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Forum 2016

We live in an age where the only thing that never changes is change itself. Indeed, ours is an era of profound transformations dictated by technological revolution, social innovation and the new economy.

Economic players cannot remain on the sidelines; they have no choice but to adapt. First, though, we need to know what we are dealing with and how to get to grips with this changing environment. Which is precisely what this 8th Forum de la Haute Horlogerie proposes: an analysis of prevailing trends while trying to anticipate the daily life that lies ahead. The day of the Forum is also the day results of the US presidential election are announced, and we couldn’t overlook the consequences this election is likely to have for the world as a whole. As always, the Forum de la Haute Horlogerie promises to be a unique opportunity to consider and discuss the vital forces that are reshaping our future.


Jean-Éric Branaa : World report, The United States

Author, specialist in American sociopolitical issues

Jean-Éric Branaa is one of the leading French specialists in American sociopolitical issues. A lecturer at Paris 2-Assas University, media commentator and Fulbright grant recipient, he is the author of numerous works, including Hillary, une présidente des Etats-Unis (2015) and Qui veut la peau du Parti républicain? L’incroyable Donald Trump (2016). His most recent publication is a novel, American Touch, in which a député for French citizens in North America and a rookie journalist observe today’s world while imagining the world of tomorrow, against the backdrop of the American and French primaries.

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Hubert Védrine : World report, Europe

Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs

Diplomatic advisor to and spokesperson for President François Mitterrand, then Minister of Foreign Affairs under President Jacques Chirac, Hubert Védrine is an expert on geopolitical realities. In his memoirs, Jacques Chirac recalls his "complete command of the workings of diplomacy, a man who stands by his convictions while keeping an open mind that eschews all forms of dogmatism". Hubert Védrine is the author of numerous works. In his most recent, Le Monde au défi, he analyses the current "irrealpolitik" and democratic disengagement, and points to geo-ecology, a universal ecological awareness, as a means of planning the future. He is chairman of Institut François Mitterrand.

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Gilles Kepel : World report, The Middle East

Author, expert on Islam and the contemporary Arab world

An expert on Islam and the contemporary Arab world, Gilles Kepel leads the "Violence et Dogme" seminar at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, and teaches at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po). He is the author of numerous works, most recently Passion arabe (2013), Passion française (2014) and Terreur dans l’Hexagone: Genèse du djihad français (2015). In this latest book, he puts religion at the centre of the Jihadist question. At the same time, he explores the generational change within Islamism in France and the ideological transformations this implies, and underscores increasing social polarization and the role of social media.

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Virginie Raisson : World report, Prospective 2038

Geopolitical and foresight analyst

Virginie Raisson thinks in both megatrends and microshifts. She runs Lépac, an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, based in France, that specialises in prospective analysis. Her newest book, 2038: Atlas of the World’s Futures, expands on a previous best-selling work (2033) and looks at the many possible futures ahead of us. Graphically engaging (the book’s key tool is ingenious mapping of data and trends), Atlas investigates the world in 20 years, gauging the impact of our way of life on the future, providing a vision of the challenges of the current global transition, and discussing themes such as consumerism, the middle class, energy, biotech, privacy, the collaborative economy and many more.

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Gerd Leonhard : Technologies that will change our lives


Gerd Leonhard explores the technoscientific advances that are massively influencing our present and will influence our future. The Swiss futurist focuses on near-future insights and is considered a leading voice on topics ranging from accelerating technologies (artificial intelligence, robotics, the “Internet of things”) to social media. In 2015 Wired magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential Europeans in technology and innovation. He is the author of several books, the most recent devoted to Technology vs Humanity: The coming clash between man and machine. He hosts the web-TV series TheFuturesShow and is CEO of TheFuturesAgency, an international network of futurists. Gerd is also an accomplished guitarist and composer.

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Michael Wade : How digital transforms business

Professor of innovation and strategy, IMD

Michael Wade runs IMD’s Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, a joint initiative between IMD and Cisco. His specialty is the disruption digital brings to companies and business, and the agility needed to face it. Michael’s published research covers a broad range of topics, from digitization and information systems strategy to SME performance. He has co-authored several books on information systems theory; one of his articles on that topic was among the top 20 cited publications in business, management and accounting worldwide for five years.

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Transitions and challenges in the watch industry

Cyrille Vigneron

CEO, Cartier

Cyrille Vigneron has been Chief Executive Officer of Cartier since January 1st, 2016. Previously President of LVMH Japan, he worked with Richemont between 1988 and 2013, most of this time at Cartier. He was successively Managing Director of Cartier Japan, President of Richemont Japan, and Managing Director of Cartier Europe.

Olivier Audemars

Vice Chairman of the Board, Audemars Piguet

The great-grandson of Edward Auguste Piguet, one of the founders of Audemars Piguet, Olivier Audemars was born in 1959. He spent his childhood in Le Brassus, birthplace of the family business which is now the last historic watch Manufactures still in the hands of its founding families. He began his career at the head of a company specialising in the physics of materials. This enthusiastic long-haul traveller, having criss-crossed the American and African continents, then joined the brand’s Board of Directors in 1997. Three years later he took over from his aunt as Administrator, and is now Vice President. Father of two girls, Olivier Audemars is hooked on both watch and auto mechanics. Whether our goal is to shorten or to measure time, he sees this as pursuing the same quest for beauty, precision and performance.

Maximilian Büsser

Owner and Creative Director, MB&F

Maximilian Büsser was born in Italy and grew up in Switzerland with his Swiss father and Indian mother, which explains his cross-cultural, broadbased approach to life and business. As a child he dreamed of being a car designer, instead graduating with a Masters in Microtechnology Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. In 2005, after 15 years first at Jaeger-LeCoultre then at Harry Winston’s timepiece division, which he successfully transformed into a respected haute horlogerie brand, Büsser created the world’s first horological concept brand. MB&F (Maximilian Büsser & Friends) develops radical horological concepts by working in small, hyper-creative groups composed of like-minded talented people – the Friends.

Press releases

10.11.2016 - Forum de la Haute Horlogerie “Age of Transitions”


3rd November 2016 - 8th Forum de la Haute Horlogerie - Age of Transitions