
Ana Brnabić is the Prime Minister of Serbia. In June 2017, she became the first woman and first openly gay person to hold the office. She was previously the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Serbia from August 2016 until 29 June 2017, under Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić and Acting Prime Minister Ivica Dačić. After Vučić was inaugurated as the President of Serbia on 31 May 2017, he proposed Ana as his successor in June. Her government was voted into office on 29 June 2017 by a majority of 157 out of 250 Members of the National Assembly of Serbia. Ana is the fifth openly LGBT head of government in the world, and the second female LGBT head of government overall. Ana holds an MBA diploma of the University of Hull and has been working over ten years with international organizations, foreign investors, local self-government units, and the public sector in Serbia. Prior to the appointment to the Government of Serbia, she had been the Director of the company Continental Wind Serbia – CWS where she had worked in the implementation of the investment of EUR 300 million in the wind park in the municipality of Kovin. She has been engaged in different US consulting companies that implemented USAID-financed projects in Serbia. She was deputy manager of the Serbia’s Competitiveness Project, the expert on the Local self-government Reform Program in Serbia and the senior coordinator of the Program of Economic Development of Municipalities. She actively participated in the foundation of the National Alliance for Local Economic Development (NALED) in 2006. She made great efforts to build capacities of NALED for representation of interests of the business sector, local self-government units and the civil society in Serbia. She became a member, and thereafter the President of the Managing Board of NALED, which got the status of the biggest autonomous private-public organization that endeavours to improve the business environment in Serbia and has contributed, in close cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, to the building of competitiveness of Serbia on international scale and on the Doing Business list of the World Bank. Ana is also a member of the "New Leaders for Europe" group within the World Economic Forum. Sebastian Kurz, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria, the Prime Ministers of Estonia, Iceland and Malta, as well as numerous other prominent people also belong to this group.
Pascale Bruderer is a member of Switzerland’s parliament (2002-2011 National Council, since 2011 Council of states). In 2009/2010, Pascale was at the age of 32 the youngest president ever of the United Federal Assembly and therefore Switzerland’s “highest ranking” person. She is a member of the Social Security and Health Committee, the Environment and Energy Committee National and Vice President of the Political Institutions Committee. As president of Inclusion Handicap she focuses the integration and equal treatment of people with disabilities. Her vision regarding new technologies is digital inclusion: to provide access to opportunities for all members of society in a digital age. Prior to her elevation to national office, Pascale served both in the cantonal parliament (2001–2002) and in Baden’s town parliament (1997–2004). Her professional experience involves several years’ work at UBS and Microsoft and she has been managing director of the Krebsliga Aargau (Aargau Cancer League) since 2009. She studied political science, constitutional law, and social and economic history at the University of Zurich and the University of Växjö (Sweden), ultimately earning a master’s in political science from the University of Zurich in 2005 as well as later on a diploma in “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” from the Harvard University/Kennedy School in 2011. In her leisure time, she enjoys being outdoors, walking her dog, hiking, and cross country skiing.
This Brunner has over 40 years of intense experience in the film industry in Switzerland and abroad. From 1975 to 2009, This was the director of Zurich-based Arthouse Commercio Movie, Switzerland’s leading arthouse theater group and he also founded the Douglas Sirk Foundation, which he still runs. As a well-informed observer of world cinema and the international film festival scene, he has worked for countless festivals as member on the board, such as Locarno, Cinéma Tout Ecran in Geneva, FILMEX in L.A., and the American Cinematheque in L.A. Since 1992, he was for 22 years a film curator for Art Basel and for Art Basel in Miami. In 1994, he became co-founder and a board member of Europa Cinema in Paris. He is both a member of the European- and of the Swiss Film Academy and is honorary president of the donor’s club of the Zurich Film Festival. As a profound art buff—he collects contemporary art since the late sixties. He created in 2012 his first Film/Art installation “Magnificent Obsession,” which is in the collection of the Zürcher Kunsthaus. Many others followed like „The Magic World of the Mountains in the Films by Daniel Schmid“ (for the Engadin Museum), „Let’s Pop Again...“ (for the Swiss Institute in N.Y.), “THE MUSIC ROOM” (for St. Moritz Art Master), „Sous l’Influence...“ (for the BEYELER MUSEUM). He has co-produced the movies “Sennentuntschi” by Michael Steiner and “Paul Bowles: The Cage Door Is Always Open“ by Daniel Young. This was decorated by the French Government with an „Officier des arts et des lettres“ and with the Film/Art prize by the City and by the County of Zürich.
Ton Büchner (born 1965) is a non-executive Board member at Novartis in Switzerland and at Voith in Germany. Until late 2017, he was the CEO of AkzoNobel, headquartered in the Netherlands. Until 2011, he was CEO of Sulzer AG in Switzerland. Previously, he headed several Sulzer divisions and was the chief representative for the Sulzer Corporation in China. Prior to Sulzer, he worked as a project manager in offshore facility design and construction in the Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. He studied civil engineering at the TU Delft in the Netherlands and holds an M.B.A. from IMD in Lausanne.
Daniele Buetti (born in 1955) is a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Münster, Germany. He was born in Fribourg and currently lives in Zurich. As an artist he has held worldwide exhibitions since 1990. His work can be found in public collections such as the Kunstmuseum Bern; Kunsthaus Zürich; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid; and Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Salzburg among others. Daniele also published several books, amongst others “Daniele Buetti” (2003) and “Maybe you can be one of us” (2008) with Hatje Cantz Verlag and „It’s All in your Mind“ (2014) with Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt.
Andrea Burden is an assistant professor (tenure-track) of pharmacoepidemiology at the ETH Zurich. She obtained her PhD in 2014 at the University of Toronto in pharmacoepidemiology at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and then moved to the Netherlands for a 3-year post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Maastricht. At the ETH Zurich, the research focus is on using real-world healthcare data to improve the understanding and prediction of medication response in patients living with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes mellitus. Currently she is involved in the FIDELIO EU Innovations in Training Networks (ITN) consortium to investigate fragility fractures within diabetes mellitus.
Stefan Butz (born in 1968) is the CEO of DKSH, the leading Market Expansion Services provider with a focus on Asia. With its more than 30.000 specialists, DKSH has helped other companies and brands to grow their business in new or existing markets for more than 150 years. Stefan’s business experience spans Europe, the USA and Asia. Prior to DKSH, he was the Chief Executive Industry & COO Europe/China of Intertek Group, based in London. He also worked many years as a strategy consultant for Accenture and spent nine years of his career in the USA. Outside of his professional life, Stefan is passionate about his family and sports, which plays an important part in his daily routine.
Christian Cachin is a professor of computer science at the University of Bern, where he leads the cryptology and data security research group since 2019. Prior to that he worked for IBM Research - Zurich during more than 20 years. He has held visiting positions at MIT and at EPFL and has taught at several universities during his career in industrial research. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. With a background in cryptography, he is interested in all aspects of security in distributed systems and especially in cryptographic protocols, consistency, consensus, blockchains, and cloud-computing security. He has developed many cryptographic protocols, particularly for achieving consensus and for executing distributed cryptographic operations over the Internet. In the area of cloud computing, he has contributed to standards in storage security and developed protocols for key management. Christian is known for creating systems based on distributed trust long before Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies made this a mainstream topic. He recently focused on building Hyperledger Fabric, an open-source blockchain platform for business.
Riet Cadonau (born 1961) is CEO of dormakaba Group since 2011 (and Chairman since 2018). Dormakaba is a global leader in access and security solutions. Prior to that, he was CEO of Ascom Group. In addition, he is member of the Board of Directors of Georg Fischer +GF+ and of Zehnder Group. Earlier he was a Board member of Kaba Group and Griesser Group. Furthermore, he was President of the Swiss Management Association (SMG) and member of the Board of the Swiss-American Chamber of Commerce. Riet graduated at the University of Zurich with a Master of Arts in economics and business administration. He also completed the Advanced Management Program (AMP) at INSEAD/France.
Florencia Canelli (born in 1973 in Argentina) is a professor of physics at the University of Zurich. Her research is based on experimental particle physics at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory. She helps build large detectors to search for invisible particles that could elucidate nature at the beginning of the universe. She received her PhD from the University of Rochester in 2003, studying the heaviest known fundamental particle – the top quark – and later moved to the University of California, Los Angeles as a postdoctoral researcher. In 2006 she became a scientist at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and, from 2008 to 2012, she was an assistant and associate professor of physics at the University of Chicago. She is one of the rare particle physicists to have been a member of all four experiments that found evidence and discovered the Higgs boson. Following her need for higher energy colliders, she moved in 2012 to the University of Zurich, where she studies dark matter and the Higgs boson, and where she also found higher altitudes and learned to ski.
Greta Canelli is a Doctoral candidate at the Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory at ETH Zurich.Â Greta was born in Torino, Italy, in 1993. She obtained a BSc degree in Food Science and Technology from University of Parma. She conducted her Bachelor's Thesis characterizing pectins and pectic oligosaccharides extracted from industrial food waste under the supervision of Prof. Stefano Sforza. For her Master degree in Food Technology she moved to Wageningen University, where she conducted her Master's Thesis at the Laboratory of Food Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Paul Vincken, investigating the influence of iron on browning of insect protein extracts. After pursuing her Master's, Greta conducted internships at Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, investigating omega-3 fatty acids stabilization, and United Nations World Food Programme in Bangkok, Thailand, working on food safety and food fortification regulations. In May 2018, Greta joined the Laboratory of Sustainable Food Processing as doctoral candidate, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alexander Mathys, where she investigating microalgae as food ingredient.
Srdjan Capkun (Srđan Čapkun) is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science, ETH Zurich and ist he Director of the Zurich Information Security and Privacy Center (ZISC). He was born in Split, Croatia. Srdjan received his Dipl.Ing. Degree in Electrical Engineering / Computer Science from the University of Split in 1998, and his Ph.D. degree in Communication Systems from EPFL in 2004. Prior to joining ETH Zurich in 2006, he was a postdoctoral researcher in the Networked & Embedded Systems Laboratory (NESL), University of California Los Angeles and an Assistant Professor in the Informatics and Mathematical Modelling Department, Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Srdjan's research interests are in system and network security. One of his main focus areas is wireless security. He is a co-founder of 3db Access, a company focusing on secure distance measurement and proximity-based access control, and of Sound-Proof, a spin-off focusing on usable on-line authentication. In 2016 Srdjan received an ERC Consolidator Grant for a project on securing positioning in wireless networks.
Leanna Caron, a global business executive, has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. She is a respected sales, marketing, business development, and overall general management leader with demonstrated effectiveness in corporate governance. Leanna currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Kuros Biosciences, a Swiss orthobiologics company and is an advisor to the Board of Directors of CartiHeal, an Israeli medical device company focussed on cartilage regeneration and osteoarthritis. She is also President and Chair of the Board of Directors for Skate Canada, the largest and longest standing figure skating organization in the world. In the later, Leanna combines her in-depth international business and marketing expertise with her broad knowledge of figure skating, which includes being an Olympic-level official. Previous roles include executive vice president and chief commercial officer at AgNovos Healthcare, overseeing all aspects of global commercial development, commercialization, and corporate communications; Vice President and General Manager at Sanofi, overseeing the global commercial operations for Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine. In this capacity, she led the turn-around of a fully integrated global division, rendering it profitable after years of financial losses. She has also held senior positions at Genzyme and Merck in the United States, Canada, and Europe, and has led several international teams to successfully launch niche/orphan and blockbuster products globally.
Kynthia Chamilothori (born 1989) is an Assistant Professor in the Human-Technology Interaction group at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). Kynthia holds a PhD in Architecture from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and a Master's degree (Dipl-Ing) in Architectural Engineering from the Technical University of Crete. Her research interests lie in the intersection of lighting, architecture, human perception and well-being, with a particular focus on how light in space can influence the subjective and physiological responses of occupants. She uses virtual reality (VR) as a tool for experimental research, and one of her favorite recent findings is that the composition of façade and daylight patterns can lower our heart rate in a VR setting. Kynthia lives in Eindhoven with her partner Alexios and two cats, loves science fiction, pottery, and is concerned about the sustainability of our societies.
Eleni Chatzi (Greek, born 1981) is an Associate Professor and Chair of Structural Mechanics at ETH Zurich. She obtained her PhD in Engineering Mechanics form Columbia University in 2010. Eleni's research focuses on the exploitation of the Value of Information that comes from sensors deployed to monitor structures. Eleni leads an international team of researchers working on data-driven monitoring, automated condition assessment and intelligent decision support for engineered systems, with applications spanning across civil, mechanical and aerospace infrastructure. Her work in the domain was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2016 on the topic of "Smart Monitoring, Inspection and Life-Cycle Assessment of Wind Turbines". When not busy deciphering data, Eleni spends her time roaming the world.
Margarita Chli is an Assistant Professor in Vision for Robotics at ETH Zurich and head of V4RL. Originally from Greece and Cyprus, she received both her Bachelor and Master degrees in Information and Computing Engineering from Trinity College of the University of Cambridge, UK, and her PhD from Imperial College London. After a postdoctoral position at the Autonomous Systems Lab of ETH Zurich, she moved to the University of Edinburgh to accept the prestigious Chancellor’s Fellowship and initiate her own research group, the Vision for Robotics Lab (V4RL). In 2015, she relocated with her group to ETH Zurich to accept a Swiss National Science Foundation Assistant Professorship. Margarita received numerous academic scholarships from both Cyprus and Cambridge and she continues to hold an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Edinburgh. She is a World Economics Forum (WEF) Expert in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and was a speaker at WEF 2017 in Davos. Her research interests lie in developing vision-based perception for robots, such as small aircraft. Margarita participated in the first vision-based autonomous flight of a small helicopter, and she features in Robohub’s 2016 list of 25 women in Robotics you need to know about. Besides her research career she has great passion for music and dance, as a classically trained violinist and dancer.
Philipp Cottier (born 1967) is an active entrepreneur and investor in blockchain and fintech start-ups, private equity, hedge funds and emerging markets. He is based in Zurich and sits on the board of several companies, including Bellegarde Capital, L1 Digital, Crypto Finance AG and previously Bank Vontobel. Philipp is also engaged in impact investing through responsAbility Investments and Persistent Energy. From 1998 to 2008 he built up and successfully exited Harcourt Investments, an asset manager focusing on alternative investments with close to $6bn of assets. He started his career at UBS in Basel, New York and Hong Kong, and Boston Consulting in Sydney. Philipp is a committed philanthropist and avid supporter of social causes such as girl empowerment through the Cottier Donzé Foundation. He holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. in finance from University of St. Gallen. Philipp is a passionate mountaineer, paraglider and sailor, and completed the first traverse of the famous North West Passage on a catamaran with his family.
Tom Crowther is an Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), specialising in global ecosystem ecology. He leads the Crowther Lab, which aims to generate a mechanistic understanding of the ecological processes that drive the global carbon cycle and climate system. Through an ecologically-informed understanding of Earth system dynamics, Tom believes we can better understand and address global climate change. He is the lead scientific advisor to Plant-for-the-Planet (a youth led NGO) and the UN’s Trillion Tree Campaign. In addition to biodiversity, Tom also has a passion for rock climbing, football and chocolate milk.
Beat Curti is passionate entrepreneur who senses opportunities and turned 40 of them in wine, food, gastronomy and publishing into long-term businesses. Once consolidated he wants to put them into responsible hands. In 2002 he decided to concentrate on «lighter», fast growing and international businesses. Among many smaller companies he is founder and activ main shareholder of Goldbach Media Group, leader in bundling marketing of TV, radio, screens, smartphones and internet in DACH partnering with TA-Group in Switzerland. Furthermore Beat is co-founder and active partner in SoftwareOne, which was traditionally focusing on the procurement and management of software licences. In the last years, it has added overall management of software portfolios and cloud enabling services. It has over 3000 professionals in 84 active offices covering 120 countries. The companies in which Beat is shareholder/partner will generate roughly CHF 10 billions of profitable sales and have created 3000 promising jobs in the last ten years. Beat spends half of his time and income for social work (e.g., “Tischlein deck dich”; creation of spaces for mondern living and innovation), is a collector of contemporary art and systematically cultivates body and soul.
Regula Curti is founder and managing director of The Center of Music Therapy & Spiritual Education SEESCHAU, The House of Resounding Emptiness in Erlenbach/ZH. She graduated with a master’s in music therapy, is a trained singer and a Kundalini Yoga instructor. She is dedicated to help people find their roots through music and singing. Her wish is guiding people on their way to personal truth and inner strength. In 2007, Regula, together with her husband Beat, established the BEYOND FOUNDATION, a registered nonprofit organization, supporting projects that unite different cultures through music and create cross-cultural understanding, awareness, dialog, and respect. With Tina Turner and other visionary women, she released three CDs worldwide, which are part of the larger vision of the BEYOND MUSIC project for global peace and tolerance. A film training children in mindfulness will be released next year.
Raffaello D’Andrea is Professor of Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich, where his research redefines what autonomous systems are capable of. His TED talks, with millions of views, have inspired a generation to pursue engineering, robotics, and computer science. He is co-founder of Kiva Systems (acquired by Amazon in 2012, and now operating as Amazon Robotics), a robotics and logistics company that develops and deploys intelligent automated warehouse systems, with over 100,000 autonomous mobile robots deployed in Amazon warehouses alone. He was the faculty advisor and system architect of the Cornell Robot Soccer Team, four-time world champions at the international RoboCup competition. With his startup, Verity Studios, he recently created the flying machine design and choreography for Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway, Metallica’s WorldWired tour, and the Knicks opening act at Madison Square Garden in New York. He is co-founder of ROBO Global, an index, advisory, and research company that launched the world’s first Robotics and AI exchange traded fund in 2013. In addition, he is a new media artist with exhibitions at various international venues, including the Venice Biennale, the FRAC Centre and the National Gallery of Canada. Other creations and projects include the Flying Machine Arena, the Distributed Flight Array, the Balancing Cube, Cubli, Flight Assembled Architecture, the Blind Juggler, the Robotic Chair and RoboEarth.
FW de Klerk was President of South Africa from 1989 to 1994, during which time he initiated and presided over the inclusive negotiations that led to the dismantling of “apartheid” and the adoption of South Africa’s first fully democratic constitution in December 1993. He entered national politics as a Member of Parliament in November 1972. Before becoming State President, he held the following portfolios within the Cabinet: Mineral and Energy Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications and Social Welfare and Pensions; Sport and Recreation, Mining and Environmental Planning, Internal Affairs, Public Service, and National Education. He also served as Chairman of the Minister’s Council in the House of Assembly and Leader of the House of Assembly. Having been chosen as the leader of the National Party in February 1989, he became State President on 20 September 1989, a position he held until Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as President on 10 May 1994. In January 1999, he published his autobiography “The Last Trek – a New Beginning”, and in the same year established the F W de Klerk Foundation, which is dedicated to the promotion of peace in multi-communal societies and the upholding of South Africa’s constitution. He founded the Global Leadership Foundation in 2004 and is the Chairman of the Board, and has represented GLF in meetings with leaders of nine countries in Africa, South America, Europe, Central Asia and South East Asia.He makes numerous speeches around the world and actively participates as an elder statesman in international conferences on the promotion of harmonious relations in multi-communal societies, the future of Africa and South Africa and the challenges facing the world during the new millennium. He has received numerous national and international honors and honorary doctorates, including the Philadelphia Peace Prize and, together with Nelson Mandela, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
Hanne de Mora is co-founder of a-connect, the global platform for the world’s best independent professionals and the smart progressive global corporations. Hanne is the chairwoman of a-connect with 8 offices across the globe and headquartered in Zurich—a great city for driving a global talent and network-based company. In addition to a-connect, Hanne is a non-executive director of the Swedish industrial company AB Volvo, the global truck manufacturer, as well as Outotec in Finland, and a former board member of Sandvik in Sweden, and Telenor and Tomra in Norway, and Valora in Switzerland. She is also a member of the IMD Supervisory board. Prior to founding a-connect, Hanne was a partner with McKinsey & Company and started her career with Procter & Gamble in Geneva. She holds a degree in business administration from HEC in Lausanne, and a M.B.A. from IESE in Barcelona. Hanne is an avid outdoor’s person, and she thrives when she can coach and develop young talent.
Laura de Vargas Roditi is a computational biologist at the University of Zürich and University Hospital. Since studying Mathematics and Biology during her bachelors degree, Laura had a strong interest in bridging the two fields. She has been awarded multiple fellowships to study at CALTECH, Cornell University, where she obtained her PhD in Computational Biology and Medicine and most recently, the ETH Zürich Postdoctoral Fellowship. She is currently pursuing a second postdoc at the University Hospital in Zürich where she investigates how cellular cooperation plays a role in the evolution of cancer through mathematical modeling of high-throughput, high-dimensional single-cell data. Her passion for science is driven by her strong wish to improve health care. Being a passionate researcher and aiming to improve the current state of scientific publishing, in 2016 she co-founded Bare-Science, an online platform for post-publication peer-reviewing. She is also passionate about art and is an amateur painter and designer in her free time. She was a speaker at the 2016 WORLD.MINDS Annual Symposium.
Chiara Decaroli is a PhD student in quantum computing at the ETH. She has an eclectic background, having attended a classics-focused high school in Italy. During her education, she had the luck to study and live in the UK, Spain, France and Germany. On the surface it may seem confused, in reality diversity and variety is what she truly values in life. Her passions lie in both Science and Art, in the inspirational and transformative power of both. She believes that Science should be for everyone, and that outreach activities are fundamental to instill curiosity in the greater public – without a real engagement outside of academia, academia looses purpose and touch with reality. She strives to surround herself with people from very different backgrounds and different stages in life, as only then does she feel that she can develop a less myopic view of her reality and herself. She is curious about technology as much as psychology, decision making and much as poetry and music, yoga as much as gardening and nature!
Veit V. Dengler (born in 1968) is Chief Operating Officer of Bauer Media Group, based in Hamburg. He is the former CEO of NZZ-Mediengruppe, the media group around its Swiss flagship “Neue Zürcher Zeitung”. Veit led the group’s transformation process from a traditional newspaper publisher to a modern media group focused on its heritage of high-quality journalism, while also expanding its business data and conferences businesses. In the late 1980s, Veit worked as a stringer for TIME Magazine. He was in marketing at Procter & Gamble, spent seven years with McKinsey, and held management positions at T-Mobile, Groupon and Dell, where he most recently served as General Manager and Executive Director for Eastern Europe and Russia. Veit holds a master’s degree in commerce from the Vienna Business School and a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. In 2012, he co-founded NEOS, a liberal party in Austria which, in 2013, won representation in parliament. Besides his political work and business career, Veit is a passionate badminton player.
Marija Desivojević Cvetkovićis the Vice President of Delta Holding in Serbia, responsible for business strategy and development, human resources, information technologies and corporate communications. From 2008 to 2012, she was the CEO of Delta Food Processing, before which she held the positions of the General Manager of Verano Invest Company and the Executive Director of Spinnaker New Technologies (ComTrade Group). Marija graduated from the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Belgrade (MSc), and completed her MBA studies at the Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration. She is a member of Addiko Bank Managing Board, the Managing Board of the Serbian Association of Managers, a member of the business club “Privrednik” and the President of the Serbian Triathlon Union. Marija speaks English fluently and uses German. She is a passionate marathon runner, cyclist and Ironman triathlon athlete. She is married and has two sons.
Luca Di Tizio is a Mechanical Engineering Masters student at ETH Zurich. Luca is Strategic Advisor and former CEO of swissloop, and is contributing to the Hyperloop vision together with a team of highly motivated and talented young people. Entering the final round of Elon Musk's SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition was their first milestone, along the ambitious goal of bringing hyper-speed transportation to the world.
Rolf Dobelli (born 1966) is an avid admirer of science. He is a novelist, non-fiction author, entrepreneur and founder of WORLD.MINDS. He is also co-founder of getAbstract, a leading business publisher. Rolf studied business and philosophy at University of St. Gallen, where he received his Ph.D. Personal note: He loves books and doesn’t consume news. Despite his news-diet, he is a regular contributor to Washington Post, Die ZEIT, NZZ, Handelsblatt and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. His books have been translated in 45 languages. He lives with his family in Bern.
Sabine Dobelli is a novelist. Her pen name is Clara Maria Bagus. She studied psychology at Stanford University and received her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Konstanz in Germany. Sabine’s research spans multiple topics including neuroscience, cognitive, business and clinical psychology. She amassed significant experience in brain research at the Stanford Medical Center. Sabine lived for many years in the U.S., Australia and Germany. She now lives in Bern.
Christian Dorer is the Chief Editor of the BLICK Group. Prior to this, he was the Editor-In-Chief of the AZ (the Aargauer Zeitung: Die Nordwestschweiz ) which is the number three daily newspaper in Switzerland (mostly read in the triangle between Zurich, Bern and Basel). It is part of AZ Medien, which also produces the Sunday newspaper Schweiz am Sonntag , a TV group with TeleZüri, Tele M1 and TeleBärn, books and magazines. After studies at Ringier Journalist School, he wrote as business editor and correspondent at Swiss Parliament in Bern for Blick and SonntagsBlick . He was Deputy Editor-In-Chief at SonntagBlick 2007- 2009. As a co-author, he wrote the biography Der rote Boss – die Benedikt Weibel Story . He has been in his current position as Editor-In-Chief since 2009. He lives in Baden and his hobbies are travelling, reading and sports.
Joanna Drazkowska is a postdoctoral researcher at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University of Munich. She has always been interested in science. After obtaining her doctoral degree in astronomy from the Heidelberg University in Germany, she has joined the research group of Professor Ben Moore at the University of Zurich in March 2015, and in May 2018 she started a new job to Ludwig-Maximilian-University. Joanna works on computer models of planet formation and is particularly interested in the formation of Earth-like planets and the solar system, but she always tries to see the bigger picture. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games and hiking in the Alps.
Maria Drozdovskaya is currently a SNSF Ambizione Fellow at the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at Universität Bern in Switzerland. Her research covers the topics of astrochemistry, star and planet formation, and comets. The overarching goal is the search for our astrochemical ancestral tree. She defended her PhD thesis in October 2016 at Universiteit Leiden in The Netherlands supported by the Huygens Fellowship (under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Ewine van Dishoeck and Dr. Catherine Walsh). Subsequently, she began working at the University of Bern as a CSH and IAU Gruber Foundation Fellow. She is a co-Chair of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Working Group of Junior Members.
Thomas Ebeling (born 1959) is CEO of TEConvest(Coaching and Consulting). Prior to this, he was CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE. After earning a degree in Psychology in Hamburg, Thomas began his career with Reemtsma in 1987, where he served as the product manager responsible for the “West” brand, among other duties. In 1991, he switched to Pepsi-Cola Germany, where he told several positions in Marketing and Sales as Head of Marketing before he was in 1996 appointed as general manager of Pepsi-Cola German speaking countries.. In 1997, he switched to Novartis, where he served as general manager of Novartis Nutrition for Germany and Austria. In 1998, Thomas assumed worldwide leadership of the Novartis Nutrition Division. In this position, he headed the three business units Medical Nutrition, Health Nutrition and Infant and Baby Food where, among other duties, he was responsible for the leading U.S. baby food brand Gerber. In 1998, he was appointed to the Novartis Executive Committee. From 2000 to October 2007, he served as CEO of the global Novartis Pharmaceuticals Business. In October 2007, he was appointed CEO of the Novartis Consumer Health Division which consisted of OTC, Animal Health and Ciba Vision. Fron March 2009 to February 2018 , he served as CEO of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE,a leading European TV Broadcasting/ Production and Digital Company. Since 2012-until Sep 2019, he has been a member of the supervisory board of Bayer and, from 2013 - 2017, a member of the board of directors of Lonza in Basel. In 2015, he joined the advisory board of Sivantos (now WSA after merger with Widex,co owned by EQT) ,a leading hearing aid company and became Chairman in April 2018. In 2016 ,he became an advisor to the MPM Oncology Impact Fund and a member of the Board of Cullinan, a Boston based Oncology start up and he co-founded as a majority investor in 2016 Heilpflanzenwohl,one of the fastest growing OTC companies in Germany In 2017, he joined the Supervisory Board of GFK, a leading market research firm . In 2018, he became an Advisor to EQT ,a leading private Equity company;Chairman of Remagine Ventures, a Tel Aviv based Venture Fund , assumed the role of Chairman of Apleona, a leading facility management company in Germany (owned by EQT)and joined the boards of 2 Berlin based Fintech /commerce start ups (Moonfare and Clear Vat). In Oktober 2019 he became Chairman of the Advisory board of Galderma (former Nestle Skin Health,now owned by EQT).
Athena Economides is a PhD student at the Computational Science and Engineering laboratory, at ETH Zurich. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cyprus. Athena's research interests revolve around the computational modeling of blood flow at the sub-micrometer scale. As an engineer, she supports the Bayesian philosophy of data-driven inference, for the generation of statistical models that capture the uncertainty of experimental data. As a computational scientist, she believes that we all share a responsibility for conducting and promoting reproducible research, a principle can become the norm in our supercomputing era.
Nicole Ehrlich-Adám, runs with her husband Stefan ( CEO) the family-owned company specializing in access and locking systems. Nicoles first management positions were in sales since 1987, later being responsible for the coordination between the head office in Vienna and the foreign branches before taking over Human resources and setting up a Organisational development department. The former positions gave her a deeper market insight and an understanding of the needs of an organisation of a family business. Her passion in business is about Leadership and purpose driven organisations. Nicole graduated as a Master of Economics and International Management. She is very passionate about her family of three now student children and relaxes while playing golf championships or trying to understand contemporary art.
Reiner Eichenberger (*1961) is Professor for Economic and Financial Policy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, where he has taught since 1998. He studied Economics at the University of Zurich, where he also gained his PhD and Habilitation. He specializes in political and institutional economics as well as institutional innovations such as the deregulation of the political process. He authored or co-authored three books and more than 130 academic articles. As he is convinced that economics is highly fruitful for solving societal problems, he often publishes in non-academic outlets and is engaged in various ways in public decision-making, e.g. as a Member of the Swiss Federal Communication Commission, the independent regulator of the Swiss telecom sector. In the ranking of NZZ/FAZ/Press of Swiss economists and their societal influence, he was ranked second in both 2016 and 2017. In 2016 he was awarded the STAB Prize (Stiftung für Abendländische Ethik und Kultur).
Simon Engelke is a battery scientist (submitted & defended PhD thesis on lithium-ion battery electrode structures at the University of Cambridge in 2019) and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the battery data company BatteryDev and incoming University of Cambridge NanoDTC Translational Prize Fellow & Trinity College Cambridge associate. He received the Trinity Bradfield Prize in 2018, STFC Futures Early Career Award in 2017 and the Cambridge University Entrepreneurs (CUE) Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2015. For the World Economic Forum (WEF), he is a member of the Global Shapers Community (for which he participated in Davos 2018), Fellow of the Global Future Council on Energy Technologies and Co-Curator for the Transformation Map on Batteries.
Marcel Erni is the co-founder of Partners Group. Prior to founding Partners Group, he worked at Goldman Sachs and McKinsey. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in finance and banking from the University of St. Gallen.
Yagmur Erten is a PhD student in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Zurich. Born in Istanbul, she studies how organisms of different sizes and lifespans evolve under cancer risk, from big animals like elephants and dinosaurs to smaller ones like mice and birds. Previously, she worked on cultural evolution, specifically on how migration affects the evolution and maintenance of multiculturality, as well as epidemiology, looking at parasite evolution and epidemiological dynamics on different contact networks. She has moved quite a lot during her studies; from Istanbul where she did her undergraduate degree, to the Netherlands and onwards to Germany and France for her masters within an Erasmus Mundus programme called MEME. After a year of pre-doctoral research in Sydney, she ended up in Switzerland in 2017. Besides research, she has been singing in different bands, and enjoys hiking, running, and cooking in her free time.
Frank Fache is chairman of Fortis Metals Group, a leading minor metals and speciality metals distributor head-quartered in Hong Kong with operations in the USA, China and Luxembourg. After establishing a presence for the leading European non-ferrous metals trading company in Asia and operating his own distribution firm for about 20 years, Frank was instrumental in the acquisition of the two largest minor metals producers in Europe, MCP and Sidech, to form a world market leader in bismuth, tellurium and gallium metals and their compounds. After steering MCP as joint-Ceo for about 5 years, the company was sold to form an even larger industrial group focused on solar and eco-friendly materials. Frank graduated from the faculty of applied economics at the university of Louvain, obtained a graduate gemmology degree from the gemmological institute of America and studied Chinese at the Beijing Language University. Frank spent more than 30 years of his career in Hong Kong with extensive travel in China.
Ghida Fakhry is a broadcast tv journalist with 25 years experience in international news. She currently hosts ‘Bigger than Five’, TRT World’s flagship political program from Washington DC. She is also the Moderator of the newly-relaunched Doha Debates focusing on global issues. Previously, Ghida was a senior anchor for Aljazeera English. She presented the network’s Newshour and the award-winning program Witness. Throughout her career, she has reported extensively from the United Nations, conducting in-depth interviews with Heads of State and Government and other senior international officials. Ghida moderates high-level panels around the world for the UN and its specialized agencies, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum and leading NGOs, facilitating debates on international affairs, human rights, women’s empowerment, climate change and other issues. She has also been a Contributor to the Huffington Post. Ghida holds an MA degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and an MA degree in International Relations from Boston University. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic and is conversational in Spanish.
Péter Fankhauser (born 1987 in Switzerland) is a co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer of the startup company ANYbotics located in Zurich. ANYbotics develops autonomous mobile robots for harsh environments such as the legged robot ANYmal. During his doctoral degree at ETH Zurich, Péter developed mapping, planning, and control strategies for legged robots to climb over rough terrain. Péter graduated with a Master's degree from ETH Zurich in 2012 and led a students team in the development of the ball-balancing robot Rezero, which he presented at WORLD.MINDS and TED Global in 2010/11.
Olivia Faull is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Translational Modeling Unit (University of Zürich and ETH Zürich). Olivia's research focusses on interoception and conscious perceptions of breathing. Since moving to Zurich in 2018, Olivia is looking to apply predictive coding models to better understand how the brain perceives and learns about changes in our breathing. Furthermore, Olivia is interested in how learning and perceiving our bodily state may be altered with psychological traits such as anxiety, to better target these processes for greater treatment success in future therapies.
Ernst Fehr (born in Austria in 1956) is a professor of economics and director of the UBS International Center of Economics in Society at the University of Zurich. He is an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Economics at NYU and is honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research covers the nature and economic consequences of social preferences. He is also well-known for his important contributions to the new field of neuroeconomics, as well as to behavioral finance and experimental economics. He was one of the speakers at the very first Annual Symposium.
Francisco Fernandez (born 1962) is an entrepreneur who has committed himself to IT solutions in the finance sector. He holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich where he also attended post degree studies in business administration from the Centre for Industrial Management (BWI). He is the founder and Chairman of the international banking technology company Avaloq, and he transfers his knowledge acting as board member, angel investor and coach for Start-ups mainly in the Fintech space. Francisco’s goal is to shape and transform the financial system as well as to increase its stability by making financial institutions more secure, more compliant, more efficient and more transparent. Beyond that he aims at redesigning the dialogue and interaction between financial institutions and their clients. Apart from his rational and analytical side, Francisco has a musical side as well. He loves spending time with his family, playing the piano and to do sport. He is a sought-after thought leader and speaker in the areas of digital transformation, innovation management, leadership and entrepreneurship around the globe.
Claudio Feser (born 1963) is a Senior Partner of McKinsey & Company. Former managing partner of McKinsey Greece (1999–2004) and of McKinsey Switzerland (2005–2010), Claudio is a member of McKinsey & Company's Board, the Shareholder Council. He leads McKinsey Academy, a practice offering leadership development programs for firms and their executives. He joined McKinsey in 1992, was elected Partner in 1998, and Senior Partner in 2004. He holds a master’s in business administration and economics from the University of Bern, and an M.B.A. from INSEAD. Claudio is the author of the books “Serial Innovators: Firms that Change the World” and “When Execution is not Enough: Decoding Inspirational Leadership” both published by John Wiley & Sons in 2011 and 2016 respectively, and of several articles in the areas of leadership that have been published in publications such as Nature, Leaders to Leaders, Mint, and The McKinsey Quarterly. Claudio was one of the speakers at the 2009 Annual Symposium.
Daniela Finke is a Full Professor for Immunology at the University of Basel. She is amongst the pioneers on identifying immune cells that are essential for the development of secondary lymphoid organs during embryogenesis and the integrity of the gut immune system in adults. Trained as a pediatrician in Freiburg i.Br., Germany, she moved to the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research in Epalinges, Switzerland, where she worked on tumor viruses and neonatal immunity. Between 2003 and 2009 she was an SNSF professor at the University of Basel followed by her appointment as Full professor and Head of Research at the University Children's Hospital of Basel in 2010. She developed several innovative and interdisciplinary programs for promoting junior talents and students. Amongst these programs is the "Science Month", where medical students learn to present and review research projects from all medical disciplines at a scientific conference. She has received prestigious prizes for her research and teaching and is member of the Board of Directors of Karger Publishers and of several scientific fondations. In addition to her dedication to research and knowledge dialogue, Daniela is also a passionate artist and musician.
Peter Fischer (born 1961), is responsible for the steering of the use of ICT in the Swiss Federal Government since 2007. He is also responsible for the coordination of the countrywide program of E-Government in local communities, regional states (cantons) and federal ministries. A further responsibility of his is the implementation of the national strategy for the protection of Cyber risks, acting in particular as the lead of the Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance. He has a master’s degree in Law from the University of Geneva and he passed his bar exam in 1986 in Bern. Between 1987 and 1992 he was at the Federal Ministry of Transport, Communications and Energy, focusing mainly on post- and telecommunications policy, surveillance of Swiss PTT, telecommunication law as well as being responsible of negotiations concerning audiovisual and telecommunications services within WTO and European Economical Area. From 1992 to 2007 he was the Deputy General Director of the Federal Office of Communications and Head of the Telecom Services Division. He prepared and implemented the liberalisation of the Swiss telecommunications market and took an important part in setting up the Swiss Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications. He was also responsible for the elaboration and implementation of the Federal Strategy on Information Society. Peter lives in Bern.
Arent Foch (born 1960) worked in finance and strategic consultancy before starting his first company in 1994. He has helped build several businesses since. Until 2003, he was member of the management board of a German listed food company, whose turnover grew from €70 million in 1993 to some €2 billion in 2002. Arent has considerable experience in acquiring and selling equity stakes and now manages Foreman Capital, an Amsterdam-based PE fund fully owned and funded by its partners. He is particularly interested in devising future business plans, especially when in a position to achieve these plans step by step with the right people. Arent and his family live in the Zurich area. He holds various for-profit and not-for-profit board seats, including positions at the European Cultural Foundation, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, and the Vereniging Rembrandt in the Netherlands.
Pascal Forster (born 1967) is the former managing director of Kienbaum AG, a global management consulting and executive search firm. He has more than 18 years of experience in recruiting senior managers and executives for leading corporations and organizations. In addition, he has helped set up a number of commercial and nonprofit organizations, the most prominent being Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable (together with Thomas Ladner) and Club zum Rennweg (co-founder). He received a B.A. in social sciences and an M.B.A. from the University of St. Gallen. Pascal is a member of the board of WORLD.MINDS.
Stefan Frässle is a neuroscientist & physicist, working as a postdoctoral fellow at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU), University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Stefan focuses on mathematical models that can be applied to brain imaging data to understand how brain regions communicate with each other in order to allow us to perceive the world and act upon it. Here, his focus is not only on the functioning of the brain in health but also in psychiatric and neurological disorders. After studying Physics at the Universities of Constanze and Marburg, Stefan obtain his PhD in neuroscience from the University of Marburg, including guest visits at the Harvard University and the University of Zurich & ETH Zurich. For his PhD thesis, he received the dissertation award of the “Medical and Life Sciences”. Besides his academic interests, Stefan is passionate about sports and being outdoors.
André Frensch (born 1967) is the creative director of the editorial team of “WORLD.MINDS Magazine” and is the creative director at Ringier AG. He was significantly involved in the development of “Schweizer LandLiebe,” which is the most successful new launch of a print title in recent years, and serves as its editorial director.
Bruno S. Frey (born 1941 in Basel) is professor of economics. He studied Economics in Basel and Cambridge (England), and had a two-year stay in the United States. From 1970 to 2006 he has been an associate professor of economics at the University of Basel. He was full professor of economics at the University of Constance between 1970 and 1977, and from 1990 to 1991, he was a visiting research professor at Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago. More recently, from 1977 to 2012, he was a full professor of economics at the University of Zurich. Bruno has been distinguished professor of behavioral science at the Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick (U.K.) from 2010 to 2013. From 2012 to 2015, he was senior professor of economics at Zeppelin University, Germany, and between 2007 and 2009 the visiting professor at the ETH Zurich. Bruno is the research director of CREMA—Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts—and is the honorary editor of Kyklos. Since 2015, he is permanent visiting professor at the University of Basel/Faculty of Business and Economics (CREW—Center for Research in Economics and Well-Being). Bruno received an honorary doctorate in economics from the University of St. Gallen in 1998, the University of Gothenburg in 1998, the Free University of Brussels in 2009, the University of Aix-en-Provence/Marseille in 2010, and the University of Innsbruck in 2011. He belongs to the small set of the “most highly cited researchers.” He is a fellow of the Public Choice Society, a distinguished fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE), and a distinguished fellow of CESifo Research Network. He is the author of numerous articles in professional journals, as well as the author of 21 books, some of which have been translated into nine languages. His current main research is on the subject of “happiness.”
Marc-Philippe Frey (born 1996) is currently finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, with a minor’s degree in Artificial Intelligence, from the University College London. Next to his studies, he is also actively involved in his family’s charitable foundation, the Frey Charitable Foundation.
Rainer-Marc Frey (born 1963) 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.
Tatjana Frey is the co-founder and president of the Frey Charitable Foundation (FCF), established in 2004 in Switzerland. Today, FCF mainly engages in topics of Social Entrepreneurship in Africa. In this capacity Tatjana selects and monitors over a dozen of longer-term projects and actively helps to improve their impact. These organizations and projects aim to improve the living conditions of the underprivileged with an entrepreneurial mindset and approach. They cover a broad range of topics incl. education, renewable energy, human rights activities and impact investment. Tatjana is a mother of three adult children, is fluent in a range of languages and has extensively travelled the world. She has a degree in hotel management and worked in investment banking for a number of years. Beyond, she is an alumna of the Singularity Programs in Silicon Valley.
Pius Fritschi is a managing partner at LGT CP Ltd. and member of the executive management 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 (born 1966) leads, together with his cousin, Luc, the family-owned Frutiger AG, 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 (born 1967) 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, Fribourg and Brussels. Besides his business career, Lorenz is a passionate cook and polo player, and has two girls with his wife, Nicole Loeb.
Alain Germiquet (born in 1971) is Member of the Group Management of Lindt & Sprüngli International AG based in Kilchberg (ZH). Alain’s responsibilities cover International Sales, Travel Retail and around 100 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. He was 30 when he took over his first role as CEO at Hiestand AG in Switzerland (now Aryzta). He then entered Nestlé before joining Lindt & Sprüngli in 2007 as CEO UK in London and CEO France in Paris as of 2009. Alain is a passionate sport car driver.
Carlo Giorgi is Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Switzerland. In this role he bears the overall responsibility for the business in Switzerland. In particular he is responsible for sales, P&L, Go-to-Market, customers, partners and employee satisfaction, as well as for the long-term growth of the country business in all the RTMs, customer segments and business units: Servers, Storage, Networking and Technology Services. He is also in charge of the strategic transformation of Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Switzerland to become an industry leading provider of IT solutions. Carlo holds a degree in Industrial Technology Engineering from the Politecnico di Milano (Italy) and conducted a postgraduate research at Ecole Nationale des Mines de Paris (France).
Bruno Giussani (born in 1964) is the Global Curator of the TED conferences. TED is an international nonprofit working on identifying and disseminating “Ideas Worth Spreading” through conferences, the web, tablet and phone apps, a prize, a fellowship, broadcasting initiatives, a book series, an educational initiative, and thousands of local independent events. For over 10 years, as a member of TED’s senior team, he has participated in the definition of the organization’s strategy and in the management of its global activities. He is a writer— — he has authored several books and his articles have appeared in many media including “The New York Times,” “The Economist”, and the European editions of “Wired”— — and an entrepreneur who has co-founded three Internet companies. He is also a member of the board of Tinext Group, a Swiss software company, and the Chairman of the Geneva International Film Festival on Human Rights. He lives in Switzerland.
Benedikt Goldkamp serves as CEO and delegate of the board of directors of SIX-listed Phoenix Mecano AG since 2001. He worked as an auditor for KPMG and as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co. From 1998 to 2000, he managed the Phoenix Mecano’s own production facility in Hungary and several group-internal restructuring projects. Benedikt holds a degree in tax law and an M.B.A. from Duke University. He enjoys golf and collects guitars.
Peter Gomez (born 1947) 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.
Chantal Göttler (born 1993), currently PhD fellow of the Center for Learning Systems, a joined program between the Max Planck Institutes for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart and Tübingen, (Germany), and ETH Zürich, working on the locomotion of spiders - what robotics can learn from spiders and vice versa. She received her Abitur at the Landesgymnasium (LGH) in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 2010 and holds a Bacherlor and Master degree, both in Technical Biology from the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Besides her interest for insects, she has a great passion for music as a classically trained pianist, likes to play ping pong and soccer and thinks about prime numbers in her free time.
Ashley Green is a doctoral candidate at ETH Zurich in the Sustainable Food Processing Laboratory (led by Dr. Alexander Mathys) and at Agroscope- the Swiss center for agricultural research. Her research focuses on methodological development and data for integrating nutritional aspects of agri-food production into environmental analyses. She completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) and her MSc degree at the University of Michigan in Environmental Science. Prior to beginning her doctoral studies, Ashley worked as a Research Analyst in Washington, D.C. for an environmental think tank and as a consultant in Rome, Italy for the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO).
Margarita Grinvald is a PhD student at the Autonomous Systems Lab, at ETH Zurich. Her main research interests include robotic perception and computer vision, with a focus on semantic mapping of complex, real-world environments at the level of individual objects. She received her Master's degree in Robotics, Systems and Control from ETH Zurich and her Bachelor's degree in Informatics from University of Lugano. She was a finalist for the Best Paper Award on Cognitive Robotics at the 2019 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Macau. Margarita is committed to sharing the joy and beauty of robotics research with wider audiences. When she is not working, she leads the Zurich Public Speaking Meetup and co-organizes the Zurich Computer Vision Meetup.
Nicolas Gruber (born 1968 in Peru) is a professor of environmental physics at ETH Zurich and a co-author of the IPCC reports (which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). He is a worldwide expert on the carbon cycle and its interaction with the climate system with a particular interest in determining the fate of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is emitted into the atmosphere primarily by the burning of fossil fuels. His goal is to better understand the physical, chemical, and biological processes that control this fate, and to be able to make predictions for the future. He is also very interested in promoting innovation and outreach in the climate field, and to bring actors from the academic, public, and private sectors together to accelerate the development and implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. Nicolas is an avid ice hockey player, and loves sports in general (soccer, tennis, swimming, volleyball). He is also very interested in art and modern architecture, particularly after having owned an icon of modern architecture while living in Los Angeles.
Frank Gulich (born 1963) has been CEO of the holdings of the Stephan Schmidheiny family since 2002. As of June 2014, he is their executive chairman. The family interests include industrial activities, public, private equity, and real estate investments, and one of the leading post-war art collections. Further, Frank is a board member of DKSH and Ernst Göhner Stiftung Beteiligungen AG. Prior to his assignment with the Schmidheiny family, he was CEO of the Müller-Möhl Group where, together with Carolina Müller-Möhl, he restructured the family estate with its industrial and financial participations after the death of the late Ernst Müller-Möhl. He studied law at the University of Zurich, finished with a doctorate and holds an M.B.A. from INSEAD.
Detlef Günther (born 1963) is the vice president for research and corporate relations at ETH Zurich, Detlef was appointed as assistant professor at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry of ETH in 1998 and became associate professor in July 2003. Since February 2008, he is full professor for trace element and micro analysis. Detlef was born in Köthen, Germany, and grew up in Gehrden, and then studied chemistry at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany (1982–1987). He did his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry in the group of L. Moenke in 1990. Afterwards, he joined the Institute of Plant Biochemistry working on analytical methods to characterize heavy metal-binding proteins using HPLC-ICP-MS. In 1994, he started as a postdoc at the Memorial University of Newfoundland in the group of H. Longerich. From 1995 until 1998, he worked in the group of C.A. Heinrich at the Institute of Isotope Geology and Mineral Resources at ETH Zurich. His research interests are trace element characterizations of different samples using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) and Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). He studied transport-processes of Laser-induced aerosols and the improvement of detection capabilities of ICP-Mass spectrometers for the determination of trace elements in liquid and solid samples. More recently, he has worked mainly on new sample introduction systems for nanoparticles and laser-generated aerosols and on fundamental vaporization processes of particles within an ICP.
Peter Haag (born 1960) is a publisher and founder of Kein & Aber, a young literary publishing house for German and international authors such as David Nicholls, Woody Allen, Truman Capote, Steve Tesich, Harry Rowohlt, Gerhard Polt, and Anne Tyler, among many others. Kein & Aber has a strong and dense presence in the German-speaking market, and over the last couple of years, has earned a good reputation with a young and open-minded audience. This development is reflected not only in commercial success but also in the company’s popularity with the media and booksellers. Peter is a learned bookseller and studied library science. He lives in Zurich, with his wife and daughter.
Ernst Hafen (born 1956) is a Professor of Systems Genetics at ETH Zurich ( Institute of Molecular Systems Biology) and former President of ETH. He has made seminal contributions to the field of developmental and cell biology and has received several prizes. In addition to over 30 years of academic research, Ernst has founded and advised several biotechnology companies and is the president of the BIO-TECHNOPARK Schlieren-Zurich. Ernst endeavors to assist scientific discovery and its efficient translation into products that help society and the economy. As a trained geneticist, he has a strong interest in human genetics and personalized medicine. He posits that an individual’s control over his or her personal health data, will be a key asset for better and more effective health care. In 2012 Ernst acted as a founding member of the Association Data and Health and is the president of MIDATA.coop, which he co-founded in 2015. Citizen-owned personal data cooperatives enable citizens to securely store, manage and control access to their personal data and form the basis for a fair and sustainable personal data economy.
Michael Hagander is the Co-Founder of Microcaps AG, a Swiss-based company that offers a novel technology for the production of microparticles and microcapsules used to protect pharmaceutical agents in drugs or fragrances in cosmetic products.
Nils Hagander (born 1957) is co-founder of a-connect, a leading global staffing and project execution firm for highly qualified independent professionals. Nils manages and develops clients in the financial services, industrial, health-care and telecom industries. He is also an active investor and boardmember in Secheron Hasler, air-connect and sveral start up companies. 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 was the first Western European to fly the Russian Sukhoi on the European air-show circuit.
Dennis Hansen (born 1972) is a tropical ecologist and science communicator. He is project leader for the content development of the new Zurich Natural History Museum currently in planning, and heads the "Islands & interactions" research group at the University of Zurich. His research has taken him to islands around the world and focuses on ecological interactions, with a specific emphasis on how we can resurrect extinct ecologies. He co-founded an interdisciplinary, long-term research programme on the isolated Aldabra Atoll that has been running since 2011. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to 100,000 giant tortoises, the world's largest surviving population of these gentle giants, and is the last reptile-dominated ecosystem on Earth. To break out of his scientific shell, he currently collaborates with artists on several art-science projects around the world.
Eszter Hargittai is Professor and Chair of Internet Use and Society at the University of Zurich. Previously, she was Delaney Family Professor at Northwestern University. Eszter received her PhD from Princeton. She has been a fellow in residence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. Eszter's research looks at how people use the Internet with a particular focus on how differences in people's Web-use skills influence what they do online. Her award-winning research, cited over 20'000 times, has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, Google, Facebook, Nokia, Merck, among others. She has given over 160 invited talks in 16 countries on five continents. She has edited two books on the behind-the-scenes realities of how empirical social science gets done with a third on the way. She is finishing editing the Handbook of Digital Inequality. She is writing a book on managing your online reputation, forthcoming with Princeton University Press. She has won some photo contests, has had her photography featured in books and calendars, and people she doesn't know have been willing to part with their money to own some of her paintings.
Henning Hartnacke is the President of Flavours EAME region at Givaudan. A global business builder focused on delivering outstanding results through translating strategic vision into actionable growth programmes, Henning has a strong passion for developing people and building a culture of performance and accountability. With over 20 years of experience in senior strategic leadership positions at multinational organisations, across multiple industries, and with high exposure to emerging markets, Henning has a great adaptability to cultures and people. Henning joined Givaudan in 1995 and has held various international and global commercial positions in the Fragrance Division before joining the Corporate Headquarter in Vernier, Switzerland, where he formed and built Givaudan’s Corporate Strategy function. He joined the Flavour Division in September 2013. Henning and his wife live near Zurich, Switzerland. In his free time he enjoys to exercise, walk the family dog, and drive through the magic curves of Alpine Passes.
Ravit Helled is an Associate Professor for Theoretical Astrophysics, at the Center for Theoretical Astrophysics & Cosmology, Institute for Computational Science, University of Zurich. She is a leading figure in astrophysics and planetary sciences. Ravit's scientific work concentrates on planet formation & evolution, planetary interiors, and extrasolar planets. She received her PhD in 2008 from Tel-Aviv University, then she spent four years at UCLA as a postdoctoral scholar and senior researcher. Before moving to UZH she was an Associate Professor at Tel-Aviv University. Ravit is involved in space exploration and is a science team-member and Co-investigator of various ESA and NASA space missions. She has published over 50 scientific papers, and is a frequent invited speaker in international conferences. Ravit is married and a mother for two children. In her free time she enjoys reading, meeting friends, and yoga.
Kevin Heng (born 1978) is a professor of astronomy and planetary science at the University of Bern, and the director of its Center for Space and Habitability. He is a theoretical astrophysicist by training, who is interested in the climates and habitability of exoplanets (planets found beyond our Solar System). He serves on the core science team of the Swiss-led CHEOPS mission of ESA, which aims to detect Earth-like exoplanets around bright, nearby stars. He is an international member of the Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) of the LUVOIR mission concept study, which is poised to be the next flagship telescope of NASA aiming to detect biosignatures from exoplanets. He is the author of "Exoplanetary Atmospheres: Theoretical Concepts and Foundations," published by Princeton University Press, which won the 2018 Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award of the American Astronomical Society. He holds an European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (2018-2023) worth 2 million euros. He obtained his M.S. and Ph.D degrees at the University of Colorado, spent three years at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (holding the title of Frank & Peggy Taplin Member), and was a Zwicky Prize Fellow at ETH Zurich, before joining the University of Bern as an assistant professor. In his free time, he writes an annual column for the American Scientist magazine (since 2012). Kevin was one of the speakers at the 2012 Annual Symposium and 2016 WORLD.MINDS Salon.
Michael Hengartner (born 1966 in Switzerland, but grew up in Canada) is the 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.
Ingrid Hengster has been a member of the executive board at KfW Bankengruppe since April 2014 and is responsible for the KfW Domestic Promotion. Prior to this role, she was Country Executive for Germany, Austria & Switzerland at The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and CEO of the management board of RBS (Deutschland) AG. Previously and prior to the acquisition by RBS she headed up ABN AMRO Bank (Deutschland) AG as CEO of the management board and Country Executive & Head of Global Clients Germany and Austria. She joined ABN AMRO from Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) where she was Managing Director of the investment banking arm, based in Frankfurt. Before coming to CSFB she was Director in the German leveraged finance and high yield practice of UBS for four years. She started her career with Commerzbank, where she became Vice President in the privatisation and project finance group. Ingrid holds a Ph.D. in Law. Beside her role at KfW she is member of the supervisory board at Thyssen Krupp and Deutsche Bahn AG and also functions as an independent expert at the supervisory board of the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Carsten Henkel (born 1963) is both a private equity entrepreneur investing in mid-cap companies and start-ups and a senior advisor to the corporate world. Carsten is a founder and CEO of Skyadvisory, an innovative strategy boutique advising global clients on corporate and competitive strategy, marketing and sales as well as organizational development. He has worked for A.T. Kearney, The Boston Consulting Group and has built the Swiss presences of The Monitor Group as well as Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. One of his passions is teaching strategy and finance to master’s students at the University of St. Gallen and publishing regularly on strategy and leadership topics. He studied in Hamburg, New York, and St. Gallen and holds a Ph.D. in business administration. He was trained as a banker at Deutsche Bank and as a reconnaissance officer at the German Army. His most important projects are the ones with his family, especially the ones with his eight-year-old son.
Margarita Heredia-Forster is founder and director of Fundacion and Atelier Avanzar. The „Fundacion Avanzar“ was created in 1999 with the aim of supporting underprivileged women and children in Margarita’s homeland Ecuador. Today, Avanzar runs and promotes several feminist economics programs. The „Atelier Avanzar“ is a social enterprise launched in 2009 offering unemployed women the opportunity to learn and apply income-generating activities. In Switzerland since 1995, Margarita lives together with her husband and two children.
Wolfgang Herles (born 1950) is a writer whose work includes fiction and non-fiction. He has been editor-in-chief and anchorman of „The blue Sofa", a literature show on German TV channel ZDF. As a political journalist, Wolfgang has held a variety of leadership positions, serving as head of the Bonn Capital Studio and host of several political talkshows, as well as head and host of ZDF's cultural-primetime program "aspekte." He grew up near Lake Constance and lives in Munich and Berlin.
Hans Hess (born in 1955) is chairman of the Swiss Industry Association, Swissmem, and vice chairman of economiesuisse, the umbrella organization of the Swiss economy. He also is chairman of the public company COMET Holding AG, Flamatt, and of the family-owned company Reichle & deMassari, Wetzikon. Further he is member of the board of directors of the publicly traded companies Burckhardt Compression Holding AG, Winterthur, and dormakaba Holding AG, Rümlang. In 1995, he carved out Leica Geosystems AG from the Leica Group, lead it as its CEO through a management buyout in 1998 and an IPO in 2000 at the Swiss stock exchange SIX. He left the company after it was taken over by Hexagon in 2005. Thereafter, he founded Hanesco AG, Pfäffikon SZ, that provides non-executive board services as well as consulting services in technology and innovation management, and invests in technology start-up companies. Besides business, Hans is passionate about riding his own horse and producing his own 100 bottles of wine.
Jackie Hess is a Managing Partner and Member of the Management Board of Deloitte in Switzerland. She has been leading the Swiss Tax & Legal business since 2016 and was previously Managing Partner Talent. Jackie works very closely with CFOs, Chief Tax Officers as well as CEOs and their Boards to address the most relevant business topics of today, including all aspects of the tax agenda like how companies can manage transparency, BEPS and the digital tax agenda in a changing world. Jackie works predominately in the biotech and medtech space where she has great passion for helping companies and their teams succeed in fulfilling their mission and purpose. Jackie studied ancient philosophy at the University of Chicago prior to attending law school at Cornell and moving to Switzerland 25 years ago. She is also a Swiss certified tax expert.
Uwe Jean Heuser (born 1963 in Bonn-Beuel, Germany) is editor of “Die ZEIT,” a German nationwide weekly newspaper that is highly respected for its quality journalism. Uwe is responsible for the economic and business section. He studied economics at Friedrich-Wilhelms-University in Bonn and the University of California at Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in economics program from Albertus Magnus University and a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University. His working experience includes “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,” McKinsey & Co., and Bayerische Vereinsbank in Paris. He has teaching experience at Harvard College, New York University, University of St. Gallen and currently at Leuphana University. He published a number of books, including “Humanomics—Die Entdeckung des Menschen in der Wirtschaft.” The newest book about the female revolution in business, “Anders Denken” co-authored by Deborah Steinborn, was published in the fall of 2013.
Simon P. Hoerstrup, MD, PhD, is a physician and leader in the field of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine. He is Chair and Director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine (University Zurich) and Founding Co-Director of the Wyss Zurich (University Zurich & ETH Zurich) in Switzerland. Hoerstrup is also Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Technical University Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Associate Member of the Department of Health Science Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and associate faculty of the Harvard Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in Boston (USA). His work at the interface of basic science and translational research has resulted in more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications and a unique patent portfolio in the field of Regenerative Medicine. Furthermore, Hoerstrup is Co-Founder of a series of medtech and biotech spin-off companies (Symetis AG, Xeltis AG, Insphero AG, etc.), and leads the recently started BioEntrepreneurship & Innovation Program at the University of Zurich. Hoerstrup leads several major scientific international consortia projects funded by the European Commission, the Swiss National Science Foundation, Commission for Technology and Innovation, etc. Simon Hoerstrup obtained his medical and scientific education in Germany, USA and Switzerland. He was postdoctoral research fellow at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, both Harvard Medical School. His main research expertise lies in the fields of tissue engineering, cell based therapies, organoid technologies and disease modelling.
Markus Hongler (born 1957) has been CEO of La Mobilière since 2011, the oldest private insurer in the country, which today has 2 million customers and 5,000 employees. La Mobilière is a leading provider of insurance services in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Before joining the company, Markus served in various management positions for the Zurich Insurance Group, among others as CEO of Zurich Switzerland and Zurich Insurance Plc, Dublin. Markus is a passionate world traveller and active in cultural activities in Switzerland.
Sandra Iglesias is a psychologist and neuroscientist at the Translational Neuromodeling Unit, housed at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. There she works on computational models of brain function, EEG, and brain-body interactions using transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation (tVNS). tVNS is a fascinating brain stimulation technique with great potential for preventing stress-related conditions, such as burnout, and for treating depression. Sandra is very passionate about investigating how stress has an impact on bodily states and how changes in bodily states might affect human decision making and belief updating. In her spare time Sandra really enjoys playing the saxophone.
Auke Ijspeert is a full professor at the EPFL (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne) and head of the Biorobotics Laboratory (BioRob). He has a B.Sc./M.Sc. in physics from the EPFL (1995), and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Edinburgh (1999). He carried out postdocs at IDSIA and EPFL, and at the University of Southern California (USC). He then became a research assistant professor at USC, and an external collaborator at ATR (Advanced Telecommunications Research institute) in Japan. In 2002, he came back to the EPFL as an SNF assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in October 2009 and to full professor in April 2016. His primary affiliation is with the Institute of Bioengineering and secondary affiliation with the Institute of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests are at the intersection between robotics, computational neuroscience, nonlinear dynamical systems, and applied machine learning. He is interested in using numerical simulations and robots to get a better understanding of animal locomotion and movement control, and in using inspiration from biology to design novel types of robots and locomotion controllers. He is regularly invited to give talks on these topics. With his colleagues, he has received paper awards at ICRA2002, CLAWAR2005, IEEE Humanoids 2007, IEEE ROMAN 2014, and CLAWAR 2015. He was an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Robotics (2009–2013), and is since July 2015 member of the board of reviewing editors of “Science” magazine. He has acted as guest editor for the Proceedings of IEEE, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Autonomous Robots, and Biological Cybernetics. He is/was the technical program chair of 5 international conferences (BioADIT2004, SAB2004, AMAM2005, BioADIT2006, LATSIS2006), and has been a program committee member of over 50 conferences.
Markus Imboden studied German and History at the University of Zurich. He is working as an independent film director and screenwriter since 1986. His selected awards and honors include the German Film Prize, Swiss Film Prize, Swiss Television Prize, Grimme Prize, Hamburger Krimiprize, among others. Among his best-known films are “The Foster Boy” (Cinema); “Mrs. Rettich, Czerni and I” (Cinema); “Murder on Amrum” (Television); “Comedian” (Cinema); “Murderous Hive” (Television); “Death in the Wall” (Television); “Bella Block” (Television); “Hunger auf Leben” (Television); “Tatort (Television); Just Zoë” (Cinema).
Nicole Joller (born in 1978) studies how the immune system is regulated with her research group at the University of Zurich. Stemming from her desire to understand why the immune system induces beneficial or detrimental responses when faced with different challenges, Nicole has a background in different aspects of immunology. She obtained her PhD at ETH Zurich studying the immune response to infections and then changed perspectives with her post-doc at Harvard Medical School in Boston to work on autoimmunity and checkpoint-inhibitors, which have recently gained much attention as breakthrough cancer therapies. In her research group at the University of Zurich, Nicole combines her two fields of expertise to study immune regulation in infectious settings, aiming to unravel how the infection history on an individual shapes the immune system and influences susceptibility to other diseases later in life.
Bertrand Jungo is the CEO of Admeira, the leading Swiss sales company that follows a multimedia approach and manages a portfolio of 80 strong brands. He has been in office since September 2017. After having completed his university degree in business administration and economics in Fribourg, he started working for the Swiss Department Store Group Manor. He got to know the retail business from scratch by starting as a sales assistant and going through several management functions up to the position of CEO of the group, Overall, he was part of Manor's top management for 11 years – until January 2017. Bertrand is passionate about customers, people and leadership and contributes his expertise in different committees and organizations. Amongst others he is member of the Board of Directors of Galenica as well as member of the Advisory Board of the International Retail Summit of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. Bertrand was born in 1965 in Fribourg. He is married and has two adult daughters. In his leisure time, he enjoys having a delicious meal among family and friends, he does sports and travels around the world.
Christian H. Kälin is Chairman of Henley & Partners. Christian is considered one of the world’s foremost experts in investor immigration and citizenship by investment, a field he pioneered. Holding master’s and PhD degrees in law from the University of Zurich, he is a sought-after speaker and advises governments and international organizations. He is the author, co-author or editor of many publications, including standard works such as the Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook, the Quality of Nationality Index, and the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the Global Citizenship Review, an international quarterly.
Stefan Karlen is the CEO of Panalpina, a position which he has held since September 2016. Stefan began his freight forwarding career in 1991, with roles at Danzas and Nedlloyd Lines in Switzerland, before joining Panalpina in 1997. Since his first appointment at Air Sea Broker (Panalpina Group, West Africa Division), he has held various management positions across Europe, Africa, Central Asia and Asia Pacific. In 2012, he became the managing director for Southeast Asia before assuming the position of Regional CEO for Asia Pacific in 2013. Stefan is skilled in restructuring business units, managing customer relations and leading diverse teams in different countries across the globe, and has played a key role in Panalpina’s international expansion. Stefan holds an international executive MBA from I.E. Business School in Madrid, Spain and a bachelor degree in international trade and freight forwarding from EIAB, Basel, Switzerland.
Tanja Käser is a senior data scientist with the Swiss Data Science Center. Before that, she held postdoctoral research positions at Stanford University and ETH Zürich. She also works as a consultant for Dybuster and Disney Research Zurich. Tanja received her PhD in Computer Science from ETH Zurich.Her research lies at the intersection of Machine Learning, Data Mining, and Education. She is particularly interested in creating accurate models of human behavior and learning.
Mika Kastenholz (born 1976 in Finland) is an exotic and corporate derivatives trader, having worked at Credit Suisse in London and Zurich for several years. Mika holds a Ph.D. in theoretical biophysics from the ETH Zurich for which he was awarded the ETH Medal in 2005. His thesis deals with the analysis and efficient computational implementation of long-range many-body potentials in classical and quantum systems. He is a partner in the financial services consultancy firm Move Digital AG.
Mira Katan is a neurologist and neuroscientist at the University Hospital of Zurich. Before coming to Zurich in 2012, she worked at the University Hospital in Basel and at Columbia University in New York for several years. Besides her medical degree (University of Zurich) she has studied biostatistics and clinical epidemiology (Columbia University).With the help of a great team, Miras main research focus over the past years was to identify, evaluate and validate different blood biomarkers in patients with neurological diseases, specifically stroke-patients. The aim is to gain precise information (i.e. precision medicine approach) for advanced early risk stratification but also improved identification of the underlying stroke etiology for an individually tailored therapy. As primary investigator of international multicenter studies, she has earned several awards and has become a known expert. Mira co-founded the “International Biomarker in Cerebrovascular Diseases” (IBCD) study group in 2011, and is board member of the Swiss Stroke Society. Besides her passion for neuroscience she is also a proud mother.
Adrian T. Keller (born 1951) has been a member of the Board of Directors of DKSH Holding Ltd. since its formation and Chairman of the Board from 2003 till 2017. Since 2000, he has been Vice Chairman of Diethelm Keller Holding Ltd., a family holding company and anchor shareholder of DKSH. During his earlier career, Adrian worked on Wall Street, where he first was employed at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., later he became a partner at the NASD registered investment advisor Hoguet, Keller, Wittmann & Co. and thereafter joined Global Reach, a private equity and investment firm. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Berenberg Bank (Switzerland) Ltd. and several other privately held companies. Pro bono, Adrian serves on the Board of the Tonhalle-Gesellschaft Zurich (Symphonic Orchestra) as well as on the executive committee of the Swiss Advisory Council of the American Swiss Foundation. He is Chairman of Asia Society Switzerland and a Global Trustee of the Asia Society. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the University of St. Gallen, his alma mater. He is strongly committed to supporting children’s education and development through active engagement in several foundations.
Andreas W. Keller (born 1945) is the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Diethelm Keller Group. Prior to the merger of Diethelm & Co. and Edward Keller Ltd. in 2000, he chaired the Boards of Directors of both these companies. Starting 1976, he served these companies in Asia, U.S.A., and Switzerland. Andreas is a member of the board of directors of DKSH Holding Ltd. He also served as a former Board Member of the Oettinger Davidoff Group and as a Member of the Bank Council of the Swiss National Bank. He is a former Member of the Board of Credit Suisse First Boston and Barry Callebaut, and headed the Zurich Chamber of Commerce for seven years. Andreas studied Law at the University of Zurich (lic. iur.) and graduated from Harvard Business School, PMD.
Laurent Keller (born 1961) is professor of evolutionary biology and head of the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Lausanne. He uses ants as a model organism to study the principles governing the origin and evolution of animal societies. He is particularly interested in how interactions between genetic and social factors jointly influence individual behavior and social organization. He has been awarded several prizes, including the Latsis National Prize, the EO Wilson Naturalist Award, and the Marcel Benoist Prize.
Ursula Keller is a tenured professor of physics at ETH since 1993. She leads the Ultrafast Laser Physics group and currently also serves as a director of the Swiss multi-institute NCCR MUST program in ultrafast science since 2010. Born in Zug, she received a masters at ETH Zurich in 1984, a Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1989, and was a member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs U.S.A. from 1989 to 1993. She invented a key new photonic device in 1992 the semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) which solved a 25-year-old problem and allowed for a simple, robust, and cost-effective method to generate ultrashort (picosecond to femtosecond) and ultrastable laser pulses. She also helped to spearhead industrial transfer of this technology over the last two decades; most commercial ultrashort lasers today are based on this technology, with important industrial applications ranging from optical communication, precision measurements, microscopy, ophthalmology, and micromachining. In addition, her cutting edge laser technology has enabled some of the world’s most accurate clocks the optical clock and the attoclock. For example, she developed and demonstrated the attoclock to measure the electron tunneling time for the first time in 2008, which has been a highly debated topic in theoretical physics for the last 60 years. Active in Swiss start-up companies, she co-founded and serves as a board member for Time-Bandwidth Products since 1995, and for GigaTera from 2000 to 2003, a VC-funded Swiss telecom company of the bubble phase,which was acquired by Time-Bandwidth in 2003 and which then was acquired by JDSU (now Lumentum) Jan. 2014 . She is also a working mother with two grown up boys, and founded the ETH Women Professor Forum (WPF). In 2018, for her work on ultrafast lasers, Ursula became a Lifetime Achievement recipient of the annual Inventor Award, given annually by the European Patent Office to people whose ideas and creativity have significantly advanced the development of innovative products.
Georges Kern studied Political Science in Strasbourg, France, and graduated in Business Administration from the University of St.Gallen in Switzerland. He acquired experience in the fast-moving-consumer-goods sector at Kraft Foods Switzerland before moving into the watch industry at TAG Heuer. In 2000, he joined Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods group, and was active in the integration of the brands A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre and IWC Schaffhausen following their acquisition. In 2002, at the age of 36, he became the youngest CEO within Richemont when he was chosen to run IWC Schaffhausen. In 2017, he was promoted to Head of Watchmaking, Marketing and Digital at Richemont and focused on supervising the Specialist Watchmaking Maisons. In 2017, Georges Kern was appointed the new CEO of the independent watch company Breitling SA, where he is also a shareholder. In his new position, Georges Kern’s mission is to foster the global development of one of the world’s most established watch manufacturers, and to focus on further developing Breitling’s digital and retail footprint, in particular with a view to accelerating growth in the important Asian markets. Georges Kern served as a member of the Young Global Leaders at the World Economic Forum from 2005 to 2010 and became Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Community in Zurich in 2011.
Monika Kern-Glauser is a freelance conference interpreter and translator for German, English, and French, in addition to negotiating the daily grind with two teenage children and managing the family affairs of her and her husband, Georges Kern. An avid reader and music-lover, she enjoys all things well-composed. Pilates, yoga, and boot camp help her to keep fit.
Daniel Kessler (born in 1977) is the Managing Partner of The Boston Consulting Group Switzerland and responsible for the company's business in Switzerland. As global topic leader for wealth management he is the main author of the internationally recognized BCG Global Wealth Report and a core member of BCG’s Financial Institutions practice. Daniel lived in the UK, in Singapore and in the United States and has worked with Financial Institutions in Switzerland, Europe, the U.S.A., and Southeast Asia, focusing on topics across the entire value chain; he has led several complex transformation projects as well as large scale post-merger integrations. He has also supported financial institutions in their digital transformation journeys. Daniel studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in Switzerland.
Eva Kienle is member of the KWS Executive Board and, as CFO, leads the areas of Finance, Controlling, IT, Legal & IP, HR and Global Shared Services and drives KWS's digital agenda. KWS has been breeding field crops for more than 160 years and is now one of the world's leading seed producers of sugarbeet, corn and cereals. (in fiscal year 2016/17, the KWS Group generated net sales of over €1 Billion). It has around 5.000 employees and a footprint touching more than 70 countries. Eva's earlier management positions within Global Corporates (Unilever, Wal-Mart) as well as with PE-backed small and mid-sized operations allowed her to develop a longtime expertise in running administrative business processes and to become an expert in strategic alignment of back-office operations to serve as a business partner. Eva started off with a banking degree, then went further for a German-French B.Sc. in international management and completed a Global EMBA program with TRIUM (LSE, NYU, and HEC) in 2014. She is very passionate about her family of three boys and—if time allows—for some relaxing rounds of golf.
Andreas R. Kirchschläger is CEO of the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, a leading Swiss philanthropic impact investor fighting poverty with entrepreneurial means, and President of the Max Schmidheiny Foundation, a distinguished private institution promoting endeavours towards the preservation and further development of a free economic and social order. As Managing Director and President of the St. Gallen Foundation for International Studies, he led the annual International Management Symposium St. Gallen for more than one decade. He serves as a board member of the HSG Foundation, GCA Altium AG, PG Impact Investments AG and some of elea Foundation’s portfolio companies. Andreas holds a Master’s degree in Law and Economics from the University of St. Gallen and has been a lecturer at his alma mater for years. Personal note: Andreas is married and has two sons. He loves sports (basketball, hiking), politics, and history.
Stefan Kirsten has been the Chief Financial Officer and Member of the Management Board of Vonovia SE since January 1, 2011. Vonovia SE provides real estate services. The company manages, leases, and sells apartments and offers residential real estate to customers throughout Germany. 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. When not traveling, Stefan enjoys the quietness and beauty at his home at the North Sea.
Stephan Klapproth was the presenter for the news magazine “10 vor 10” on Swiss TV from 1993 to 2015. Starting in 2015, he has co-hosted Swiss TV’s philosophical talk “Sternstunde Philosophie.” Stephan has regularly broadcasted from foreign locations on special assignments and as a reporter. Before moving to TV, Stephan was editor-in-chief on “Echo der Zeit,” the political magazine program on Swiss radio station SRF, and he also presented the program from 1986 to 1992. He studied political science, economics, and contemporary history in Geneva. He holds the accolade of having won the “Swiss TV Award” as the country’s most popular news presenter. He teaches television journalism at the Universities of Geneva and Neuchâtel. He is also in demand as a speaker and conducts economic symposia as well as political debates. Stephan's private pilot licence is presently on hold due to lack of time. But there is a good chance to see him in his kayak cruising along the shores of lake Zurich or of some far away ocean.
Charlotte Knierim is a second year PhD student in the Institute of Theoretical Computer Science at ETH Zurich. She works under the supervision of Angelika Steger. She holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from ETH Zurich. She works at the intersection of Computer Science and Mathematics. Her research interests include Extremal Combinatorics, Ramsey Theory and Graph Theory.
Xavier Koller (born 1944) is a Swiss film director and screenwriter. His film “Journey of Hope” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1990. After graduating from high school, he first went through a four-year apprenticeship as a precision toolmaker and then, after three years of training at the Academy of Drama in Zurich, graduated as an actor/director. The next several years he spent acting and directing at German and Swiss theaters. He did a number of TV-plays as an actor, directed commercials, acted in movies, and then started to write and direct feature films.
Hans-Joachim Körber (born in 1946) serves on a number of boards internationally. He received university degrees in brewing technology and business administration (Ph.D.) from the Technical University of Berlin. With the foundation of METRO, in 1996 Hans-Joachim joined the management board, which he was heading as president and CEO from 1999 to 2007. He joined Metro-SB-Grossmärkte, a legal predecessor of METRO, in 1985 and was senior executive in different group companies in Germany and abroad. Prior to that, he held several senior management positions within the R.A. Oetker Group.
Marta Kos is Ambassador of Republic of Slovenia to Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Lichtenstein since 2017. From 2013 – 2017 she was the Ambassador of Republic of Slovenia to Germany and non-residential to Latvia. She obtained University degree in journalism at the Faculty of Politics’, Social Science and Journalism (University of Ljubljana) in 1989 and got her master degree in Political Science in 2001. She started her career as a sport journalist and foreign correspondent (from Bonn, Germany) before becoming a government press spokeswoman and head of the Government Press Office of the Republic of Slovenia in 1997. Since 1999 she has been responsible for the press and public relations of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and in 2000 she became vice-president of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. From 2003 to 2013 she was Managing Partner, director and training leader/coach for Communication, Leadership and Sales Programs of Gustav Käser Training International Switzerland in Slovenia.
Anna Maria Koukal is a postdoctoral researcher at the university of Fribourg and the Distance Learning University of Switzerland. Since 2019, she is president of the European Association of Young Economists (EAYE). Her economic research lies at the crossroads of political economy, political science and sociology. She is interested in the conditions and consequences of political power sharing through the enfranchisement of new groups such as women, foreigners or young adults. Anna Maria has been a recipient of a German scholarship (Cusanuswerk) and was awarded the Paul-Vigener Price 2019 for her PhD thesis. She spends her free time on horseback and participates in competitions of the National Cutting Horse Association.
Ekkehard Kuppel (born in 1962) pursues his purpose of helping executives take their heart to work. He does this through two vehicles: sum people, a consulting boutique that he founded supporting executive teams to become high performance teams; and through Mountain Wisdom that he co-founded as a forum for leaders to reflect on the fundamental questions of life, i.e. what is your purpose is life? why are you doing what you are doing? Previously, Ekkehard held various international leadership positions as executive, entrepreneur and investor. He served as a partner at McKinsey & Co. (Buenos Aires, Munich); founder of Eki Discount, Latin America’s first discount chain; CEO of 20 Min Holding, the free newspaper; managing director of Jacobs AG, the investment holding with major participations in Adecco, Barry Callebaut, and Infront; and president of Adecco Human Capital Solutions headquartered in New York. Ekkehard graduated as an economic engineer from TU Karlsruhe, holds a DEA from Université Paris Dauphine and a Ph.D. in economics from St. Gallen.
Barbara Kux is a recognised External Director and well connected into Europe as well as the key global markets. Her supervisory board mandates include international and Swiss companies such as Henkel, Pargesa Holding (e.g. Adidas, Total, SGS) and the world’s largest privately owned fragrance and flavour company Firmenich, where she is Vice Chairman. In 2016, the EU Commission appointed her to the High Level Panel for Decarbonisation; the panel is giving strategic advice on research and innovation. Barbara Kux is a member of the Advisory Council of INSEAD where she is also Director in Residence for Corporate Governance. In June 2019 she has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Grosvenor Group in London. From 2008 until 2013 Barbara Kux was a Member of the Managing Board of Siemens, as the first woman in the 160 year history of the company. There she increased results from the global growth of green businesses and supply chain management by several billions of euros, just as she had done previously at Royal Philips, where she was a Member of the Group Management Committee. Under her leadership, both industrial companies reached top positions in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. As a member of the SDSN Leadership Council for the United Nations she contributed to the definition of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the 1990s Barbara Kux led Nestlé in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, where she established the company as the leader in fast moving consumer goods, after she had achieved the same there for ABB in power generation. She had started her professional career in 1984 as a Management Consultant of McKinsey in Germany. After studies in Switzerland and as an AFS scholar in the USA, Barbara Kux earned her MBA with distinction from INSEAD Fontainebleau. She was educated in Zurich, where she was also born.
Vladimir Kuznetsov is the CEO of Kodori AG, Switzerland. He has over 20 years of experience in M&A and financial consulting and at different times occupied positions of Strategy Director and Chief Investment Director of Renova Group. He served as a Deputy Chairman and Chairman of the Board (ad interim) at Sulzer, Ltd, the Chairman of Oerlikon Group. He served as Vice Chairman of Schmolz + Bickenbach AG an represented Renova Group at a number of other company boards as a non-executive Director. Prior to joining Renova Group in 2001, he was CEO of Financial Advisory Services LLC, an advisory firm. In 1992-1998, Vladimir was Deputy General Director at Goldman Sachs in Moscow and the General Director of the Moscow branch of Solomon Brothers. Vladimir has a PhD in economics from the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, a Master’s degree in international relations from the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University, and a diploma in mathematical economics from Moscow State University.
Thomas Ladner (born 1968), attorney at law, acts as professional board member in companies with an aggregate turnover of EUR 5bn and as business angel. He started his legal career at the law firm Homburger in Zurich before becoming the youngest partner at one of Switzerland’s leading law firms Meyerlustenberger Lachenal AG where he specialized in private equity and M&A transactions. He became counsel to the law firm in 2009 in order to devote more time to his board, investment and networking activities. From 2000 to 2004, he also lectured on corporate law and contract law at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), from where he holds a Ph.D. (Dr. iur.). Thomas is passionate about creating communities and connecting people. He founded or co-founded the Entrepreneurs' Roundtable (with chapters in Switzerland, Germany, France and The Netherlands), the Club zum Rennweg in Zurich, the Griffith Club and the WORLD.MINDS Foundation. As a member of the board of trustees of the Swiss Technion Society and of African Parks Foundation Switzerland, he is also engaged in nonprofit initiatives. Switzerland's leading business publication "Bilanz" has nominated him several times as one of the most influential business lawyers in Switzerland. He lives in Zurich and works in Zug.
Marie Francine Lagadec (born 1989 in Japan) is a CNRS postdoctoral researcher at the Collège de France in Paris, where she works on battery designs for water electrolysers (towards green hydrogen production) and on internally protected battery cells (towards safe cells and smart cells). For the latter project, she has received the Young Energy Storage Scientist (YESS) Award 2019 by the French Network on Electrochemical Energy Storage (RS2E). She obtained her PhD from ETH Zurich, where she focused on quantitative 3D imaging of lithium-ion battery separators (a battery's safety mechanism), and on deriving design guidelines for safer and longer-lasting batteries. She holds an M.Sc. and B.Sc. degree from ETH Zurich in Micro and Nanosystems and in Materials Science. As a student, she led two projects that won awards at international innovation contests in micro and nanoengineering and co-founded two organisations, one of which is a network for female engineering students and researchers at ETH Zurich. For the past decade, Marie Francine has tutored students and encouraged young women to get involved in science and technology.
Jørn Larsen (born in 1966 in Denmark) graduated as a Marine Engineer in 1989 and as Master of Computer Science in 1994 from Aalborg University. In 1996 he founded Trifork, which is a 400 people international software company helping enterprises taking advantage of the latest software technology. As part of the Trifork activities he created the long-running GOTO Conferences, and co-creator of QCon. He is also the founder of Trifork Incuba which is an incubator and co-founder of tech startups. His hobbies include sailing on the ocean as well as skiing.
Phillip Michael Lasater (born 1984) is a postdoctoral researcher in Hebrew Bible and Oberassistent Altes Testament at the University of Zurich, where he matriculated in 2011 under the auspices of the interdisciplinary research organization UFSP Asien und Europa. His work focuses on the history of ancient Judaism, the Hebrew Bible, and, relatedly, ancient Northwest Semitic languages. He also has experience in academic publishing through his work with the publishing house Mohr Siebeck (Tubingen), where he is the managing editor of the quarterly journal "Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel." In addition to his chief focus on ancient Judaism, he enjoys reading modern intellectual history and political philosophy.
Axel P. Lehmann was appointed President Personal & Corporate Banking of UBS Group AG and President UBS Switzerland as of January 2018, in addition to taking over as President of the Executive Board of UBS Switzerland AG. He became a member of the GEB and was appointed Group Chief Operating Officer of UBS Group AG and UBS AG in January 2016. He was a member of the BoD of UBS AG from 2009 to 2015 and of UBS Group AG from 2014 to 2015 and was a member of both the Risk Committee and the Governance and Nominating Committee. Axel became a member of Zurich Insurance Group’s (Zurich) Group Executive Committee in 2002, holding various management positions, including CEO for the European and North America businesses, as well as Group Chief Risk Officer with additional responsibilities for Group IT, Regional Chairman for Europe, Middle East and Africa and Chairman for Farmers Group Inc. In 2001, he was appointed CEO for Northern, Central and Eastern Europe and Zurich Group Germany, having served as a member of the company’s Group Management Board since 2000 with responsibility for group-wide business development functions. In 1996, he joined Zurich as a member of the Executive Committee Switzerland and previously, he was head of corporate planning and controlling at SwissLife, Vice President of the Institute of Insurance Economics and a visiting professor at Bocconi University in Milan. Axel holds a PhD and a master’s degree in business administration and economics from the University of St. Gallen. He is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School.
Torsten Leue (born 1966) is Chairman of the Board of Management of Talanx AG, which is with premium income of EUR 34,9 billion (2018) and about 22,222 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.
Diana Lira is an independent curator and consultant. Her field of work lies in the intersection between fine arts, science and technology. With +10 years of experience in the contemporary fine arts ecosystem, Diana’s work focus on developing cross-cultural multi stakeholder collaborations - between academia, private sector, governmental and non-governmental institutions. She holds a BSc in Biology, and concluded two Master programs at the Zurich University of Arts in the field of cultural studies, the MA in Curatorial Studies and the MA in Transdisciplinary Studies in Arts. Diana concentrated her research and practice into understanding in depth the Contemporary Fine Arts System, and to comprehend how was this evolving and adjusting to the alterations caused by globalization, digitalization and extreme economization. Diana’s goal was to recognise the transformations and needs of the whole system, aiming to contribute to develop new approaches - that serve the individuals and organizations in a more sustainable, resourceful and healthier way. Currently Diana consults private initiatives, both in the fields of art and technology, as well as managing and advising emerging and established artists - in various touch points of their career development. Diana is a member of two Mexican NGOs advocating for the protection, revival and care of local indigenous communities.
Gottfried Locher (born 1966) is President of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) and President of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE). He is a member of the Swiss Council of Religions which unites the seven leaders of the majority Religions in Switzerland. Gottfried serves as Honorary Canon of St Paul's Cathedral, London and preaches regularly nationally and internationally.
Nicole Loeb is CEO of Loeb, a leading chain of department stores. Nicole is the 5th generation from her family to run the business.
Gerhard Lohmann is the CFO Reinsurance of Swiss Re. He joined Swiss Re in 2012 from Credit Suisse, where he was the CFO of Credit Suisse Asset Management (CSAM). It was recently announced that he will rejoin Credit Suisse in February 2020, as the CFO of the International Wealth Management division. Prior employments were with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deutsche Bank, and Daimler Benz. Gerhard holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Fribourg/Switzerland, and he is a Wharton alumni.
Sarah L. Longnus is a Research Scientist and lead the fundamental research team of the Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, headed by Professor Thierry Carrel, at Inselspital, Bern University Hospital. Heart transplantation is the gold-standard treatment for patients with severe heart failure; however, increasing numbers of heart failure patients have led to a persistent lack of donor organs, limiting the application of this life-saving option. One of our main research goals is to identify and develop means to improve donor heart availability using recent theoretical and technological advances that are revolutionizing clinical practice in heart transplantation.
Bernard Lukey is CEO of Schenk Holding SA. Before that he was CEO of Yandex Europe AG, the company’s European sales office based in Lucerne. Prior to working at Yandex, he served as chief executive officer of one of Russia’s largest online stores, OZON.ru. Earlier in his career, he held a position of marketing executive at Nestlé and Nespresso SA. Bernard has been able to successfully apply his international business experience in the fast-paced Russian economy since 1996, when he came to Russia to manage marketing at Nestlé Food LLC and, later, at the private equity firm Baring Vostok Capital Partners. Bernard holds an M.A. degree in political sciences from Lausanne University and is an advisory board member of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe.
Sergei Lupashin (born 1984 in Russia) is the founder of Perspective Robotics AG, the company behind the Fotokite. An aerial robotics entrepreneur, his work includes autonomous cars, next-generation UAVs and robotics for hazardous environments. Sergei presented work from the ETH Flying Machine Arena at the 2008 Annual Symposium and at other venues. He is a TED Fellow and holds a PhD from ETH Zurich.
Remo Lütolf (born 1956) has been the country managing director of ABB Switzerland from 2013 to mid-2018. He now is engaged as a board member and chairman in a number of Swiss companies, including RUAG Holding AG. He studied electrical engineering at the ETH Zurich and graduated 1986 with a doctorate in biomedical engineering and also got the EMBA from IMD in Lausanne in 2000. He started his professional career at Landis & Gyr in Zug and moved to ABB Switzerland in 1999. He lead the global business unit Power Electronics & Medium Voltage Drives and also was a regional division manager for ABB China living in Shanghai for four years.
Marloes Maathuis (born in the Netherlands) is professor in statistics in the Department of Mathematics at ETH Zurich. She spent several years at the University of Washington in Seattle before moving to Zurich in 2007. Marloes is passionate about both teaching and research, where her research involves learning large-scale graphical models, inferring causal effects from observational data, and applications of statistics.
Zina-Mary Manjaly is a Consultant Neurologist at Schulthess Clinic Zurich and a researcher at ETH Zurich. With a research focus on fatigue and other “silent symptoms” in Multiple Sclerosis, she is generally interested in combining Western and Indian concepts of salutogenesis. To this end, she has obtained a Master’s degree in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) at the University of Oxford and is integrating contemplative approaches into her clinical and scientific work.
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 (April 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.
Laura Marchal-Crespo is an Assistant Professor at the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern. She is also affiliated with the Sensory-Motor Systems at the Department of Health Sciences and Technology, ETH Zurich. She obtained her M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees from the University of California at Irvine, USA, in 2006 and 2009, respectively. In 2010 she joined the Sensory-Motor Systems, ETH Zurich, as a postdoc researcher. In 2017 she obtained a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) Professorship and joined the Medical Faculty at the University of Bern as an Assistant Professor. She carries out research in the general areas of human-machine interfaces and biological learning, and, specifically, in the use of robotic assistance and virtual reality to aid people in learning motor tasks and rehabilitate after neurologic injuries.
Ruedi Matter (born 1953) counsels companies and public institutions in communication issues. From 2011 to 2019 he was the CEO of Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), the market leader in television and radio broadcasting in German-speaking Switzerland. Ruedi is a historian (master’s degree in history and philosophy) and has worked in various positions as a newspaper and TV journalist. In 1997, he joined the news channel n-tv in Berlin as head of business news and was later promoted to director of programming. In 2006, he returned to Switzerland as editor-in-chief of Radio SRF. Ruedi is married and father of three children.
Ueli Maurer (born in 1960) is a professor of computer science and head of the Information Security and Cryptography Research Group at ETH Zurich. Ueli studied electrical engineering at ETH, obtained his PhD in 1990, and then joined Princeton University as a postdoc. In 1992 he became part of the computer science faculty of ETH. His research interests include theory and applications of cryptography, information security, theoretical computer science, information theory, and discrete mathematics. One of his long-term research goals is to establish a constructive theory of cryptography and to apply it to the modular design of provably-secure cryptographic protocols. He has served many companies and start-ups as board member and consultant, including serving on the board of Tamedia AG from 2002 to 2008. Ueli also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Cryptology from 2002 to 2010 and in several other editorial positions. In 2015 he was named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) "for contributions to cryptography and information security." He is is also an IEEE Fellow, an IACR Fellow, and a member of the German Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina). He was the 2000 Rademacher Lecturer of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, and received the 2013 Vodafone Innovation Award for Mobile Communications. Most recently, Ueli received the 2016 RSA Award for Excellence in the Field of Mathematics and the 2016 Theory of Cryptography (TCC) test-of-time award.
Armin Meier is the owner of Boyden Switzerland, a leading executive search company. Prior to this, he held several management positions in information technology as well as travel and transportation such as chief commercial officer of Travelport, a global distribution system for the travel business in London; Group CEO of Kuoni, the largest global upmarket tour operator, listed on the Zurich stock exchange and member of the Executive Committee of Migros, the leading retail company in Switzerland, with responsibility for IT and logistics. He is invested in several tech companies in the travel sector and serves as member on non-executive boards.
Martin Meyer (born 1951 in Zurich) is a journalist, essayist, and author. He is head of the “Neue Zürcher Zeitung’s” cultural section (Feuilleton-chef). Martin studied literature, philosophy, and history at the University of Zurich. He received his Ph.D. in 1976. Aside from his journalistic duties, he is author and publisher of several books, including an extensive work on the German writer Ernst Jünger (1990), a book on Thomas Mann and a conversation book with pianist Alfred Brendel (2001). His most recent book is about the work and life of Albert Camus (2013). Martin is also a renowned music critic, specializing in piano. He is also chairman of the Swiss Institute for International Studies (Schweizerisches Institut für Auslandsforschung) and heads the “NZZ” Podium.
Sara Mitri is an independent researcher, working in microbiology at the University of Lausanne. She studies ecosystems of microbes, and is particularly interested in social interactions between microbes and how they evolve over time. Having started her career in computer science, however, she has worked in many different areas of science, including the evolution of deception in robots. Perhaps because of her diverse background, she strongly believes in combining different research methodologies in her work, including mathematical modeling, computer simulations and laboratory experiments. Sara is also passionate about communicating science to the public, and everything to do with food.
Marija Mitrović Dankulov is Associate Research Professor and the Head of Innovation Center at Institute of Physics Belgrade. She completed her Ph.D. in statistical physics at the Faculty of Physics, University of Belgrade in 2012. After her Ph.D. studies at the Department of Theoretical Physics, Institute Jožef Stefan, Slovenia, she undertook postdoctoral work at Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science, School of Science Aalto University, Finland. She has extensive knowledge and experience in theoretical and computational physics. Her primary research interest is statistical physics of complex systems, with the emphasis on physics of social behavior and complex networks theory. As a Head of Innovation Center she is involved in technology development and commercialisation, IP protection and managament.
Ben Moore (born 1966 in Northumberland, England) is professor of astrophysics at the University of Zurich, and has authored over 200 scientific papers ranging from the origins of planets and galaxies to the nature of dark matter and the future of the universe. He heads the computational cosmology group at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, carrying out the world’s largest supercomputer calculations of the formation of cosmic structures using custom designed supercomputers. He gained his Ph.D. from the University of Durham and spent several years as a research fellow in the United States of America. Ben has been living in Switzerland for the past 10 years, where he enjoys mountaineering and snowboarding as well as playing guitar with the electro-rock band Milk67. In 2012, he published the popular book “Elefanten im All,” which describes the history and future of life and the universe. Ben was a speaker at the 2008 Annual Symposium and 2014 Annual Symposium.
Beatrix Morath is managing director and country head of AlixPartners Switzerland, a leading global business advisory firm of results-oriented professionals who specialize in creating value and restoring performance at every stage of the business life cycle. After her studies of business administration, she started her career as a corporate banker focusing on corporate turnarounds. Since 1997, she worked with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, where she successfully managed the Switzerland operations for several years before moving to AlixPartners in 2014. She works for clients in a broad range of industries. Besides, she is on several supervisory and advisory boards (Lienhard Office Group, Economics Department of the University of Zurich and Global Dignity). Beatrix is married and has two children.
Lukas Morscher (born 1963) is partner and head of TMT at the law firm Lenz & Staehelin in Zurich. Practice areas include technology, digitization, industry 4.0, data privacy, fintech, blockchain, sourcing (ITO, BPO), corporate governance, M&A and stock exchange law. Lukas holds a master’s in economics, a doctorate in law (thesis on financial markets' regulation), and an AMP from Harvard Business School. He is a frequent lecturer at seminars and conferences with multiple publications, and is a board member and early stage investor in companies in the technology, software, fintech and fashion industries. Married and father of three girls, Lukas loves global family travels.
Michael Mueller (born 1972) is CEO of Valora Group, a Swiss listed retail company with focus on small-format retail, food service and trading activities with operating businesses in eight European countries. Michael joined Valora in 2012 as the Group’s CFO and became CEO in 2014. Before Valora, Michael created in 2007 for an investment group privately held by Georg von Opel an independent asset manager, active as a principal investor in private and public equities, and joined Jelmoli Holding, a Swiss listed retail and real estate conglomerate, initially as a member of the board of directors and the executive committee and, from 2008, as CEO, and delegate of the board of directors. Before Michael’s executive and principal roles, he was active as a management consultant and M&A advisor. After graduation, he joined Bain & Company, where he worked for industrial and private equity clients on strategic transformation and restructuring programs in a number of industry sectors in Europe and the United States. After Bain, he joined the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs in Frankfurt, in its M&A practice. Michael studied business law at the universities of St. Gallen, completing his studies with a master’s degree in law (lic. iur. HSG) from the University of St. Gallen.
Carolina Müller-Möhl is a Swiss investor and philanthropist. Since 2000, she has managed and presided over the Müller-Möhl Group, a Single Family Office. She was a board member of Nestlé (2004–2012), and currently sits on the boards of “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (“NZZ”) and Orascom Development Group Holding. Carolina is highly committed to address socio-political causes and brings her efforts under the Müller-Möhl Foundation, which focuses on education, gender diversity and the attractiveness of Switzerland as a business and foundation location. She sits on various foundation and advisory boards—among them the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich, the Pestalozzi Foundation, the Swiss Economic Forum, and the renowned think tank Avenir Suisse—and is a supporter of The Gender Equality Project. Carolina studied Politics, History, and Law at Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg, the London School of Economics, and at the Otto Suhr Institute at Freie Universität Berlin, where she graduated as Political Scientist. She also attended various trainings at the Europainstitut at the University of Basel. In recognition of her success and her philanthropic commitment, the World Economic Forum (WEF) nominated her as a Young Global Leader in 2007.
Martin Naville (born 1959) is CEO of the Swiss–American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) since 2004. Amcham is one of the leading private associations working for international companies to build macro-economic bridges between Switzerland and the U.S.A., as well as to improve the business location Switzerland for multinational companies—large and small, Swiss and foreign. Before joining Amcham, Martin spent 16 years at the Boston Consulting Group in Munich, Zurich and New York specializing in Wealth Management and Telecom. He was elected partner and director in 1995. Martin started his professional career at JP Morgan in Zurich and New York from 1984 to 1988. Martin is chairman of the Zurich Zoo, board member of Swissquote, the leading Swiss eBank, Chairman of Komitee Weltoffenes Zürich and Senior Advisor at Morgan Stanley (Switzerland). He enjoys sports (skiing, tennis, mountaineering), and traveling for fun. He is married and has two sons.
Brad Nelson has been the Professor of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zurich since 2002. He has over thirty years of experience in the field of robotics and has received a number of awards for his work in robotics, nanotechnology, and biomedicine, including a Guinness Book World Record for the "Most Advanced Mini Robot for Medical Use ." He serves on the advisory boards of a number of academic departments and research institutes across North America, Europe, and Asia and is on the editorial boards of several academic journals. Brad has been the Department Head of Mechanical and Process Engineering at ETH, Chairman of the ETH Electron Microscopy Center, and a member of the Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. He is also a member of the board of directors of three Swiss companies. Before moving to Europe, he worked as an engineer at Honeywell and Motorola and served as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, Africa. He has also been a professor at the University of Minnesota and the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Ashkan Nikeghbali is a French (of Iranian origin) professor of mathematics at the University of Zurich in the Faculty of Science and has chair in financial mathematics in the Faculty of Economics. His research interests in pure maths lie at the intersection of probability theory, number theory and mathematical physics through the study of large random matrices. He is particularly interested in the distribution of the values of the Riemann zeta function. His research in quantitative finance deals with the applications graphs and distributional approximations in finance (systemic risk, credit risk models, etc.). He is also a member of the scientific board of Swissquant. Ashkan was one of the speakers at the 2012 Annual Symposium.
Nora Nowak (born in 1991) is a PhD student in Analytical Chemistry at ETH Zurich. Her research focusses on investigating metabolism during sleep, how disturbed sleep is influencing metabolism and how circadian clocks interact with metabolism. To answer these questions, she is analyzing exhaled breath as well as human blood using high resolution mass spectrometry.
Joanna Nowotny is a lecturer in literature at University of Bern, a researcher at ETH and a freelance cultural journalist. She completed her Ph.D. in literary and cultural studies in 2017 and studied German language and literature, art history and philosophy. Her academic fields of interest include German-Jewish literature and culture, contemporary German literature, game and comics studies as well as popular culture studies. She spent a semester studying in Vienna, another doing research at University of Chicago, and lived in Stockholm after her master's, working for contemporary art institutions. In her free time, she is invovled in several musical projects as a composer and instrumentalist.
Nubya is a singer born in Basel. Her voice is often compared with Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, her style varies somewhere between Pop, R&B, Soul, and Jazz. Her father is Nigerian and her mother Swiss. At the age of seven, she learned how to play the piano, and, after graduating high school, she studied at the New School Jazz Academy in New York. Back in Switzerland, Nubya studied economics. Besides her studies, music remained her passion. As a background singer she accompanied Céline Dion, Ace of Base, and the Lighthouse Family on tour. She achieved her breakthrough whilst performing as a supporting act for Whitney Houston’s concert at the Hallenstadion Zurich. Her debut album was released in 1999. In 2005, Nubya supported the Band Night of the Proms on their tour, and, 2012, she was invited to appear as a guest star for the Blue Man Group at the “Bülent Ceylan Show” on TV. She starred in the 3sat series “Tonspur—Soundtrack deines Lebens”, and is currently working on her next album.
Margit Osterloh is a professor (em.) in business administration and management of technology and innovation at the University of Zurich and a Permanent Visiting Professor at the University Basel . She is also a research director of CREMA (Center for Research in Economics, Management, and the Arts) Zurich. She graduated at the University of Technology in Berlin and did her Ph.D. at the Freie Universität Berlin. She was a board member of three large companies in Switzerland and Germany, and a member of Deutscher Wissenschaftsrat (German Council for Science and Humanities). She is member of several advisory boards of German universities. In 2007, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Lüneburg. Her research interests are happiness research, knowledge management, corporate governance, research governance, and gender issues.
Jane Owen took up her post as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein in December 2017. Jane was educated at Ellerslie School in Malvern, and Trinity College, Cambridge (BA Hons in Russian, French and German). She was born in Bilston in the West Midlands and has 2 children, Phoebe (19) and James (16). From 2014-17 she worked in London as Chief Operating Officer of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the government body responsible for promoting Britain’s commercial and business relationships around the world. Jane was Ambassador to Norway (2010-2014) and Director for Trade and Investment at the British Commission in India (2006-2010) and at the British Embassy in Japan (2002-2006). She has also worked in Vietnam and in the European Union department at the Foreign Office in London.
Oliver Pabst (born 1966) has been managing Mammut Sports Group AG since September 2016. He is a member of the Conzzeta Executive Committee, the parent company of Mammut. Oliver also sits on various boards of directors. He started his career in 1993 at McKinsey & Company in Zurich. From 2002 to 2005 he was Managing Partner at Boards & More Holding SA in Montreux. From 2006 he was Member of the Board of Willy Bogner KGaA in Munich, and Managing Director of various units with strategic and operational responsibilities for international business, retail and e-commerce business, among others. Oliver grew up in a textile entrepreneurial family and has since childhood developed a keen instinct for textiles, fashion and entrepreneurship. With his talents, his education and the affinity for sport of every kind, he is able to unites both work and hobby in his role at Mammut.
Hana Parizkova studies Computational Biology and Bioinformatics at ETH.
Tony Patt (born 1965) is Professor of Climate Policy at ETH Zurich, and a team leader within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The work he leads is about finding technically, socially, and economically feasible pathways for society to eliminate emissions of greenhouse gases by mid-century. At a practical level, this involves modelling technological and social systems, gathering data on people's attitudes and objectives, and communicating closely with stakeholders in industry and government. The motivating factor is a love of winter culture and participating in winter sports, all of which will vanish if climate change continues. Tony lives with his family in a snowy village in the Zurich Oberland.
Greta Patzke is Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Zurich, where she develops a comprehensive strategy towards functional materials for environmental and renewable energy technologies. Her research team places special emphasis on catalyst development for artificial photosynthesis. Current activities are part of the UZH special research program "Light to Chemical Energy Conversion." Greta follows an interdisciplinary approach in materials science, always implementing new trends from neighboring disciplines to move closer to her vision: targeted materials production for tomorrow's worldwide challenges. Greta was the recipient of the 2017 Credit Suisse Award for Best Teaching at the University of Zurich. Personal note from Rolf Dobelli: Greta is a true Renaissance person â€” not only has she been spending her youth with science and music, but she has also digested the world's classic and modern literature from Plato to Proust. Greta was one of the speakers at the 2009 Annual Symposium as well as at the 2016 Annual Symposium.
Mark Pauly (born 1974 in Germany) is a professor at the School of Computer & Communication Sciences at EPFL. He previously held academic positions at ETH Zurich and at Stanford University. His research interests include computer graphics, geometric computing, architectural design, and digital fabrication. He received the ETH dissertation award in 2003, the Eurographics Young Researcher Award in 2006, an ERC grant in 2010, and the Eurographics Outstanding Technical Achievement Award in 2016. Mark has co-founded two EPFL spin-off companies, Faceshift AG in 2012 and Rayform AG in 2016, and launched a new jewelry brand THE RAYY in 2019. Mark was one of the speakers at the 2008 Annual Symposium.
Léa Pereyre works as a product designer at Verity Studios, where she designs drone costumes and is part of a team creating dynamic machines and related systems for entertainment industries. Verity Studies is a spin-off of ETH, formed with WORLD.MINDS community members Raffaello D’Andrea and Markus Hehn. Léa received her bachelor’s degree from the Ecole cantonal d’'art de Lausanne (ECAL) in Industrial and Product Design. She worked on different projects at EPFL or EPFL+ECAL lab with an interest in the collaboration between technology and design. Next to that, she is developing a design studio called Claire+Léa in cooperation with Claire Pondard. She was a speaker at the 2016 WORLD.MINDS Annual Symposium.
Markus Pertl founded the Stern Stewart Institute in 1998 and currently heads the organization as chairman. The Stern Stewart Institute is a leading think tank and promotes entrepreneurship and empowerment through its projects in Africa. Markus is managing partner of the consulting firm Stern Stewart & Co and of Stern Stewart Capital. He is a trustee of the Heerema Group, a leading international player in the offshore oil and gas construction industry.
Frederike Petzschner is a young neuroscientist & physicist at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Frederike's focus is mental health: She uses mathematical models in combination with brain imaging and physiological data to understand brain-body and brain-world interactions in the healthy population and in patients with Disordered Gambling, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder or Psychosomatic Symptoms. Before coming to Zurich, Frederike received a Master of Honors degree in physics, followed by a Ph.D. in neuroscience at the age of 26, where she studied human perception of space and time. She graduated both programs of the Bavarian Elite Network with the highest possible distinction. Besides her academic interests, Frederike is a WEF Global Shaper and enjoys to climb, ski and be outdoors.
Simone E. Pfenninger is Professor of Second Language Acquisition and Psycholinguistics at the University of Salzburg. Her research sheds light on the effectiveness of early foreign language instruction, the bilingual primary school concept (especially in regard to time and timing), second language acquisition at an advanced age, and language learners with special needs (e.g. affected by dyslexia). She is co-editor of the Second Language Acquisition book series for Multilingual Matters, Secretary of the International Association of Multilingualism (IAM), and statistical advisor to the EuroSLA Studies book series. In 2015 she received the Mercator Award and in 2018 the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize for outstanding research.
Ulrike Pfreundt (born 1985) is a German oceanographer, geneticist, and curious thinker. Currently working at ETH Zürich as a Postdoctoral Researcher, her award-winning work transcends the boundaries of her field. She has studied phytoplankton in zero gravity, and the behavior of bacteria that fertilize half of the world’s ocean. For her most recent project, driven by her passion for the ocean and the urgency that climate change dictates, she assembled a team of digital architects and conservation practitioners to create innovative ways to re-build coral reefs at scale. The team will use 3D printing to find surface structures that allow young corals to settle and form the foundation of a new reef. Ulrike is alumna of Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, where she took a deep dive into future technologies with their risks and promises, grand global challenges, and team and empathy building. She uses her knowledge of exponential trends to understand how these may be combined and utilized to solve the most pressing problems of the complex hyper-connected system that our world is today.
Igor Pikovski (born in 1984) is a research scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who works on theoretical quantum physics. His work focuses on novel quantum technologies and on their use for basic science. Igor's main research interest is on how gravity affects quantum systems and how the interplay between quantum physics and gravity could be tested in experiments. Igor likes thinking creatively about scientific questions and has broad interest in problems that lie on the intersection of different fields. He enjoys learning about novel disciplines and technology.
Marc Pollefeys (born in 1971 in Belgium) is Director of Science leading a team of scientist and engineers to develop advanced perception capabilities for HoloLens. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich and was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2012. He is best known for his work in 3D computer vision, having been the first to develop a software pipeline to automatically turn photographs into 3D models, but also works on robotics, graphics and machine learning problems. Other noteworthy projects he worked on with collaborators at UNC Chapel Hill and ETH Zurich are real-time 3D scanning with mobile devices, a real-time pipeline for 3D reconstruction of cities from vehicle mounted-cameras, camera-based self-driving cars and the first fully autonomous vision-based drone. Most recently his academic research has focused on combining 3D reconstruction with semantic scene understanding. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed publications and holds several patents. His lab at ETH Zurich also developed the PixHawk auto-pilot which can be found in over half a million drones and he has co-founded several computer vision start-ups. Personal note: Marc loves reading graphic novels, exploring foreign cuisine while traveling, playing volleyball, having a good discussion, and playing with his kids.
Stefan Portmann (born 1967) is an investor and the former chairman of the board of Retail Fashion Partners. He started his career in the fashion retail business back in 1989 in the U.S. After holding several senior management positions in retail, he joined SCHILD as a shareholder and member of the management team in 2004. After the integration of former competitor Spengler, they successfully accomplished the turnaround of the “new SCHILD,” making it one of the country’s leading fashion retailers in the upper medium market. Since the sale of SCHILD to the Globus Group/Migros in 2014, he has been a board member of several companies as well as being more actively involved as a business angel and investor. Stefan holds a Master of Science degree in marketing from the University of Wales and completed his studies in Asia and the U.S. with an M.B.A. He enjoys spending his leisure time with his wife and their two children.
Aparna Rao is part of the art duo Pors & Rao, based in Bangalore, India. Pors & Rao make sculptures and installations often incorporating life like animatronics and responsive behaviours. For the past 18 years, she and her collaborator, Søren Pors, have developed their own simulation tools and motion interfaces, collaborating to realise personal emotive expressions through robotics. This has led to her recent project, "PATHOS: Poetic Animatronics Through Hands-on Open Systems", which is under development at Wyss Zurich (nested within ETH Zurich); it is a set of tools developed to craft a high degree of nuance in robotic animation through user friendly interfaces. Aparna was a speaker at the 2015 WORLD.MINDS Annual Symposium as well as at WORLD.MINDS BELGRADE in 2019.
Martina Rettenmund (born 1977) is Public Affairs Specialist of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) and responsible for the topic of Mobility of the Future. She studied History, Politics and Media Sciences at the University of Bern and has a MAS for Communication Management and Leadership from ZHAW Zurich University. She worked for many years as a journalist, before she became chief communication officer of the department of Security of the City of Bern. She lives in Biel/Bienne, is passionate about literature and design and loves to be in the mountains.
Max Rheiner (born 1972) is a senior lecturer at Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). He has been teaching in both the bachelor’s and master’s programs for the Department of Interaction Design, since 2006. The main areas of discipline that he specializes in are Embodied Interaction and Physical Computing. Of these topics, he conceived and developed the Physical Computing Laboratory for the Department of Interaction Design that has been running since 2006. His research and artistic interest center on interactive experiences that utilize methods from Virtual/Augmented Reality and Immersive Telepresence. Moreover, his artistic work has been recognized and exhibited in a number of international and well-renowned venues such as Biennale Venice, Italy; Ars Electronic Linz, Austria; and Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media.
Urs Riedener (born 1965) is CEO of the leading Swiss dairy company, Emmi. Before joining Emmi, he was a member of the executive board of Migros and head of its marketing department, managing Switzerland’s single largest marketing budget. He previously worked for Lindt & Sprüngli, where he successfully expanded the brand position both nationally and internationally through premium products. Urs holds a degree in business administration and marketing from the University of St. Gallen. Urs is a passionate cyclist, cross-country skier, and runner, and loves sports in general.
Daniel Riediker (born 1967) is co-founder and CEO of Alegra Capital, an asset management company focused on structured loan securitizations. The firm (founded in 2003) was one of the few players in its market to successfully manage through the credit crisis—their flagship fund's annualized performance exceeds 11% p.a. since inception in 2004. The firm received various awards for their performance, including a best European Hedge Fund Performance award by HFM week for long term performance in 2018. Daniel has a passion for vintage cars and cycling.
Urs Rohner (born 1959) is member of the board of directors of Credit Suisse Group AG and Credit Suisse AG since 2009. Urs serves as a board, advisory board, or board of trustees member in the following organizations in his capacity as chairman of the Group: Swiss Bankers Association, Swiss Finance Council, Economiesuisse, Avenir Suisse, Alfred Escher Foundation, Lucerne Festival, European Banking Group, European Financial Services Round Table, Institute International d’Etudes Bancaires, Institute of International Finance (IIF), and International Business Leaders Advisory Council of the Mayor of Beijing. Additionally, he is a board member of GlaxoSmithKline plc, chairman of the advisory board of the University of Zurich’s Department of Economics, a member of the board of trustees of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) foundation, and member of the board of trustees of the Swiss University Sports Foundation.
Isabelle Romy (born in Lausanne) is a partner at the law firm Frorie Legal AG. Her practice focuses on international litigation, arbitration, and private international law. She is a leading expert in environmental and construction law in Switzerland. Isabelle is a professor of law and has been teaching at the University of Fribourg and at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) since 1996. She is the vice chairman of the Sanction Commission of the SIX Swiss Exchange and served as a deputy judge at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. She is a member of the board of directors of UBS Group AG and UBS AG as well as a delegate of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF.
Heinrich Rotach is a board member and chairman Privatbank IHAG Zürich and its parent company IHFS Holding. He began his professional career as a legal consultant of the government of the Kanton Schaffhausen. In 1993 he joined UBS and has worked in different jurisdictions with responsibility over transactions, restructuring and projects. After being responsible for leading the project of the sale of UBS private Banks and GAM to Julius Baer, he became an independent consultant with many board seats in the finance industry and industrial companies. Heinrich Rotach holds a Master of Law degree from University of Zurich and diplomas from INSEAD and the Wharton Business School.
Moritz Rövekamp (born 1988) is a Ph.D. student at the Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zurich, in Ueli Grossniklaus’ group for plant developmental genetics. Moritz attained his master’s degree at the University of Zurich, in collaboration with John Bowman’s group at Monash University in Melbourne, by investigating the origins of gene functions involved in flowering plant reproduction. He is enthusiastic about science and especially interested in the evolution of gene function and imprinted genes in plants, and he recently sent spores of the most ancestral land plant to the International Space Station. Moritz is a passionate outdoors and sports person.
Schoscho Rufener (born 1964) is chief creative director of MCH Group, a leading international live marketing group. He 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.
Antonio M. Russo heads Deloitte’s Analytics and Cognitive Advisory Practice. His team helps clients leverage the power of artificial intelligence and data to deliver more customer centric products and services that catalyse growth and efficiencies. He has over 18 years of experience in advising companies in large scale global transformations leveraging new delivery models (GBS/SSC, Outsourcing) and innovative technologies (e.g. Robotics, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing/Generation). He helped global private sector and financial services organizations review and implement new strategies for Business Support functions, and deploy more effective and efficient services and governance models.
Erich Rütsche is leading IBM Corporate Technology and IP in Europe. With is team he is managing the IBM technology collaboration and licensing business and coordinating the Governmental research programs of the European Research labs in Dublin, Haifa, Hursley, and Zurich. He as a broad experience in growing early technology business in security, nanotechnology, AI, and quantum computing. He holds diploma and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from ETH Zurich and an MBA from Ashridge Management College, UK. After postdoctoral studies at the Institute Eurecom in France, he started his business career as a technology and strategy consultant and did grow an IT security startup in Switzerland.
Nataša Samardžić (born in Novi Sad in 1986) is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Technical Sciences of the University of Novi Sad (FTS-UNS) in Serbia. She received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from FTS-UNS in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2011, she joined the Department of Power, Electronics and Telecommunication, Chair for Electronics at the Faculty of Technical Sciences as Intern Research. Starting from 2013, she was engaged as a teaching assistant at several undergraduate- and master-level courses on the study program for Microelectronics and Biomedical engineering, including: 1) Introduction to electronics, 2) Materials in electronics, 3) Nanoelectronics, 4) Quantum and organic electronics and 5) Medical electronics. During her PhD studies, she spent two months at EPFL in Lausanne, where she worked at the CMI-Center of Micro Nano Technology. In December 2016. she defended her PhD thesis entitled “Analysis of quantum transport mechanisms in nanometarial based memristive device” at FTS-UNS. Starting from November 2017, Nataša has been an Assistant Professor at FTS-UNS. She is a reviewer for several scientific journals with impact factor. She is engaged in the national scientific projects as well as project funded by Horizon 2020 program (RISE 690876) and COST Action IC1401. During action activities, she was invited to lecture at 6th MemoCIS Workshop in Krakow (September 2017) entitled “Resistive Switching Effect in Nanomaterials based Thin Film Memristors”. She was also invited to speak at the Volga Neuroscience Meeting 2018, where she gave lecture on “Nanomaterials based thin film memristors and their potential application in neuromorphic systems”. She is member of IEEE society and OE-A society. Her research interest includes modeling and fabrication of nanoelectronic devices and characterization of nanomaterials.
Patricia Sanchez Lucas is a Postdoc at the University of Zürich, in the Astroparticle Physics group of Prof. Laura Baudis. Patricia is a member of the DARWIN Collaboration, whose main research is focused on the search for dark matter and rare nuclear processes. In the DARWIN Collaboration she co-leads the simulation working group. Patricia studied physics at the University of Granada (Spain) where she also obtained her PhD. Her thesis was focused on the detection of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays with data of the Pierre Auger Observatory. Besides astroparticles, her main research interests are the experiments with very low background conditions. In addition, she is particularly interested on outreach. She has participated in many outreach events and she continues her effort to bring physics and society closer together.
Lia Sartori (born in 1990) is a PhD student in astrophysics at the Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics at ETH Zürich and at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Her research focuses on how the activity of supermassive black holes changes with time, and how these objects interact with their host galaxies. She recently won the prestigious MERAC Funding and Travel Award, which allows her to collaborate with astronomers all over the world. Beside research, she is strongly involved in outreach, science communication and science promotion, especially with young people and children. She also collaborates with the Schweizer Jugend Forscht (Swiss Youth in Science) Foundation where she is responsible and project manager for the Italian Switzerland.
Reto Savoia (born in 1968) is the CEO of Deloitte Switzerland and a member of the Executive of Deloitte North and South Europe. Prior to his current role, he held various leadership positions within Deloitte: from transforming, as Managing Partner Tax & Legal, the tax business from 2011 to 2016, to driving the strong expansion of our market footprint in Switzerland as Clients & Industries leader from 2016 to 2019. Furthermore, he served from 2013 to 2019 as a board member of Deloitte UK, respectively Deloitte North West Europe. Having spent 14 years with Deloitte, with more than 20 years of industry experience, providing solutions to clients’ complex challenges still excites him. Leading by example and building competent teams who work with our clients to make an impact that matters motivates him. Reto is a Swiss international and corporate tax professional with more than 20 years of experience in cross-border structuring, M&A and business reorganisations. He has a master’s degrees in business administration and law from the University of St. Gallen, and is a member of the Board of economiesuisse.
İlhan Saygılı is the Turkish Ambassador to Switzerland. Born in 1967, Ilhan graduated from the Department of International Relations of the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. He holds a Master's Degree in "Balkans History" at the Institute of Social Sciences of Ankara University. He speaks English and Greek. Following a two-year work experience as stock exchange broker in Istanbul, he joined the Turkish Foreign Service in 1992. He held posts in Lagos, Brussels / NATO, Athens, Frankfurt (Consul-General). Ilhan also served as the Deputy Chief of Cabinet of the Foreign Minister, Deputy Director General for the Balkans and Central Europe at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was the Special Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs before being appointed as the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in Bern in 2016. He is member of the Turkish sports club, Fenerbahçe SK. He is married with two sons.
Davide Scaramuzza is Professor of Robotics and Perception at both departments of Informatics (University of Zurich) and Neuroinformatics (University of Zurich and ETH Zurich), where he does research at the intersection of robotics, computer vision, and neuroscience. Specifically he investigates the use of standard and neuromorphic cameras to enable autonomous, agile, navigation of micro drones in search-and-rescue scenarios. He did his PhD in robotics and computer vision at ETH Zurich (with Roland Siegwart) and a postdoc at the University of Pennsylvania (with Vijay Kumar and Kostas Daniilidis). From 2009 to 2012, he led the European project sFly, which introduced the PX4 autopilot and pioneered visual-SLAM-based autonomous navigation of micro drones. For his research contributions in vision-based navigation with standard and neuromorphic cameras, he was awarded the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, the SNSF-ERC Starting Grant, a Google Research Award, KUKA, Qualcomm, and Intel awards, the European Young Research Award, the Misha Mahowald Neuromorphic Engineering Award, and several conference paper awards. Davide coauthored the book "Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots" (published by MIT Press; 10,000 copies sold) and more than 100 papers on robotics and perception published in top-ranked journals (TRO, PAMI, IJCV, IJRR) and conferences (RSS, ICRA, CVPR, ICCV). In 2015, he cofounded a venture, called Zurich-Eye, dedicated to the commercialization of visual-inertial navigation solutions for mobile robots, which later became Facebook-Oculus Switzerland and Oculus' European research hub. He was also the strategic advisor of Dacuda, an ETH spinoff dedicated to inside-out VR solutions, which later became Magic Leap Zurich.
Kevin Schawinski (born 1981) is the co-founder and CEO of Modulos AG, an artificial intelligence startup based in Zurich. He studied physics and mathematics at Cornell University and received his Ph.D in three years at Oxford University, for which he won the Royal Astronomical Society’s thesis prize. Afterwards, he moved to Yale University with a NASA Einstein Fellowship and returned to Switzerland as an assistant professor at ETH Zurich. His research focused on the formation of galaxies and black holes and how we can use citizen science and machine learning to better understand the physics involved. In 2018, he founded the ETH Spinoff Modulos to take his academic research out of the lab. In his spare time, he runs and fails badly at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Roger Schawinski (born 1945) graduated from Central Michigan University with an M.B.A. and got a Ph.D. at HSG. He was founder and presenter of “Kassensturz” on Swiss Television, the first consumer-oriented TV show in Switzerland, which is still on the air. He founded the first private radio station in Switzerland, Radio 24, in 1979, after having been editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper “TAT,” published by Migros. He then started the first private TV station in Switzerland, TeleZüri, followed by Tele 24, which serviced the whole country. He sold his company in 2001 and published several books. In 2003, he became CEO of Sat.1 in Berlin, one of Europe’s foremost private TV channels. He left the company three years later, after having increased profitability from four million to 204 million Euros. In 2008, he started Radio 1 in Zurich. In 2011, he started his own TV talk show on Swiss television, “Schawinski.” He also writes a weekly column for the Sunday newspaper “Sonntagszeitung.”
René Scheu (born 1974) is the head of “NZZ” Feuilleton. Prior to this, he was CEO of SMH Verlag and publisher and editor-in-chief of the “Schweizer Monat,” a liberal magazine for politics, economics, and culture. The “Schweizer Monat” was first published in 1921, and since then Karl Popper, Friedrich August von Hayek, Peter Sloterdijk, and Mario Vargas Llosa have been among the illustrious authors. René holds a Ph.D. in contemporary philosophy from the Universities of Zurich and Turin. His interests include philosophical anthropology, political liberalism, contemporary psychoanalysis, and oenology. He has also translated and published numerous Italian books into German (and vice versa), most recently “Crescita o extraprofitto” (Peter Sloterdijk, 2013). In 2009, he received the sponsorship award of the Foundation for Occidental Ethics and Culture.
Jürg Schmid is an expert in tourism. As CEO of Switzerland Tourism, he positioned Switzerland around the globe as a holiday, travel and congress destination. He is now chairman of the board of directors of The Living Circle, a premium hospitality and agricultural group that drives luxury and experience based travel to a new dimension. Furthermore he is partner of the marketing agency Schmid Pelli & Partner, President of Graubünden Ferien, the tourism organisation of Switzerlands largest tourism region. His work is characterised by sustainability and vision. He is a passionate biker and cross country skier.
Konrad Schmid (born 1965) is professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Judaism at the University of Zurich. From 2006 to 2007, he was a member in residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton. From 2008 to 2010, he served as the dean of the Faculty of Theology in Zurich. He co-directed a research group on the historical formation of the Torah at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem from 2012 to 2013. He spent the fall term of 2017 as member of the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton. He is among the founders of the Center for Religion, Economics and Politics and he serves on various editorial boards of journals, book series, and commentaries in the field of theology. Currently, he is working on a book entitled „How God became a lawgiver“.
Thomas Schmidheiny is Chairman and founder of his family office, Spectrum Value Management. Spectrum manages the investments of the Schmidheiny family. After studying mechanical engineering at ETH Zurich, Thomas began his career as Technical Director with Cementos Apasco, Mexico. In 1973 he joined “Holderbank” Financière Glaris Ltd. (which became Holcim), where he served as Managing Director and Chairman (1978-2001) and Chairman of the Board (1984-2003). In 2015, Holcim merged with Lafarge to become LafargeHolcim, where Thomas is the Honorary Chairman. Thomas is also a board member and major shareholder of the Grand Resort Bad Ragaz, and is the former chairman of the Ernst Schmidheiny Foundation for public education, amongst others. He received an honorary Doctorate of Business Administration from Tufts University (USA) and holds an MBA from IMD. His particular interest is philanthropy: he engages in large donations and sponsoring to business schools, arts, education and start-ups through his foundations.
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 the DACH region (Germany, Austria Switzerland) and today manages more than EUR 2bn across its 4 investment strategies: Capital Solutions, Special Situations, Venture Capital and Real Estate. Rudi supports several organizations in the financial services and property industries as a board member, advisor, investor and founder. He has significant international experience in investing in, building, transforming and restructuring organizations across diverse industry sectors, including banking, asset management, insurance, automotive, real estate, business services, technology and leisure. Rudi 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. Rudi is a member of YPO/Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO Germany-Switzerland-Austria, Greater London and Zurich Chapters), a Young Leader of Atlantik-Brücke and an alumnus of Harvard Business School and London Business School.
Daniel Schmutz (born 1966 in Zurich) is the CEO of Helsana Versicherungen AG since 2010. With a premium volume of CHF 6.4 billion, Helsana is the market leader in Swiss Health insurance. Daniel holds an M.A. in international relations from St. Gallen University and an M.B.A. in finance from the Wharton School. He started out his career in management consulting in Germany, the U.S., and Spain before returning to Switzerland, where he joined the Boston Consulting Group’s insurance practice. From 2002 to 2005, he worked at Swiss Life before joining Helsana in 2006 as CFO. Daniel feels that health care is a fascinating topic, at the crossroads of business, politics, and society. When he is not thinking about health care, Daniel loves to take his Mexican wife and his two sons to the Alps.
Michael Schoellhorn (born 1965) is Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Airbus and a member of the Airbus Executive Committee. He joined Airbus in February 2019 from BSH Home Appliances GmbH in Munich, where he was COO and a member of the BSH Management Board from 2015. Between 2012 and 2014, Michael Schoellhorn was Executive Vice President Manufacturing and Quality, additionally heading the Global Business unit for chassis and safety sensors. Prior to this, Michael Schoellhorn held several international management positions within the Bosch Group. He was based in the US, Czech Republic and Germany. During this time, he gained a broad expertise in digitalisation, end-to-end process optimisation, manufacturing, engineering, quality and supply chain management. Michael Schoellhorn holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Control Engineering from the Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. He served in the German Armed Forces as a helicopter pilot and officer from 1984 to 1994.
Joachim Schoss (born 1963) is a serial entrepreneur and investor and, as such, the founder of Scout24, one of Europes most successful online businesses, the founder of the charitable foundation MyHandicap, the most frequented European service for people with disabilities, as well as an angel investor of Moneybookers, ResearchGate and several other innovative companies. He serves on the boards of several start-ups and other institutions and foundations, mostly as president. Among other honors, he was named „Business Angel of the Year" and one of the „Founders of the Decade". Besides his own entrepreneurial activities, he is committed to support and educate young entrepreneurs. Joachim spends several weeks of the European winter in New Zealand. He is happily married to Stephanie and a proud father of five children.
Christine Schraner Burgener, born 1963, a Swiss lawyer, served 27 years as a Diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. She was Deputy-Director of the Directorate of International Law, with rank of Ambassador. She served in this capacity as the Coordinator for Counterterrorism on Foreign Policy and as the Secretary General of the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission. In 2004 she was the Coordinator on interoperability and “Friend” of the President of the Conference in Dublin 2004 on Cluster Munitions. 2009-2015 she supported the reconciliation process in Thailand in her capacity as the Swiss Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand. 2015-2018 she was the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Federal Republic of Germany. Since May 2018 she is the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General on Myanmar in the rank of an Under-Secretary-General. She is married and has two adult children and speaks German, French, English and Japanese.
Ben Schuler is a professor of Molecular Biophysics at the University of Zurich. Passionate for biological physics, he uses laser spectroscopy to study individual protein molecules, the molecular machines within our cells. The processes he is most interested in have an impact on a wide range of applications, from boiled eggs to Alzheimer’s disease. Besides science, Ben has a passion for English drama, winter sports, and ice cream. He doesn’t own a tie.
Dirk Schütz (born 1964) is editor-in-chief of “Bilanz,” the leading Swiss business magazine. He attended the Hamburg School of Journalism, and holds a degree in economics and a degree in journalism from the universities of Geneva and Fribourg. Prior to his current job, he was editor-in-chief of the business weekly “Cash,” and deputy editor-in-chief of the German business magazine “Wirtschaftswoche.”
Urs Schwarzenbach (born in 1948) 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.
Daniel Sennheiser (born in 1973) is the CEO of Sennheiser electronic. He leads the family-owned company in the third generation jointly with his brother Andreas. They share a vision to shape the future of audio – always creating new and captivating sound experiences for both professionals and consumers. Daniel likes to explore and drive innovative ways of working while holding fast to the company’s values and commitment to responsibility. Before joining Sennheiser in 2008, he worked at various communications agencies as well as for Procter & Gamble. Beyond work, Daniel is passionate about music, design and the arts.
Oliver Shah is a phd student in theoretical astrophysics at Universität Bern and Universität Zürich and member of the NCCR PlanetS. His research is devoted to the diverse and exciting field of exoplanets. In particular, he develops sophisticated computer models to further our understanding of the interior structures and evolution of such bodies and hence to provide more indepth means for interpreting observational data. Furthermore he is deeply interested in advancing our comprehension of planetary habitability and what our findings reflect back to us here on earth.
Thomas Sieber (born 1962) is the chairman of the board of Axpo Holding AG, Switzerland’s largest energy provider, as well as a board member of Vancouver-based Sierra Wireless and HCL Technologies in India. Prior to this, he was chairman of the board of directors and former CEO of Orange Switzerland (today Salt). Since August 2013, Thomas has also been member of the board of directors at IT-services provider Garaio AG. In January 2014, he joined the board of the leading Nasdaq-company in the area of “Internet of things", Sierra Wireless, and in January 2016 Thomas was appointed to the board of directors at Indian IT-services giant HCL Technologies. In both assignments, he represents the European market on the board level. In his operational background, he has accumulated more than 20 years of both national and international experience in the ICT sector. After having worked for Hewlett Packard for 13 years, he joined Fujitsu Technology Solutions (formerly Fujitsu Siemens Computers). Before joining Orange, he was the executive vice president of all country operations in EMEA. This spanned across the international Fujitsu IT businesses, comprising more than €6 billion turnover with over 3,000 employees. Thomas studied Business Administration at the University of St.Gallen, and is married, with two sons. He is a passionate golf player together with his family.
Beat Siegrist (born 1960) is chairman of Schweiter Technologies. Until 2012, he was president of Satisloh, which he sold in 2008 as CEO of Schweiter to Essilor for over CHF500 million. From 2008 until 2012, he was in the executive board of Essilor, world leader of ophthalmic lenses with €5 billion in sales. From 1996 until 2008, he was CEO of Schweiter Technologies and built it to over CHF1 billion sales today. As CEO, he personally managed the divisions SSM Textile Machinery, Satisloh and Ismeca Semiconductor. He previously worked as a consultant at McKinsey and founded companies in the field of outsourcing. He obtained a degree in engineering at ETH and an M.B.A. at INSEAD Fontainebleau. He also serves on the board of various industrial companies quoted on the Swiss stock exchange.
Roland Siegwart (born 1959) is a professor for autonomous systems and co-director of the Wyss Zurich at ETH Zurich. After studying mechanics and mechatronics he was engaged in starting up a spin-off company, spent ten years as professor for autonomous microsystems at EPFL, and held visiting positions at Stanford University and NASA Ames and was Vice President of ETH Zurich. Roland is member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences, IEEE fellow and officer of the International Federation of Robotics Research (IFRR). His interests are in the creation and control of intelligent systems operating in complex and highly dynamical environments. Prominent application examples are personal and service robots, autonomous micro-aircrafts and walking robots. Roland is co-founder of multiple successful spin-off companies in robotics and related fields.
Uli Sigg (born 1946) grew up in Switzerland. He completed his studies with a Ph.D. at the University of Zurich’s Law Faculty. He then worked as journalist and editor for various Swiss newspapers and magazines. From 1977 to 1990, he worked at the Schindler Group, where he held positions as area manager for Asia Pacific and later member of the group executive committee and shareholders’ board. In 1980, he established the first joint venture between China and the West, and remained its vice chairman for 10 years. He then served on the boards of a number of global companies until 1995, when the Swiss government appointed him ambassador to China, North Korea, and Mongolia for four years. Upon his return to Switzerland, he again assumed the chairmanship or board membership of several multinational companies, such as Ringier Media Group. Presently, he also serves as a member of the advisory board of China Development Bank and other Chinese entities. He has spent many years in China, following the opening up of China and its contemporary art scene. He has formed the most substantial collection of contemporary Chinese art in the world. In 2012, he donated 1463 works to the Museum M+ in Hong Kong, to be opened 2021. In 1997, he established the Chinese Contemporary Art Award, now Sigg Prize, an award for Chinese contemporary artists and art critics in China. He is a member of the International Council of New York’s MOMA, International Advisory Council of the Tate Gallery in London and M+ Museum Board Hong Kong.
Sheena Smith is an American biochemist whose research focuses on the development and implementation of protein engineering strategies for the generation and delivery of cancer therapeutics. Sheena is currently completing her postdoctoral work at the University of Zurich under the mentorship of Andreas Plückthun, where her research focuses on the engineering of a common respiratory virus called Adenovirus as a novel gene therapy platform for the treatment of cancer. Through engineering tumor-specific viral infection, her strategy aims to convert the tumor itself into a therapeutic ‘biofactory,’ secreting drug combinations that act directly within the tumor microenvironment where they are needed most. Sheena’s previous work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focused on the engineering of T cell receptors as candidates for targeted immunotherapies. Notably, she is an inventor of a semi-rational design platform that allows T cell receptors to be engineered entirely in vitro against cancer biomarkers.
Barbara Solenthaler is a senior research scientist at the Computer Science department at ETH Zurich, where she leads the research on simulation and animation. Prior to joining ETH, she received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Zurich. In her research she develops algorithms and techniques for machine learning based physics simulations, where a particular challenge is to synergistically combine learning strategies with physical laws and dynamics. Her graphics focused research aims at efficient reconstruction of simulations, image based modeling, and artist-controllable simulations. Barbara is currently also affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study at the Technical University of Munich, where she holds a Hans Fischer Fellowship awarded by the Siemens AG. The award supports a project on digital twins for fluids. Barbara serves on various technical program and organization committees of major graphics conferences, is appointed as an Associate Editor of Computer Graphics Forum, and is a co-founder of Apagom AG that provides a real-time fluid engine using machine learning.
Nicola Spaldin is the professor of materials theory at ETH Zurich. She developed the class of materials known as multiferroics, which combine simultaneous ferromagnetism and ferroelectricity, for which she received the 2017 L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science award among many other honors. She is a passionate science educator, director of her department’s study program, and holder of the ETH Golden Owl Award for excellence in teaching. When not trying to make a room-temperature superconductor, she can be found playing her clarinet, or skiing or climbing in the Alps.
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. He serves at the Board of London Mayfair Chapter in the UK for 2019-2020 for YPO (Young President Organization) and will serve at the European Executive Board of YPO for 2020-2022. He is also part of Harvard Business School’s President Program (2015-2023) and a Member of Executive Coach International. Gerassimos has served as a Board Member, senior advisor and equity investor in a number of startups in Artificial Intelligence companies and he is a judge at the MITEF (MIT Enterprise Forum) annual start up competition for the past few years. He is a keen motorcyclist, adventurer 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.
Angelika Steger has been Full Professor for Computer Science at the Institute of Theoretical Computer Science at ETH Zurich since October 2003. She completed her doctorate in 1990 at the University of Bonn. She then held positions at the Universities of Kiel, Duisburg and TU München before she became a full professor at the Institute of Theoretical Computer Science at ETH Zürich in October 2003. From 2009 to 2016 she was also a fellow at Collegium Helveticum. Since 2015 she is co-director of the Branco-Weiss Fellowship. From 2005 to 2013 she served on the board of the research council of the Swiss National Science Foundation. 2007 she was elected member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. In 2014, she was invited to give a talk at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul, Korea.
Klaas Enno Stephan (born 1972) is a computational neuroscientist and medical doctor. He is professor at both University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, where he is founder and director of the Translational Neuromodeling Unit (TNU). Additionally, he is Honorary Principal at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, London, and External Scientific Member of the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Cologne. Following a doctoral degree in medicine and a Ph.D. in neuroinformatics, Klaas has been developing mathematical models for inferring neuronal and cognitive processes from measurements of brain activity and behaviour. His goal is to establish “computational assays” that can quantify, in individual patients, the mechanisms that cause mental disorders (e.g., schizophrenia and depression) and aberrant brain-body interactions (e.g., psychosomatic disorders). Such assays could enable objective diagnostics and individualized treatment recommendations, thus leading to a redefinition of mental diseases and a transformation of clinical practice. To achieve this goal, Klaas founded the TNU, the first institution with the explicit mission statement to translate advances in computational neuroscience into diagnostic tools. At the TNU, computer scientists, engineers, psychologists, and clinicians jointly develop mathematical models of brain function and systematically evaluate their diagnostic use for psychiatry and psychosomatics in clinical studies. Klaas was one of the speakers at the 2011 Annual Symposium.
Roman Stocker (born in 1975) is a Professor in the Institute of Environmental Engineering at ETH Zurich and the Chief Scientific Officer of PhAST, a medical diagnostics company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Roman's academic research focuses on environmental processes, particularly in the oceans: from harmful algal blooms, to coral bleaching, to oil spills, to the carbon cycle. Roman has pioneered the use of new technology - microfluidics - to zoom in on the smallest players behind these processes: the microbes. Roman's work has contributed to reveal their importance, frequently appearing in high-profile scientific journals including Science, Nature and PNAS, and being featured in popular media including the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times. At PhAST, Roman is creating new approaches to massively accelerate the diagnostics of infectious diseases, with the goal of fighting one of society's most pressing challenges - the rise of antibiotic resistance. When he is not busy creating new technology to understand or manage microbes, Roman is a keen traveler, enthusiastic scuba-diver, and proud father of two.
Niko Stoifberg is a Swiss author. He made a name for himself with the column «Vermutungen», which featured random speculations on things as diverse as Big Bang theory, Santa Claus and sausage meat. In 2012, a selection of his columns was published as «Das Blaue Büchlein» («The Little Blue Book»). Since 2013, Niko has been publishing essays and cartoons. In 2019 he published his critically acclaimed debut novel «Dort» («There»).
Milena Stojkovic is an Associate Partner at Foster + Partners, a global studio for sustainable architecture, urbanism and design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Her work is focused on developing environmental design responses and sustainable strategies for projects including Apple global flagships, luxury residential towers, airports, healthcare facilities and masterplans for new cities. She holds a PhD in environmental design and is a tutor at the UCL Bartlett MSc Environmental Design and Engineering programme.
Sabine Stoll is Professor at the Department of Comparative Linguistics and director of the Psycholinguistics Laboratory at the University of Zurich. She is the co-founder of the soon to be launched Center on the Interdisciplinary Study of the Evolution of Language (ISLE) at the University of Zurich. Her main research focus is on how children learn their first language. Sabine was awarded many different fellowships to study and conduct her research in many places of the world. After obtaining her PhD in 2002 from the University of California, Berkeley, she worked at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig. Sabine heads an international team of researchers working on language acquisition in different cultures all over the world. In 2014 she received an ERC Consolidator Grant for a project on universal learning strategies in maximally diverse languages.
Marc Strobel joined CVC Capital Partners in 2000. Prior to joining CVC, he worked at Doughty Hanson & Co. in Frankfurt and London. Marc holds an MBA from the Wharton School and a degree in business administration from the European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany.
Thomas Südmeyer is director of the Physics Department at the University of Neuchâtel and serves as National Research Council of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). His research interests are exploring and pushing the frontiers in photonics, metrology, and ultrafast technology. He studied at Leibniz University (Hanover) and ENS (Paris), receiving fellowships of the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and the European Union. In 2011, he was appointed full professor and head of the Time-Frequency Laboratory at the University of Neuchâtel. He has research experience from Strathclyde University (Glasgow), ETH (Zurich), Stanford University (US), and industrial experience from Sony Corporation (Tokyo). Thomas has been coordinator of numerous Swiss and European research projects and was awarded with an ERC Grant. He is author of more than 110 publications in international peer-reviewed journals and holds or has applied for 11 patents. Thomas served the optics community as associate editor for Optics Express and Photonics Technology Letters. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA) and serves in the board of directors of the European Optical Society (EOS).
Bob Sumner (born 1975) is the associate director of Disney Research Zurich (DRZ) and an adjunct professor at ETH. At DRZ, Bob leads the lab’s research on animation and interactive graphics. His research group strives to bypass technical barriers in the animation production pipeline with new algorithms that expand the designer’s creative toolbox in terms of depiction, movement, deformation, stylization, control, and efficiency. Bob received a B.S. (1998) degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2005) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He spent three years as a postdoctoral researcher at ETH before joining Disney. At ETH, Bob teaches a course called the Game Programming Laboratory in which students work in small teams to design and implement novel video games.
Pietro Supino (born 1965) is the Publisher and Chairman of Switzerland's leading private media group. He joined its board as a member in 1991 and was elected Publisher and Chairman in 2007. Under his chairmanship, Tamedia has grown from a Zurich based news-paper company into a national media group, reaching more than 5.4 million persons in Switzerland every day and generating half of its earnings from digital activities. In 2016, Pietro was elected Chairman of the Swiss Media Association, which represents the interests of about 100 publishers. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Columbia School of Journalism, New York, of the Family Business Network Switzerland, of the Foundation for Constructive, Concrete and Conceptual Art in Zurich, and of the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Switzerland. Pietro completed his studies in law and economics with a doctorate from the University of St. Gallen. He has been admitted to the Zurich bar and holds a Master's degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Daniel Surbek (born 1962) is medical doctor and Professor at University of Bern since 14 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 development.
Christoph Sutter is a Member of the Executive Board responsible for renewable energy and M&A at Axpo Power AG.In addition, he is an angel investor and non-executive Board Member of start-up companies in the field of sustainability. Before joining Axpo, he was the CEO of South Pole Group, a company he co-founded in 2006 that is globally active in the area of climate change and sustainability solutions. Prior to that he worked as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Company in Zurich. Christoph is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Schwab Foundation.
Wojciech Szczepaniak (born 1978) is an innovative serial entrepreneur, lawyer and economist. He is the founder of a well-known commercial law firm which provides financial advice and a multi-family office based in Poland. Wojciech is chairman and founder of Sparrowland Capital, an investment fund providing mezzanine financing, joint venture capital and private equity for selected trusted partners. He has been successful in multiple industries including healthcare, professional services, logistics, real estate, FMCG, agriculture and food processing. In his private time, he enjoys outdoor activities, open-water swimming, hiking, road cycling and several competitive individual sporting disciplines. He has completed numerous triathlon races, including Ironman.
Judit Szulagyi is a senior research associate at University of Zurich, working on planet- and satellite-formation. Judit started her career at NASA at age of 21 and completed her PhD in 2015. She was subsequently a post-doctoral fellow at ETH Zurich and she was selected among the Forbes list of "30 under 30 in Science". She then moved with an Ambizione grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation to the University of Zurich, where she continues her research. She is well known for being among the firsts to develop models for the formation of exomoons, namely moons around extrasolar planets, that might be a place where to look for life.
Silvana Tarlea is a postdoctoral researcher in political science at the University of Basel. She was a visiting researcher at the University of Berkeley in California and at the European University Institute in Florence before moving to Basel. Her research focuses on the political economy of education and on the European financial crisis. She got her PhD from Nuffield College, University of Oxford. Aside from work, Silvana is passionate about ashtanga yoga, coffee and chocolate, preferably not all at the same time.
Veronika Tasić Vušurović is a management consultant, trainer and coach. As a consultant, she worked with clients all over Central and Eastern Europe, covering topics of strategy, sales and marketing, and overall business growth. The company she founded, Woozdom, helps individuals and organisations across Europe advance their skills and businesses. Veronika is passionate about creating and performing words, music and movement. Also, she almost shamelessly uses every opportunity to promote the amazing wines from Serbia
Donald Tillman (born in 1966) is Managing Director of the ETH Zurich Foundation, which he joined in 2006. The ETH Zürich Foundation is establishing partnerships with key donors to advance research and teaching at ETH Zurich. Prior to this, he was technology analyst for private equity and listed companies in the field of water at SAM Sustainable Asset Management (today RobeccoSAM) and SAM Private Equity (today Emerald Technology Ventures), and he was instrumental in founding and managing the SAM sustainable water fund. He had previously worked as an environmental engineer at Holinger. He studied rural and environmental engineering at ETH Zurich and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and holds a PhD in the field of water technologies from the Swiss Federal Institute for Aquatic Science and Technology. Donald is also Chairman of the Board of the ETHZF real estate company. He is married, has one child and enjoys playing jazz saxophone.
Fabian Unteregger (born 1977) is an award-winning Swiss comedian, qualified doctor and entrepreneur. Currently one of the most popular comedians in Switzerland, Unteregger has regular appearances on both Swiss national TV and radio and has performed several hundred solo comedy shows to date. His weekly comedy show «Zum Glück ist Freitag» on radio SRF 3 enjoys a broad fan base. In his early days, the European champion in Improv caused quite a stir during Swiss Army basic training as a tank soldier with uncanny impressions of his superiors. Apart from chearing up Swiss army personnel, his idealism also led him to do charity. In 2011 he raised a substantial sum in aid of the Verein ALS Schweiz with his «Weihnachtsvorlesung Medizin» at the University of Zurich, which attracted more than 1,000 spectators. During a hospital stint in South Africa in 2013, he organized and presented a comedy show to raise money for the education of youngsters in townships. Unteregger holds a doctorate in medicine from the University of Basel, and, both, a master in food science and teaching from ETH. In 2016 he co-founded «Swiss Healthcare Startups», an organisation aiming at fostering healthcare startups in Switzerland. The scholarship winner also does research on the human voice and publishes in international journals. A keen aviation enthusiast, Fabian also enjoys playing music and can never resist a swim in the Lake of Zurich.
Angelo C. van Tol (born 1966) is CEO of the Diethelm Keller Group in Zurich since 2013. He became also executive member of the board of directors in several companies of the Diethelm Keller Holding Ltd., a family holding company and anchor shareholder of DKSH. Angelo started his entrepreneurial career in 1985 and founded his first textile and jewelry trading company, Vivax Ltd., in Asia at the age of 19. In 1990 he opened his first furniture production business in India and Indonesia and in 1998 he founded VANTOL Invest & Consulting, a company specialized in investing and supporting small- and medium-sized businesses and young entrepreneurs in Asia and Europe. He has dedicated his entire life to be successful by helping others to be successful, and he is strongly committed to supporting diverse projects for children suffering from cancer through active engagements in several foundations.
Ognjen Varađanin (born in 1995) is Junior Consultant specialized in Social Media at the Serbia Creates platform in the Office of the Prime Minister of Serbia. From the age of 16, when he had his first online business, he is working in the field of Social Media. His key interests are Sociology of politics, the Culture of capitalism and Cultural diplomacy.
Effy Vayena is a Full Professor of Bioethics at ETH Zurich. She studied medical history and bioethics at the University of Minnesota (U.S.A.) and completed her habilitation in bioethics and health policy at the University of Zurich. From 2000 to 2007, she worked at the World Health Organization (WHO), focusing on ethical and policy issues relating to reproductive health, and assisted reproduction as well as on health research ethics. She remains at consultant to WHO and is visiting faculty at the Harvard Center for Bioethics, Harvard Medical School and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. In 2015, she was named a Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) professor of health policy and led the newly-established Health Ethics and Policy Lab in the Department of Public Health at the EBPI, University of Zurich. Her research focus there was on ethical and policy questions in personalized medicine and digital health. At the intersection of multiple fields, she relies on normative analyses and empirical methods to explore how values such as freedom of choice, participation, and privacy are affected by recent developments in personalized medicine and in digital health. She is particularly interested in the issues of ethical oversight of research uses of big data, ethical uses of big data for global health, as well as the ethics of citizen science. Using the ethics lens in innovative ways, her work aims to provide concrete policy recommendations and frameworks that facilitate the use of new technologies for a better and more just health. She has published widely in major journals in medicine, public health, health policy and ethics (“Lancet,” “Science Translational Medicine,” “PLoS Medicine,” “Journal of Medical Ethics”). Her research has been featured is several media outlets including the “Wall Street Journal,” “Neue Zürcher Zeitung,” and “The Scientist.”
Alberto Venzago is known as one of the most important Swiss photo journalist. The winner of the 'Robert Capa Award' has been working for globally renowned news magazines such as Stern, Sunday Time Magazine and Life, for more than forty years. Alberto moves effortlessly between film and photography, art and commerce, and has no reservations. He has also worked as a filmmaker for about twenty years. As a cameraman, for example, Alberto has lent his signature style to various productions, such as "Trip to Asia" (2007), a road movie with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Alberto's latest film, "Gergiev—A Certain Madness," documents the Mariinsky Orchestra's 2010 and 2011 tour under the conductor Valery Gergiev on the Trans-Siberian Railway. "Gergiev" has premiered in 2013 on the Zurich Film Festival. Since 2014, Alberto works with his partner Julia Fokina on a XXX large book about erotic fantasies. The exhibition premiered at ArtMiami 2017. In 2018/19 Venzago gives the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich TOZ a new image with his black and white photographs.
Bojana Visekruna serves as Junior Advisor for Digital and Creative Industries, Film and Tourism at the Office of the Prime Minister. She has professional experience in event management, media and PR, working as Speaker Liaison for TEDxVienna and PR and Event Manager at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade. Bojana is a PhD candidate in Philosophy at the University Belgrade and her research interest is in the area of applied ethics. She organizes and runs philosophical workshops on different topics. Bojana is passionate about acquiring new knowledge. She is driven by a belief in the ability and willingness of people to change.
Viola Vogel (born in Tübingen, Germany) is a professor of applied mechanobiology in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH. She has conducted pioneering work in the field of bionanotechnology and mechanobiology. Since so many diseases are associated with mechanical over- or understimulation, she deciphers the nanoscale machineries that bacteria and cells utilize to sense mechanical forces and translate them into biochemical signals that change their functions. Applications are in stem cell differentiation, cancer, tissue engineering, the development of a new generation of drugs that target non-equilibrium protein structures, and new methods of preventing bacterial infections since many bacteria exploit mechano-regulated adhesion molecules. Her work was internationally recognized by numerous awards, major lectureships, services for international organizations (Human Frontiers Science Program, British Marshall Fund, Humboldt Foundation), the U.S. government (including the National Research Council and NASA), the German government, scientific advisory boards (Switzerland, Germany, France, U.S.A., Singapore, U.K.), and by memberships on editorial boards. She is a member of the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum and serves on the Jury for the Queen of Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. Viola enjoys exploring other cultures, international science policy, as well as photography, painting, skiing, and hiking.
Meike Vogt is a senior researcher in the Environmental Physics Group at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in Switzerland. Meike received her diploma in theoretical particle physics from the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, and completed her Ph.D. in environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena. She is a marine biogeochemist with a particular interest in the characterization and functioning of lower trophic level ocean ecosystems, in the response of marine ecosystems to climate change, and the feedback of marine ecosystems to global biogeochemical cycles and climate. In her spare time, she enjoys reading a good book and roaming the Swiss forests on the back of one of her horses.
Julia Vorholt (born in 1969) is a Professor of Microbiology at ETH Zurich. She studied in Bonn and Marburg, did her PhD thesis at the MPI Marburg and a postdoc at the University of Washington in Seattle. She then led a group at the CNRS in Toulouse for five years. Since 2006 she enjoys living in Zurich with her family. Julia has broad interests in microbiology and beyond. She started out from the ancient biochemistry of methane-forming archaea and then turned to aerobic methane and methanol utilizing bacteria. She pioneered the use of synthetic bacterial communities for plant microbiome research to improve our understanding in plant microbe interactions. Julia also develops tools to inject into and extract from single cells to address fundamental questions in biology using fluidic force microscopy (FluidFM), a modified atomic force microscope. She is a member of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
Axel Wachholz is the Group Chief Financial Officer of Phoenix Contact, a leading electronics and automation firm with sales of € 2.2 bn and 16,500 employees. Phoenix Contact was founded in 1923 and is family-owned. After his studies in mechanical engineering, Axel started his professional career in the metals processing industry, followed by several years in a renowned consultancy firm. During this time he managed multiple strategy, operational excellence and financial advisory projects in privately held as well as in stock-listed companies. In 2005, he took over a senior financial management position in the automotive industry with assignments in Europe, the U.S.A. and China. In 2011, Axel became the CFO of a leading sanitary goods company and assumed duties for finance, controlling, M&A, business administration, IT and family affairs. In 2018, he was appointed CFO of Phoenix Contact. From 2004 onwards, Axel was ranked in the Capital "40 under 40" list, a German ranking of above average noticeable and well-positioned managers who are thought to have a high impact on tomorrow's business world and changing perspectives. He has a proven track record as a skilled performance architect and change agent. Axel has a positive "can do" attitude and is a passionate tennis player, cyclist and skier. He is married with two children.
Andreas Wallraff is a professor of physics at ETH Zurich since 2006. He and his team develop novel technologies to improve the power of computers and communication systems by exploiting the laws of quantum physics. In those systems, instead of storing information in conventional bits (which only take on values either 0 or 1 at a time), they create quantum bits (qubits) which can be in the state 0 and 1 simultaneously. This feature enables the storage of information in a register of qubits which is exponentially more efficient than a register of classical bits. Processing the information stored in such a register using a quantum computer allows to efficiently solve the most complex problems ranging from determining the properties of large molecules and finding the best solution to optimization problems, to breaking cryptographic codes. Pursuing these goals, Andreas and colleagues were the first to develop electronic circuits in which information is processed by exchanging individual quanta of microwave radiation (photons) between information storage elements (qubits). This approach is now widely recognized as essential in the realization of future quantum information processors which is not only pursued by academic labs around the world but also by IBM, Raytheon, and Google. At ETH Zurich, Andreas promotes the Quantum Engineering Initiative in which commercial applications of quantum technologies are to be developed by joining the efforts of engineers and applied and basics scientists. Andreas studied physics at RWTH Aachen, Imperial College London, and University Erlangen-Nuremberg. He was a research scientist at Yale University. He received both the prestigious Starting and an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) and was recognized by ETH Zurich with the Max Roessler Prize. In his spare time, Andreas is an avid ice hockey player and skier.
Alex Wassmer (born 1969) is owner, chairman, and CEO 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. Alex holds a law degree from the University of Bern. He is Chairman of the board of WORLD.MINDS.
Eilika Weber-Ban (born in 1968) is a Professor at the Institute for Molecular Biology & Biophysics of the ETH Zurich. With her research group she investigates how the essential balance of proteins in mycobacteria is maintained and adapted and how these pathways are controlled. Eilika studied Biochemistry in Germany and has obtained her doctoral degree and professional training in the United States. Aside from a demanding schedule as a scientist, she loves to spend time with her husband and two sons (born 2000 and 2003) who keep her sane and drive her crazy in equal measures.
Esther Wehrle is a Postdoc at the Institute for Biomechanics at ETH Zurich interested in the mechano-molecular regulation of fracture healing. Her background is in veterinary medicine (LMU Munich) and biomedical engineering (TU Munich). After working in a referral clinic for small animals in the UK, she returned to academia, where she focused on molecular biological methods and bone fracture healing during doctoral projects in Munich and Ulm. In 2014, she joined the Institute for Biomechanics at ETHZ and obtained an ETH postdoc fellowship to study the mechano-molecular regulation of fracture healing (2016-2017). Currently, she is continuing the work on fracture healing, and is also involved in an ERC project dealing with the mechanomics of bone adaptation in aging, aiming to develop new and optimize current intervention therapies for osteoporosis and fracture healing.
Thomas Wellauer is group chief operating officer of Swiss Re. He started his career as a senior partner at McKinsey. In 1997, he was named CEO of Winterthur Insurance, which was later acquired by Credit Suisse. At Credit Suisse, he was a member of the group executive board with responsibility for the insurance, retail banking and private banking businesses. After three years at Clariant, where he headed the global turnaround project, he joined Novartis as head of corporate affairs and member of its group executive committee. He also served on the boards of Syngenta and Munich Re. Thomas holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and a degree in business economics. He currently is the chairman of the Swiss chapter and a member of the global executive board of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). Besides his business career, Thomas is a passionate traveler.
Marc Werner (born 1967) is a member of the board of Swisscom, responsible for the Consumer Business, which includes about half of the total Swisscom turnover (CHF10 billion). In 1999, he started in an internet start-up called “the blue window” (bluewin), and a few years later the start-up was the market leader in internet access; a couple of years later (now as part of Swisscom) it had also become the market leader in IPTV. In the past few years, Marc was involved in several start-ups and is still a member of the board or chairman of several of them, such as Net-Metrix (Internet User Research), Wingo (Low Cost Telco Business), Siroop (Market Place), or Mila (Collaborative Economy). He is also a member of the board of two established companies which are going through a digital transformation right know, namely Cinetrade and Local/Search. He is passionate about sports and is a multiple Ironman (triathlon) finisher. Marc will start on April 1 2000 as CEO of Galenica AG
Philipp Wetzel is Managing Director of AMAG Innovation & Venture LAB, a recently founded subsidiary of AMAG Import AG, where he was formerly the Group’s CMO and CDO. In his current role, Philipp manages a portfolio of technology-led ventures within the mobility ecosystem. He is passionate about working with entrepreneurs to help them deliver their visions in co-operation with established businesses and considers building robust partnerships between the two as a key ingredient for success. Philipp holds a Masters Degree in civil engineering from the ETH Zürich and obtained an executive MBA from Zürich and Boston. Following a stint as Civil Engineer, he started his marketing career in the FMCG sector before moving on to the automotive industry. In his spare time, Philipp enjoys participating in all kinds of outdoor activities with his family and friends.
Urs Wietlisbach co-founded Partners Group in 1996. He is an executive member of Partners Group Holding’s board of directors and chairman of the Markets Committee, based in Zug. He has 24 years of industry experience. Prior to founding Partners Group, he worked at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).
Lukas Winkler (born 1962) is CEO of INFICON Holding AG in Bad Ragaz, a position which he has held since 2004. INFICON is a spin-off of the former Oerlikon/Unaxis group and went public in November 2000 on the Swiss Stock Exchange. Before becoming CEO, Lukas held several management positions within the Oerlikon/Unaxis’ vacuum technology businesses, starting in 1993 as Logistics Manager. He first job was with General Motors Europa AG in Glattbrugg, after which he worked as a SAP project manager at Maschinenfabrik Rieter AG in Winterthur. He has a masters degree in engineering from ETH Zurich and an Executive MBA from Syracuse University.
Christof Wolfisberg (born in 1976) and Jonas Anderhub (born in 1976) are OHNE ROLF. They are virtuosos of printed improvisation. With their absurd and ingenious play on words, they move somewhere between theater, comedy, and animated comic strip. In 1999, they tried out their poster idea for the first time. With deadpan faces they placed themselves in a crowded street holding up a poster saying: “There is nothing to be seen here.” Passers-by were puzzled. Was there really nothing to be seen? Another poster had the answer: “Move on, there is really nothing to be seen!” Over the last 15 years, OHNE ROLF have been performing their programs on many stages and in many TV shows in German, French, English, and Chinese. OHNE ROLF are winners of diverse theater awards.
Mathias Worni (born in 1978) is a surgical oncologist working at the University Clinic of Bern, Inselspital, Switzerland. He received his surgical training in Bern and Biel in Switzerland and completed a competitive hepato-pancreato-biliary/surgical oncology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center in the US. Aside, he finished a rigorous academic training in clinical research leading to a Master of Health Sciences in Clinical Research awarded by the Duke School of Medicine. As a clinician scientist, he has several ongoing research grants in the field of pancreatic cancer research aiming to advance innovative ideas through interdisciplinary collaboration to improve patient’s dismal prospects.
Peter Wuffli (born in 1957) is founder and chairman of elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization. elea was established in 2006 with the purpose to fight absolute poverty (i.e. less than USD 3 daily income) with entrepreneurial means. elea is a philanthropic impact investor in agricultural value chains, informal retail and last mile distribution, employable skill building and digital solutions. In addition, Peter is honorary chairman of IMD (a global top ranked Business School in Lausanne-Switzerland) and a member of the advisory board of the elea Center for Social Innovation at IMD. He also serves on the board of Sygnum, a digital asset bank in Zürich and Singapore, and he is the vice chairman of the Zurich Opera House. Previously Peter was partner at McKinsey & Company, CEO of UBS Group, and chairman of Partnersgroup (a global leader for private market investments listed at Zürich Stock Exchange) resp. of IMD. Peter has a Ph.D. in economics from University of St. Gallen. He regularly publishes articles and books on themes of globalization, ethics, Impact investing and leadership (most recently: Inclusive Leadership - a Framework for the Global Era, Springer 2016). He is married and has three children.
André Wyss is CEO of Implenia - Switzerland’s leading construction and construction services company with also strong positions in the German, French, Austrian, Swedish and Norwegian markets. Before joining Implenia in October 2018, André worked for more than 30 years in various roles and on all five continents for pharmaceuticals company Novartis. He started his career as a chemistry apprentice and rose up through various positions to the Executive Committee. Among his jobs at Novartis, André was Chief Financial Officer for Research and Development, Head of Pharmaceutical Production in Europe, and head of various national and regional organizations, including for the company’s biggest market, the USA. In his most recent role at Novartis, as President of Novartis Operations, he was in charge of all manufacturing as well as central corporate services such as real estate and infrastructure, IT, procurement, HR, accounting and corporate affairs. He was responsible for almost 40,000 people worldwide. Parallel to this, he was Country President for Novartis in Switzerland. André has a degree in economics from the School of Economics and Business Administration (HWV) in Switzerland.
Kai Zacharowski is the chair of Anaesthesiology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Hospital of Frankfurt and a leading expert in inflammation and sepsis.
Marcy Zenobi-Wong is an Associate Professor of Tissue Engineering and Biofabrication at ETH Zurich. She has led a FIFA-sponsored research team on Cartilage Engineering + Regeneration at ETH Zurich. She uses advanced manufacturing methods including bioprinting to produce patient-specific living grafts for use in orthopaedic and reconstructive surgery. Her research team has founded the company CellSpring, which develops 3D microtissues for drug screening. Besides work and taking care of her four children, Marcy's hobbies include oil painting and 3D printing art sculptures.
Yves Zischek (born 1975) is Program Manager of SmartRail 4.0 for the digitalization of train services in Switzerland and member of the advisory board of Quinx AG. He has been working at SBB (Swiss Railway Services) since 2013, formerly as Head of Telecommunication in the Infrastructure Department. Yves has a master's degree from Strathclyde University of Glasgow and a Master of Arts from the University of Zurich. He has 20 years of experience in Telecommunication and IT and lives in Zurich with his wife and two children. He is fluent in speaking German, English, French and is working on his Italian and Hungarian language skills. He and his family love to travel around the globe and spending time with friends, he likes to climb, ski, swim and run, especially with his kids, and has a huge passion for books, music, vinyl, wine and cigars. He has a talent for impersonation and comedy.
Markus Zürcher (born 1961) studied Swiss history, economy, and sociology at the University of Bern and, as a visiting student, at the University of Lancaster. He worked both as auxiliary assistant and as assistant at the Institute of Sociology of the University of Bern. In 1994, Markus was promoted under Prof. C. Honegger. Since 1995 he has been working at the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHSS), where he has been the secretary general since 2002. In November 2006, he held the chair of the board of directors of the newly founded Academies of Arts and Sciences Switzerland until 2016. In 1999, Markus finished his postdoc study as a Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) at the Institut de hautes études en administration publique (IDHEAP) in Lausanne. From 2000 to 2010, he held various assignments as lecturer in sociology and in history of social sciences at the universities of Fribourg and Bern. At the PHW Bern, he teaches Scientific Methods. Topics such as science studies, research politics, social politics, public management and aging society are within his field of interest.