Business Bled Strategic Forum

Business Bled Strategic Forum 2019

3 September 2019, Bled, Slovenia

AmCham Reinvention Breakfast – Predicting the Unpredictable: How to Win in the Flow of Constant Change?
In partnership with AmCham Slovenia.

@Rikli Balance Hotel, Sonce Hall

Reinvention: Necessity, Creativity or Natural Process?
• Ms Ina Kukovič Borovnik, Founder, BELAVODA, Slovenia
• Mr Nikola Slavnič, CEO, In Your Pocket, Slovenia

Technology: Empowerment or Supremacy?
• Mr Joe Dumoulin, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Verint Systems Intelligent Self-Service, United States
• Mr Marten Kaevats, National Digital Advisor, Government Office of Estonia
• Mr Josko Mrndze, Country Manager Adriatics Region, Google, Croatia
• Mr Gregor Potočar, Managing Director South-East Europe, SAP SE, Slovenia
• Dr Matthias Sachs, Director Corporate Affairs, Microsoft CEE, Germany

Security in an Unpredictable World

• Mr Uroš Majcen, Head of Security Operations Center Department, S&T Slovenija d.d., Slovenia

Moderator: Ms Ajša Vodnik, CEO, AmCham Slovenia

Globalization, development, the new digital era, and a variety of other global advancements and challenges have unleashed a far-reaching tsunami, which is disturbing balance everywhere.

The future is uncertain, and stability cannot be taken for granted. The rules of the game for doing business are regularly changing and companies strive to adjust to the fast-moving, constantly changing landscape. These mysterious conditions are challenging companies and leaving shattered careers in its wake. No matter how much we believe we have prepared for it, it is clear that one can ever be prepared enough.

What are the recipes for success in an era of unpredicted (in)stability? Why companies sink and how to reinvent after a business disaster? What are the new forms of corporate reinvention? How to lead in change? Are we ready for the Society 5.0? Who will take the lead?

Rethink your company’s relationship with change.


Tourism for All Destinations: Dispersal over Place and Time
In partnership with Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenian Tourist Board.

@Grand Hotel Toplice, Grand Hall

• Ms Maja Pak, Director, Slovenian Tourist Board
• Mr Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia
• Ms Daniela Wagner, Regional Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, PATA, United Kingdom

Panel Speakers:
• Mr Andrew Agius Muscat, Secretary General, Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, Malta
• Mr Marjan Beltram, Chief Travel and Mobility Officer, Nomago, Slovenia
• Ms Valeria Duflot, Co-founder, CEO, Venezia Autentica and Overtourism Solution, Italy
• Prof Tanja Mihalič, Professor, School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
• Ms Eva Štravs Podlogar, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia

Keynote Listener:
• Mr Sergio Emidio Bini, Regional Minister for Industry and Tourism Friuli-Venezia Giulia Region

Moderator: Mr Jaka Repanšek, Partner, Republis Consulting, Slovenia

Tourism is a tool for peace and for achieving a balance between different, more and less developed, parts of the world. International tourism is growing exponentially. Countries, destinations and companies in the global tourism market are “fighting a sophisticated battle” for tourists. This important economic branch brings prosperity and generates 10% of global GDP, creates one in 10 jobs and accounts for 30% of services exports.

Digitalisation has transformed concepts of destination promotion. In the era of Industry 4.0 and hyperconnectivity, tourists easily exchange advice about where and when to travel. Instagrammable locations gain further popularity, while others struggle to catch the attention of visitors, in spite of hard efforts. Owing to new technologies and a variety of tourist capacities, travel has become cheaper and more accessible to wider groups of people and different generations. The need to travel is becoming a fundamental need of many who wish to visit the most popular and best-rated global destinations.

According to experts, modern technologies and smart solutions are among the most powerful tools. Can we develop sustainable tourism to satisfy tourism stakeholders, visitors and local residents? Do we possess enough knowledge, skills and other resources to steer tourist flows?

At this year’s tourism panel within the framework of the Bled Strategic Forum, we will try to provide practical strategies on how to address the growth of tourism in Europe to the benefit of all. Some highly respected experts will share with us their ideas and experiences.


The Three Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence: Science, Business & People
In partnership with Siemens.

@Rikli Balance Hotel, Sonce Hall

Keynote Speaker:
• Dr Yossi Vardi, Entrepreneur and Investor, Israel

• Mr Joseph Dumoulin, Chief Technology Innovation Officer, Verint Intelligent Self-Service, United States
• Mr Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union
• Dr Michael May, Head of Data Analytics & AI, Siemens Corporate Technology, Germany
• Dr Jernej Pikalo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Science and Sport of Slovenia
• Dr Matthias Sachs, Director Corporate Affairs, Microsoft CEE, Germany
• Dr Emilija Stojmenova Duh, Director, Digital Innovation Hub Slovenia

Moderator: Ms Pika Šarf, Junior Research Fellow, Institute of Criminology, Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

In 1950, British mathematician Alan Turing published a paper on computing machinery and intelligence posing the question of whether machines can think. While AI research has steadily progressed over the past 60 years, the promises of early AI promoters proved to be overly optimistic, leading to an “AI Winter” of reduced funding and interest in AI research during the 1970s. The AI winter ended in the 1990s as computational power and data storage were advancing to the point at which complex tasks were finally becoming feasible. In 2015, Alphabet’s DeepMind launched software to play the ancient game of Go against the best players in the world using an artificial neural network that was trained on thousands of human amateur and professional games to learn how to play. AlphaGo was able to beat the world’s best player at the time, Lee Sedol, four games to one in 2016.

More recently, the availability of big data, cloud computing and the associated computational and storage capacity and breakthroughs in an AI technology called “machine learning” have dramatically increased the power, availability, growth and impact of AI.

While artificial intelligence could boost productivity, contribute to economic growth or solve some of our major medical challenges, it could also present an attack on our democratic and ethical values, impinge on our privacy, and leave millions of people jobless. How can we benefit from AI to advance our economies and secure a better quality of life for everyone, while giving up retaining our rights, freedom and human dignity? Can we boost productivity, and design machines to perform tasks that would overburden humans, while being able to afford basic social protection for everyone? Will automated jobs create more working poor or will they create 4-day working weeks, so that we can spend more time with family and friends?

The panels will bring to the stage three prominent speakers, one for each dimension of artificial intelligence. They will discuss the rapid advances in technological AI development and what these mean for economic landscape as well as for the required social changes.


Invest Talk Slovenia 3.0: Trends and Challenges of Global FDI: A Threat or an Opportunity?
In partnership with Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia.

@Rikli Balance Hotel, Sonce Hall

Welcome Speech:
• Mr Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia

Keynote Speech:
• Dr James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

• Mr Aleš Cantarutti, State Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of Slovenia
• Dr Rastislav Chovanec, State Secretary, Ministry of Economy of Slovakia
• Prof Valerio De Luca, Executive President, Global Investors Alliance, Italy
• Dr Mihael Polak, Acting Head of EBRD Residence Office in Ljubljana
• Mr Boštjan Skalar, Executive Director, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies
• Mr Luka Vesnaver, Partner-in-Charge of Financial Advisory Services, Deloitte, Slovenia
• Dr James Zhan, Director of Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD

Moderator: Mr Sebastian Shehadi, Global Markets Reporter, fDi Magazine Financial Times Group, United Kingdom

The intensification of global foreign direct investment (FDI) activity has important implications for both origin and destination countries. However, within FDI landscape there has been a shift in the last decade from traditionally advanced economies to emerging market economies (EMEs), both as a source of, and destination for, investments, attracting a growing share of FDI flows. Global FDI flows are declining, which is in contrast to the accelerated growth in GDP and trade.

New investment regulations in 2017 mainly reflected concerns about national security and foreign ownership of land and natural resources, and intensified the scrutiny of foreign takeovers, in particular of strategic assets and technology firms. Since the EU clearly has one of the world’s most open investment regimes – with more than 35% of total EU assets belonging to foreign-owned companies – it will be interesting to get a glimpse of the Union’s future strategy and its impact on Slovenia.

What are FDI trends and drivers from global and EU perspectives? What is the purpose of the recently adopted EU investment screening framework? What are the insights of the state and investment promotion agencies (IPAs), and what is the investor perspective of the country investment climate and of the risks and benefits when deciding where to invest?


A Climate-Neutral Smart Economy – Greentech
In partnership with Center of Energy Efficient Solutions and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

@Rikli Balance Hotel, Sonce Hall

• Dr Saša Bavec, Group Marketing Director, Member of Executive Committee, Group Knauf Insulation, Belgium
• Mr Gregor Benčina, President, Slovenijales Group, Vice president Center of Energy Efficiency Solutions, Initiator of GreenTech Slovenia, Slovenia
• H.E. Mr Bernard Fautrier, Vice-president CEO of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Minister Plenipotentiary, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on sustainable development issues, Monaco
• Mr Tom Fux, CEO, Toyota Fleet Mobility Europe, Germany
• Dr Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair, UNEP International Resource Panel
• Ms Ana Roš, Chef, Hiša Franko, Slovenia
• Mr Rok Vodnik, Member of the Management Board, Petrol d.d., President of the Board, Center of Energy Efficiency Solutions, Slovenia

Moderator: Dr Martin Porter, Executive Chair, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, United Kingdom

The transition to a green and more environmentally friendly economy (GreenTech) – encompassing social, environmental, climate and energy aspects – is a major challenge for modern society.

Resources (air, water, land, workforce, etc.) come at a price: this should not burden the next generation; on the contrary, it must be paid by current users. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less environmentally damaging technologies, improved resource management, as well as land, water, waste and energy use policies have all became inevitable and have profoundly affected all sectors of the economy, the transformation of enterprises, organisations, society and individual habits. Indeed, they have brought about a shift in policies and changes to the map of progressive green countries.

Numerous countries, companies and investors have already recognised the advantages and tangible benefits of green economy: financial, environmental and business as well as those related to knowledge, experience and reputation. Green economy is the driving force of innovation in all areas: from technology, business models, education, human resources and forms of cooperation. For this reason precisely the focus should be shifted to green innovation, and funds channelled in the same direction. At the same time, the regulatory environment including green taxes, banks through green investments, insurance companies, international financial institutions and court decisions foster the green economy; the same also goes for activist societal movements.

The discussion on a climate-neutral future economy – GreenTech – will aim at setting relevant political outlines and guidelines. Slovenia has a chance to take the lead in this respect and position its resources (nature and knowledge) on the global map of the drivers of sustainable development. From a country of cheap resources it must develop into the world leader in terms of quality of life and social responsibility.


Pitch your Green Idea!
In partnership with Center of Energy Efficient Solutions, EIT InnoEnergy, and ABC Accelerator.

Start up 1 / MEBIUS
MEBIUS is a start-up in the hydrogen fuel cell sector, focused on becoming a manufacturer of membrane-electrode assemblies (MEA) for Low-Temp PEM fuel cells, with theis own IP on core components, their goal is to dramatically increase the power density of MEAs compared to current market products.


Start up 2 / GRADIS
GRADIS applies Artificial Intelligence algorithms to design and control street lighting for ESCO / municipalities. We do it better and faster than human. We integrate IoT, smart city, prioritize investments in cities to save investment (>11%) and operational (>81%) costs. Reference: 200.000 light points designed (the most of them already operating in the field).


Start up 3 / MIDES DESIGN
The MIDES design company was established in 2008 with the leading project called the Aero Sail system, rigging for any type and size of sailing and motor yachts for easier and better exploitation of infinite green energy of the WIND. At Mides design, we are dedicated to clean technologies and would like to expand the idea of general use of simple sails as a main propulsion system for all vessels. The Aero sail design model has been registered and protected since 2006 by Mr Erik Šifrer and the Mides design company. As the idea of having universal, smart and automated sails, the project was started as early as 2002. Basically, the company does business in naval design and landbase desing.


Start up 4 / 2GG communication solutions
2GG communication solutions are the gateway between smart meters and energy management software. It was developed to lower the cost of communication is easy to implement and supports many different meter types. This is a complete communication solution for water utilities, district heating providers, electricity suppliers, gas distributors and others that need multi-utility management. DS Meritve developed a range of products, that make this possible, now development is focused on servicing model (SMaaS – Smart Metering as a Service). When offering a service DS Meritve is an integrator and offers financing, integration, and maintenance. This will increase the speed of implementation of smart energy distribution networks and increase their efficiency.