Tom Vanderbilt: "All preferences are learned"

Bestselling author Tom Vanderbilt is convinced that whether we prefer blue or red is the result of our socialisation. In a video interview from the GDI Trend Day, he explains why it’s difficult for us to learn to like new things.

GDI Trend Day 2017 – the highlights

"The virtual world has long since won,” said David Bosshart on the 13th European Trend Day on 15 March. Our summary of the conference lets you know what to expect from this mingling of analogue and digital.

Five widening gaps challenging our future

Are growing dysfunctional gaps in our global society inevitable? Maybe, writes GDI CEO David Bosshart in his article for the renowned online magazine «52 Insights». But it’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the current polarizing social and political forces that are ricocheting us in different directions.

Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State

The ideal form of government for the complex 21st century is what Parag Khanna calls a "direct technocracy" with Switzerland and Singapore as role-models. In a few weeks the GDI will publish the German version of Khanna’s book.

Amber Case: we need calm technology!

Instead of calming us, technology constantly interrupts us, says Amber Case. The Harvard researcher is an advocate of "calm technology" – devices and aids which work discreetly in the background to simplify our daily lives.


Why robots will be the better people

The next era will be dominated by robots and artificial intelligence – that’s economics professor Robin Hanson’s view. He explains what the world will look like when we share it with millions of identical robots in his TEDx talk – and at the 13th European Trend Day.

“Digital media will remediate urban places”

“The street, the car, the city are merely reconfigured through the new possibilities that new media offer,” says Professor of Cities and Society Stephen Graham. To understand cities better, we should look at their vertical layers – from underground to space.

How e-government can combat a decreasing population

IT consultant Aet Rahe helped set up Estonia's e-government project. Here Rahe explains how Estonia intends to use it to become the most populous country in the world.


“A society that no longer requires central organisations”

Blockchain makes it possible to imagine a society that no longer requires central organisations, says GDI researcher Karin Stieger in her video looking ahead to the Blockchain Valley Conference 2017.

3D-printed prosthesis

With 3D printers becoming maintream, we will be able to manufacture more and more products ourselves – even prostheses. The GDI study "Robotics and Disabilities" shows projects and startups that are already today producing ready-to-wear prostheses.


Extended Reality Map: the key Swiss players

Virtual and augmented reality are 2017’s most promising technologies. Our Extended Reality Map shows where the Swiss VR and AR sectors are involved in leading technological and application-related development.

“Smartphones turn the world into a game board”

Mike Lanza turned his neighbourhood into a “playborhood”: a setting that inspires children to become explorers – with or without a smartphone. He demonstrates how he made it happen here and as part of the 13th European Trend Day at the GDI.

New GDI study: Robotics and Disabilities

The GDI study "Robotics and Disabilities – How machines will help people tomorrow" develops new ideas about how future technologies might shape the lives of disabled people.


Anarchy ahead: an interview with economist Branko Milanović

Concerning the future of the global economy, economist Branko Milanović has one good news and one bad news. He delivered them in our video interview conducted at the GDI conference on "The Future of Power".

The Power of Emotions: an interview with Turkish novelist Elif Shafak

"We have to enter into the world of emotions and to connect with people with anxiety", the award-winning author Elif Shafak said in our video interview conducted at the GDI conference on "The Future of Power".

Masqueraded Autocracies: an interview with Moisés Naím

Reports of an imminent demise of democracy were wildly exaggerated, assured Moisés Naím, Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in our video interview conducted at the GDI conference on "The Future of Power".

Digital versus Democracy: an interview with Robert D. Kaplan

The United States are about to experience the first presidency of the digital age, says Robert Kaplan, Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security, in our video interview conducted at the GDI conference on "The Future of Power".

The Future of Power – Key Takeaways

Are we going to experience more totalitarian regimes in the future – or more anarchy? Read about the thought leader's ideas in our brief synopsis of the GDI conference on “The Future of Power”.

Zhan Li: Beyond Davos Man

The Davos culture is under pressure by anti-globalist and populist movements in the West. But reports of the death of the Davos Man may be greatly exaggerated: GDI researcher Zhan Li sees a good chance that this year’s WEF could start to meet the challenge – with a little help of its Chinese friends.


David Bosshart: Feelings – the weapon of mass persuasion

Hard facts had lost their power, says David Bosshart, the CEO of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in our “Outlook 2017” and in his latest publication “Polarization Shocks”. In an abstract and complex world, feelings took on a new role.


Parag Khanna: Direct Technocracy

The Western-style democracy has lost support, largely influenced by the election of Donald Trump. The US geopolitical expert Parag Khanna proposes a “direct technocracy“ as a superior system – similar to the political systems of Singapore and Switzerland.


Dirk Helbing: Decomplexing the globe

Globalization has made the world an over-connected system. And having too many links in a system can create systemic risks, writes ETH professor Dirk Helbing in our "Outlook 2017". He makes a proposal to decomplex the globe.


Venkatesh Rao: The need for a blue collar cosmopolitanism

“Once you globalize an economy, you cannot really unglobalize it,” writes Venkatesh Rao in his article for our “Outlook 2017”. To tame the angry masses the discourse and narrative around cosmopolitanism would have to get democratized.


Fred Turner: What happens when you free media

Social media was meant to protect us from too much power of mass media. It brought Trump to our living room instead and helps mobilize angry masses. In our “Outlook 2017“ Stanford professor Fred Turner shows why our expectations on new media haven’t been met.


Robert D. Kaplan: “We will always need borders”

How will power be distributed ten years from now? And what does geography tell us about future conflicts? Robert D. Kaplan, former member of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board, provides us with answers in this interview and at the GDI conference “The Future of Power” on 16 January 2017. Sign up now.

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