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speakers and moderators

“Window to the Future” (W2F) is a Swiss knowledge initiative with the mission to identify, assess and anticipate changes in the future of the Hospitality Industry. This exclusive think-tank summit is connecting hospitality leaders, global thinkers and experts to jointly  develop ideas on issues that could impact the future of our industry.  We invite you to have a closer look to our 2nd Edition of Window to the Future 2018

Access the sessions here

Ernst Brugger Chairman, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Dr. Ernst A. Brugger is founder and chairman of BHP – Brugger and Partners Ltd., a Swiss consulting firm specialized in sustainability strategies and economical projects, based in Zurich.

He began his professional career as head of the National Research Program, Regional Science and Policy“on behalf of the Swiss National Science Foundation. From 1981 on he also lectured at the University of Zurich, where he is a part-time professor since many years. He has been a consultant and advisor to business and public institutions in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia over the last 25 years.

Today he is chairman of the board of directors of Precious Woods Holding Ltd, SV Group AG, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, Sanu Future Learning AG as well as board member of various organisations, such as BlueOrchard Finance S.A. (Microfinance), BG Bonnard & Gardel Holding S.A.. Additionally, he is president of the Tourismusrat Graubünden and an honorary member of the Committee of the ICRC. As co-founder of “The Sustainability Forum Zurich” (TSF), the Energie Trialog Schweiz and in his project work, he advocates the implementation of economically founded strategies for sustainability, corporate responsibility and good governance in business and politics.

Jean-Claude Biver Chairman, Hublot

Jean-Claude Biver is one of those rare men who have genuinely left their mark on Swiss watchmaking. After reviving the Blancpain name, he developed Omega. In 2004, he decided to focus on the Hublot brand developing a new concept “The art of Fusion”: fusion between tradition and innovation, between the past and the future as in his words “we are not breaking with the past, on the contrary we are paying homage to it by connecting it to the future“. In just a few years, he turned the name as one of the most successful watch brand.

Today, Hublot has been chosen as “Official watch” by FIFA World Cup™, Formula 1, Ferrari, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Usain Bolt, Kobe Bryant, and the prestigious Oceanographic Museum of Monaco and Monaco Yacht Club to name just a few.

Mr. Biver is Chairman of Hublot and has been recently appointed by Bernard Arnault, President of the Watches Division, LVMH Group, including Tag Heuer and Zenith.

Inès Blal Executive Dean, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)

The first woman and youngest person to hold the position since the creation of the school in 1893, Dr. Inès Blal assumed the deanship in August 2017.

Ines holds a PhD in Strategic Management in Hospitality and Tourism from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an MBA in Hospitality Administration from EHL, and a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the INSEEC Group.

Ines joined EHL in 2006, as a lecturer, while she was completing her doctoral dissertation. She designed and taught undergraduate, graduate, and executive courses and managed multiple applied research and consulting projects for the hotel industry. During her eleven years of experience in research and teaching strategic management for the hospitality industry, Ines served as the co-director of Graduate Studies and held an active role in the steering committees overseeing EHL programs. She gained expertise in curriculum development, implementation of innovative teaching practices, academic governance, and program accreditation in Europe, North Africa, and the United States.

Her research and consulting works focus on the asset light model, the execution of expansion strategies, the financing possibilities for small and medium hotels, and the effect of distribution choices on sales performance. Ines publishes in the leading hospitality journals, collaborates with executives, and presents at industry conferences.

Ines was named Best EHL Researcher of the Year in 2013 and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Prior to her academic career, Ines worked in the catering business and joined the board of a hotel group in 2004.

Jean-Philippe Bonardi Dean, HEC Lausanne

Jean-Philippe Bonardi is a Professor of Strategic Management and currently the Dean of the HEC Lausanne, the Faculty of Business and Economics of the University of Lausanne. He earned his PhD and a Master from HEC School of Management (Paris, France), as well as a Master in Economics from the University of Aix-en-Provence, and was previously an Associate Professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business of the University of Western Ontario (Canada). He also held visiting appointments at the University of California Berkeley, Tulane University (USA) and the University of New South Wales (Australia).

His research focuses on Strategy Formulation in general, with some focus on the relationships between firms’ strategies and public policies, including macroeconomic policies and regulations of all kinds and in a global context. He studies not only how firms are impacted by these policies, but also how firms devise strategies to participate in the development of these policies and how they manage the relationships with external stakeholders (media, NGOs, activists, consumer groups, etc.) in order to do so. His research has been published in major international research outlets including the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, or the Strategic Management Journal.

He also served as an Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Review between 2008 and 2011.

Professor Bonardi has also acted as a consultant to various companies in Europe and North America, and has taught and designed Executive education programs for companies and international organizations such as the United Nations, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the RBC Royal Bank, Threadneedle, La Poste, SSL International, UPM, Veolia, DSM and Air France among others.

Nouria Hernandez Rector, University of Lausanne

After  a  first  degree  in  Biology  obtained  at  the  University  of  Geneva,  Switzerland, Prof. Nouria  Hernandez  performed  her  thesis  research  on  mRNA  splicing  with  Dr.  Walter  Keller  at  the  University  of  Heidelberg  in Germany and received her PhD in 1983. 

She did her postdoctoral studies with Dr. Alan M. Weiner at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, working on 3’ end formation of the U1 small nuclear RNA. She then joined Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory at Cold  Spring  Harbor,  New  York,  in  1986  as  an  Assistant  Professor.  She  became  a  Cold  Spring  Harbor  Laboratory Professor in 1993 and joined the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as an Associate Investigator in 1994. She became a full Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 1999.  

In 2005, she joined the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the UNIL as a Professor and as the Director of the Center  for  Integrative  Genomics  (CIG).  As  of  August  2016,  she  is  the  Rector  of  the  University  of  Lausanne  (UNIL).

UNIL  was  founded  in  1537  and  is  situated  in  the  heart  of  the  French-­  speaking  region  of  Switzerland.  Approximately  14,000  students  and  2,700  researchers  work  and  study  in  its  seven  faculties,  specialized  in Medicine, Life Sciences, Geosciences and Environment, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

James Larus Professor & Dean, the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at EPFL

James Larus is Professor and Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). Prior to joining IC in October 2013, Larus was a researcher, manager, and director in Microsoft Research for over 16 years and an assistant and associate professor in the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Larus has been an active contributor to numerous communities. He published over 100 papers (with 9 best and most influential paper awards), received over 30 US patents. Larus received a National Science Foundation Young Investigator award in 1993 and became an ACM Fellow in 2006. Larus received his MS and PhD in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, and an AB in Applied Mathematics from Harvard in 1980.

Dominique Turpin IMD President & Nestlé Professor of marketing

Dr. Dominique Turpin is President of IMD and also serves as the Nestlé Professor of marketing.

In his more than 25 years at IMD, he has gained extensive teaching, consulting and research experience in the areas of marketing and international strategy in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, particularly in the area of brand management, customer orientation and communications strategy. Additionally his thought-knowledge has been widely published in more than 100 books, articles and case studies. He served as a board member for the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne.

Professor Turpin holds a master’s degree from ESSCA in France and Doctorate in Economics from Sophia University in Japan.

Christophe Dubi Executive Director, IOC Olympic Games

In 1996, the year of the centenary of the Olympic Games, Christophe Dubi joined the IOC as a trainee to work on his favourite subjects: sports management and the impact of the Games.

In July 2007, Christophe Dubi was appointed IOC Sports Director, a role that required him to oversee the sports components of the Olympic Games and to manage relations with the International Sports Federations. He was also responsible for the following IOC Commissions: Athletes’, Olympic Programme, Sport for All and Entourage, each of which being of paramount importance for the IOC and the Olympic Movement.

Since September 2014, Christophe Dubi has been Olympic Games Executive Director. In collaboration with all IOC departments, OBS, as well as Olympic Movement Stakeholders, the Olympic Games Department is in charge of managing and coordinating all activities related to the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games, from the candidature phase to the dissolution of the organising committees.

All strategic developments involving the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games, as well as the Coordination and Evaluation commissions also fall under the responsibility of the Department.

Mary Gostelow Gostelow Report

Mary Gostelow is known for global experience in all sectors of luxury hospitality.  She publishes an industry bible, the monthly Gostelow Report market intelligence briefing, and she has weekly columns in HOTELS magazine: she also writes weekly in LATTE, and she has a daily travelogue  In 2016 International Luxury Travel Market ILTM launched the Mary Gostelow Award, to honour icons in luxury travel – the award is currently held by Matthew Upchurch, Chairman/CEO of Virtuoso, the leading collective of travel advisors worldwide.

Yaron Ashkenazi Chief Executive Officer, GCH Hotel Group

Yaron Ashkenazi has extensive international experience in the hospitality industry. He currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer at GCH Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in Germany. Yaron began his tenure with GCH Hotel group in 2011, where he has held the titles of Area Vice President and Chief Operating Officer prior to being appointed CEO.

He sees enormous potential for the GCH Hotel Group. “The strategy for further growth is to develop strong connections between partners, employees and investors.”

Before joining GCH Hotel Group, Yaron held the position of General Manager in one of the leading hotel complexes in Europe. There he was responsible for taking over, planning, positioning, and managing a hotel complex which included a 5-star hotel, an apartment hotel, a casino, a fitness centre, and a commercial promenade.

Yaron has also held several managerial positions in the hotel business in Israel and Europe – as a training manager, an HR Manager, a Food & Beverage Manager and General Manager.

Education and training: Yaron holds a BA from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and a diploma in Hotel Management from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He is currently a member of the European Hotel Managers Association (EHMA).

Aziz Boolani Chief Executive Officer at Serena Hotels, South & Central Asia

Aziz Boolani has been the Chief Executive Officer of Serena Hotels, South & Central Asia since July 2000. During this period, he led the team for the construction and commissioning of five properties including three hotels in the Capital City of Islamabad, Kabul and Dushanbe.


Prior to joining Serena Hotels, he was the Executive Director for two Marriott Hotels and five Pearl Continental Hotels (previously Intercontinental Hotels) in Pakistan. He remained Chairman Pakistan Hotels Association from 2004 to 2006. Aziz attended the General Manager and Marketing programs at the Holiday Inn University, Memphis, USA.


In 2016, Aziz Boolani was decorated with the second highest civil award “Sitara-i-Imtiaz” by the President of Pakistan for initiating various community support programs under the banner of Sports Diplomacy, Adventure Diplomacy, Cultural Diplomacy and Public Diplomacy.

Philippe Perianin Head of Business & Organization Performance Nestle Purina EMENA

Philippe PERIANIN is leading the development of the strategy and business model innovation for Nestlé Purina Petcare EMENA (Europe, Middle Est, North Africa).
After developing his career in operations across global geographies (USA, Latin America, Europe) Philippe moved to Switzerland to lead many large and complex business transformations across functions and markets.

He has contributed to the development of the business strategy for PetCare in Asia and Oceania and more recently he has led the redefinition of the long term business strategy for Nestlè Purina EMENA.

His interests are: early stage entrepreneurship, business transformation and organization design.

Samih Sawiris Chairman Orascom Development Holding AG

Samih Sawiris is a member of an Egyptian entrepreneur family. After attending the Deutsche Evangelische Oberschule in Cairo, he completed studies in industrial engineering at the Technische Universität Berlin.

He manages and owns significant international companies, as do his two brothers Naguib and Nassef. These are active in the fields of information technology, construction and fertilizers. The companies of the three Sawiris brothers carry the word Orascom in their names, but they are financially independent from one another.


Samih Sawiris is majority shareholder, chairman of the board of directors of Orascom Development Holding AG (ODH). ODH is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange, Zurich, (primary listing) and on the EGX Egyptian Exchange, Cairo, (secondary listing). ODH has been developing, constructing and operating integrated holiday resorts since 1989.

Sarah Miller Luxury Brand Ambassador, Wall Street Journal; Founder & CEO of Sarah Miller and Partners

Luxury Brand Ambassador of The Wall Street Journal, is Founder and CEO of Sarah Miller and Partners, an independent creative agency that

produce brand strategies and positioning; brand architecture; naming and visual identities; brand implementation and content (copy, photography and videography in digital and print) for a range of luxury and lifestyle brands.

She was Founding Editor-in-Chief of Condé Nast Traveller UK, and also launched Condé Nast Traveller in China. On leaving Condé Nast she was appointed European Editor of Travel + Leisure. Her company has just completed the rebranding of The Datai in Langkawi, the spa concept for the new St George hotel in Helsinki and the brand look and feel for 67 Pall Mall private members’ club.

She created the video for Firmdale hotels, The River Café and a host of other hospitality companies. She also edited Ian Schrager’s Studio 54 book (Rizzoli); London Uprising, a portrait of 50 fashion designers in the city (Phaidon) and is currently working on Where Architects Sleep (Phaidon). She is well connected in the sectors of visual arts, film, fashion, architecture and design as well as hotels, restaurants and the world of luxury in general.

She recently stepped down from being a governor of the Royal College of Arts after 15 years and was appointed an Honorary Fellow.

She has had a career in journalism which spans helping to found Blueprint, the leading architecture and design magazine; editing arts and design for Elle, being Assistant Editor of The Sunday Times (launching Style magazine) and Associate Editor and Arts Editor of the Daily Telegraph. Based in London, she has worked extensively with fashion, arts, design, lifestyle and travel opinion formers from around the globe, has an extremely influential and pertinent network of contacts that also reaches into the political sphere.

She won Editor of the Year seven times. She is married to the Director of London’s Design Museum. They have one daughter who is a novelist.


Catalin Cighi Managing Partner, Cain Hospitality Innovation (CHI)

Catalin works to reinvent hospitality through film making, culinary tourism, and development strategy consulting. His invests in R&D to evolve customer experience design. Before founding CHI in Dubai, Catalin worked in Europe and North America with companies such as PwC, HVS and The Economist Group.


Christian de Barrin Chief Executive Officer, Hotels, Restaurants & Cafés in Europe (Hotrec Hospitality Europe)

Christian de Barrin is CEO of HOTREC, the umbrella Association of Hotels, Restaurants and Cafes in Europe since 8 April 2014. HOTREC brings together 40 National Member Associations in 29 European countries, representing 1.8 million hospitality businesses in Europe, 91% of which being micro-sized enterprises, and is the voice of the European hospitality industry.

French native, with a Master in economic and social administration at the Paris University of Assas, Christian has built up expertise and experience in strategic communication, stakeholder relations and public affairs for 17 years in Brussels for different industry sectors, e.g. the metal industry for 8 years and hospitality/tourism in his current position. He is a Member of the Steering Group of the Manifesto, an industry led initiative in support of European Tourism and of the 2017 UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for development. Christian de Barrin was Board Member of the European Association of Communication Directors (2008/2012), and a columnist at French Radio France-Info.

One of HOTREC’s most iconic contribution was  the publication in November 2015 of a policy report on the so called collaborative economy entitled: “Levelling the playing field” followed by “Policy Priorities for a responsible and fair “collaborative” economy” early 2017. HOTREC also published guidelines to reduce food waste and develop food donations with the European Food Bank Associations and METRO AG, as well as a report on the benefits of low VAT on job creation and competitiveness in the course of 2017.

Tej Tadi Founder & CEO MindMaze

Tej Tadi is the entrepreneur behind the Swiss unicorn MindMaze, which builds human-computer interfaces at the intersection of neuroscience, mixed reality and artificial intelligence. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the company’s first product, which helps patients with neurorehabilitation after a stroke. The company is expanding to address other motor and cognitive impairments, and its versatile platform targets vertical industries such as media and entertainment. Dr. Tadi has an academic background in engineering and virtual reality from the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). He has filed several patents and his research has been published in the journal Science. The World Economic Forum selected him as a Young Global Leader in 2015 and he is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He was awarded the Swiss Entrepreneur of the Year prize in 2016.

Ted Teng President, CEO, Leading Hotels of the World

Ted Teng was appointed president and chief executive officer of The Leading Hotels of the World, in September 2008.  In his position, Mr. Teng oversees and directs all aspects of business strategy, operations, and performance growth for the premier luxury hospitality organization.  The company, which represents over 375 predominantly independent hotels, provides global sales, marketing and distribution services through a network of worldwide sales and reservations offices. Based at the company’s headquarters in New York, Mr. Teng also holds a seat on the board of directors.

Since joining Leading Hotels, Mr. Teng has developed and executed a detailed five-year business plan which focuses on strengthening the brand and driving increased revenue to member hotels.  Within the plan, he has also asserted the crucial importance of dedication and adherence to quality, in the firm belief that by elevating the overall level among the collection, all hotels will benefit. Taking as his motto “Preserve, Enhance, and Invent,” he seeks to honor and uphold the more than eight-decade-old traditions of the organization, while innovating to achieve greater strength and success in the future.

A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Mr. Teng has an MBA from the University of Hawaii.

Quang Thai Chief Strategy Officer, Jing Jiang Europe & Louvre Hotels Group

Quang, as the Chief Strategy Office, heads the Strategy & Innovation department of Jin Jiang Europe, the holding company of Louvre Hotels Group,

In this capacity, he is overseeing Jin Jiang Group’s overall strategy outside of China. He is also responsible for the Hotel Operation process standard and R&D, as well as the mission of anticipating, developing and implementing innovative solutions, technologies and mindset for the Group

Prior to joining Jin Jiang, Quang had held various positions in Banking, High Tech start-up and management consulting.

Quang studied engineering and mathematics at Ecole Polytechnique, France. Has also has a Master in Applied Mathematics from Ecole Normale Supérieure & Paris Pierre et Marie-Curie and a Master in Finance from Paris la Sorbonne

Yateendra Sinh Chief Executive Officer, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Yateendra has been building Lausanne Hospitality Consulting since the year 2000, and has thus been at the forefront of its business strategies and client portfolio management.

During his tenure in Lausanne, he has delivered advice, coaching and trainings in diverse situations; to Clients in 50 + countries and in areas of strategy, organisational design, business planning, efficiency acceleration, sustainable business cultures, great hotel experiences and profitable dining concepts.

Prior to joining LHC, Yateendra held various operational responsabilities such as pre-opening and managing of hotels, business clubs, townships and large IT infrastructure networks. Yateendra has expertise in many facets of the hospitality industry: planning, policy-making, industry diagnostics, strategic analysis, new product & concept development, re-engineering, marketing and information technology.

He is a graduate in Economics from the Univesity of Bombay and has a three-year post-graduate Diploma in Hotels & Management.

Marc Dardenne Group Chief Operating Officer, Jumeirah Group Headquarters

Marc Dardenne joined Jumeirah in September 2016 as Group Chief Operating Officer and oversees Group operations across its international portfolio. Marc has a long and established career as a hotelier having worked internationally for more than 30 years. He has been instrumental in the development of a number of brands and curated guest experience across a range of diverse hospitality assets including hotels, branded residences, serviced apartments, resorts and clubs and brings his unique insight, global expertise and passion for hospitality to Jumeirah.

Marc’s appointment hails his return to Dubai after 5 years in Singapore. His experience and distinct contribution will further enhance the Jumeirah management team as well as Jumeirah’s continued evolution as a world leading hospitality brand.

A Belgium national, Marc has lived and worked in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East and is fluent in French, English and German.

Andrew Katz Partner, Prospect Advisors

Andrew is a partner in Prospect Hotel Advisors LLC, which is a hospitality asset management firm.  Andrew oversees the international hotels in the portfolio with hotels throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  Prior to joining PHA, Andrew was with Axios Hospitality Real Estate where he was the Managing Director since the formation of the firm in 2006 until 2012 when he joined PHA.  Axios is The Blackstone Group company that asset manages Blackstone’s owned hotels in Europe.      Prior to this position Andrew was Senior Vice President of Asset Management for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.   Andrew has a long career in hospitality in operations having started his career at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City and has held General Manager roles in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Andrew resides in London.

Prospect Hotel Advisors is a third party asset management firm with offices in London, Westport, CT and Palm Beach, FL. They currently asset manage hotels in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America for multiple clients. They are primarily responsible for The Blackstone Groups hotel portfolio globally and oversees the exclusive consultant partners that support the portfolios.

Ruud J. Reuland Board Member, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Ruud Reuland, born in 1949 and of Dutch nationality, has a Bachelor degree in hospitality management (Hotel school The Hague, the Netherlands) and a Master degree in business law (Erasmus University, the Netherlands).

He worked in many operational jobs in the hospitality industry in the Netherlands and Ireland.

In 1977 he was appointed Director of Human Resources of a hospital in Haarlem, the Netherlands. In 1980 he joined the Hotel school The Hague, first as professor in Human Resources and Hospitality law, later as Member of the Board of Directors. In 1997 he was appointed as Dean of the Hotel school The Hague.

Ruud became General Director of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland in 2002 and as of 2005 he combined this with the position of Academic Director at the same school.

Since 2011 Ruud is involved in a number of international projects, mainly in hospitality education strategy development and implementation: Switzerland, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Oman, Cambodia, Bhutan, India, Kenya, China, Tunisia, Canada and Tanzania.

He works for and with renowned organizations, such as the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland, Dusit International, Thailand and the Aga Khan University, Kenya.

Ruud is Board member of the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai and of Lausanne Hospitality Consulting SA, a company of the EHL group.

Furthermore he is member of the Advisory Board of the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of the Hong Kong Polytechnic.

Claude Béglé Chairman, SymbioSwiss

A Swiss politician involved in Foreign Affairs and an international entrepreneur, with a solid business executive experience. Most of career spent in line management positions  for  large corporations such as Nestlé, Philip Morris, DHL or the Swiss Post, in around hundred countries. Also dealing with corporate affairs and political issues. Currently an active independent entrepreneur with innovative projects. Meanwhile elected to the Federal Parliament of Switzerland, member of the Foreign Policy Committee. Deals mainly with peace negotiations,  humanitarian, development and climatic affairs. Also involved in a reflection on migration, cultural integration,  digitalization and cyber-security.

Ph.D. in Economics, Master in Law, Master in International Relations. Very international, multilingual and multicultural. A strategic thinker with a global vision, accustomed to translate it into actions to achieve concrete results. High energy level, dynamic, hard worker. A natural inspiring leader and a good motivator. Both analytical and intuitive. A seasoned negotiator, at ease in complex political, regulatory and business and situations.

A politician with a strong sense of dedication to the causes he serves. As a Federal Swiss M.P., is very active in all aspects of international relations, in particular multilateral diplomacy, peace and development policies. Business-friendly, but with a strong bias towards corporate social responsibility. Engaged in favor of energy saving and environmental programs.

At the same time, dynamic, innovative and result oriented entrepreneur. During his line-management career, was accustomed to run important budgets and large teams. Worked in the fields of consumer goods and later on services (mainly logistics). Successfully completed numerous acquisitions, their subsequent integration and change management programs. Able to balance macro/political considerations and micro/business efficiency. Familiar with public policy and PPPs. Equally at ease in corporate, SME or start-up environment.

Now as Chairman of SymbioSwiss, participates to the development of several innovative projects/companies, such as the local production of a non-chemical, efficient & inexpensive disinfecting solution for local hygiene (Swiss NeWater), smart cities development in Singapore (with JTC) and Indonesia, academic publishing (Peter Lang), digitalization (ANSR) and MedTech (MindMaze).

Tanios T. Kassis Dean at Sagesse University

Dr. Tanios Kassis has an impressive track record in the hospitality industry—holding positions of responsibility in finance, management, operations and development throughout his career. Dr. Kassis is the Dean of the Sagesse University Faculty of Hospitality Management with the academic certification of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne since September 2005. He used to teach in several universities and was one of the founders of the Lebanese University Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management. Dr. Kassis was the Development Director of Sun Lodgings / Choice Hotels for 7 years. Dr. Kassis held key managerial and operational positions for a variety of international hotel chain companies throughout the world including Merlin Hotels, Concorde Hotels, Grove Park Inns & resorts, and Accor hotels group. He has delivered several conferences on Hotels Development, Strategic Decision, Hospitality Investment and Finance. He has conducted and written many researches, feasibility studies, auditing and articles. Dr. Kassis earned his PhD degree in Tourism with a thesis on The Hospitality Financial Investment from Perpignan University. He also holds an MBA in Hospitality Management from Cornell University/Essec.


Alexa Poortier Founder, itmustbeNOW.com

Alexa Poortier is the Founder of itmustbeNOW.com, a legacy project with a mission to boldly advance sustainability, social responsibility and principled business practice in the travel industry to help it thrive. It is an influencer platform that is forming a global community who believe that travellers and the travel industry can be a Force for Good; and a marketing alliance to differentiate inspiring and responsible hotels in the NOW Track & Book, a tool for all stakeholders to raise the bar on accountability and transparency around sustainability with no greenwash allowed, simplify communications, offset carbon and provide direct bookings.

Alexa’s professional experience spans over three decades in the areas of business development, marketing, communications and hotel operations in Asia Pacific, E. Europe, Middle East, Canada and S. America within the hospitality, media and PR industry. She understands the challenges and impacts of global business having co-founded a hotel consultancy and in her role as VP with News Corp’s Star TV, Sumitomo’s JetTV, CNBC, and Group Director with O&M PR and Edelman/JMA PR.

At this most urgent of times when there is a crisis of trust and travel has immense positive and negative impact on our world, itmustbeNOW.com informs, inspires and empowers the traveller to use their spending power to drive global change and only support responsible and sustainable travel experiences.

André Wider Owner and CEO, Wider Group

Mr. André Wider, owner and CEO of Wider Group, represents the third generation of owners; He has gained a solid expertise in cabinet making due to passionate people that he is working with, the customer’s vision, the challenging projects commissioned and the results obtained. A love for woodworking developed since his childhood continued during his studies in the “Swiss School Of Wood” where he obtained his master degree in cabinet making, followed by interim training in Germany and then was fostered in his father’s workshop since 1992. André Wider took over his father’s workshop in 1997 where he worked with just a handful of employees. Through hard work, perseverance, and the quality of the work he produced, the workshop grew quickly. By 2017, André Wider is now at the head of 250 patient employees working in his 3 workshops of 12,000m2, a showroom in Crissier and a sister company in Italy now positioned to be a major support for sustainable sourcing for Wider Group. André Wider philosophy for success is simple – whether personally or professionally always surround yourself with talented people smarter and wiser than you. André Wider is a man motivated by the will of transmitting to the new generation the Swiss artisanal craftsmanship know-how, and the desire to succeed by internationalization the activities of his companies.  With the highest standards of production and services in all Wider companies operations. He has overseen the opening of the most prestigious luxury boutiques in 120 cities of 20 countries as well as a number of 5*****hotels and restaurants, designed by acclaimed architects who received prestigious awards, making Wider Group a well-respected operator in the Luxury sector. Here are some brands names who entrusted André Wider with their projects such as Hublot, Breitling, Patek Philippe, Beau Rivage Palace, Hotel Alpina and Hotel Park Gstaad, la Prairie Clinic and the list is not exhaustive. For André Wider, the development of each product is a process that involves a deep knowledge of the intended market with the right combination of expertise. His approach is based on a few essential elements: the continuous investment on machinery, latest technologies, sustainable sourcing of material together with research into functionality and ingenuity. At the same time he has created a corporate identity ensuring that the group imposes lasting standards of excellence and quality as its foundation with an in-depth corporate culture that is rooted in absolute integrity.


Andre Mack Director, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

André has an extensive career in the in-flight catering industry and specialized in the areas of customer service and business process re-engineering.

He is Director, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, and faculty member, Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, coaching students through their final study professional project. André facilitated seminars on product development, strategic resilience, branding and customer service strategies within the hospitality industry. The consulting mandates in operational and quality auditing of hospitality business units, re-engineering of management and operational processes, project management for hotels new builds, strategic business analysis, as well as the development of hospitality learning centers, have allowed him to touch base in New York, Sydney and many countries between these two destinations.

André holds an MBA from Hult International Business School and is both alumni of HSG (University of St. Gallen) and Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. He speaks French, German and English, mixing it up sometimes with the various Swiss German dialects.

Besides walking with his two children and his wife, André appreciates particularly good food, good wine and the unique atmosphere of a Swiss chalet with its chimney fire.

Philipp Mosimann Managing Director, Mosimann's London


Philipp graduated with a BSc in International Hospitality & Business from EHL, Lausanne in 2000. He began his career in Singapore and reached International Director of Operations, “Food & Beverage Manager of the Year” at the Equinox. Moving back to Switzerland in 2004 he took over as Chief Operating Officer for Mövenpick Restaurants in Germany and Switzerland.

He joined Mosimann’s in 2007 as Joint Managing Director with his brother Mark, spearheading Mosimann’s Party Service, Cookery School, as well as Marketing & Strategy.

Philipp has completed the UTMB 166km Ultra Trail nonstop footrace around Mont Blanc in 2014. The 4 Deserts races… Vietnam, Nepal, Gobi, Sahara, Atacama & Namibia ….. each one a 250km footrace over 6 days.

Peter G. Rebeiz Chairman & CEO, Caviar House & Prunier

Peter G. Rebeiz was born on May 4, 1961, in the Danish capitol Copenhagen. With 23 years of age, he took over the direction of the family business. Caviar House had been founded in 1950 by his  father George P. Rebeiz and was at that time the number 1 importer of Russian and Iranian caviar. Towards the end of the 1980’s, Peter G. Rebeiz relocated the company’s  head office to Geneva. He established the brand on the international stage and  expanded the company with the Seafood Bar con- cept. The first Seafood Bars opened at Heathrow Airport in London. Peter G. Rebeiz introduced new classifica- tion standards for caviar that are still valid today: Royal Black, Imperial, Classic Grey and Almas. Until then, the selection of caviar had been grounded merely  on the sturgeon of origin, i.e. Beluga,  Oscietra and Sevruga. The classification of caviar on the basis of the sturgeon’s age as well as the colora- tion and size of the fish eggs was extreme- ly well received by the customers and en- hanced the perception of this luxury prod- uct sustainably. After the collapse of the  Soviet  Union  in the early 1990’s, Peter G. Rebeiz set again standards by taking a stand for the protection of the sturgeon and its inclusion in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). In 1992, Caviar House took over the Balik Räucherei im Toggenburg AG. The Balik salmon, which is considered by  many  as the finest smoked salmon in the  world, thus appeared on the international  scene and quickly  became  an insider’s  tip amongst gourmets from all over the world. Under the direction of Peter G. Rebeiz, the family business Caviar House merged with Prunier Manufacture, a French sturgeon farmer and manufacturer of fine caviar, in 2004. As a matter of fact, Peter G. Rebeiz is today the only importer and selector of fine caviar, who is also producer  of  this rare product. As he had done before with the wild caviar, Peter Rebeiz introduced a classification for farmed caviar, which has been generally accepted in the business. With its shops and Seafood Bars, Caviar House & Prunier was the first company to successfully introduce luxury into the air- port business. The company is today with 27 shops and bars in 11 international air- ports present. Along with his passion for caviar, Peter G. Rebeiz’s heart beats for music. At a young age, he attended the conservatory in Co- penhagen.  Today,  he  composes  music and has produced several albums. Peter G. Rebeiz is co-founder of the Montreux Jazz Café, which is today  pre- sent in the airports of Zurich and Geneva as well as in the Gare de Lyon in Paris, and in Doha. He significantly contributed to the establishment of the  brand  „Montreux  Jazz Festival“ on an international level.  Peter G. Rebeiz holds the following offices: President and CEO of Caviar House & Prunier Group SA; Member of the foundation board of the Montreux Jazz Foundation; President  of  Montreux  Jazz International; President of Caviar House Airport Premium (Suisse) SA.

Patrick Willis Michelin-Starred Restaurateur

As Founder and Managing Director of Innovative Restaurant Concepts in 2005, Mr.  Patrick Willis has established a unique approach to his consultancy. It is all about the people you are working with, the project, what the expectations are, mandate of the assignment and the results obtained. As Chief Operating Officer for the Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation from 2000 until 2017 he was instrumental in implementing chairman Marlon Abela’s vision of an international restaurant group with the highest standards of food, wine, and service in every establishment it operated. He has overseen the opening of seven restaurants in London, New York and Boston, all of which several have received prestigious awards and accolades, making MARC a well-respected operator in the fine dining sector. With the addition of MARC Fine Wines and OW Loeb, the wine division is now positioned to be a major player in the UK in the private wine investment sector. He is also on the board of Francois Payard Bakery, another subsidiary in the MARC family.

At the same time he has created a corporate brand platform ensuring that the group imposes lasting standards of excellence and quality as its foundation with an in-depth corporate culture that is rooted in absolute integrity.

He devised a business strategy and model that provided a clear signpost for the future and then set about its practical implementation. He hired experienced and enthusiastic professionals and welded them into a committed and totally dedicated team who were inspirational, loyal and understanding to MARC’s core values. He put systems and procedures in place so that progress could be accurately traced and ensured that all reviews were related to performance. He put financial responsibility at the heart of everything he did and backed it with proper documentation, monthly reviews and accurate forecasting.

Over the years MARC, working directly with prestigious wineries, has hosted wine dinner-containers featuring the finest vintages from Chateau Latour, Penfold’s Grange, Palmer, DRC, Sassicaia, Insignia, Dom Perignon, Masseto and Ornellaia as well as their annual Kuramoto dinner-containers at Umu, featuring the best sake masters showcasing their finest.

The acclaim for their wines has been constant and universal.

The Wine Spectator has presented MARC Restaurants with their Grand Award annually since 2005 and also their Best Award of Excellence for their outstanding selection of wines.

Since 2012 MARC is the only restaurant group with Grand Awards for restaurants in both New York and London at the same time.


Ray F. Iunius Director Business Development, Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Prof. Dr. Ray F. Iunius is the author of various academic and professional articles published by journals in the management of services, technology and innovation. He is also the author of a number of books such as “Industrie de l’accueil”, “Hotellerie de Luxe”, “la gestion des spas”, “Un hôtel, un modèle?” in the Boeck editions and co-author of the “Lausanne Report on the Future of Hospitality industry”.

He is the founder of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (EHLITE), the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (INTEHL), the students Business Projects (SBP), the EHLITE magazine, and the Chair of Innovation Paul Dubrule.

Ray earns a BSc, MS and PhD in Technical Sciences from the University of Transylvania Brasov and an MBA and PhD from the Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC) of the Lausanne University.  He is currently Director of Business Development at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, an Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and Swiss Hotel Association company.

Karen Hanton Founder PetsPyjamas.com and toptable.com

Karen Hanton MBE is a digital pioneer and serial entrepreneur who founded and exited two companies to PLC’s including toptable.com Europe’s largest online restaurant booking company to Nasdaq listed Opentable in 2010.

Recognising the emerging trend around pets as true members of the family she founded PetsPyjamas.com in 2012, an online pet lifestyle hub with a focus on dog-friendly travel. PetsPyjamas is now the number 1 dedicated, dog-friendly travel hub in Europe.

She has received much public recognition including appearing on the prestigious list of 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in both 2015 & 2016.

Bogdan Manoiu Cofounder, WeFundScience

Serial entrepreneur passionate about building new products, Bogdan has founded 6 companies in various fields from consumer goods, industrial products all the way to technology and taken them from an idea on a napkin all the way to global presence. He is passionate about innovation and has received International recognition and multiple awards for as the ICT award as well as the intentionally Grand Prix for innovation.

Constantin Sebesanu CEO Trend Hospitality

Constantin has been the Managing Director of Trend Hospitality, an asset management and hospitality consultancy since over 10 years. Previously, he served as General Manager, Executive Manager and Managing Partner at various hotels and hospitality companies. A graduate of Bucharest institute of Technology and with an MBA from the Open University UK, he also holds qualifications from Boston University and Cornell University. Constantin’s dedication to hospitality led him to found the Romanian Hotel and Restaurant Association HoRa.

Ravish Swarup Chief Executive, Praxis Services Onefinerate.com

Ravish Swarup is the Founder CEO of Praxis Services and soon to be launched on line travel portal called onefinerate.com.

Praxis Services is a business process management company that offers operational excellence with deep domain expertise in hospitality and travel management. The company’s unique business model delivers comprehensive business solutions for Reservation Sales, Revenue Management, on line Sales and Distribution, CRM, Database Marketing and Tele Sales. The company deploys advanced analytics to business decisions that enable customer acquisitions, sales force effectiveness, marketing ROI, process improvements and profitability management.

Established in 2012, Praxis manages over 150 Hotels and approximately 20,000 rooms daily for Revenue Optimization at its state of the art global delivery centre in Gurgaon, National Capital region (NCR), New Delhi.

Praxis will soon launch onefinerate.com, a dynamic rate driven, guest focused OTA that is likely to be disruptor in the market place.

Prior to this, Ravish worked with The Oberoi Group for over 20 years where he last served as its Senior Vice President. He founded The Oberoi Group’s central reservations organization whose outstanding service delivery received recognition as the ‘World’s Best’ from Leading Quality Assurance (LQA) in the quality assurance benchmarking analysis done for luxury hotel companies.


Louis Palmer Tour Director Wave World Advanced Vehicle Expedition

The first man ever to circumnavigate the world in a solar powered vehicle, global environmental adventurer and inspirational speaker.

When Louis was 14, he became aware of global warming and he had a dream: To circumnavigate the planet with a solar powered vehicle, without any pollution, to showcase this clean technology. 20 years later, as a school teacher he was, and without any financial or technical background, he managed to find the support he needed from universities like ETH, the Swiss government and partners from the industry who helped him to build his solar powered vehicle.

During his 1,5 year long epic journey of 54’000 km across 38 countries with his so called “solartaxi” he transported more than 1000 passengers, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Hollywood stars, statesmen or ordinary people. With his tour he inspired more than 770 mio. people worldwide with a simple message: solutions to stop global warming are available and ready for every day life.

In 2011, he was awarded by United Nations Environment Programme as “Champion of the Earth” in the category “inspiration and action”.

Since then he is organizing the world’s biggest annual electric vehicle rally, the WAVE – World Advanced Vehicle Expedition. His rally was recognized three times by “Guinness World Records”. Besides being tour director, he is also a truly inspirating key note speaker with three basic messages for everyone:

–        Never give up!

–        Be creative!

–        Make the first step!


  • 10th May 2020

  • 11thMay 2020

  • Time Topics
  • 18:30 Pre-Arrival Cocktail Dinner Venue to be defined
  • Time Topics
  • 08:15-08:40 Some Coffee to refill your Tank and Registration ambiance to prepare your think
  • 08:50-09:00 Welcome Speech
  • 09:00-09:15 Key note Speaker: What could be happening in the World 10, 20 and 30 Years from now?
  • 09:20-09:55 The Future of Hospitality Education Read more
  • 10:00-10:45 Keynote
  • 10:50-11:30 Globalization versus Localization Read more
  • 11:35-12:05 High Tech versus High Touch Read more
  • 12:05-13:30 Food Tank and Think network
  • 14:00-15:30 MICRO TANKS
  • Management Models of the Future Read more
  • Taking Corporate Social Responsibility to the next level Read more
  • 16:00-17:30 MICRO TANKS
  • The Future of Gastronomy & Food Read more
  • The Digital me Read more
  • 18:00-18:30 Keynote
  • 18:30-19:30 Cocktail & Farewell


Monday May 11th 2020, from 09:00 to 18h30

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is easy to get to via public transportation or by car. Find helpful information about visiting the EHL Campus, staying in Lausanne and contacting the W2F 2018 Team.

  • Venue

  • Accommodation


Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)
Route de Cojonnex 18
1000 Lausanne-25

Lausanne is easy to get to via car, bus or plane. Find below all the information to plan your arrival in our city and get to EHL for W2F 2018

Geneva Airport

Geneva airport is the closest international airport to EHL Campus. It is a 50-minute drive or a 40-minute train journey from Lausanne (60km)

Zurich Airport

Zurich Airport is a 2h40 drive or a 2h30 train journey from Lausanne (220 km)

By train

All rail tracks lead to Lausanne. There are both national and international train services to Lausanne.
Check train times.

Public transport from Lausanne railway station
  • At the railway station, take the M2 metro line in the direction of Croisettes. Get off at the end of the line (croisettes)
  • Then take bus number 45 to the school

The journey from the railway station to the school takes around 30 minutes.

Timetables are available here.
Enter your departure point and then choose Lausanne, Ecole hôtelière as your destination.

By Car

  • Take the freeway to Lausanne and follow the signs for “Lausanne Nord”
  • Exit the freeway at “Vennes-Hôpitaux” and follow the signs for Epalinges
  • Continue on Route de Berne until you get to the “Le Mont” exit, and then follow the signs for “Ecole hôtelière”


Once you are in Lausanne, you can take a taxi to EHL Campus. Taxies wait in front of the railway station.


Hotel Partner to be defined soon




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About us

Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC)

Lausanne Hospitality Consulting (LHC) is the Swiss knowledge development and management advisory company of Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and the Swiss Hotel Association –hotelleriesuisse. As part of its quality commitment, LHC provides its clients with applicable and innovative business solutions. LHC is a comprehensive solutions company, providing for knowledge advisory, management support, people development, executive education, schools development and vocational training solutions. LHC is a member of EHL Holding SA, a Group dedicated to hospitality management education.

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)

Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) is an ambassador for traditional Swiss hospitality and has been a pioneer in hospitality education since 1893. It has created and inspired a unique professional community of over 25’000 hospitality managers, united by the values and the legacy of EHL.  EHL is a leading university that provides learning solutions for enthusiastic, talented and ambitious students from 106 different countries. With undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, EHL offers its students a range of on-campus and online education opportunities at different stages of their professional journey.

EHL is regularly recognized as the best hotel management school in the world with the highest graduate employment rates in the industry. EHL is a member of EHL Holding SA, a Group dedicated to hospitality management education.