Predictions Event

The Power of Predictions

How Intelligent Machines Will Impact Decisions

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From the Delphic Oracle to weathermen and demand forecasting, mankind has used predictions to make choices. While the accuracy of prophecies was questionable, decisions in today’s fast-paced world lose their foundations before they’re even made. Yet we stand on the brink of a revolution. With AI on the rise, CEOs, politicians, doctors and even hesitant grooms are bound to reach more informed conclusions. Soon enough, faster and better prediction tools will change entire industries. And they will create new opportunities.

Building on the success of their past conferences on Blockchain and Digital Assistants, IBM Research, Swiss Re Institute, and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute will jointly analyze yet another fundamental evolution at “The Power of Predictions” conference:

  • Technology and innovation: IBM Research will reveal the latest findings from the forefront of science. It will describe the prospects and boundaries of the new prediction technologies.
  • Business: Swiss Re Institute will depict the consequences of ever better predictions in the insurance industry, which depend on calculations of future events. How will financial markets and risk allocation evolve?
  • Society: GDI will address implications for the consumer. Who will be responsible for our decisions? What happens when technology knows me better than I know myself? And finally, how will our behaviour change once we “know” the future?

Join us on 4 June 2019 at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rüschlikon near Zurich, and meet thought leaders and decision makers from business, society, and government.

960 (instead of CHF 1200) for early birds until 25 March 2019!

Welcome Coffee

Opening panel discussion with

David Bosshart, CEO, Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Rainer Baumann, Chief Information and Digital Officer Swiss Re Group
Dr. Alessandro Curioni, IBM Fellow, VP Europe and Director IBM Research Zurich

Ajay Agrawal, Professor, University of Toronto; A.I. expert and author of "Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence"


Ran Balicer, Director, Clalit Research Institute

Martin Weymann, Head Sustainability, Emerging & Political Risk Management, Swiss Re

Rama Akkiraju,  Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, Director at IBM's Watson Division

James Bridle, artist, technologist and writer


Parallel Sessions

Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Swiss Re Institute
IBM Research


Martin Wikelski, Managing Director, Max Planck Institute for Ornithology

Thomas Ramge, technology journalist and author





(The list of speakers is continuously updated.)

Ajay Agrawal

Professor at the University of Toronto. Agrawal is an expert for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. In 2012, he founded the Creative Destruction Lab, a successful program for science start-ups. In 2018, Agrawal published his latest book "Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence ".

Alessandro Curioni

IBM Fellow, VP Europe and Director IBM Research Zurich. Since November 2015 Curioni is leading the research activities for the Watson Internet of Things unit. Curioni is an internationally renowned leader in the area of high-performance computing and computational science. He and his colleagues received the US National Medal for Technology and Innovation in 2008 for IBM's high-performance computers.

Rainer Baumann

Chief Information and Digital Officer at Swiss Re Group. Before joining Swiss Re, Baumann was a lecturer at ETH Zurich, Junior Partner at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and Head of Network Security at United Security Provider. Baumann holds a PhD in Information Technology from ETH Zurich.

Rama Akkiraju

Distinguished Engineer, Master Inventor, IBM Academy Member and a Director at IBM’s Watson Division. As head of the AI operations team, Akkiraju and her team are working on improved interaction between humans and computers. She has received several awards for her work in the field of Artificial Intelligence and has been listed by Forbes as one of the "Top 20 Women in AI Research" since July 2018.


Ran D. Balicer

Director of Clalit Research Institute; Director, Innovation Division, at Clalit Health Services; Professor at Ben-Gurion University. At Clalit, Balicer is responsible for strategic planning of organization-wide interventions including the introduction of innovative data-driven tools into practice. In his role as a professor, Balicer investigates clinical databases.

James Bridle

British artist and writer. Bridle’s artworks have been exhibited worldwide, most recently in London's Victoria and Albert Museum. His writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in many publications including “Wired”, the “Atlantic” and the “Guardian”. In summer 2018 Bridle published the book "New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future".

Martin Wikelski

Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology; Honorary Professor at University of Konstanz. Wikelski is also the director of Icarus, an international cooperation for the observation of animals from space. Wikelski has received several awards for his scientific work, including the Max Planck Research Prize in 2016. He became elected member of the Leopoldina, the German national science academy, in 2014.

Thomas Ramge

Technology correspondent for the German business magazine “brand eins”; journalist for “The Economist”; author of “Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data”. Ramges’ texts have been honored with several awards, including the getAbstract International Book Award and the “Financial Times” Business Book Award.

Martin Weymann

Head Sustainability, Emerging and Political Risk Management at Swiss Re. Previously, Weymann was Senior Risk Officer for Latin America and Delegate of Swiss Re to the Institute of International Finance in Washington DC. 

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.

Speakers Breakout Sessions

Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
Swiss Re Institute
IBM Research

Jakub Samochowiec

Jakub Samochowiec is a Senior Researcher at the GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. He analyses social, economic, and technological changes with a focus on decision, old age, media and consumption.

Evangelos Avramakis

Head Digital Ecosystems R&D at Swiss Re Institute. Avramakis is an internationally renowned advisor and thought leader in the insurance industry. With his work, he pursues holistic, interdisciplinary and implementation-oriented approaches. Avramakis' main focus lies on forward-looking market developments, digital ecosystems, omni-channel management and innovative business models.

Speakers to be announced soon

Karin Frick

Karin Frick is Head of Think Tank and a Member of the Executive Board at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. As an economist, she researches trends and countertrends in business, society and consumption.

Christian Klose

Senior Analytics Professional at Swiss Re. Klose is an expert on machine intelligence. For many years, he researched how natural hazards, in particular, those that are caused by humans, can impact societies. In addition, Klose is adjunct faculty at Columbia University and author. Many of his scientific research papers have been featured in popular media, such as the „New York Times“ and the „Wall Street Journal“.

Sandra Andraszewicz

Researcher and Project Leader at the Behavioral Finance Team of ETH Zurich. At the Chair of Cognitive Science, Andraszewicz conducts interdisciplinary research in the domain of financial and risky decision making, risk assessment, behavioural and cognitive underpinnings of market bubbles and crashes, and bounded rationality of investors. Andraszewicz holds a Ph. D. in economic psychology.

Daniel Martin Eckhart


Advocate, Swiss Re Institute. Eckhart is a passionate storyteller, both as a novelist and a screenwriter. As an engagement expert, he is a moderator, presenter, influencer and roving reporter, advocating on behalf of Swiss Re Institute to bring together the experts from around the world for the future-driven thinking we need to make our world better, safer and more sustainable for future generations.

Florian Inhauser


Journalist and moderator. Florian Inhauser presents the main newscast at Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, SRF and he is also the anchor of the foreign news magazine «#SRFglobal». With a master in history and anglistics he speaks English fluently. He has also an excellent reputation as an international correspondent, covering conflicts and crises around the globe.


20% early bird discount until 25 March 2019: CHF 960

10% early bird discount until 30 April 2019: CHF 1080

Full price: CHF 1200 from 1 May 2019

Price for startups: 450 CHF (Request for voucher code:

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: Predictions2019

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



IBM Research
Swiss Re Institute


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Participant information