Darden Center for Global Initiatives (DCGI)

DCGI - Events-Conferences in Collaboration with HWZ

Conferences in Collaboration with HWZ

The Darden School of Business is proud to have partnered with the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich (HWZ) for multiple events. Read more about these events below.

  • HWZ Conference

    On 26 June 2019, Darden and HWZ co-hosted the third joint conference in Zurich focused on leadership and technology. The event this year centered primarily on artificial intelligence (AI). Questions such as how AI is used, how it changes society, how it might be introduced, and how companies might identify and minimize risks regarding AI were all addressed. Three Darden faculty presented on their areas of expertise, as related to AI, and then discussed the application of IA in business on a panel, moderated by Katia Murmann Amirhosseini of Ringier AG.

    • Raj Venkatesan: The AI Moment of Truth
    • Luca Cian: Human Machine Interaction
    • Bobby Parmar: Privacy, Ethics of AI

    Raj Venkatesan discussed the hype around AI and how to identify what opportunities are worth pursuing and the ideal timing. Luca Cian led participants through an interactive discussion exploring how customers interact with  intelligent machines and presented current research to help in the design of intelligent products that reach consumers better. Bobby Parmar helped participants understand current ethical issues related to AI, discussing how AI can be developed responsibly and providing a framework to reduce ethical risk when using AI.

    In an invite-only B2B session that complimented the main conference, Raj Venkatesan encouraged participants to consider if their companies are ready for artificial intelligence. He showcased brands currently leveraging machine-based technology and provided a framework for participants to identify their position within AI adoption and map out strategically sound plan moving forward to address the opportunities and risks that AI brings. 

  • Leadership in the Face of New Technology

    Following the success of the first joint conference between HWZ and the Darden School of Business on big data and ethics in 2015, Darden proudly partnered again with HWZ for a new conference: Leadership in the Face of New Technology. The one-day event brought together leaders to address a variety of questions related to leadership, technology and big data.


    The impact of new technologies on future work environments and cultures looms large. How we will work, where we will work, organizational structures, and the relevance of leadership are shifting and will continue to shift as a result of new and emerging technologies. The impact on management and leadership is visible today and the speed of change will continue to increase in the near future. 

    HWZ and Darden convened industry leaders and academics for presentations and discussions on bold, future-oriented leadership that embraces new technology and data, addressing some of the following questions: How can technology- and data-based leadership concepts be used effectively in the future? What role will teams play in organizations with technology-based leadership? How will technological developments affect company strategies? How can big data be used for developing new business models?

    Industry leaders from Evernote, Accenture and other companies provided perspective and real-world applicability of concepts and ideas discussed.  

    Former Darden Professor Melissa Thomas-Hunt focused on the role of leadership in teams creating or leveraging new technology. Professor Scott Snell provided a framework for strategy execution and the future of leadership in today and tomorrow’s environment. Professor Raj Venkatesan shared frameworks that leaders can use to harness the power of big data to develop new business models and an enterprise-wide culture of analytics orientation.

    Darden Faculty-Led Sessions

    The Curatorial Challenge of Team Leaders: Effectively Leveraging Technological Expertise
    Melissa Thomas-Hunt

    Executing Strategy: the 4A Framework
    Scott Snell

    Harnessing Big Data for New Business Models and Analytics Culture
    Raj Venkatesan


    HWZ Faculty-Led Sessions

    Digital Leadership: A Study Among Swiss SMEs- Four Theses, Different Answers
    Claude Meier


    Industry Speakers

    Beat Bühlmann
    General Manager EMEA, Evernote

    Paul Van Beveren
    Managing Director, Accenture

  • Big Data: Little Ethics? Conference

    The Darden School of Business proudly partnered with HWZ the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich for the Big Data: Little Ethics? Conference, which addressed a variety of questions related to big data and ethics during a one-day conference on 4 June 2015.  


    Big Data is a hot topic in business today. Many companies and consumers are interested in questions related to how data is collected, managed and shared. How does big data generate benefits for companies and consumers? What are the limits on data usage, legally, ethically and commonly practiced? How do companies make sure that their use of consumer data is in line with consumer expectations?  

    Attend and participate in the Big Data: Little Ethics? Conference to listen to discussions and participate in conversations about these pressing challenges facing the business world today. This Darden and HWZ organized and sponsored event will address a variety of questions related to big data and ethics, drawing on the knowledge of top business leaders and thought-leading faculty. All conference sessions will be practical and relevant to daily business activity and strategy.

    Darden professors will present key sessions:

    Monetizing Data Products With Rajkumar Venkatesan

    The internet has revolutionized the data-based services industry. Devices communicating with each other generate a vast amount of information that firms can now assemble to provide value-added services to their customers. This session will provide a framework for identifying which data to capture, the importance of the data to customers, assessing the analytics that would add value to the customer, estimating the monetary value of these data-based value-add services, best practices for pricing the service (subscription, usage based, upfront fees, etc.) and approaches to communicate the value of the data products to customers. The basic premise is that proper analytics are central to monetization of data-based services and customer conversion. 

    Ethics and Big Data With R. Edward Freeman and Bidhan L. Parmar

    This session will open a conversation on ethical issues in big data. Professors Freeman and Parmar will prepare original vignettes (from real cases) for discussion. They will ask then ask participants to construct vignettes from their own experiences. The main idea will be to develop a more comprehensive framework (a set of questions) to help executives understand the issues surrounding ethics and big data in order to make better decisions.