These days, when migrants arrive at a refugee camp, one of the first things they ask for is access to WiFi and electricity to recharge their cell phones. Their smartphone is as basic a resource for survival as food and water. This is a vivid reminder of the fact that we are fully immersed in a digital world.
Elmar Mock is the Founder of Creaholic, but he began his career as an engineer in a deteriorating watch industry. Elmar approached top-level management within his company with an insane idea, a new way to completely innovate the industry and improve sales. Everyone thought he was crazy and his co-workers distanced themselves from him, but that turned out to be a good thing.
Trish Malarkey is the Head of Research and Development at Syngenta, a company that has become a global leader in agribusiness by bringing farmers improved crop solutions. Trish has extensive technical knowledge in biology, chemistry, and biotechnology. Combining her expertise with her leadership position at Syngenta, Trish offers highly valuable insights that are both unique and eye-opening. Discover how to manage and create an innovative environment for a talented team of scientists on this week’s episode.
The Global Competitiveness Report assesses the competitiveness landscape of 138 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. Switzerland, Singapore and the United States remain the three world’s most competitive economies.
David Bruno is Head of Innovation for a large Swiss Bank, and the co-founder of YNOME, a transparent marketplace that rates your financial management providers and helps you assemble your own private bank. David is innovating the fintech industry and discusses how he builds trust and transparency in an industry that’s notoriously very hush-hush and filled with regulations. He also provides insights into how he builds a diverse, multifaceted team to successfully innovate for the millennial market.
Switzerland – a tiny country with few natural advantages – has become incredibly successful in the world of banking, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and more. James Breiding, author of the bestselling book, Swiss Made, explores the enabling factors for innovation in Switzerland. He makes the point that when an entrepreneur comes up with a new and innovative method or product, there will be resistance from those who have accepted the status quo. Entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs need to have thick skin if they wish to disrupt the market.
Switzerland is more innovative and entrepreneurial than generally thought. The world holds on to the caricature of Heidi and of utterly dull bankers, evoked by Helmut Schmidt, many years ago: “Europe is not governed by the gnomes of Zurich”. We forget the implications of the fact that the Swiss national hero is the ultimate rebel: Wilhelm Tell; and rebellion is companion of innovation.The strong Swiss franc and the weak state of the economies of its trading partners will make 2012 difficult, but Switzerland scores tangible successes: prosperity, low debt, reasonable growth, public budgets in the black, low unemployement and trade surplus. This miniature model of Europe must be an inspiration for the EU to become what it should be: the world’s most successful region in the 21rst century.