IMD International

Highlights from TEDx conference at IMD – “The future

doesn’t just happen”

January 23, 2012

The unconventional dimension of the TEDxLausanne conference transformed IMD’s largest auditorium into a true spectacle. While people were searching the 350 seats to find the best place, a guitarist set the tone. Graphics, layout and material for the program – from the text on the nametags, to the red circle for speakers and the no tie, 18 minutes speech attitude, shows that TEDx was about to give a true “experience.”

IMD Professors Michael Yaziji and Salvatore Cantale were among the presenters discussing the crucial role of businesses for shaping our future.

“Capitalism is the best invention in the last 500 years, it works well for what it is designed to do, but from a narrow perspective,” Professor Yaziji argued.

Yaziji said the problem with current capitalism is that it leverages self-interest and one can’t continually capture value and outsource costs.

He believes it is important to deconstruct capitalism and to think about the ownership structure in companies, all while ensuring the markets continue to play a role.

What corporations do nowadays is capture the value and externalize the cost. The problem is that there is no value creation as a whole. “In most firms, it’s the employees who innovate, and the firm’s greatest asset is not their capital but those employees.”

Finance Professor Cantale began his presentation looking at the financial crisis, noting that what happens in a crisis is change.

Perhaps a positive outcome of the crisis, Cantale said that firms are changing their business models around how they interact with stakeholders. No longer is the company sitting solo with various interest groups revolving around it. In today’s world businesses are fusing with customers, suppliers, regulators, investors and media.

Using Twitter as an example, Cantale showed how the company petitioned the public to find a working business model.

“Today we have choices and can make our own decisions without pointing fingers at someone else,” Cantale said. He encouraged all of us to match our values to our choices.

If you worry of carbon emissions, better to have a hybrid car and limit air travel.

The Twitter sphere was engaged around the TEDxLausanne event at IMD. Here are a selection of tweets from participants:

About Edward Girardet, journalist and author, President of Media 21

@pgoldschmid – “Edward Girardet speaks about his intense experiences in Afghanistan: talking to war leaders, fighters and doctors there,” tweet by Patricia Goldschmid

@jvonlanthen – “We think that social media is everything but is it really quality reporting? How credible is it?” tweet by Jonas Vonlanthen

About Tove Larsen, Researcher at Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology)

@cflorin – “Global water scarcity: it’s bad and it’ll get worse,” tweet by Claude Florin

@Nicolas_Sion – “Urine diverting dry toilet used in Durban, should be replicated as a model,” tweet by Nicolas Sion

About Octavio de la Roza, Dancer, choreographer

@kendakenda “Time for some art: performance in a complete silence, and now the music’s slowly starting. What beautiful moves!” tweet by Sandrine

@alanvonlantehn – “Sometimes moves can say more than words – beautiful dancing performance,” tweet by Alan Vonlanthen

About Manon Schick, Director of Amnesty International, Switzerland

@radard – “Fill the big gap between voluntary corporate CSP and non-binding UN/state government regulations,” tweet by Raphael Dard

@martha_imd – “A better world IS possible! Thanks for the speech, Manon Schick!” tweet by Martha Maznevski

About Laurent Keller, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Lausanne

@jonkalak – “Similarities between ants and humans from Prof, Keller,” tweet by Alain Pouliquen

@LisaRossMagenty – “Social insect queens are extremely long-lived (and the pic of Queen of England for better illustration, haha!” tweet by Lisa Ross-Magenty

About Steve Edge, Designer, branding guru

@spiguet – “I will dress for the party every day, and the party will come to me!” Let occasion come to you!” tweet by Serge

@TEDxLausanne – “Future is about reciprocity, in work, love, cuddles. What goes around comes around,” tweet by TEDxLausanne

About Cary Adams, CEO, Union for International Cancer Control

@TEDxLausanne – “Misconceptions about cancer – 1) it’s just bad luck 2) you can’t catch it 3) it’s a disease of wealthy and developed countries,” tweet by TEDxLausanne

@Slysurf – “I’m not a scientist, nor a doctor, but I care about cancer, I lost friends and relatives to it, says Cary Adams,” tweet by Sylvain Gaeng

About Mikkel Vestergaard Franden, CEO of Vestergaard Frandsen

@TEDxLausanne – “more initiatives are auditing carbon reducing lifestyle changes for carbon offsets, bringing individuals into carbon markets,” tweet by TEDxLausanne

About David Veenhuys, Consultant on personal & professional development, author

@mgdh – “Values define who we are as human beings. Values can shift by emotional experiences,” tweet by Marc Gd d’Hauteville

About Juergen Schmidhuber, Scientist and artist, co-director of the Swiss Artificial Intelligence Lab

@cflorin – “Creative machines of the future will work on the self-generated tasks – what are the implications of this for humans?” tweet by Claude Florin

About Jamie Catto, Musician, singer, film producer

@FlorianWestphal – “If the person sitting next to you knew what you’re thinking, you’d get fired. You’d lose your credibility,” tweet by Florian Westphal

@TEDxLausanne – “There is no more unity than in our collective insanity,” tweet by TEDxLausanne



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