GDI Trendtag 2019

15th European Trend Day

Beyond Words: How New Interfaces Reshape Communication

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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?
960 CHF (instead of 1200) for early birds until 14 December!

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 latest, also awarded work "The Attention Merchants" he analyses how attention harvesting has given rise to the defining industries of our time.

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.

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.

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.

Carl Guyenette

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

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


Dr. David Bosshart is CEO of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute for Economic and Social Studies. Dr. David Bosshart holds a PhD in philosophy, is the author of numerous international publications and sought-after speaker worldwide. His work focuses on the future of consumption, societal transformation, digitisation (human-machine), management and culture, globalisation and political philosophy.


Julian Thorner


Until 2015 Thorner hosted his daily news show "Noiz" on the youth channel Joiz. Since 2016 Thorner can be listened to on Radio SRF 3 in his own show "De Samstig – mitem Julian Thorner".


Programme development in progress

Welcome Coffee

Programme start

Networking Apéro


Full price: 1200 CHF

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

10 % early bird rebate until 31 January 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

CHF 1.200,00