This week will take place the Lift15 conference in Geneva (see also last year's entry: Lift14).

Selected talks:

Frederic Jacobs - The internet is insecure. Our phones are insecure. Pretty much anything we use to communicate is, after all, insecure, to some degree. And every time engineers try to make things more secure, they get amazingly complex and hard to use rather soon. But there are exceptions, and some of the most important such exceptions of the last years are TextSecure, Signal and RedPhone, mobile apps for free secure phone calls and text messages - all developed by Frederic and the team around him. After a huge wave of media attention and the recommendation of his apps by Edward Snowden himself, Frederic is currently working on his next big thing.

Stefan Thomas - Stefan Thomas wants to live in a world where currency moves as frictionlessly as information. As CTO of Ripple Labs, backed by Andreessen Horowitz and Google Venture, Stefan Thomas is helping to build an Internet protocol that does just that. Prior to Ripple Labs, he developed vast experience in digital currencies, being both the founder of,, the largest website for novice Bitcoin users,and the creator of BitcoinJS, a software package used by a wide range of Bitcoin businesses all over the world. Now, at Ripple Labs, his overarching motivation is to weave a global value web by making it easy for developers - from individual entrepreneurs to financial institutions - to build extremely efficient money transfer systems using the Ripple protocol, and, in the end, a world in which exchanging value is as frictionless, free and fast as exchanging information.

Selected workshops:

Mapping the Most Powerful Companies in the World with Open Data - Company information is often not available and when it is, it is buried under hard-to-use websites and PDFs. Fortunately, the work of the open data and transparency community has brought a tide of change. OpenCorporates is the world’s largest open database of companies. We have information on over 70 million companies in 80 jurisdictions worldwide. With a million data points added every week, we have a great opportunity to use this open data to map corporate networks. We have launched a tool, aptly named Octopus, to allow crowdsourcing of corporate networks. Already, OpenOil has mapped the incredibly complex network of BP and Global Witness, TED Prize winner have used it to investigate Anonymous Companies. The results are surprising.

Crowdfunding Science - Everybody loves new science and technology. But why can only scientists and engineers be part of the fun of discovering or inventing new stuff? Because science is difficult, dangerous and expensive. Or is it really? Could crowdfunding be a new way of supporting exceptional people who have an idea and need some money to test it? Science and innovation do not always require big investments. They require solutions and people who communicate them to society. Crowdfunding Science will give you the opportunity to explore and design a platform to support future citizen driven discoveries.

Designing Alternative Currency Systems: How, for What Purpose and How to set the Rules? - A short round table discussion with examples of global, local and crypto-backed alternative currency systems followed by the opportunity to design your own for-purpose currency. It is strongly recommended that you look into the history of money before you attend the session by watching at least the 7 minute video “The essence of money".

New techniques in science storytelling - Ever wonder how storytelling can be applied to “non-narrative” concepts, especially those of technical or scientific nature? Join us for a special Masterclass that reveals novel narrative techniques in science communication, from dark matter to climate change, and even the scientific concept of emergence.

See you there!