How Europe can counter China on artificial intelligenceHow Europe can counter China on artificial intelligenceHow Europe can counter China on artificial intelligence
China may have unlimited access to its own data, but according to Jürgen Schmidhuber, scientific director of Swiss AI Lab IDSIA, Europe has the ammo to compete. The solution? Basic economics: Create, for instance, a healthcare market where every patient can become a micro-entrepreneur of their own data.
Ana Maria Montero
Putting first espresso machine in space among Lavazza’s high points
What does it take to put an espresso machine into space? Lots of time and lots of money says, says Lavazza’s vice chairman Giuseppe Lavazza, as he describes this high point in the history of his family’s 124-year-old company. He also tells us how the project to give astronauts a coffee break to remember came about.
Ana Maria Montero
How long before Asian market gets served by coffee maker Lavazza?
Lavazza is interested in the Asian market, but according to our Newsmaker, countries such as China and Japan aren’t a priority. Vice chairman Giuseppe Lavazza explains why a very specific business model is needed so the coffee maker can be ambitious, but pragmatic, about the way forward.
Ana Maria Montero
Lavazza’s “small ambition” to stand up to Nestlé on its home turf
Lavazza wants to make a dent in Switzerland’s coffee market, which is dominated by the likes of Swiss food giant Nestlé. But vice chairman Giuseppe Lavazza is undeterred by the task at hand, hoping to play on the Italian company’s long history and idea of quality. “There’s always more to taste,” he says teasingly.
Ana Maria Montero
Lavazza: We’re on track for 2 billion euros in annual revenue by 2021
When Lavazza restructured in 2010, the Italian coffee giant eventually doubled, according to vice chairman Guiseppe Lavazza. And thanks to the acquisition of Mars Drinks in 2018, he says the company is now well on track to achieve its goal of 2 billion euros in annual revenue by the year 2021. At last week’s Zermatt Summit, Lavazza says his brand is adjusting to Switzerland’s highly-competitive market.
Ana Maria Montero
India has no love for China’s Belt and Road Initiative
While many countries—including Switzerland—continue to show support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, others remain skeptical. “India has a clear view that that’s not a good idea,” says Hero Enterprise Chairman Sunil Munjal, who explains that his country feels the initiative will benefit China alone.
Ana Maria Montero
Hero Enterprise’s Munjal: Tiger Woods “was worth taking the gamble on”
Sunil Kant Munjal, chairman of Hero Enterprise, acknowledges that bringing on Tiger Woods as brand ambassador when he was at a career low point in 2014 meant taking a huge risk but says it “was worth taking the gamble on”. Munjal weighs the financial impact of brand ambassadors and also discusses why he stepped down as managing director of Hero MotoCorp, one of the world’s largest motorcycle companies, in 2016.
Ana Maria Montero
How this urban visionary has been frustrated by a lack of funding
Alfredo Brillembourg, the co-founder of Urban-Think Tank, is on a mission to build more equitable cities so people from all income levels can flourish. But as the architect and academic looks back on his high-profile career in Switzerland and around the world, he says that a lack of funding is his biggest regret.
Ana Maria Montero
How the “Empower Shack” is helping South Africa’s poor
South Africa’s poorest are using a smart city approach to build their own so-called “Empower Shacks” on squatted land. Alfredo Brillembourg, co-founder of Urban-Think Tank, says the initiative with ETH Zurich means locals use data and modeling to create tailor-made social housing.
Ana Maria Montero
What should Switzerland’s smart cities of the future focus on?
Building smart cities shouldn’t just be about technology but also creating a diverse society where young people and immigrants can afford to live and work. That’s the view of Alfredo Brillembourg, the chair of architecture and urban design at ETH Zurich, who thinks diversity is key to a smarter future.
Ana Maria Montero
A utopia for all? Or just the rich? Smart cities debated on Digital Day
Smart cities should be about doing good, not just about making the lives of the world’s richest easier. Alfredo Brillembourg, chair of architecture and urban design at ETH Zurich, warns there’s a danger that only developed nations can afford to live in connected spaces.
Ana Maria Montero
IKEA’s Scarpaleggia: “Growth is one thing and greed is another”
Simona Scarpaleggia boils down the 2008 financial crisis to two very distinct issues: too much of a reliance on the financial economy as opposed to the real economy and decisions made out of greed. In part four of our interview, the IKEA Switzerland CEO also talks about making big decisions, hard lessons learned, and about what pushed her to write her new book, “The Other Half.”
Ana Maria Montero
IKEA Switzerland’s “Chief of Sleep”: gimmick or legitimate job?
IKEA Switzerland’s “Chief of Sleep” will travel to their stores around the world as an ambassador, looking to instill the importance of sleep to all employees. Outgoing CEO Simona Scarpaleggia says the new role is more than just a gimmick, though its creation has certainly garnered plenty of attention. In part three of our Newsmaker interview, she digs into the role’s significance and also imparts some wisdom for the incoming CEO.
Ana Maria Montero
IKEA Switzerland CEO: Limiting free movement of goods, people is “dangerous”
A political system that allows for goods and labor force to circulate freely over borders is a must, says Simona Scarpaleggia, IKEA Switzerland’s outgoing CEO, and one, she adds, that has allowed Europe to thrive. Switzerland not reaching a framework agreement with the EU would be especially detrimental now when all industries—and not just retail—are being disrupted by digitalization.
Ana Maria Montero
Simona Scarpaleggia on IKEA: “It’s not farewell forever”
After nearly a decade as CEO of IKEA Switzerland, Simona Scarpaleggia will be stepping down and taking on a new role within the company. In her first broadcast interview since the announcement, we dive into what’s behind the transition and look at the latest retail figures, which she claims are “extraordinary.”

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