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ALAIN BERSET

Federal President and Head of the
Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA)

ALAIN BERSET

Federal President and Head of the
Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA)

The Swiss Federal President and Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) studied politics and business at Neuchâtel University, leaving with a PhD. Amongst other things, he has worked as a guest researcher at the Hamburg Institute for Economic Research, a strategic consultant to the Department of Economic Affairs of Canton Neuchâtel as well as an independent consultant on strategy and communication. In 2003, he was elected to the Council of States for Canton Freiburg, serving as Council President in 2008-9. After his election to the Federal Council in December 2011, he took over as Head of the FDHA. Alain Berset will be Switzerland’s Federal President in 2018.

JOHN KERRY

US Secretary of State (2013 – 2017)

JOHN KERRY

US Secretary of State (2013 – 2017)

On February 1, 2013, John F. Kerry was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State of the United States. Kerry drew from this experience to provide the State Department with global stewardship on issues ranging from nuclear nonproliferation to radical extremists. In 2013, Kerry became the first Secretary of State to meet with Iran’s Foreign Minister since the Iranian revolution of 1979. He was also a key architect of the Paris Climate Accord.
Shortly before he graduated from Yale University, Kerry volunteered for service in the United States Navy. He completed two tours of duty in Vietnam and returned home with several decorations. After receiving his law degree from Boston College Law School in 1976, Kerry went to work as a top prosecutor in Massachusetts. He was elected Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts in 1982 and was elected to the United States Senate two years later. Kerry was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States in 2004. In 2009, he became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, assuming a leadership role on key foreign policy and national security issues facing the United States.
Kerry is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

BETHLEHEM TILAHUN ALEMU

Founder & Managing Director
soleRebels

BETHLEHEM TILAHUN ALEMU

Founder & Managing Director
soleRebels

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu grew up in one of the poorest regions of Ethiopia. She recognised the potential of the local craftmanship at an early stage and founded “soleRebels” after completing her degree in Addis Abeba. The handmade shoes made from recycled materials and bearing the “Fairtrade” label are sold around the world via online shops, such as Amazon. SoleRebels is considered to be the “Nike of Africa” and is one of the fastest-growing shoe brands in the world. Africa’s most successful entrepreneur has also founded two other companies, The Republic of Leather and Garden of Coffee, which manufacture sustainable luxury goods made from leather and traditionally roasted Ethiopian coffee, respectively. The African e-commerce pioneer has created more than 600 jobs worldwide and has received many awards for her achievements, including the “Young Global Leader” and “Most Outstanding Businesswomen” awards.

ENZO ENEA

Founder & CEO
Enea GmbH

ENZO ENEA

Founder & CEO
Enea GmbH

Industrial designer Enzo Enea studied landscape architecture in London and took over the reins of his father’s company in 1993. In 1996, he then founded Enea GmbH, which is now recognised as one of the world’s leading landscape architecture firms. At the headquarters in Rapperswil-Jona as well as in Zurich, Miami and New York, his company has some 200 employees. Numerous national and international awards are a testament to Enea’s lifework, which covers more than 1,000 projects. The Baummuseum (tree museum) at the headquarters is the only one of its kind in the world. The park complex represents his vision of architecture, landscape and art. Enea’s works are documented in the book “enea private gardens”.

KEYU JIN

Professor of Economics
London School of Economics

KEYU JIN

Professor of Economics
London School of Economics

Dr Keyu Jin is a professor at the London School of Economics. She studied economics at Harvard University, where she also attained her PhD. She specialises in international macroeconomics and the Chinese economy and is a writer and editor for major business and finance magazines. Keyu Jin is a non-executive director of the Richemont Group and was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014. Before setting out on her academic career, she worked at, amongst others, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions.

MARK DIXON

CEO & Founder
International Workplace Group (IWG)

MARK DIXON

CEO & Founder
International Workplace Group (IWG)

IWG chief executive and founder, Mark Dixon is one of Europe’s best-known entrepreneurs. Since founding Regus, the world’s leading flexible workspace provider, in Brussels, Belgium in 1989, he has earned a formidable reputation for leadership and innovation. By understanding the way that globalisation, personal mobility and digital technology have enabled new ways of working, Mark has overseen the growth of Regus into IWG, a diversified group that now also owns other leading flexible workspace providers such as Spaces, No18, Basepoint and Openoffice. He is widely acknowledged as one of the pioneers who revolutionised the way businesses approach their property needs with his vision of the future of work.

AUDE PUGIN

CEO
APCO Technologies SA

AUDE PUGIN

CEO
APCO Technologies SA

Swiss businesswoman Aude Pugin studied law at Fribourg University, becoming a licensed attorney in Geneva in the year 2000. She specialised in commercial law and spent many years working in the family office of a Greek family before joining the family-run company APCO Technologies in 2009. In her role as Chief Financial Officer, she was responsible not only for the company’s finances, but also for administration, HR and IT at this space-industry SME. Since 2017, Aude has been leading the Aigle-based technology company into the future as its CEO.

TIM HARFORD

Economist and best-selling author

TIM HARFORD

Economist and best-selling author

Tim Harford is a behavioural economist, radio and TV presenter and award-winning columnist for the Financial Times. He is a lecturer at Nuffield College, Oxford, and is considered one of the most popular business writers in the world. In his articles, he cleverly combines humour and storytelling with intelligence. Harford’s economic podcasts are regularly featured in the English iTunes charts. His most successful book, “The Undercover Economist”, sold 1.5 million copies worldwide and was translated into 30 languages. The Londoner has won several prestigious journalism awards and was named 2014 Economic Commentator of the Year. From 2006 to 2009 he was a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times and from 2011 to 2017 a member of the Royal Economic Society. Previous positions have included Shell and the World Bank.

STUART RUSSELL

Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
University of California (Berkeley)

STUART RUSSELL

Professor of Computer Science and Engineering
University of California (Berkeley)

Stuart Russell is one of the world’s leading experts in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and bioinformatics. The British scientist lectures at universities in Berkeley and San Francisco and is Vice-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Council on AI and Robotics. He has authored many publications, including the oft-quoted book “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach”. Stuart Russell is the founder and Vice President of a data analysis start-up, which is designing a nuclear weapon test monitoring system on behalf of the United Nations. The AI pioneer supports the “Campaign to Stop Killer Robots”, an international coalition looking to ban autonomous weapons.

OLA OREKUNRIN

CEO and Founder
Flying Doctors, Nigeria

OLA OREKUNRIN

CEO and Founder
Flying Doctors, Nigeria

Ola Orekunrin grew up with a foster family in London and graduated from medical school at just 21 years of age as one of the youngest in the country. She worked for the National Health Service in the United Kingdom for ten years before founding Flying Doctors Nigeria (FDN) in 2007 after a family tragedy, when her ill sister passed away because she could not be flown to a hospital due to a lack of medical services in Nigeria. With Flying Doctors, Orekunrin wants to revolutionize emergency care in Africa. The medical-logistic company is the first domestic ambulance service in West Africa and now owns 20 aircraft. Ola Orekunrin has been named “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum for her exemplary commitment.

LARS P. FELD

Professor of Economic Policy
University of Freiburg, and Member of the German Council of Economic Experts

LARS P. FELD

Professor of Economic Policy
University of Freiburg, and Member of the German Council of Economic Experts

He obtained a doctorate in economics in 1999 and a habilitation in economics in 2002, both from the University of St. Gallen. At the age of just 35 he assumed his first professorship. Today he is Professor of Economic Policy and Economics of the University of Freiburg and Director of the Walter Eucken Institute. His research interests include economic policy, finance and new political economy. As a consultant to the Ministry of Finance, he helped ensure that the so-called debt brake was anchored in Germany’s Basic Law. The renowned economist was elected in 2011 by German President Joachim Gauck as one of five “wise men” in the German Council of Economic Experts for the assessment of macroeconomic development. Lars Feld is a representative of the ordoliberal school and was named in 2013 by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as the most influential economist in Germany.

ULRICH SPIESSHOFER

CEO of
ABB Ltd

ULRICH SPIESSHOFER

CEO of
ABB Ltd

Ulrich Spiesshofer has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the ABB Group, Switzerland, since September 2013. From 2010-Sept. 2013, he was head of ABB’s Discrete Automation and Motion division, home of the company’s leading robotics business. He joined ABB in 2005 as Executive Committee member for Corporate Development, responsible for strategy, M&A, supply chain management and operational excellence. Before ABB, he was senior partner and global head of operations practice at Roland Berger AG (Switzerland) from 2002, and prior to that he held various management positions with A.T. Kearney Ltd. and its affiliates. Spiesshofer obtained his PhD in economics from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, and holds a master’s degree in business administration and engineering from the same university. He was born in 1964 and is a German and Swiss citizen.

PETER SPUHLER

Chairman and owner
Stadler

PETER SPUHLER

Chairman and owner
Stadler

Peter Spuhler has received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” several times and embodies a pioneering spirit as well as Swiss innovation. After studying business administration at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), he joined Stadler in 1987 and took over the company two years later. In the following years, he expanded the company into an internationally successful rail vehicle manufacturer. He expanded in particular to eastern Europe and Scandinavia, and in 2017 added a new plant in Salt Lake City in the United States. In 2018, Peter Spuhler focused on his role as Chairman of the Board and handed over the function of Group CEO to his deputy, Thomas Ahlburg. In addition to his entrepreneurial activities, Spuhler was also politically active and represented the SVP Thurgau in the National Council from 1999 to 2012.