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BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Our partners’ breakout sessions are a success because they foster active dialogue between delegates and speakers. Benefit from cutting-edge insight and experts’ personal opinions while furthering your own education in a target-oriented manner.

Disruption or evolution? Why successful companies continuously reinvent themselves.

Digitalisation, industry 4.0, blockchain – newspapers are full of these topics and you would be forgiven for thinking that we will all be living in the cloud as early as tomorrow. We will be speaking to entrepreneurs who have taken new paths in the face of digitalisation. About blockchain and why it paves the way into the future for Swiss SMEs in particular. And about how Swiss companies succeed in overcoming obstacles again and again, emerging from crises stronger than they were before.

Axel P. Lehmann, Chairman of UBS Switzerland and a member of UBS’s Group Executive Board.

Hans Hess, President of Swissmem and Vice-President of economiesuisse
Hans Hess is a former CEO and current Executive Board member of Swiss industrial companies. Since 2010 he has been President of Swissmem, the largest Swiss industrial association, and Vice-President of the business umbrella association economiesuisse. “The ability to reinvent yourself constantly is what makes Swiss SMEs so successful and helps them emerge even stronger from setbacks like the franc shock.”

Marco Arrigoni, CEO Biella-Neher Holding AG

Tamara Sedmak, Moderation
Tamara Sedmak is a prominent journalist, event and TV moderator in Switzerland, Germany and the USA. She speaks six languages fluently, and holds a master’s degree from Zurich University in communications, business administration and neuropsychology.



Get to work, generation Z!

Hello from the other side of the generation gap: In-keeping with the 2018 SEF key-note theme, those individuals who are helping to shape the digital revolution in the workplace and will bring it to life are invited to speak at the Breakout Session. Special award winners recognised by the national competition “Swiss Youth in Science” will be presenting their findings on striking the balance between humans and machines. Speaking to them will reveal fresh perspectives on the digital ecosystems of tomorrow.

Julie Fitzgerald, member of PwC Switzerland’s Management Board and PwC’s Global Leadership Team



Selected “Swiss Youth in Science” participants

Julian Thorner, SRF host



Hello from the other side – nǐ hǎo from China!

No other country is as advanced in terms of digitalisation as China. Chinese innovative power is tremendous. The smart phone has replaced the wallet in China. Hangzhou will soon be the world’s first cashless city. Yinchuan is a pioneer in the smart city sector, and bike sharing is a nationwide feature. Chinese online retailer Alibaba dispatches more goods than Amazon and Ebay put together, and 12,000 start-ups are founded every day in China. Anyone looking for new trends is well advised to look to Asia.

Besides its outpost in the USA, Swisscom opened an outpost in Shanghai in 2018, to be close to the current trends in innovation. Naturally, not everything that works in China also works in Switzerland. But it’s important to keep an eye out, to draw inspiration from Chinese innovative power and to decide which trends are also relevant for European companies. Together with Yanqing Wyrsch, head of Swisscom Outpost China, and Urs Lehner, head of Swisscom Enterprise Customers, we take a look at the current digitalisation trends in China. Which movements do we really not want to ignore? What can we learn from Chinese innovative strength? These are questions they will be discussing.

Urs Lehner, member of the Group Executive Board and Head of Swisscom Enterprise Customers
Urs Lehner is a member of the Group Executive Board and Head of Swisscom Enterprise Customers, which handles Swisscom’s major corporate customers. Besides its traditional core business, Enterprise Customers offers new digital solutions, such as cloud, digitalisation of business processes or Artificial Intelligence, and supports companies in their digital transformation.

Yanqing Wyrsch, Head of Swisscom Outpost China
Yanqing Wyrsch heads Swisscom Outpost China in Shanghai. She visits startups, explores new technology and consumption trends, maintains contact with local authorities, and accompanies and supports Swiss visitors on their business trips in China. She acts as a cultural intermediary, including translating the typical Chinese unspoken messages.

Manuela Staub, Joint Head of Campaigning & Consulting Swisscom
Manuela Stab is Joint Head of the Campaigning & Consulting department in Swisscom’s corporate communications. The experienced moderator is a graduate in Business Economics (FH) and holds an Executive Master of Science in Communications Management.



More than Bitcoin: blockchain at work

Let’s be honest: an awful lot is still managed and tracked on paper or manually in Excel spreadsheets. Blockchain is the next revolution, or as IBM CEO Ginni Rometty puts it: “What the internet did for communications, blockchain will do for trusted transactions.” Blockchain technology helps digitalise anything that has value, which makes it much more efficient and transparent for exchanging in a network of business partners, without a central control point. This opens up enormous potential for business, from finance through insurance to logistics, food safety, public administration and much, much more. We are interested in the session on how blockchain technology can help companies in Switzerland in the widest range of industries process transactions more efficiently and securely.

Christian Keller, Chairman of the Executive board, IBM Switzerland
Christian Keller has been Chairman of the IBM Switzerland Executive board since January 2018. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of IBM Switzerland and a member of the worldwide IBM Senior Leadership Team. In 2017 he was General Manager for Financial Services & Industry Platforms in Europe. From 2014 to 2017, he was General Manager of IBM Deutschland GmbH and in this role responsible for the IBM Global Technology Services (GTS) sector. Christian Keller holds a Master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) and received a PhD in business administration from the same university.

Oliver Gahr, Programme Director, Client Innovation & Emerging Technology, IBM
Oliver Gahr has worked at IBM Germany and IBM Research & Development since 1998. He focuses on emerging technologies such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and cognitive solutions. His projects range from early adopter concepts and testing to productive use of new technologies. He has a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and product management.

Raphael Gübelin, President & Member of the Board, Gübelin
Since 2007 Raphael Gübelin hast been active with the House of Gübelin, which his family founded 1854. In 2011 he assumed management of the Swiss company from his father, Thomas Gübelin. Since then, he has opened gemological laboratories in Hong Kong (2010) and New York (2017), started the Gübelin Academy (2013) and opened the Private Salon in Hong Kong (2013). In 2015 he launched Gübelin Jewellery and presented the firm’s Deeply Inspired philosophy. Innovation, transparency (Provenance Proof), digitalization (e-boutique) and internationalization are among hin guiding principles.

Karin Frei Moderator
The journalist and moderator Karin Frei has had a long career at SRF. She started at Radio DRS3 and then later moved to DRS1. She was host for the show “Persönlich” and was producer of the in-depth news programme “Doppelpunkt”. After switching to TV, she hosted and moderated the SRF programme “Club” for six years. She studied European Ethnology, Social and Economic History and International Law at the University of Zurich. She currently works for the science programme “Einstein”. Karin Frei lives with her daughter in Zurich.



Zurich Formula E: Lift-off for e-mobility

Switzerland’s ban on circuit racing will be lifted for the first time in 60 years for a new propulsion technology – the Zurich Formula E première on 9-10 June –. For some, motor sports are a show, for others they’re the testing place for series production. What is Formula E for electromobility, a spectacle, or a door opener? If we believe the announcements by the automotive manufacturers, the future belongs to electromobility. But there are also critical voices who doubt this, and are convinced that internal combustion engines still have great potential. One reason is that a completely new infrastructure needs to be built for e-automobiles, and enough electricity must be available. What does the ideal infrastructure look like, and what are the new business models? Who will pay for it, and what role does the state play in all this? An expert panel with Enrique Bañuelos, founder of the FIA Formula E series, discusses this on the day before the Swiss racing première.

Morten Hannesbo, CEO AMAG Group AG
Morten Hannesbo joined AMAG in 2007, first as Managing Director of AMAG Import and as CEO since 2009. He has acquired many years’ experience at various automotive manufacturers in different functions and countries. For AMAG, electromobility is an opportunity, but also means modifying its current field of business, with the associated challenges.

Christoph Lauterwasser, Managing Director, Allianz Zentrum für Technik AZT
Dr Christoph Lauterwasser studied physics at the universities of Freiburg and Massachusetts before gaining a doctorate at the Technical University of Munich. He has been Managing Director of Allianz Zentrum für Technik AZT since 2007. AZT is the competence centre at Allianz for automotive technology, damage prevention and road traffic safety, where answers are found to all kinds of questions relating to mobility.

Enrique Bañuelos, Formula E founder and entrepreneur
Enrique Bañuelos and his company QEV were commissioned in 2012 by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) to organise the Formula E World Championship. Advancing from this milestone, QEV has developed into a global player specialising in electromobility, and is active in the three divisions QEV Tech, QEV Institute and QEV EV Infrastructure, which focuses on quick charging stations.

Christine Maier, Moderation
Christine Maier is an international journalist and moderator. She has worked for various TV stations since 1986, but mainly for Swiss Television, where (among other positions) she headed and moderated the discussion programme “Club” for ten years, and was the news anchor for “10vor10”. From November 2013 to May 2016 she was the editor-in-chief of the biggest Swiss Sunday newspaper, “Sonntagsblick”. In October 2016 she founded “Christine Maier Kommunikation GmbH”. She advises CEOs, Board of Management members, top managers




Africa: Business opportunities for the Swiss economy?

Africa is known as the continent of hope. It’s natural resources and very young population could make it one of the richest continents in the world. According to the United Nations, a quarter of the world’s population will live in Africa by 2050. The need for investment is huge. Yet, when we think of Africa, we think primarily of refugees, maladministration and crises. Might Swiss companies have the opportunity to gain a foothold on this enormous continent? What are the economic prospects?

Tobias Becker, Head of Global Government Relations, ABB Ltd.
Mr. Becker joined ABB in 1998. He headed the Global Marketing & Sales for the power related businesses, before becoming Head of Corporate Strategy in 2007. He then ran the Process Automation Business of ABB in North Asia, out of Shanghai. After 4 years as Global Head of the Control Technology business, Mr. Becker was appointed by the CEO of ABB as Director Africa in January 2015. His task was to step change ABB’s business and presence in Africa. Since January 1st, 2018 he has been appointed as Head of Global Government Relations. He holds a dual master degree in Electrical Engineering and Business Administration from Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Patrik Wülser, Head of the Foreign News Desk, Radio SRF
Patrik Wülser was Radio SRF’s Africa correspondent in Nairobi (Kenya) from 2011 to 2017. After studying biology, he worked as a research assistant at Bern University before joining SRF as Home Affairs editor and Swiss Parliament correspondent. From 2007-2011, he was advisor on the personal staff of the Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications. Today, he is the Head of the Foreign News Desk, Radio SRF.

Simon Leu , presenter and editor at SRF
Simon Leu, who has worked as a radio journalist since 2000, was the parliamentary correspondent and presenter of the SRF prime time programs “HeuteMorgen” and “Info 3”. Since 2011 he has been the presenter and producer of the SRF news “Rendez-vous”, a lecturer at the Swiss School of Journalism MAZ and a trainer at SRF.



BS 1

Disruption or evolution? Why successful companies continuously reinvent themselves.

BS 2

Get to work, generation Z!

BS 3

Hello from the other side – nǐ hǎo from China!

BS 4

More than Bitcoin: blockchain at work

BS 5

Zurich Formula E: Lift-off for e-mobility

BS 6

Africa: Business opportunities for the Swiss economy?

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

Our partners’ breakout sessions are a success because they foster active dialogue between delegates and speakers. Benefit from cutting-edge insight and experts’ personal opinions while furthering your own education in a target-oriented manner.