CAN CHINA’S „MR. BLOCKCHAIN“ STACK UP MORE COINS?

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He’s known as China’s „Mr. Blockchain“ and is the creator behind his country’s leading blockchain platform, NEO. Da Hongfei, a self-taught coder, founded NEO with a fellow Chinese programmer in 2014, even before Bitcoin caught investors‘ attention and ignited a frenzy of crypto offerings around the world. In our Newsmaker hour, Da tells Martina Fuchs about his trip to the inauguration of Trust Square, a blockchain hub in Zurich.

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The fight for open access to scientific research
More than 50 percent of papers published by Swiss scientists in the past 10 years are free to access, which puts Switzerland at number one in the world. But as many as 90 percent of scientific research articles globally are still hidden behind paywalls and that, argues Frontiers CEO Kamila Markram, is detrimental to progress and innovation.

“The world’s never been better off,” says Frontiers CEO
Kamila Markram, CEO and co-founder of the scientific research community Frontiers, celebrates the positivity of our times and blames the way news is reported and consumed for creating a “distorted view” of the world. With the Science Unlimited Forum next week, she aims to highlight accomplishments and ultimately create the “Montreux Jazz Festival” of science.

Music fans “a bit lost” amid Spotify’s infinite choices, says Mathieu Jaton
Streaming services provide people more access to music and help artists to increase their revenues. But on the flipside, they make it hard for festivals to know who to book, as it has become more difficult to predict who will be the star of tomorrow. However, Montreux Jazz Festival Director Mathieu Jaton has an answer.

Elton John at Montreux Jazz: more artistic coup than moneymaker
Sir Elton John’s choice of a stadium over the Stravinski Hall for his Montreux Jazz Festival show led the organization to embark on a first, according to Director Mathieu Jaton. They will co-produce the performance with American entertainment giant AEG and Elton John’s management, a risk that Jaton is hoping will pay off.

“I’m quite anti-quotas,” says Zurich Insurance chairman
Zurich Insurance Chairman Michel Liès feels strongly that there should be diversity on company boards, saying they should reflect the company’s clients and the world around it. However, he feels just as strongly that quotas are not the way to go.

Zurich Chairman Liès: Digitalization is destruction and opportunity
Zurich Insurance chairman Michel Liès knows that digitalization is shaking up his industry. The insurance veteran goes so far as to say it is “destroying” the solidarity that lies at its core. But he adds that digital transformation also presents an opportunity to better understand the risk before the claims process has even started.

How Europe can counter China on artificial intelligence
China may have unlimited access to its own data, but according to Jürgen Schmidhuber, scientific director of Swiss AI Lab IDSIA, Europe has the ammo to compete. The solution? Basic economics: Create, for instance, a healthcare market where every patient can become a micro-entrepreneur of their own data.

The place to be for AI? Switzerland, argues Jürgen Schmidhuber
You may not know him but Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple sure do. His speech- and voice-recognition algorithms power devices from Siri to Alexa to many smartphones in between. Jürgen Schmidhuber is his name and Lugano is where he works to take artificial intelligence to the next level.

We’d be a “target for activists” without Vekselberg, says Oerlikon chairman
With CHF 700 million in cash, Oerlikon could be under pressure to make acquisitions. But its anchor shareholder, Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova, protects the Swiss industrial giant from activist investors, as Oerlikon chairman Michael Süss explains.

How a Swiss company plans to take 3D printing to space
3D printing is a game changer and real opportunity for Swiss manufacturing, says Michael Süss, chairman of Swiss industrial heavyweight Oerlikon. “The strategy is simply to surf on the wave,” explains Süss. Find out how he plans to take the technology to space.

The Global Fund responds to criticism around its withdrawal practices
What happens when a nation loses crucial medical treatment and support? Peter Sands, executive director of the Geneva-based Global Fund, admits there are sometimes “transition issues” when the NGO withdraws from countries but that governments need to step up to fill the void.

Global Fund: Political will is the biggest challenge in the fight against AIDS, TB, and malaria
The Global Fund can make the world free of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria by 2030. But political will is the biggest obstacle in reaching the goal, says Executive Director Peter Sands. Back in January, the organization with celebrity support from Bill Gates and Bono announced its goal of raising $14 billion in three years to help end the epidemics.

Breitling bets on livestreaming amid new “customer-centric” approach
Breitling hasn’t yet revealed if it will be at Baselworld 2020, but CEO Georges Kern says the watchmaker will hold more so-called “Breitling summits” for journalists and retailers. Livestreaming the events and shipping products promptly are also part of the plan to be more consumer focused.

Thierry Stern: Baselworld without Patek and Rolex would be a “disaster”
Tech giants like Apple may be taking a bite out of the watch market, but that doesn’t bother Thierry Stern, the president of luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe. He does, however, worry about the future of Baselworld, especially if his firm and Rolex don’t attend in 2020.