February 10-12, 2016 – CICG, Geneva, Switzerland


Program at a glance

Lift16 Speakers & Sessions

Blockchain Technology Beyond Bitcoin

Since its open-source release in 2009, the blockchain has expanded from a public ledger recording money transactions for Bitcoin into an accountability system with features for performance, anonymity, storage and smart contracts. What lies beyond the distributed and trusted protocol that runs the most used decentralized cryptocurrency in the world? From art to science, law, politics and innovation, this new paradigm opens the doors to a large spectrum of unexpected and disruptive opportunities. This session will explore the realm of possibility for the blockchain, beyond Bitcoin.

  • Founder of Slock.it & Ursium, CCO of Ethereum
  • Founder at Consensus Systems (ConsenSys) and Ethereum
  • Researcher at CNRS, Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center, Harvard Law School

The Wild Promises of the Digital Customer Experience

Digital Customer Experience has been making the buzz these past months, promising corporations unmatched loyalty and competitivity. Learning from the digital-only brands, companies of various sizes are trying to implement a holistic digital strategy and catching the train to online fame. Even governments are taking the cue to improve the digital experience of the citizens. Beyond the buzz, what will this customer centric approach change for business and society? Can a great digital experience empower the customers and not only secure a sale?

  • Award-winning Author, Prominent Blogger/Writer, Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group
  • Digital Trend Analyst, identifying communication trends & emerging user behavior
  • Nadina Frehner
    Head of Business Development at ShoeSize.Me
  • Technology Geek, Programmer, Hardcore-Gamer

Enter the Anti-Disciplinary Space

Our world is complex. How are we to tackle problems that only get harder? Complex questions require the know-how from different fields, cultures and perspectives. We need to collaborate and experiment in-between and beyond set boundaries until new ideas emerge. Putting designers, artists, technologists, and researchers together in a ‘free space’ is a great start. Though, we need people who do not fit in any box - strange animals if you will - who are able to change the way we look at things. Who are these adventurers who challenge our concepts of creation and what can we learn from them?

  • Public Programs Manager at Pier 9, Autodesk's digital fabrication workshop
  • Interaction Designer, Inventor and Visual Artist
  • Research Physicist, University of Geneva, CERN
  • Co-founder and Research Director of Artanim

From Digital Transition to Ecological Resilience

The two major transitions of our time have much to say to one another. The ecological transition has a goal, but the path to get there remains unclear. The digital transition changes everything everyday, yet doesn't know into what. Can we put the transformative power of digital technology, practice and culture to work toward a profound change in our development model? Can we make the ecological transition as inviting, disruptive, exciting, - even addictive - as the digital transformation? Technology is part of our problem, under what conditions is it also part of the solution?

  • Professor of Informatics and Sustainability at the University of Zurich
  • Research Scientist at MIT, Project Manager of Climate CoLab
  • Director at Qurrent
  • Founder of XinCheJian, China's first hackerspace

    Artificial Intelligence, Technology without Alternative?

    Artificial Intelligence is hard. Hard to build, in some ways perhaps impossible, hard to grasp as a field of research and certainly hard to predict in all its consequences. Artificial Intelligence is easy, too: easy to conjure up grand, or ghastly, visions for, and certainly easy to utterly fail with as well. At Lift16, we’ll go take the pulse of AI and have a good look at what it all might mean for business, technology and culture.

    • Alex Lebrun
      Head of Wit.ai at Facebook, turning speech/text into actionnable data
    • Henri Bergius
      VP Engineering at The Grid, an AI that builds your website based on its content
    • Min Li Marti
      Member of the Swiss Parliament, Publisher, Editor
    • Co-Founder at Nowy, using AI to help you network smarter

    Making Sense of Technology

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” wrote Science-Fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. What are the implications of such ambiguity? Is it a good thing? Shall we avoid this magical metaphor? The quote illustrates how people make sense, or not, of digital technologies. Based on three talks by designers and cultural theorists, the session will address how users and designers understand how the digital behaves and creates meanings in society.

    • Journalist, sociologist, editor of VERITIES
    • C&P Officer at FutureEverything and researcher at Changeist
    • Artist, Designer, co-founder of Haunted Machines