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.

The smart factory as an opportunity for Swiss industry – using the food & beverage sector as an example

Swiss companies must use digitisation as an opportunity to survive in a competitive international environment. The food industry has long been reluctant to digitise; however, it is now catching up globally and driving digitisation forward itself. Digital refrigerators, for example, send data to manufacturing companies in real time and have a significant influence on procurement management.

Customisable products with complete transparency as regards value creation and traceability back to the raw material are also increasingly in demand and determine production decisions. These new possibilities are based on digitisation, which is having a highly dynamic effect on the industry.

Using the example of the food and beverage industry, ABB identifies together with Nestlé in this Breakout Session the innovative solutions already being implemented by companies in Switzerland and around the world to deal with digital change.

(Language: English)

Tatjana Milenovic is VP EMEA Food & Beverage and Global Marketing and Portfolio Manager Food & Beverage at ABB. Her roles since 2001 include Head of MES Professional Services for ABB, and she has many years of experience in regulated industries and in marketing and sales. She holds a Master’s of Electronic Engineering from the University of Niš and an MBA from the University of Wales.

David Strauss is “Digital Technology Lead” in Nestle’s Manufacturing Excellence / Corporate Operations team in Vevey. He joined Nestle in 2010 and was Head of Packaging at Nestle USA 2014-17. Prior, he held leading positions, amongst others with PepsiCo and Krones AG. David Strauss has an engineering degree in Brewing & Beverage Sciences from TU Munich, and a degree in Business Administration from VWA in Munich.

Hannah Wise has over 15 years’ experience covering news for international organisations including the BBC and France 24. In 2014 she moved to Switzerland and became the launch anchor for CNN’s new channel in 2018. She has covered a range of global news issues but now focusses on business news and how Switzerland connects to the world.


Can sensitive data be protected? Yes, but …

Our world is becoming increasingly digital. This provides opportunities, but also poses new challenges for companies and private individuals alike. Data security is a key issue here. While this should really be a top management concern, companies are often not aware of the cyber risks and their consequences.

Data thieves take advantage of this: they are very smart and sometimes what they do is also astonishingly simple. There is no such thing as full digital security, and the human factor is usually the weakest link. This, at least, is what experience has taught our professional hacker on the podium: together with his fellow podium guests, he will explain the creative methods cyber criminals use to access our information and how you can protect yourself.

What should you take into account in matters of data protection? To what extent can experience of past cyber attacks be used to protect against future attack? Do companies and governments have the same interests in cyber security? Have your say!

(Language: German)

Myriam Dunn Cavelty is Deputy Head of Research and Teaching at the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich and Senior Lecturer in Security Politics. The globally sought-after expert advises governments, international institutions and companies in the areas of cyber security, critical infrastructure protection, risk management and strategic foresight.

Jens Krickhahn heads the Cyber Practice Group in Central and Eastern Europe at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS). He developed the first cross-line insurance solution for cyber and data risks for the German market. The insurance expert started his career with the Allianz in Frankfurt in 1993 and had already specialised in IT risks prior to the turn of the millennium.

Ivano Somaini has been interested in IT since his youth. After completing his master’s degree in IT security at ETH Zurich, he went on to take up a management position at Compass Security AG. He consistently expands his already vast wealth of experience, for example, by undergoing further training with a former undercover agent of the FBI.


From cynicism and arrogance to optimism and elegance

AMAG’s cultural change: the company, founded in 1945, has enjoyed decades of success, but its very success also made it lazy and arrogant. Customer satisfaction and loyalty fell to an alarmingly low level, but it continued to be economically successful. So why change anything? In 2010, the management recognised that there was a dire need for action. The transformations experienced in the automotive industry demand an extremely high level of customer orientation and constant willingness to change from the entire workforce.

With optimism, perseverance and consistency, considerable investment was made in customer orientation – moving away from organisational arrogance and towards a healthy sense of pride and the goal of always positively surprising customers. Closer proximity to the customer then made it possible to reposition the company. Innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset were two further changes in the corporate culture, alongside customer orientation. These changes took place in several phases, through difficult times, with many successes and setbacks, and with many lessons learned. Morten Hannesbo, AMAG’s CEO, will discuss the successes, failures and learning experiences. Together with the main project participants, he will answer the critical questions posed by the moderator and guests.

(Language: German)

Morten Hannesbo joined AMAG in 2007, first as Managing Director of AMAG Import and subsequently as CEO from 2009. He has acquired many years’ experience at various automotive manufacturers in different functions and countries. Throughout the years and positions held in his career, he came to the realisation that absolute customer orientation is the only distinguishing feature that counts.

In his agency Heads Corporate Branding AG, Ralph Hermann has assisted AMAG since 2011 in its cultural change and since 2013 has also been responsible on the agency side for the company’s repositioning and new market presence. Heads has been working in the field of Brand Driven Change since 2003. In addition to AMAG, it has worked for companies such as Axpo, Cembra Money Bank, SECO, Swiss Re and the University of Zurich.

Dino Graf has been at AMAG since 1989 and is currently Head of Group, Responsibility and Brand Management for the entire Group. In this function, he and his team are topic initiators and responsible for the implementation of the change in the company’s culture and brand.

Rainer Maria Salzgeber

The well-known Swiss TV presenter and sports journalist has hosted management workshops and events for AMAG in the past. He has witnessed the company’s cultural development. On this basis, he will critically question the success and statements of the podium participants and also invite the audience to do so.

Man & machine – trustworthy artificial intelligence due to ethics

Conceptual thinking, setting goals, evaluating values and common sense are human assets.
However, machines can calculate, discover patterns and show statistical correlations within seconds. But only human expertise supported by innovative technologies leads to smarter, profound decisions for every business.

In a society of minds and machines trust is needed. The world’s first AI-powered companion in space offers a fascinating example. CIMON® can assist astronauts in conducting experiments and could potentially be a crew member for long term missions. Principles such as explainability, value alignment and avoidance of biases play an essential role.

A multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary and multicultural approach is needed to identify issues and create ethical and trustworthy cognitive solutions. By reflecting and improving artificial intelligence, we improve ourselves and augment human intelligence.

(Language: English)

Prof. Francesca Rossi is the AI Ethics Global Leader and a Distinguished Research Staff Member at IBM Research AI, and a professor of computer science at the University of Padova, Italy, currently on leave. Her research interests focus on artificial intelligence, specifically they include constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice, and collective decision making. She is also interested in ethical issues in the development and behaviour of AI systems, in particular for decision support systems for group decision making.

Since 2013, Dr. Bernd Rattenbacher has worked as a research group leader / Biotesc manager in the Aerospace Biomedical Science and Research Competence Centre in the Department of Technology & Architecture at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. BIOTESC (Biotechnology Space Support Centre) works on behalf of the European Space Agency ESA and supports biological experiments in zero-gravity conditions in the European space laboratory Columbus. From 2010 to 2013, he conducted research in the field of leukaemia at the Department of Clinical Research in Berne and previously spent three years at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. After studying Biology at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, he completed his doctorate in Biochemistry at the University of Basel.

Dr. 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.

The journalist and presenter Karin Frei is often to be found in the tech and digital sector. She can look back on a long career with SRF. After starting at Radio DRS3, she later moved to DRS1 where she held a wide range of roles, including as host of the programme “Persönlich” and producer of the cultural programme “Doppelpunkt”. After switching to TV, she directed and presented the SRF programme “Der Club” for six years. She studied European Ethnology, Social and Economic History and also International Law at the University of Zurich and worked behind the camera for the science magazine Einstein. She is the founder and owner of the company CommonGround Communications GmbH and today works as a freelancer, carrying out presenting and consulting activities as well as holding media workshops.


We crack the “Optimistic Code”

“If you stick your head in the sand today, you’ll have it between your teeth tomorrow.” This saying is a ground rule for successful optimists. In our breakout session, we look into what it actually means and decode the “optimistic code”. Together with life artist Claudia Sabine Meier, Paralympian Christoph Kunz and Goba CEO Gabriela Manser, we talk about courage and commitment as well as about the art of changing things.

Our panel participants will report on their experiences in disabled sports, personal development and the consumer goods sector. At first glance, these three areas seem to have little in common. But look closer and you will see that they do: success is born of striving for the unthinkable and of the realisation that beyond the conventional boundaries, new areas of opportunity are opening up. This breakout session is a must for anybody who wants to know how to turn hurdles into ladders, to realise the unrealistic and to swim against the current to be the first to achieve their goal.

(Language: German)

Gabriela Manser is Managing Director and Co-Owner of Goba AG, which has made a name for itself as a mineral spring and manufacturer based in Appenzell Innerrhoden. She is veritably bubbling over with ideas and is a brilliant ambassador for her products and company’s wonderful history.

Christoph Kunz discovered his love of sport at an early age and started out on a career as an athlete. At the age of 18, he was paralysed in an accident, which initially put paid to his prospects as a sportsman. He returned to the world of sport via a circuitous route. The monoskier has repeatedly mounted the Paralympics podium to receive gold and silver medals and is 2017 World Super-G Champion. He is living proof that the unimaginable is possible – even under the most difficult conditions.

Claudia Sabine Meier is a personnel diagnostician, industrial and organisational psychologist, business economist and cook – the term life artist fits her best. The Aargau native currently heads the management secretariat at Migros Zurich. Prior to that, she held positions in the hotel industry and event business and took part in military peace-building initiatives. What they all have in common is an optimistic view of the future.

Kurt Aeschbacher studied economics at the University of Berne. Since 1981 he has worked at Swiss Radio and Television (SRF) as an editor and moderator. He has extensive experience across a range of moderating and presenting scenarios. With his talk show “Aeschbacher” he has regularly set new accents. Kurt Aeschbacher is moderating the Breakout Session “we crack the “optimistic code“” at the Swiss Economic Forum 2019.



Always one step ahead: how 5G will change our economy

Automated production and transportation systems, “smart” clothing, virtual major events and robot-assisted remote surgery — the fifth generation of mobile telephony is about much more than just more speed. Nevertheless, 5G applications are still in their infancy. With the roll-out of the network and the launch of the first devices in summer 2019, the development of 5G is starting to gain momentum, and the Swiss economy is already able to enjoy the benefits of this now.

There is no way for companies to get around using 5G in their digitisation strategy. The first companies in Switzerland are already using the technology to control their entire production processes and analyse their data in real time. The possibilities are immense and will transform the economy. The first companies in Switzerland are already taking advantage of the many opportunities offered by 5G. Urs Schaeppi, CEO Swisscom, Josef Müller, CEO Psychiatric Services Graubünden, and Julian Dömer, Head of Internet of Things, will explain the opportunities that the fifth generation of mobile communications offers the economy and how it will speed up your company’s digitisation.

5G offers many great possibilities. Let’s discover the opportunities together.

(Language: German)

Urs Schaeppi has worked at Swisscom for 15 years. He was the Head of Corporate Business from 2008 and has headed Swisscom Switzerland since the beginning of 2013. The Swisscom Board of Directors elected Urs Schaeppi as CEO of Swisscom (Switzerland) AG at the beginning of November 2013. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from ETH Zurich and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of St. Gallen. Before joining Swisscom, Urs Schaeppi worked in various management positions at Iveco, Ascom AG and Papierfabrik Biberist.

Julian Dömer heads the Internet of Things (IoT) business area at Swisscom. Since 2017, the business administration graduate has also been responsible for the development of 5G in corporate business. Together with his team, Julian advises and develops IoT solutions for business customers in order to digitise processes and create new customer experiences.

Josef Müller has been the CEO of Psychiatrische Dienste Graubünden (PDGR) (/ Psychiatric Services Graubünden) since 2002. With its 1,200 employees at 18 locations, PDGR provides psychiatric care for adults, adolescents and children in the canton of Graubünden, as well as in the Canton of Glarus and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Josef Müller is a board member of several associations, including H+, the Association of Swiss Hospitals, since 2010.

Manuela Staub is Head of Campaigning & Consulting 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.


Change as an opportunity: practical examples of leadership

The Swiss economy is likely to enjoy solid growth once again in 2019, albeit not as much as in 2018. Many company bosses are optimistic about the future. They want to invest and create jobs, despite an uncertain business environment.

How big are the challenges that they are facing at home and abroad? What are the prospects? In a world where the business environment is in a constant and increasingly rapid flux, how can change be seen as an opportunity? And why do Swiss companies always manage to be successful even in difficult times?

Axel P. Lehmann, President of UBS Switzerland, will discuss these questions with Dr Marianne Janik, CEO of Microsoft Switzerland, Christoph Brand, Deputy CEO of Tamedia, and Kilian Wagner, CEO of VIU. The panel will be moderated by Reto Brennwald.

(Language: German)

Axel P. Lehmann has been President of UBS Switzerland since January 2018. In 2016, he was appointed a member of the Group Executive Board of UBS Group AG and Group Chief Operating Officer of UBS Group AG. From 2009 until 2015, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of UBS Group AG. Prior to that, he worked for more than 20 years at Zurich Insurance Group, the last 14 years in the capacity of a member of its Group Executive Committee.

Marianne Janik has been the CEO of Microsoft Switzerland since 2015. Prior to this, she was responsible for the areas of Public Administration, Education and Healthcare on the Executive Board of Microsoft Germany for around four years. Born in France and with a PhD in law, she has many years of sales and management experience in various companies and sectors.

Christoph Brand has been a member of the Executive Board of Tamedia since October 2012 and is responsible for the Classifieds & Marketplaces division. He was appointed Deputy CEO in 2019. He previously worked as the CEO of the software developer Adcubum. From 2006 to 2010, he headed the telecoms company Sunrise, after having been CEO of Bluewin and holding management positions at Swisscom.

Kilian Wagner is the CEO and co-founder of VIU, a Swiss eyewear start-up that now operates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Wagner previously spent five years at McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant. He holds a Master of Arts in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen (HSG).

Reto Brennwald is a freelance journalist, film-maker and presenter. He founded Talk&Film GmbH für Kommunikation, Moderation und Filmproduktion in 2015 after having spent almost 18 years at SRF, most recently as a documentary film-maker. From 2000 to 200, he hosted “Rundschau” and from 2008 to 2011 presented the political programme “Arena”.


BS 1

The smart factory as an opportunity for Swiss industry – using the food & beverage sector as an example

BS 2

Can sensitive data be protected? Yes, but …

BS 3

From cynicism and arrogance to optimism and elegance

BS 4

Man & machine – trustworthy artificial intelligence due to ethics

BS 5

We crack the “Optimistic Code”

BS 6

Always one step ahead: how 5G will change our economy

BS 7

Change as an opportunity: practical examples of leadership


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.