4th Sustainable Luxury Forum

Provisional Programme

(Subject to change)

February 4, 2015
2:30 pm - 3:00 pmRegistration
Maison de la Paix - Lobby
3:00 pm - 3:20 pmWelcome Message - Setting the Stage
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Christopher H. CORDEY, CEO / Founding Director, Futuratinow / Sustainable Luxury Forum, Switzerland
3:20 pm - 3:50 pmWhat is Beyond? - Opening Keynote Speaker
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Nick BOSTROM, Professor in the Faculty of Philosophy / Founding Director, Oxford University / Future of Humanity Institute, United Kingdom
If and when machine intelligence one day surpasses biological intelligence, a new era begins. The development of superintelligence will be the last invention humanity will ever need to make. However, managing this transition to the machine intelligence era is an extremely difficult challenge. I will discuss some of the aspects of this challenge, and how it relates to the wider macrostrategic situation that we now find ourselves in.
3:50 pm - 4:20 pmWelcome to an Emerging New World
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Hervé KEMPF, Founder / Writer, Reporterre, France

The start of the third millennium is a unique moment in human history. After two incredible centuries during which humankind flourished and mutated like never before, a new era has begun: human expansion is stabilizing. All along those two centuries, the material conditions experienced by different groups were distinguished by divergence. Right now however, living standards are coming back to a comparable state across the whole planet. This is termed "the Great Convergence". The shift is furthermore combined with the severe worsening of the environmental crisis. The ever-increasing tapping of the biosphere's resources by the planet's society can no longer endure. As a result, the convergence will not sustain high levels of material comfort. Western countries are going to have to accept a lowering of their living standards. This mutation is the explanation for what is called "the recession". Western supremacy is waning and a new world is in the making. Can humankind succeed in conducting the environmental transition, when the latter implies equality both between societies and within each country? Or will the war the rich are waging against the poor lead the planet into chaos? Ecology is shaping the very future of the world and tracing its new lines.

4:20 pm - 4:50 pmThe (New) Geopolitical Uncertainties: Perspectives for the Luxury Sector
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Cedric DUPONT, Professor, International Relations/Political Science, The Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland
Geopolitical uncertainties and the luxury sector are no strangers. Yet, although factors as different as China's economic slowdown, declining consumer confidence in Europe or US and EU economic sanctions against Russia all affect the luxury brands, these consequences should be considered with caution. First, because sales in emerging markets continue to be the drivers of the luxury sector's growth, as the investment funds exposed to the industry demonstrate. Second, premium products, such as Italian fashion, Swiss watches or German cars, continue to be regarded in emerging markets as symbols of economic success and fulfillment of a social status by all those in Asia and elsewhere who have been reaping the fruits of growing economic openness. Third, swelling numbers of tourists to the Western capitals of lifestyle and fashion and the rising role of online sales both help to sustain the luxury sector's perspectives. Although adjustments should be expected in view of economic slowdown in China, the fifth largest luxury market, and political concerns in the Middle East and Russia, the fundamentals of the luxury segment remain solid.
4:50 pm - 5:20 pmNetworking Break
Maison de la Paix - Lobby
5:20 pm - 5:50 pmRising Inequalities in Asia (and in Vietnam in particular): Challenges and Opportunities for the Luxury Sector
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Christophe GIRONDE, Professor, The Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland
Nowadays, there is a large consensus that rising inequality is among the major threats to economic growth and poverty reduction. Inequality has risen since the mid 1980s in most countries, and in many cases it has risen sharply. High levels of inequality certainly depress economic growth and may have detrimental political and social impacts. The optimists may think differently, focusing on high-income urban residents and the booming of luxury markets as seen in emerging Asia. Does inequality matter for the luxury sector? How do outsiders feel about its development ? Scorn, disapproval and anger, or lack of opinion on a non-issue? Let’s see how the situation is in Vietnam, a new but rapidly growing market.
5:50 pm - 6:20 pmHow to Lead in a VUCA World: Perspectives from the ICRC
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Yves DACCORD, Director General, International Committee of the Red Cross, Switzerland
From Syria to Afghanistan, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Colombia, over 13,000 ICRC employees are active in more than 110 countries to protect the lives and dignity of the victims of war and other forms of violence, providing them with timely assistance. In over 150 years, the ICRC has been working in the most fragile and vulnerable environments, witnessing first-hand the changes at work in our world. Today, these changes are posing major new challenges to the institution and the way the ICRC conducts its worldwide operations. How does the ICRC conduct meaningful humanitarian action in a VUCA world? What other lessons could be learnt? What are the opportunities that emerge from this environment? These are the key questions that the ICRC’s Director-General Yves Daccord will address. More than ever, humanitarians cannot provide all solutions alone. Humanitarians and businesses should work together for humanitarian impact.
6:20 pm - 7:00 pmNew Business Complexities and their Organisational Implications
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Moderator: Thierry MALLERET, Managing Partner, The Monthly Barometer, Switzerland
Speaker: Luc PETTAVINO, President, Association Monégasque contres les Myopathies, Monaco
Our world is changing radically, very fast and everywhere. It's a world in which all risks, be they of an economic, geopolitical, environmental, societal or technological nature, intersect with each other through an extremely complex web of causal links, and lend themselves to constant surprises. With a risk landscape now dominated by sharp discontinuities, it is more and more vulnerable to shocks; and current events and all that the future may bring can arouse in us optimism and pessimism in equal measure. How can business leaders best adapt to this VUCA world?
7:30 pm - 10:00 pmCocktail and Dinner SLF 2015 - Starling Hotel Geneva
Starling Hotel - Route François-Peyrot 34, 1218 Le Grand-Saconnex (Close to Geneva Airport)
Speaker: Sonja BAEUMEL, Artist / Professor, WNDRLUST, Netherlands
Speaker: Maysoun GANGAT, Co-Founder and Director , 96 NISAA FM, Palestine

Please note that you have to organise your own transport from the Forum venue to the Starling Hotel Geneva
(Car pooling, taxi, etc) 

We are pleased to welcome two incredible women as guest speaker for the SLF2015 dinner: Maysoun Odeh Gangat is a social entrepreneur and co-founder and director of the first commercial Arabic language women’s radio station and website in the Levant, called 96 NISAA FM (meaning women) and Sonja Bäumel is an artist whose work mediates between art and science, fashion and science, design and science, between clothes and body, between fiction and facts. Starling Hotel GenevaMore about the SLF 2015 dinner

February 5, 2015
8:00 am - 8:30 amRegistration
Maison de la Paix - Lobby
8:30 am - 8:50 amBalancing Imagination and the Extraordinary with Factual, Technical and Complex Knowledge
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Sonja BAEUMEL, Artist / Professor, WNDRLUST, Netherlands
“…we, humans, have ten times more bacterial cells than human cells living both in and on us. If 90% of cells that constitute our body are not human but bacterial, how do we have to re-consider and re-imagine the concept of being human and where could this new knowledge lead us?”
The Austrian artist will address and share experiences encountered while developing transdisciplinary projects. Sustained by a strong belief in the fact that this knowledge could strongly impact not only on the way humans interact, but particularly on the way societal systems and networks work, through her work Bäumel reflects on the fundamental importance of gaining a deeper understanding in regards to the way microbial interaction functions, creating visions rooted in scientific facts, while actively researching and experimenting on microbial communities.
8:50 am - 9:20 amLatest Intelligence in Sustainability and Consumer Behaviour
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Eric WHAN, Director, GlobeScan, Canada
Eric Whan of GlobeScan will draw on his firm’s most recent global consumer and stakeholder research on the societal context in which global companies in the luxury segment are operating in today’s VUCA world. He will share insights relating to the following, from both the demand side and supply side perspectives : trust and expectations, leadership, aspirational customer, National Geographic Greendex and conclude by concrete solutions for the luxury sector. Eric’s unique data-driven perspective will set the tone for the day of inspiring and in-depth discussion on catalyzing transformative change in the luxury and prestige sectors.
9:20 am - 9:50 amManaging in a Fragile and Complex Environment
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Anne GLOOR, Founder and Board Member, Peace Nexus, Switzerland
A VUCA environment requires additional skills from a manager. A business-as-usual approach, based on experience from relatively stable environments, can be costly for the company and potentially damaging for the host country. A manager has the responsibility to be aware of how his/her company influences society and how this influence stabilises/destabilises a fragile environment. Managing in complex environments takes strong leadership and the ability to engage with stakeholders beyond a typical risk control strategy. This session provides some food-for-thought on how to support stabilisation while making money.
9:50 am - 10:20 amResponsible Sourcing of Colored Gemstones: Status and Perspectives?
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Gilles CARBONNIER, Professor of International and Development Economics, The Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland
Speaker: Léa COLLET, Carlo Schmid Fellow, OECD, France
Increasingly, the awareness of the provenance and production process of luxury items has become as important to consumers as the actual product itself. For instance, with evidence showing that the illicit trade in diamonds played a crucial role in financing civil war belligerents in countries like Sierra Leone and Angola, consumers were afraid of buying ‘blood-diamonds’. Hence, international jewelry houses faced the urgent need to react to accusations of selling blood-diamonds, unethical gold or colored gemstones. Increasingly, the extractive and manufacturing industries have become subjects to attempts to enhance responsibility in the sector. This session will outline the results on an in-depth research on the Responsible Sourcing of Colored Gemstones
10:20 am - 10:50 amMiddle East, Luxury and Sustainability: What's Next?
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Marie-Hélène STRAUS, General Manager, Strategy and Innovation, Chalhoub Group, United Arab Emirates

With the Gulf developing into a key growth market for the luxury goods industry, what role do sustainability practices play? Can the luxury business in the Gulf be sustainable? And how has Chalhoub addressed this scenario in the region? 

This presentation sets out to unveil the dynamics at play, taking into consideration region-specific societal patterns, settings and examples.

10:50 am - 11:15 amNetworking Break
Maison de la Paix - Lobby
11:15 am - 12:30 amSLF Lab 1 - Next Generation Business: Crafting a New Enterprise DNA Fit for the Future
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Moderator: Marcello PALAZZI, CEO Europe, B-Corporation Labs, Netherlands
Speaker: Benoit GREINDL, CEO, Montagne Alternative, Switzerland
Speaker: Nicoletta IACOBACCI, Ambassador for Switzerland, Singularity University, Switzerland
Speaker: Francesca Romana RINALDI, Professor & Consultant , Milano Fashion Institute / Bocconi University, Italy
Prepare for a deep dive into emerging business designs and models that are disrupting industries whilst raising customer value AND contribute to well-being, such as the ‘circular economy’ approach, exponential organisation, sharing economy, ’shared value, true value, the ‘B Corps’ and others . This workshop will explore a dozen innovative models, their origins, mechanics and competitive consequences for the luxury sector.
11:15 am - 12:30 amSLF Lab 2 - Sustainable Material for the Common Good
Maison de la Paix - S 8
Speaker: Peter OAKLEY, Research Leader, School of Material, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Speaker: Nicolas HENCHOZ, Director , EPFL+ECAL Lab, Switzerland
Speaker: Carmen HIJOSA, Founder and CEO, Ananas Anam, United Kingdom
New materials and processes can offer new design freedoms for the luxury sector. Some also hold the potential to contribute to environmental, social and economic sustainability. This panel will offer a selection of inspiring case studies of such new materials and applications that are starting to have a commercial impact. The presenters will discuss how this has been achieved, the problems faced and the opportunities this type of innovation brings.
12:30 pm - 1:45 pmNetworking Luncheon
No location
1:45 pm - 2:00 pmSLF Labs Plenary Debriefing
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Olivier VILACA, Independant Researcher, Independent / SLF, Switzerland
2:15 pm - 3:30 pmSLF Lab 3 - Navigating Complex Relationships with Key Stakeholders
Maison de la Paix - S 8
Moderator: Beris GWYNNE, Director and Representative to the UN in Geneva, World Vision International, Switzerland
Speaker: Stefan GERMANN, Director for Partnerships, Innovation & Accountability, World Vision International, Switzerland
Speaker: Bérangère MAGARINOS-RUCHAT, Vice President Sustainability Partnerships / Chair, Firmenich / UNGC Network, Switzerland
Speaker: Lina VILLA, Executive Director , Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), Colombia
A global shift in mindset and demand for businesses to also consider their social and environmental impact leads to an increasingly complex set of issues a company has to navigate. Engaging with a range of stakeholders means juggling competing, often seemingly conflicting demands. These stakeholders live in very different realities and all of them need to be considered appropriately if a company wants to make a lasting difference in the way it does business. This SLFLab will bring practical solutions and insights from an NGO and Company perspective. It will offer a space for discussion and exchange on how development actors can support customer and shareholder communication towards a vision of a socially and environmentally responsible business.
2:15 pm - 3:30 pmSLF Lab 4 - How to Drive Change in your Supply Chain in a VUCA Environment?
Maison de la Paix - S 7
Moderator: Tenke ZOLTANI, Founder , Better Finance, Switzerland
Speaker: Laurent CARTIER, Co-founder, Sustainable Pearls, Switzerland
Speaker: Guya MERKLE, CEO / Founder, VIERI Haute Joaillerie / Earthbeat Solutions Foundation, Switzerland
Two major developments create new management challenges for brands in the luxury manufacturing sector. On the one hand, internet, mobile phone technology and social media have created new levels of transparency and global interconnectedness. Citizens today can raise attention to issues that they find unacceptable in milliseconds. They hold brands, not state actors accountable, and they expect, at a minimum, respect for human rights. On the other hand, brands often rely on complex global supply chains that are quite opaque. Lacking transparency creates risks for brands that they cannot manage. Ironically, current sourcing practices further aggravate the problem and render brands defenseless when public accusations hit. The talk will offer suggestions for how brands can operate a responsible supply chain in a VUCA environment.
2:15 pm - 3:30 pmSLF Lab 5 - Reputational Risk and Communication Strategies in a VUCA World
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Moderator: Olivier VILACA, Independant Researcher, Independent / SLF, Switzerland
Speaker: Fredrik KARLSTRÖM, CEO, Magic Pencil, Switzerland
Speaker: Philippe STOLL, Senior Communication Advisor , International Committee of the Red Cross, Switzerland
Speaker: Ned WILLS, Director, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, United Kingdom
Operating in a VUCA world, the luxury sector faces challenges such as political uncertainty, growing disparities, new communication channel, rapid (and sometimes contradicting) shifts in consumer behaviors and increasing pressure on raw material. How does this more and more volatile and complex environment impact communication and reputation strategies? What are the new trends in communication management? How can multiple stakeholders co-create a reputation that makes sense both at global and ultra-local levels?
3:30 pm - 4:00 pmLast Networking Break
Maison de la Paix - Lobby
4:00 pm - 4:20 pmSLF Labs Plenary Debriefing
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Olivier VILACA, Independant Researcher, Independent / SLF, Switzerland
4:20 pm - 4:40 pmSLF2015 - Conclusions & Take Away
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Gilles CARBONNIER, Professor of International and Development Economics, The Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland
Speaker: Peter OAKLEY, Research Leader, School of Material, Royal College of Art, United Kingdom
Speaker: Marcello PALAZZI, CEO Europe, B-Corporation Labs, Netherlands
4:40 pm - 4:50 pmSLF 2016 and Beyond ...
Maison de la Paix - Auditorium A2
Speaker: Christopher H. CORDEY, CEO / Founding Director, Futuratinow / Sustainable Luxury Forum, Switzerland
5:00 pm - 6:00 pmFarewell Cocktail - sponsored by Takinoa
No location
8:50 pm - 9:00 pm