Join Monocle’s editors and a line-up of tack-sharp panellists for lively debate, informed conversation and top-notch hospitality in Zürich from 28-30 June.
Introducing this year's panels
The architect’s view
Amanda Levete: a pioneering London-based architect who’s building peerless projects around the world.
Having designed structures as diverse as museums in London and Lisbon to a mosque in Abu Dhabi, Levete brings a discrete, research-led approach to architecture that’s helping to construct a thoughtful new era in buildings. She tells us how and why.
A visual exploration of our host country.
A clued-in analyst unpicks the pitfalls and opportunities of the nation and its psyche in just 10 simple images. This is our straight-to-the-point take on the successes and next steps for Brand Switzerland, plus a few lessons that other nations should heed.
Who we would back
Got a business idea? Take heed: this is how you turn it into reality.
Businesses can help build better cities so we’ll be introducing three trailblazing entrepreneurs who are keen to do just that. They reveal the secrets to their success and what’s next on the horizon; expect canny retailers, fast-moving fitness firms and rising food stars, plus plenty more besides.
Mobility: surprising moves
Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride: this should be interesting.
Headlines are dominated by the push for driverless and electric vehicles but many mayors, planners and thinkers believe that the fixes we need are simpler – and, ultimately, better for society. This is their vision of the future.
Terrorism isn’t going away, which is why cities need to wise up – and fast.
Our cities need to adapt their design and security to ensure that we remain safe from attack. Here’s what every city hall should know, according to the architects, planners and academics shaping the debate.
Things we like
Let Tyler Brûlé take you on a global tour of his top picks.
Our editor in chief’s eclectic pick of projects and people benchmarking quality and innovation around the globe. From on-point branding and best-in-class property developments to the media worth mulling over and the studios worth seeing.
This is my Zürich
Everything you need to know about the city in a fast and far-reaching format.
We’ll be breaking up the day’s sessions with two zippy 10-minute interludes that unpack the conference’s vibrant host city in the words of those who know it best. Expect insights and tips on what keeps the city ticking and tempting, with a little reflection on the joys of city swimming in between.
The happy city
Putting the life into urban living.
Do glassy towers really make their occupants happy? From public realm to the quality of architecture, who is getting it right when building and developing our cities, green spaces and homes?
The price of silver
Why retailers need to recognise the benefits of experience and wisdom.
A snapshot of the growing power of an affluent older generation of consumers and decision-makers and how to go about reaching them. We speak to a few shining exemplars who have tapped the market.
The future of modern work
Why a life of co-working and nomadic meetings isn’t always fun.
Markus Albers is a writer an entrepreneur based in Berlin and the author of a book that unpicks the future of work. It throws up some tough questions for anyone who has a job, not least: are you suffering from digital fatigue?
How’s it hanging?
If you’re in the market to pick up a painting, frame your approach here.
Leading players and clued-in collectors reveal how (and why) to buy art and design – and what should be on your walls. Read our insider’s guide to appreciating assets.
How to make a city
And all in 15 minutes.
Monocle’s editor delivers a modest urban manifesto distilled from our forthcoming book: The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities. And it doesn’t involve big data.
What the customer wants
Click on this: service with a smile requires personal interaction.
Leading industry figures and fresh movers reveal how they found success with bricks and mortar, and why the spectre of online-only shopping bodes badly for our cities. We meet the businesses who understand what we want from the world of retail.
How to feed your team
Why professional nourishment starts in the canteen.
We’ve asked the team behind Felfel to reveal how they are banishing the damp sandwich and using honesty to raise the health of workforces across Europe.
The meaning of Federer
Could the best of Switzerland be embodied in one man’s backhand?
Author, critic and diehard Fed-fan William Skidelsky whisks us through his “Seven Wonders of Roger Federer” to reveal what one player’s classical grace lends all of sport, the personal angst behind those titanic duels with that man from Mallorca and why “Roger” (it’s always just Roger to his fans) might well be Switzerland’s greatest export.
The conference returns
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, architect, city-maker, property developer, retailer, media mogul or chef you’d be wise to nab a ticket to be part of the debate on upping our quality of life at home, in our work and of our cities. This year there will also be a special focus on entrepreneurship and making it in the city.
We’ll be diving headlong into all Zürich has to offer from fine food, Swiss wine and river swims to private tours of the best shops and ateliers. The conference commences with a reception in the evening of 28 June and concludes with a breakfast and atelier tour on the morning of 30 June.
Why we host them
We don’t measure connections by comments on backlit screens or likes on a social-media feed. Instead, a firm handshake, swapped card and drink at the bar are much seemlier options for sealing deals and drumming up contacts.
Our conferences allow delegates to forge friendships and cut to the chase with experts on subjects from entrepreneurship to the arts and urbanism to design. We also have a firm ‘good coffee and no lanyards’ policy.
At our previous outings in Lisbon, Vienna and Berlin we made friends in finance, government, media, architecture, design, retail and hospitality. We’ve also met plenty of people who are redefining their roles and seeking new opportunities, not to mention our raft of expert panellists who will be on hand to dispense wisdom and clink glasses.
The 200-plus delegates are well represented by our key markets of the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and Germany.
Ten things you'll discover
You’ll be challenged and inspired by a host of people who are rethinking schools, parks, tram stations, apartment blocks and urban security.
The city offers key lessons in better living at every turn and we’ll be hearing from the people who make the place tick.
Our base for the conference will inspire anyone in the hospitality, entertainment or retail sectors (a seemly blend of art, architecture and commerce).
We’ve lined up a great list of hotels across a series of categories – plus you’ll be able to walk everywhere.
Pack your trunks: the lake and rivers will be warm and ready for daily run-and-dip sessions.
We’ll be giving more time to the topics of retail and entrepreneurship following your feedback from Berlin.
We will also be expanding our specialist satellite sessions in association with our partners.
One key theme will be ‘made in the city’ and we’ll show you how Zürich keeps manufacturing right at its heart.
Zürich is easy to get to from anywhere in the world – by air, rail or road. For most delegates there’s no excuse: it’s a direct flight.
The mountains are close at hand for an easy escape after our Saturday brunch.