Construction is indeed an omnipresent theme on political, social and environmental levels. The construction of Europe, which recently wavered on its Greek foundations, is currently experiencing multiple structural cracks due to the massive influx of refugees. Social construction is undermined by the yawning gap of the inequalities which see 1% of the most affluent soon to be in possession of more than 50% of the world’s wealth. Environmental construction is struggling to take shape due to States’ reluctance to commit to a new protocol after the Kyoto failure.
The future is nonetheless well and truly being built, and while it calls for long-term vision as well as enlightened principles of governance, there is a distinct scarcity of philosophers in the public sphere. What’s more, any there may be tend to be considered more as endless cogitators rather than as fountains of wisdom. Due to lack of means, must we thereby be content with shoring up a building buffeted by storms? Or is confidence in the human capacity to weather crises enough to engender new architect’s plans? This forum will attempt to sketch out just such an approach.
Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po and former Prime Minister of Italy.
Enrico Letta is the new Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po. A member of the Democratic Party, he was Prime Minister of Italy in 2013-2014. As the head of a broad coalition government representing the main parties from centre-left to centre-right during a particularly difficult period for the country, his political action earned him respect and admiration. Over the past twenty years he has contributed in numerous ways to the construction of Europe. He recently published “Andare insieme, andare lontano” (“Going Together, Going Far”).
Economist and expert on social progress, author of several books on the future of capitalism.
Economist Michael Green is the Executive director of the Social Progress Index (SPI) and the author of several books on the future of capitalism. Green’s organization focuses on redefining the way we quantify progress in the world, measuring society across dimensions and indicators that actually matter: basic human needs, foundations of wellbeing, and opportunity. The SPI is an effort to complement the measure of national performance using only traditional economic measures such as GDP, and has been adopted widely around the world since its launch Two years ago. Previously, Green worked for the UK Government and taught economics.
Professor Operations and Service Management, IMD and specialist in the Chinese way of innovation.
Winter Nie is Professor of Operations and service management at IMD Business School. Her specific areas of research include service excellence, costumer focus, low-cost competition, and value chains/extended supply chains. In 2012 she published the book “In the Shadow of the Dragon: The Global Expansion of Chinese Companies and How it will Change Business Forever”, which profiles many Chinese key players, offers insights into subtle and powerful strategies they use to gain market share, and includes an analysis of the Chinese way of innovation. A previous book looked at Chinese entrepreneurs’ path to success.
Particle physicist at the University of Cambridge, collaborating with the CERN.
Harry Cliff is a particle physicist from the University of Cambridge who works on the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest scientific experiment, at CERN near Geneva. He is also the lead curator of a new exhibition at the Science Museum in London celebrating Albert Einstein’s greatest work, the general theory of relativity, which he published in 1915. A hundred years on, science is at another tipping point, and physicists may have to let go of some of the most precious ideas from the past in order to make progress in the future.
Author and weekly columnist for the Financial Times; his new book The Magic of Mess will be published early 2016.
British writer Tim Harford reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences or, conversely, wonders whether cute ideas in theory do work in practice. In the “Undercover Economist” column he writes every Saturday for the Financial Times, he looks at familiar situations in unfamiliar ways and uses them to explain the fundamental principles of the modern economy. He also presents the BBC radio series More or Less, a broadcast programme devoted, as he says, to “the powerful, sometimes beautiful, often abused but ever ubiquitous world of numbers.” His new book, The Magic of Mess, about improvisation and innovation will be published in early 2016.
Director, Boston Consulting Group Institute for Organization.
Yves Morieux has advice for corporate executives: “The real battle is not competitors. When do we meet competitors to fight them? The real battle is against ourselves, our bureaucracy, our complicatedness.” The director of the Boston Consulting Group’s Institute for Organization, he has set out to simplify businesses, pioneering new ways of organizational thinking through the concept of Smart Simplicity. Using six key rules, it encourages employees to cooperate in order to solve long-term problems. It isn’t just about reducing costs and increasing profit - it’s about maximizing engagement through all levels of a company.
Born into a dynasty of explorers and scientists who have conquered the heights and depths of our planet, Bertrand Piccard made the first ever nonstop round-the-world balloon flight in 1999 with Brian Jones. In 2003 with André Borschberg he launched the Solar Impulse project, to build a revolutionary aircraft to fly around the world powered only by solar energy. With Piccard and Borschberg alternating in the cockpit, the first half of the journey was accomplished this year, establishing a series of world records. The second half will take place in 2016. A psychiatrist, Piccard has recently published “Changer d’altitude” (“Changing Altitude”).
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