press release - Zermatt Summit
August 2017
Humanizing Innovation
Photo David Gubler ‐ Wikimedia Commons
6th International Conference
September 8th‐10th, 2017 – Zermatt ‐ Switzerland
A 21st century with critical challenges
Sustainable development, de-growth, conscious capitalism, renewable energies, green
revolution, artificial intelligence and robots, energy transition, change of economic model,
responsible consumption, new management, big data, North-South inequalities, ecology,
sustainable growth…
Not a day goes by without one of the issues mentioned in this (somewhat eclectic) list
being addressed in the media, in publications, conferences or more simply in the context of
businesses or even family conversation.
The world is currently experiencing major societal, economic and environmental
changes requiring new ways of operating to be found. Not only professions but also entire
areas of the economy will disappear.
In this age when innovation and intense communications
encounter challenges linked to the fragility of our planet, its
limited resources and a demographic explosion, it is
therefore time for concrete action and support for initiatives
that prove successful.
A one-of-a-kind meeting
From September 8th to 10th 2017, the Swiss town of Zermatt in the Valais canton will
host a new Zermatt Summit, a meeting which to date has no equivalent.
No equivalent, as over these three days speakers and conference delegates coming from
completely different backgrounds will meet one another, all having an essential role to play
in the light of the deadlines now appearing.
At first sight their daily lives have nothing in common, but when gathered together, they
paint an overall picture that makes sense: young inventors coming from disadvantaged
countries, business leaders involved in innovative forms of management, heroes and
advocates of sustainable development and positive ecology, leaders in new technologies
who are conscious of the impact that the latter will have on life in the future, thinkers and
those who warn us by underlining that the necessary choices cannot be made without
ethical reflection.
The Zermatt Summit: an inspiring place, ideas and people to move
them forward
The 2017 Zermatt Summit 2017 is not just one more conference where business
leaders come in order to express themselves in terms of "re-making the world".
Firstly, it is a very high-level meeting with plenary speakers including Günter Pauli, the
"Steve Jobs of Sustainable Development", Guibert Del Marmol, an internationallyrecognized author and speaker on the subject of positive economy, Navi Radjou, a Silicon
Valley innovation consultant and "father" of jugaad (frugal innovation) and the economist
Tomáš Sedláček, a former adviser to Vaclav Havel and the author of the international bestseller The Economics of Good and Evil.
In Zermatt, conference participants benefit from both the teaching of "leaders serving
others" and from exclusive discussions in the various round tables and workshops; they can
make their voices heard and return at the end with tested practical solutions. There is a
somewhat unique "spirit" compared to other conferences, thanks to the meeting of
enthusiastic people sharing the same vision, notably in stressing that the human person
needs to remain at the centre of innovation and economic development. Without forgetting
the discovery of innovations favouring the common good, such as those presented by the
young inventors from disadvantaged countries already mentioned.
The Zermatt Summit 2017 is also an inspiring place in the splendid natural setting of the
Swiss Alps where the beneficial aspects of a world with fewer and fewer borders emerge in
a multicultural meeting in all senses of the term. "Positive globalization" at its best.
Examples of concrete solutions
The spirit blowing at the Zermatt Summit is that of positive ecology, not de-growth.
Because it is actually possible to guarantee economic growth while protecting the
environment, preserving and regenerating it through innovative solutions which
demonstrate that often the problem can become the solution.
Managerial innovation, respect for the human person and energy release are some of the
"keys", without forgetting the concept of jugaad ("workaround" in Hindi) advocated by Navi
Two Zermatt Summit 2017 speakers are the perfect illustration of this, having shown that
in our current world will and energy can always be found, and that there are possible
solutions even when you are born on the planet in the worst conditions and in the worst
possible location.
First there is Chido Govero, a young orphan born in Zimbabwe who discovered, thanks to
Günter Pauli, how to grow mushrooms for food quickly off waste. Improving this technique
by showing that coffee grounds provide one of the best bases for this, she thus initiated
the creation in many countries of farms based on this procedure, helping to reduce hunger
in the world.
And then there is also Kelvin Doe, born in 1996 in Sierra Leone, whose career as an
inventor started at the age of 13. A self-taught genius handyman, a real-life inspired
"MacGyver", he has constructed batteries and electric generators (among other things),
starting with objects found in the rubbish bins of his village.
Mushrooms grown according to the
technique developed by Chido Govero.
Kelvin Doe based his inventions on refuse.
These two initiatives, among others, show that some waste materials can be real sources
of wealth. Such approaches are part of the solutions and actions that the Zermatt Summit
wants to publicize and promote.
At the heart of the 2017 conference:
Humanizing innovation
"Innovation is a central component of our civilization, to the extent that some do not
hesitate to write that innovation will save the world.
But what is innovation? We generally focus on the digital economy and its technological
prowess. But innovation is also economic, ecological, societal and managerial. It is the
totality of these innovations that we need to take in account if we want to have a chance
to construct a better future for humanity.
It is for this reason that the 2017 Zermatt Summit will gather around the theme
'Humanizing innovation', bringing together individuals proposing solutions who will show
us the extraordinary potential for innovation present in areas that often pass unnoticed,
from waste recycling to the implementation of procedures combined advanced
technologies and traditional forms of knowledge.
Concrete examples will be given by people who sometimes have extraordinary life stories
which can serve as examples and give hope. Technological and digital innovation will of
course not be forgotten. Three broad debates will be organized concerning the future of
humanity, the evolution of work and of private life, as well as the evolution of human rights
in this new digital world which is shaping up to be so different from what has gone before..
In the heart of the Swiss mountains, the 2017 Zermatt Summit will offer two and a half
days of exceptional meetings with key players in economic and societal change.“
Christopher Wasserman, President of the Zermatt Summit Foundation
Businesses and organizations represented by speakers
at previous conferences
“The Zermatt Summit was a spark for the Blueprint for Better Business initiative.”
Charles Wookey
Blueprint for Better Business
Great Britain
“I think there are very concerned people here (at the Zermatt Summit), thinking people and
with this assembly we can make a step forwards.”
Frans Van der Hoff
Co-founder of Max Havelaar
The Netherlands
“Coming here (to the Zermatt Summit) to share values what we think about ethics in growing
business and respect for others and listening to how other companies do this is important.”
Carlo D’Asaro Biondo
President, Google Europe, Middle East & Africa
“What we’re trying to do here (at the Zermatt Summit) is explore how ethics affects not only
your personal commitment but how you can bring ethics into government.”
Hernando de Soto
President, Institute for Liberty and Democracy
Further information
2017 Conference website
Corporate website
Contact Organisation
Zermatt Summit, Head Office
World Trade Center
Av. Gratta-Paille 2
CH – 1018 Lausanne (Suisse)
For Switzerland: +41 (0)21 644 20 54
For France: +33 (0)1 45 78 85 52
Press Contact
Michel Knittel
+33 (0)9 63 61 11 46
Next pages: Presentation of speakers and programme
Presentation of speakers
Guibert Del Marmol - A former business director, he is
currently an adviser, author and speaker on the subject of
positive economy. He is active in the fields of innovation,
sustainability and responsible investment.
Günter Pauli - The 'Steve Jobs of sustainable
development'; he tirelessly promotes a great number of
solutions throughout the planet connected not only with
circular economics but also 'positive ecology', which he
calls the 'blue economy'. Here it is not about being less
bad, producing less waste, but being good from the start,
conceiving products capable of de-polluting nature
through their functioning, and not simply polluting it less.
Navi Radjou - Author of Frugal Innovation: How to
do better with less, showing how innovation is not
only technological or digital but can occur thanks to
the daily ingenuity of millions of people, including
above all those in the planet's most disadvantaged
countries. International conference speaker having
participated many times in the World Economic
Forum and other large events at a similar level.
Tomáš Sedláček - Economist, former adviser to Vaclav
Havel, author of the international bestseller The Economy
of Good and Evil, showing that the economy - today
transformed into a series of equations and rationalizations
based on individual interest, if not egoism - is in fact a moral
choice between this egoism and the common good. He has
also theorized the way in which the economy could be
reoriented towards a different form of growth, not
quantitative but qualitative.
Jean-Philippe Desbiolles - Vice-president for Cognitive
Solutions with the IBM Watson Group. Benefiting from 20
years’ experience leading innovative, cross-industry and
breakthrough projects, Jean-Philippe focuses on driving the
reinvention of business institutions leveraging digital, artificial
intelligence (AI), advanced analytics & Internet of Things
(IoT) capabilities.
Kelvin Doe - At the age of 14 he succeeded in electrifying his
village in Sierra Leone thanks to a grid of batteries made of
metallic waste material. He also constructed a radio station for
his village out of electronic waste. Invited to MIT at the age of 16,
he embodies frugal or 'jugaad' innovation and will thus illustrate
the presentation of Navi Radjou by his personal example.
Chido Govero - As an orphan born in Zimbabwe, she met
Günter Pauli at the age of 12, who reveals to her the
possibilities for eating thanks to the rapid growth of
mushrooms. She contributes to the development of
mushroom cultivation using coffee waste. Today she travels
throughout the world to set up mushroom farms based on
the technique that she invented.
Gilles Babinet - The first president of the French Digital
Council (Conseil National du Numérique), he is currently
France's ‘digital champion’ and contributes to promoting the
benefits of a digital society in France.
Michael Baeriswyl - He leads the Artificial Intelligence &
Machine Learning Group at Swisscom Enterprise Customers,
where he and his team are applying artificial intelligence to
increase individual potential and automatize processes.
Alain Bensoussan - A lawyer who since 1978
has been helping his clients regarding law with
respect to computing and telecommunications as
well as digital and advanced technologies more
Nicolas Buttet – Theologian, assistant professor of sociology
at Geneva and Fribourg Universities, assistant to Cardinal
Etchegaray at the Council for Justice and Peace in Rome.
Frederick Chavalit Tsao – President of IMC Holdings
(Singapore), he closely follows the special challenges faced
by family businesses and the latter’s role in economic
Laurence Devillers – Professor at the ParisSorbonne University and researcher at the
CNRS computer laboratory for mechanics and
engineering sciences (Limsi).
Hicham El Habti - Former collaborator of Ernst &
Young, he joined in 2013 – after having managed a
Moroccan SME - the OCP Group, Morocco's leading
company, for whom he is currently, among others,
responsible for the implementation of collective
intelligence and for the “energy liberation process”.
Sébastien Fanti – A lawyer specializing in the field of
advanced technologies (cloud computing), he works
within the international Lexing network composed of
lawyers focusing on technology. He is the data protection
and transparency officer for the Canton de Valais.
Arnaud Gangloff - President of Kea & Partners, a leading
top-management consulting firm. For over fifteen years
managerial innovation has been his speciality.
Alexandre Gérard - CEO of inov-On, he is currently
one of the best-known French leaders in the field of
‘freed businesses’.
Pierre Giorgini - former research director for
Orange, currently president-rector of Lille Catholic
University, he is the author of several books
including La Transformation fulgurante (The lightning
Carlos Moreira – A former UN expert in the area of computer
technology and digital security, in 1999 he founded WISeKey in
Geneva, a business providing database security.
Elisabeth Moreno - Qualified in business and
commercial law, since January 2017 she has
been at the head of Lenovo France. For her,
business has a duty to serve its collaborators.
Andy Müller-Maguhn - Spokesman for the Chaos Computer
Club, one of the principal international associations of hackers.
He is the co-author together with Julian Assange of
Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet.
Jean Michel Quéguiner – A former teacher, he founded and for
31 years directed Bretagne Ateliers, a business employing 500
works including 380 handicapped, where he developed an
exemplary managerial model.
Eric Salobir – A Dominican priest and president of the Optic
(Dominicans for technology, information and communication)
network, he is a consultor to the Vatican Secretariat for
Anna Ukhanova – She is one of the chief researchers at the
Google research centre in Zurich, devoted to the development
of machine learning.
Bertrand Vergely – Philosopher and theologian. He recently
published La Tentation de l’Homme-Dieu (The Temptation of the
Man-God), a caution against the Promethean side of certain
advocates of new technologies.
Christopher Wasserman – Holder of an MBA from the University of
New York, he is the co-founder and president of the Ecophilos
Foundation as well as the Zermatt Summit Foundation. He is also the
founder and president of the TeroLab Surface Group business based in
Emmanuelle Dancourt Journalist and television
Guido Palazzo – Professor
of business ethics on the
HEC faculty of Lausanne
Jean Staune – Zermatt
Summit programme
director, prospectivist,
philosopher of science.
8.30 a.m.
Christopher Wasserman (President of Zermatt Summit
Foundation): Welcome address
Tomáš Sedláček keynote lecture:
Slow down baby and don’t act crazy
(Selling growth in order to buy stability)
Günter Pauli lecture:
More and better, speed and skill
(Ecological innovation in practice)
Format TedX presentation by Chido Govero
Orphans teach orphans
Navi Radjou lecture:
Frugal innovation: doing more with less
Format TedX presentation by Kelvin Doe
How I found myself in the limelight, and overcoming adversity
Networking break
Guibert Del Marmol lecture:
The ‘regenerative’ economy: economy, ecology and
Turningpoint (short group discussion)
Common theme: Jean Staune
Double parallel workshops: Session 1
Led by: G. Pauli, T. Sedláček , N. Radjou, G. Del Marmol
Double parallel workshops: Session 2
Same leaders as session 1
Round table: Managerial innovation
Participants: Alexandre Gérard, Hicham El Habti, Jean-Michel
Quéguiner, Arnaud Gangloff, Frederick Chavalit Tsao.
Moderator Guido Palazzo
Format TedX presentation by Jean-Philippe Desbiolles:
What is the impact of Artificial Intelligence on companies?
Networking break
Elizabeth Sombart and Patricia Neels piano and ‘cello recital.
Works by Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Chopin
End of concert
Departure for the "Swiss Dinner": rendezvous at the bottom of
the Sunnegga funicular railway
Dinner looking out on Mt Cervin in Sunnegga, altitude 2288 m
Return 21.30 at the latest
Round table: What future for the human person faced with
robots? Participants: Alain Bensoussan, Laurence Devilliers,
Pierre Giorgini, Bertrand Vergely. Moderator: Jean Staune
Round table: The social impact of artificial intelligence
Participants: Michael Baeriswyl, Anna Ukhanova, Jean-Philippe
Desbiolles, Elisabeth Moreno, Eric Salobir. Moderator: Jean
Networking break
Round table: Private life and big data: what new human rights?
Participants: Andy Müller-Maguhn, Gilles Babinet, Carlos Moreira,
Nicolas Buttet, Sébastien Fanti. Moderator: Emmanuelle
Turningpoint (short group discussion)
Conclusion: What humanity do we want?
Participants: Fr Nicolas Buttet, Bertrand Vergely, Christopher
Double parallel workshops: Session 1
Led by: G. Babinet, J. P. Desbiolles, P. Giorgini, B. Vergely
Double parallel workshops: Session 2
Same leaders as session 1
End of conference. Lunch (optional)
Walking in Zermatt and the surrounding area
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