As the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights opens on Friday in Geneva, Martina Fuchs speaks to its director, Isabelle Gattiker. As a co-founder of the festival, Gattiker describes the event as a "hopeful" one, where participants are agents of change as they interact with activists and actors. The festival's 16th edition will include Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
“What we’re really concerned about from a sustainability point of view is longevity,” says Martine Ferland, president and CEO at Mercer. From health issues and ageism to finances and retirement, Ferland looks at how we as a society need to adapt our mindsets, and our way of working, in order to prepare for dealing with a longer life.
“The biggest risks are popular risks,” says Jean-Pierre Danthine, who warns that a lack of education on the development of the economy and technology can lead to “very negative popular decisions.” Enter the Enterprise for Society Center (E4S), a joint initiative from IMD, EPFL, and UNIL, which looks to link sustainability and business education. In part four, Danthine, who will lead the venture as managing director, says he hopes this will “have an impact on how society is evolving.”
The SNB built an unusually large balance sheet in efforts to rein in the Swiss franc, sparking debate as to what to do with its portfolio. In part three, Jean-Pierre Danthine is skeptical about the sovereign wealth fund option and asks, “What would we do with a sovereign wealth fund that the Swiss National Bank is not already doing today?”
While Swiss banks and pension funds scream about the cost of negative interest rates, ex-Swiss National Bank board member Jean-Pierre Danthine views it quite differently. In part two, he addresses the impact of negative rates and the role the SNB should play in alleviating fallout.
In his years as a Swiss National Bank board member, Jean-Pierre Danthine was restricted in commenting on the bank’s strategy. Danthine, who retired from his post in 2015, now has plenty to say about Switzerland’s central bank. In part one, the EPFL professor talks tactics when it comes to the SNB’s balance sheet and sharing profits. “Real profits will be distributed to the people,” Danthine says. “The real question is when or how.”
EPFL’s Marcel Salathé founded crowdsourcing platform AIcrowd to help further AI, but also to benchmark its development, something he says is key to alleviating the so-called black box issue, or lack of knowledge and visibility. In part two, Salathé addresses the darker side of AI and points out why Geneva has “an important role to play” in the evolution of this field.
Whistle-blower Edward Snowden is on the speaker roster for EPFL’s upcoming Applied Machine Learning Days conference in Lausanne. One of the event’s organizers, associate professor Marcel Salathé, explains the decision and encourages the sharing of knowledge and access to machine learning, which, he says, is a “transformational, once in a lifetime technology.”
The climate change threat is real and yet while lessons are being learned here on Earth, the same mistakes are being made up in space, warns Susmita Mohanty. The space entrepreneur’s start-up, Earth2Orbit, aims to push the “Greta generation” to move past climate strikes. “I want the Gretas of the world to not only demand action but also be participants in that action,” Mohanty says.
Indian space entrepreneur Susmita Mohanty is hesitant to be grouped with the Musks and Bransons of the world. “I’m more of a ‘passion-preneur’ than an entrepreneur because I’m not profit driven,” she says. When learning of an ETH Zurich idea to increase the number of low satellites with its “Internet from Space” proposal, Mohanty’s first reaction is “we’re in trouble.”
While some in the watch industry are concerned about pressure being put on suppliers, Bulgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin has several approaches to making sure that doesn’t happen at his company. In the final part, Babin talks about being a fair partner to watch suppliers and gets personal about his career and his achievements.
Unhappy with SIHH and Baselworld’s coordinated decision to move their watch fairs later in the year, Bulgari, together with other LVMH watch brands, will hold an event of their own in Dubai in January 2020. In part three, Jean-Christophe Babin talks about what’s behind the decision, and says that while Bulgari will be at Baselworld next year, he puts a “big question mark” on a return beyond 2020.
Just months after the implosion of WeWork, the Chinese co-working company Ucommune is gearing up to go public on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will need to make a convincing case that it has a road map for turning a “business model into a profit zone,” says Wolfgang Ulaga, a professor of marketing at INSEAD.
LVMH surprised many with its record-breaking USD 16.2 billion purchase of Tiffany & Co. last month. However, Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of LVMH-owned luxury jewelry brand Bulgari, is not quite as surprised by the move and lends it in part to his company’s success. In part two, Babin addresses the acquisition and compares what the two jewelry brands bring to the portfolio.
Fresh off of Bulgari’s big night at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève last month, CEO Jean-Christophe Babin is not letting the yellow vests movement in France or the Hong Kong protests dampen the shine of this year. “We will achieve our best year in history,” says Babin, who stresses his personal goal to make the Italian jewelry brand number one in the world.