Programme Overview

Technology, The Future and You


Your future is being shaped by emerging technologies. These technologies are transforming industries, societies, and personal opportunities. Today, technologies mediate who you know, what you know, how you know, how you interact with others, and how you respond to personal needs and demands for livelihood. The large-scale technical architectures that structure global society, and the systems maintaining them, demand new skills from leaders and professionals.

These technical architectures are evolving dynamically, transforming power, creating ethical challenges, impacting our environmental future, and inventing new economic systems. While they fulfill aspirations, they also create new relationships, alter perceptions and behaviors, and sometimes break in unforeseen ways. They are products of human vision and yet can remove control from human hands. Knowing how these technologies function and the potential outcomes of their widespread adoption is essential learning in the 21st Century.

Whether consumer, business leader, scientist, citizen, or policymaker, everyone has a role to play in directing the future of technology and its impact. How can we build a better future with more informed decisions as technologies become more pervasive and essential for political, professional, and personal futures? 



This course will assess the complex dynamics between technology and society, and the leadership challenges these present. The course will consist of focused lectures, case-study based dialogues and workshops, as well as “fireside chats” with esteemed guest speakers.

Day 1 will present students with a practical framing of the systemic nature of technology and challenge the common instrumental perspective of “technology as tools”

Day 2 will zoom in on how technologies challenge the foundations of power and ethics: how are technologies impacting our social fabric, and how can we shape those influences? The analytical tools taught in this segment will be used in the following deep-dive sessions.

Days 3, 4 and 5 will tackle specific cases that exemplify critical tensions between technologies and key “operating systems” of society, from our natural environment to economic institutions.

Each session will offer unique insights into the basic functioning and disruptive capacity of frontier technologies from artificial intelligence to cryptocurrencies and the internet of things. Each lecture will be accompanied by select materials and offer ample opportunities for students to interact with one another and select guest speakers.



Course participants will:

  • Explore how individuals and societies mediate the world through technology
  • Make sense of leadership dilemmas behind large-scale technological change
  • Understand individual responsibilities in relation to emerging technologies
  • Strengthen personal agency in a fast-changing technological world
  • Interact with leading technology experts and professionals

Professionals : CHF 1,000

External students : CHF 800

UNIGE students : CHF 200


Professor Tina Ambos
Geneva School of Economics and Management
University of Geneva


Dr. Sebastian Buckup
World Economic Forum

Sebastian Buckup - Agenda Contributor | World Economic ForumSebastian Buckup is Member of the Executive Committee and Head of the Fourth Industrial Revolution Affiliate Network at the World Economic Forum. Before that, he was the Forum’s Head of Programming, responsible for the institution’s agenda setting in Davos and other global and regional meetings. Prior to joining the Forum, Sebastian worked at the UNDP Office of Development Studies, the International Labour Office, as well as a technology start-up he co-founded in his student years. Sebastian holds a PhD in economics and a master’s in political economy from the London School of Economics. He is a regular commentator on issues at the intersection of economics, politics and technology and a Visiting Professor at the University of Geneva and the Technical University Munich.


Dr. Thomas Philbeck
Technology Governance Expert

Thomas Philbeck - Agenda Contributor | World Economic ForumTom Philbeck is a Geneva-based technology and strategy consultant. From 2014 to 2021 he played a variety of roles at the World Economic Forum, most recently as Head of Technology, Society and Policy; prior to that, he was project lead on the Forum’s Fourth Industrial Revolution, its definitional programme on technology, governance and societal impact. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and an affiliate of Harvard's Berkman Klein Center. Tom also serves on the board of the Carnegie Council’s Artificial Intelligence & Equality Initiative, the IEEE's standards working group for AI Governance, and the EU’s TechEthos project. He strives to bring a global perspective to critical technosocial issues.


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Location: Uni Mail, Bd du Pont d'Arve 40, 1205 Geneva - room MS030