GDI Trendtag 2019

15th European Trend Day

Beyond Words: How New Interfaces Reshape Communication

In the beginning was the word. Then came the printing press, telegraphs, television and internet. Each medium brought a new interface: the book, the keyboard, the touchscreen, voice recognition, implanted chips. Today, mind-machine interplay is on the horizon. Perhaps we will soon communicate via thoughts – beyond words.

The rules and languages of interfaces have an impact on communication, from the 160-character limit of a text message to stripped-down interactions with Siri and Alexa. Messages need to be repackaged and stories retold using emojis, Instagram and YouTube. And once machines can recognise our emotions, predict illnesses and, eventually, even read our minds, our behaviour will change significantly.

We need to prepare ourselves for this future. Some approaches can already be seen today. Machines are recognising and fulfilling our desires ever faster and more smoothly. At the same time, propaganda and attention hacking have never been easier.

On 13 March 2019, thought leaders and practitioners will debate the future of communication at the 15th European Trend Day. They will discuss questions such as:

  • Will the visual worlds of YouTube and Instagram replace written text?
  • What new interactions will be possible?
  • Who will even be listening now?
  • What does this mean for marketers?
  • What if my best friend is a bot?
  • Is biometry the next interface?


Hashtag for the conference: #trendday2019

Tim Wu

Tim Wu

Author, policy advocate, and professor at Columbia Law School. He is one of the most influential commentators on the tech industry and the future of America's information economy, and coined the term "net neutrality."  Wu’s book "The Master Switch” was named one of the best books of 2010. In his also awarded work "The Attention Merchants" he analyses how attention harvesting has given rise to the defining industries of our time.

Aleksandra Przegalinska

Aleksandra Przegalinska

Assistant Professor at Kozminski University and Research Fellow at the Center for Collective Intelligence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Przegalinska’s current primary research interest include consequences of introducing artificial intelligence systems to people’s social and professional sphere as well as wearable technologies and human / bot interaction.

David Linden

David J. Linden

Professor of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University. In addition to his academic research, Linden is known as a popularizer of brain science. He has authored many books that concisely explain the human brain including “Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind“ and served as the Chief Editor of the "Journal of Neurophysiology".

Joerg Zuber

Joerg Zuber

CEO and Creative Director at Opium effect. Zuber founded the prestigious design and branding agency 17 years ago. His projects are developed through innovative ideas and cutting-edge technology. Zuber’s latest creation, virtual influencer @noonoouri, is attracting a lot of attention, with now over 173,000 followers on Instagram including Kim Kardashian, Naomi Campbell, Dior and Versace.

Olga Yurkova

Olga Yurkova

Journalist and Co-founder of With her independent Ukrainian organisation, Yurkova trains an international cohort of fact-checkers in an effort to curb propaganda and misinformation in the media. For fighting propaganda, Yurkova was listed among the New Europe 100 of the Financial Times and was named a TED Fellow 2018.

Jowan Österlund

Jowan Österlund

CEO at Biohax International. Österlund founded the company in 2013 having over 15 years experience in sterile procedure for piercing and body modification. He is currently the leading Biochip installer in the world. Österlund also leads progress for standardisation and is involved in the relevant regulatory process.

José del R. Millán

José del R. Millán

“Defitech” Professor and Director of the Brain-Machine Interface Laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Millán has made several seminal contributions to the field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI). Most of his achievements revolve around the design of brain-controlled robots, for which he has received several recognitions.

Carl Guyenette

Carl Guyenette

Creative Technology Director at Ellipsis Entertainment. Guyenette is a a philosophising futurist, computer scientist and conceptual creative technologist with a deep knowledge in neuroscience and emotional mapping.

Tim Llwellynn

Tim Llewellyn

CEO and co-founder of Nviso, a company that provides artificial intelligence solutions that can sense, comprehend and act upon human behavior using emotion analytics. Llewellyn has previously been global sales director at Kudelski Group, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Anagram Technologies and a Senior Research and Development Manager at the Swatch Group for connected devices.

Roman Hirsbrunner

Roman Hirsbrunner

CEO and Co-owner of Jung von Matt/Limmat. Hirsbrunner is interested in both the digital and traditional communication. He is an entrepreneur by all means. Experienced in managing transitions from tradition to digital business.

David Bosshart

David Bosshart

Author, Speaker, Executive Advisor

Dr. David Bosshart was CEO of the GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for consumption, economic and social studies from 1999 to 2020. Since 2020 he has been President of the G. and A. Duttweiler Foundation.


Julian Thorner

Julian Thorner

Moderator. Until 2015 Thorner hosted his daily news show "Noiz" on the youth channel Joiz. From 2016 till 2022, Thorner could be listened to on Radio SRF 3 in his own show "De Samstig – mitem Julian Thorner".


Welcome Coffee

David Bosshart (CH), CEO, GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Beyond Words: How New Interfaces Reshape Communication

Tim Wu (US), Professor, Columbia Law School, author "The Attention Merchants"
Attention Hacking: New Business Models for an Ad-Age in Overdrive


Aleksandra Przegalinska (PL), research fellow, MIT
Bridging the Uncanny Valley: How to Befriend a Chatbot

Joerg Zuber (DE), CEO, Opium effect
noonoouri: digital haute couture influencing

Roman Hirsbrunner (CH), CEO and Co-owner, Jung von Matt/Limmat
Walk the Walk: Marketing with Machines

Networking Lunch

Carl Guyenette (GB), Creative Technology Director, Ellipsis Entertainment
Total Immersion: The Next Dimension in Storytelling

Tim Llewellyn (CH), CEO and Co-founder, nviso
Face the Machine: How A.I. Reads your Emotions

Jowan Österlund (SE), CEO, Biohax International
Get Chipped: Identity and Convenience by Implants


Olga Yurkova (UA), Co-founder,
Propaganda and Fake News: Understanding the Mechanics

David J. Linden (US), Professor of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University, author “Touch”
Decoding the Senses: Inside the Human Interface

José del R. Millán (CH), “Defitech” Professor and Director of the Brain-Machine Interface Laboratory, EPFL
Think Ahead: When your Mind Controls Machines

Networking Apéro


Full price: 1200 CHF

20 % early bird rebate until 14 December 2018: 960 CHF

10 % early bird rebate until 4 February 2019: 1080 CHF

Price for startups: 450 CHF (Request for voucher code: etd(at)

The conference fee includes all food and beverages. Participants registering less than two weeks before the event can pay by credit card only.



German/English (simultaneous interpretation)

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 thirty or more days before the event. 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.

Hotel reservation

To benefit from special rates, please use the following email adresses and refer to the following code: ETD2019

Hotel Sedartis, Thalwil:

Hotel Belvoir, Rüschlikon:


There will be a free shuttle bus service between the GDI and the Hotel Sedartis Thalwil and Thalwil train station.





GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Langhaldenstrasse 21
8803 Rüschlikon


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