Keynote Speakers



1.     ‘Leaders with and for Purpose: Lessons learned from leading in extreme situations’ (Adventurer and global leader Christoph von Toggenburg )
Thursday 14th March; 08h45 – 09h15, Room 1
Christoph von Toggenburg has a colourful work experience in arts, photography, media, social entrepreneurship and humanitarian management.

He is the founder and head of the Colour the World Foundation, taking care of leprosy patients and women with mental illness. He recently launched the platform BEATtrauma, helping people suffering from severe trauma in war, on humanitarian mission and for veterans.

Former Head of Social Engagement for Africa & MENA and Global Leadership Fellow at the World Economic Forum (WEF), he initiated and managed the Global Councils on the Humanitarian System.

For nearly a decade, Christoph worked for international humanitarian organizations in conflict zones in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. He negotiated successfully with rebels and separatists all over the world, including the Maoists in Nepal, the FARC in Colombia and the rebel-groups in the Central African Republic (CAR). Christoph led large-scale relief operations, achieved the release of hostages and was nearly killed in a violent ambush in CAR. As a consequence, he suffered from severe PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

In his early 20’s and 30’s he launched three global fundraising and awareness campaigns: Alegría, a 3500km bicycle expedition across the Himalayas; Bike for Help, a 10’000km bicycle expedition from India to Switzerland; and Run for Help, a run of 270km across the Alps. During Bike for Help, Christoph became globally known, when he crossed Baluchistan during the war in Afghanistan.

His photos, films and paintings were shown globally, highlighting mostly pressing social issues such as mental health, homelessness, refugees, conflicts, leprosy, etc..

For his visual work, public talks and humanitarian efforts he has received numerous international awards. He was decorated with the Commanders Cross by the Maltese Order and spoke at TEDx. He is the author of the book ‘Bike for Help – A Humanitarian Expedition’.

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2.     ‘Trials and Tribulations of Surgical Research’ (Prof. Mark Hardy (NY, USA).
Friday 15th March; 12h30 – 13h, Room 1
  Professor Hardy is one of the founding fathers of organ transplantation. He is most recognized for co-founding, and presiding the New York Organ Donor Network in 1978. He has been involved in surgical research since the beginnings of his career, and has published numerous groundbreaking articles in the field of organ and islet transplantation. Through all his years of experience in surgery and research, Professor Hardy will inspire and motivate all lucky enough to be present.


3.     ‘Swiss watchmaking: Correlation with surgery’ (Prof. Mino, Master Watchmaker, Geneva; Switzerland).  
Friday 15th March; 16h – 16h30, Room 1

Professor Mino is a master watchmaker from Geneva. He has worked with various famous exclusive brands, and is now a professor at the ‘Geneva Watchmaking School’, or ‘Haute école d’horlogerie’, which has been teaching the fine art of watchmaking for the past 191 years. The training program to become a watchmaker for the finest timepieces in the world, is very similar to a surgical training curriculum, and has not changed much over the past hundred years. Professor Minot will take us on a journey through Swiss watchmaking traditions, and will show us the similarities between our two, seemingly not so different, worlds.