The Impact of Swiss Ideas: An evening celebrating Swiss Innovation

Bloomberg LP's Susan Kish introduces swissnex Boston New York Outpost's Pierre Dorsaz at Impact of Swiss Ideas.

Bloomberg LP's Susan Kish introduces swissnex Boston New York Outpost's Pierre Dorsaz at Impact of Swiss Ideas.

What are the impacts of Swiss ideas? Some may say they are delicious chocolate and the world’s most precise watches. While both of these “impacts” may be true and highly enjoyable, the lesser-known impacts are those that drive Switzerland to the top spot on The Global Innovation Index and many other economic rankings.

On November 18, swissnex Boston’s New York Outpost (NYO) and Bloomberg LP host The Impact of Swiss Ideas to create a platform for a night of stimulating talks and dynamic conversations around Swiss innovation.

Opening the event, Susan Kish, Head Cross Platform Initiatives at Bloomberg, welcomed the audience of 200 to Bloomberg’s New York office. As a member of swissnex Boston’s advisory board and with a personal Swiss connection, Kish emphasized the importance swissnex of having a presence in New York at the time of great economic potential.

Ambassador Barras (left) with swissnex Boston director Dr. Felix Moesner (Middle) and Swiss American Chamber of Commerce CEO Martin Naville.

Ambassador Barras (left) with swissnex Boston director Dr. Felix Moesner (Middle) and Swiss American Chamber of Commerce CEO Martin Naville.

Kish then introduced swissnex Boston’s director Dr. Felix Moesner, Ambassador François Barras (Consulate General of Switzerland, NYC) and Swiss American Chamber of Commerce CEO Martin Naville to the stage. Ambassador Barras, Mr Naville and Dr. Moesner warmed up the crowd with a pitchfest style presentation of Swiss activities in the New York area and future plans for the swissnex Boston NYO. Laying the ground for the night’s main presentations, NYO Senior Project Leader Pierre Dorsaz took the stage and identified each of the upcoming speakers who would highlight three key components of the Swiss and New York innovation scenes: cutting edge research, access to capital and creativity.

ETH Zurich Computer Science Professor Donald Kossmann kicked off the first of three presentations with a look into big data and its applications for society. Professor Kossmann commented on Switzerland’s lack of natural resources, which leaves the country with one choice for investment – knowledge.

Impact of Swiss Ideas speakers (left to right): ETH Zurich Prof. Donald Kossmann; Credit Suisse Director Helen Oesch; Swiss designer Tina Roth Eisenberg.

Impact of Swiss Ideas speakers (left to right): ETH Zurich Prof. Donald Kossmann; Credit Suisse Director Helen Oesch; Swiss designer Tina Roth Eisenberg.

Following big data, the conversation turned towards finding the value in innovation. Helen Oesch, Director at Credit Suisse Health Care Group and University of St. Gallen alumna discussed different ways of investing in innovation and how that occurs throughout the health care sector. Oesch used the example of investing in drug development and broke the process down, phase by phase, showing where the highest risk-rewards lived.

Closing the night, Tina Roth Eisenberg aka swissmiss, talked with the audience about the labors of love. swissmiss runs her ventures around four core principles – create, play, trust and respect. Leveraging these ideas, swissmiss curates her design blog, organizes monthly breakfast lecture series called Creative Mornings (now in over 60 cities around the world), developed a to-do app called TeuxDeux and has so much fun with her designer temporary tattoo company, Tattly.

Following the presentations, the audience mingled with the speakers, picking their brains further on the topic of Swiss innovation. For the speakers, it was a great opportunity to find out where Switzerland stands in the minds of New Yorkers.

Together with Bloomberg LP, the swissnex Boston NYO stimulated the discussion around Swiss innovation, aiming to generate more awareness around the country’s successful products, dynamic minds and forward-thinking economy.

Click through the photos and play the video below for an inside look to Impact of Swiss Ideas:

Photo credits: John Angelillo

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