Indian space entrepreneur Susmita Mohanty is hesitant to be grouped with the Musks and Bransons of the world. “I’m more of a ‘passion-preneur’ than an entrepreneur because I’m not profit driven,” she says. When learning of an ETH Zurich idea to increase the number of low satellites with its “Internet from Space” proposal, Mohanty’s first reaction is “we’re in trouble.”
Switzerland invents the “business school of the future”
“The biggest risks are popular risks,” says Jean-Pierre Danthine, who warns that a lack of education on the development of the economy and technology can lead to “very negative popular decisions.” Enter the Enterprise for Society Center (E4S), a joint initiative from IMD, EPFL, and UNIL, which looks to link sustainability and business education. In part four, Danthine, who will lead the venture as managing director, says he hopes this will “have an impact on how society is evolving.”
The SNB has 900 billion Swiss francs—what now?
The SNB built an unusually large balance sheet in efforts to rein in the Swiss franc, sparking debate as to what to do with its portfolio. In part three, Jean-Pierre Danthine is skeptical about the sovereign wealth fund option and asks, “What would we do with a sovereign wealth fund that the Swiss National Bank is not already doing today?”
The SNB should be protected from giving money to pensions, says Danthine
While Swiss banks and pension funds scream about the cost of negative interest rates, ex-Swiss National Bank board member Jean-Pierre Danthine views it quite differently. In part two, he addresses the impact of negative rates and the role the SNB should play in alleviating fallout.
SNB profits “belong to the people,” says ex-board member Danthine
In his years as a Swiss National Bank board member, Jean-Pierre Danthine was restricted in commenting on the bank’s strategy. Danthine, who retired from his post in 2015, now has plenty to say about Switzerland’s central bank. In part one, the EPFL professor talks tactics when it comes to the SNB’s balance sheet and sharing profits. “Real profits will be distributed to the people,” Danthine says. “The real question is when or how.”
The biggest problem with AI is not what you think it is, Salathé says
EPFL’s Marcel Salathé founded crowdsourcing platform AIcrowd to help further AI, but also to benchmark its development, something he says is key to alleviating the so-called black box issue, or lack of knowledge and visibility. In part two, Salathé addresses the darker side of AI and points out why Geneva has “an important role to play” in the evolution of this field.
EPFL on Snowden at its AI conference: “He’s worth the investment”
Whistle-blower Edward Snowden is on the speaker roster for EPFL’s upcoming Applied Machine Learning Days conference in Lausanne. One of the event’s organizers, associate professor Marcel Salathé, explains the decision and encourages the sharing of knowledge and access to machine learning, which, he says, is a “transformational, once in a lifetime technology.”
Mohanty: Time to move beyond climate strikes toward climate action
The climate change threat is real and yet while lessons are being learned here on Earth, the same mistakes are being made up in space, warns Susmita Mohanty. The space entrepreneur’s start-up, Earth2Orbit, aims to push the “Greta generation” to move past climate strikes. “I want the Gretas of the world to not only demand action but also be participants in that action,” Mohanty says.