The Next Big Thing Meeting Series, Meeting Nr 2 – Zurich September 11

Swissintell keeps growing in Zurich! With an event on 11 September, we continued our new Zurich-based series of meetings titled “The Next Big Thing”. Every three months, we meet to discuss how to identify, monitor, and respond to those trends that will shape or disrupt business in the decade ahead.

Our second meeting took place at the Ema House hotel. The meeting consisted of three parts. The first part was led by Aleksandra Bielska, our Zurich area manager. Aleksandra began by reminding the participants of the association’s goals, our vision and activities. She then explained the importance of emerging technologies to the field of competitive intelligence. In particular, she referred to the impact of these technologies on business environment, organizations, Competitive Intelligence discipline, and ourselves.

Aleksandra Bielska - Swissintell

The second part was led by German Ramirez, social media and blockchain pioneer, book author and co-founder at the Relevance House. German talked about the development of the blockchain technology and the problems that currently affect the field. He stressed that many claims about blockchain should not be taken at face value and reminded us of the importance of focusing on the utility of blockchain-based solutions and not on the “buzz” that the technology generates. He looked at the relevance of blockchain-enabled products and services through the prism of three pillars: value, visibility and credibility. He also provided us with a list of mistakes to avoid and good practices to follow when adopting blockchain-based solutions.  German ended his presentation stressing that a complete paradigm shift is needed to change the established standards.

German Ramirez - Swissintell

Augmented Reality (AR) was the focus of the last part of the meeting. Robert Adelmann, a former researcher at ETH and MIT and a co-founder at Scandit presented a brief history of AR before he elaborated on the current state of the art. He described how AR could be used in industries as disparate as maintenance, logistics and education. He used short videos to illustrate relevant use cases. He specifically mentioned the growing popularity of AR-based mobile applications that allow customers to virtually place products in their environment and, hence, reduce the risk of purchasing something that does not fit or that the customer does not like.

Robert Adelmann - Swissintell

Optimistic that the virtual and the real world are merging, Robert concluded his presentation with an outlook into the future evolution of AR. After the traditional question and answer session, the meeting concluded with its participants engaging in a long discussion over a glass of wine.

The Next Big Thing Meeting Series Nr 2 – September 11, Zurich


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Intelligence helps business decision-makers understand the future. And understanding the future includes understanding technologies that will shape it. During the second meeting of our series we will look behind the curtains of emerging tech.

To what extent can we trust what we see, read and hear about emerging technologies ? What key internal issues affect emerging technology fields ? What should we know about these internal dynamics to make better decisions ?

These are just some of the questions we will try to answer as our distinguished guests take a deep and critical dive into the world of blockchain and augmented reality (AR).


18:00 – Intelligence and emerging tech

Opening by Aleksandra Bielska (Swissintell, Zurich Greater Area Manager)

18:10 – Speakers

No more mistakes: making the blockchain relevant by German Ramirez (Digital, social media & Blockchain pioneer, co-founder at the Relevance House, book author and keynote speaker)

The current state of augmented reality by Robert Adelmann (Founder Merging Worlds, ETH & MIT, Co-founder Scandit, Founder UX and AR at Ergon Informatik AG)

19:20 – Q&A and Discussion

19:40 – Networking Apéro


The Next Big Thing Meeting Series, Meeting Nr 1 – Zurich June 12

Swissintell returned to Zürich! With an event on 12 June, we started a new Zürich-based series of meetings titled “The Next Big Thing”. We will meet every three months to discuss how to identify, monitor, and respond to those trends that will shape or disrupt business in the decade ahead.

Swissintell Zurich

Our first meeting took place at the Hiltl Akademie above a famous Hiltl Restaurant. The meeting consisted of two parts. The first was led by Naully Nicolas, a digital tourism marketing consultant, book author and host of the Travelcast podcast. Speaking about emerging technologies, Naully gave the audience an opportunity to reflect and comment on the possible impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain-based solutions, 3D printing, 5G, and edge computing on business in Switzerland and beyond.

Swissintell Zurich

The second part included a short workshop that introduced the audience to the discipline of strategic foresight and the tools commonly used to support strategic anticipation. Led by Aleksandra Bielska, Swissintell’s Zürich Greater Area Manager, participants worked to identify the less obvious trends and dynamics of change that often remain unnoticed. The workshop sparked an enthusiastic discussion that continued over a glass of wine.

Swissintell Zurich