The Future of Power

16 January 2017

Who Are the True Rulers of the 21st Century?

Picture: jock+scott /

The optimism that accompanied the start of the new millennium has faded. The gulf between the elites and the masses, nationalists and globalists, experts and laypeople, the informed and the uninformed, is growing ever wider. Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the US election is pointing at an era of divergence. Brexit, Turkey and the Great Firewall of China are further signs of this change.

The economic, scientific and political experts who used to concern themselves with peaceful growth and technocratic solutions are losing their following. However, the expectation that the internet would lead to democratisation also remains unfulfilled. Today, we are once again surrounded by borders, economic stagnation and anti-liberalism.

Who will really have power and influence tomorrow? Who will change the world? Will creative monopolies like Google and Facebook impose their rules on the economy? And what does all this mean for Europe – and for Switzerland? At the GDI, world-leading experts will be discussing these questions. Already confirmed are:

  • Moisés Naím (US/VE), distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and author of the bestseller "The End of Power", former minister of trade and industry for Venezuela and executive director of the World Bank
  • Branko Milanović (US/RS), economist and visiting presidential professor at the City University of New York who has published numerous papers for the World Bank on the causes of inequality, one of his most significant books is "Global Inequality", published in 2016
  • Robert D. Kaplan (US), senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security in Washington and editor at "The Atlantic" magazine, author of numerous bestsellers ("The Revenge of Geography", "The Coming Anarchy"), former member of the Pentagon Defense Policy Board
  • Nathan Gardels (US), co-founder of and senior advisor to the Berggruen Institute, editor-in-chief of "The WorldPost" and author of, inter alia, "Intelligent Governance" and "The Changing Global Order"
  • Elif Shafak (TR), international award-winning author and one of the most-read writers in Turkey, she is also active in politics and is, inter alia, one of the founding members of the European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Dirk Helbing (CH), professor of Computational Social Science at ETH Zurich, who specialises in issues of decision-making in complex systems
  • Karin Frick (CH), head of research at GDI, will give a short overview on the key findings of the Thought Leaders Index 2017. This ranking highlights the most influencial thought leaders in the German-, English-, Spanish-, Mandarin-, and Arabic-speaking world


16 January 2017
Regular price:

Price for startups:
190.- (Discount code on request: fop(at)

Participants registering less than two weeks before the event can pay by credit card only.
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Langhaldenstrasse 21
8803 Rüschlikon
Calculate Route

Changes to the programme
The programme is subject to change. If an event does not take place, fees will be refunded. Further claims are ruled out.

If you are unable to attend, please let us have your cancellation in writing. The fee will be reimbursed on cancellation until 18 December 2016. After this term and until five full working days prior to the event we will charge 75% of the fee. In the event of later cancellations we will charge the full participation fee. Substitute participants welcome.

Speakers, guests and impressions in the gallery of our media partner NZZ Online. More...

Key takeaways

How are global thought leaders viewing the future of power? Read about their ideas in our brief synopsis of the GDI conference. More...



Daniela Fässler
+41 44 724 62 13


Programme (PDF)


About image
Route planner

Terms and conditions