08/29/2013 – GE: Drinks Debate on Social Innovation, Denis Van der Weid

“Social Innovation –

Smart Innovation for Good

by Denis Von der Weid (MBA’63)


Geneva, Thursday August 29th 2013 from 6:00 pm onwards


Dear Alumni,


Business schools teach that markets and best practice should be leveraged to increase profits. But can they also be used to create social change? What traditionally used to be the sandbox of the not-for-profit and public sector is now expanding to include Social Entrepreneurs, Impact Investors, and Ethically driven companies embracing the belief that brains and capital can be used for a greater purpose than profit only.   

van der weidDenis Von der Weid (MBA’ 63), is certainly a precursor and role model in the field of social innovation. His passion and everyday challenge is to alleviate lives of the poorest in a sustainable way by researching and diffusing simple, low cost and affordable innovations together with innovative business models.

Holding a PhD in Law from the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), an MBA from INSEAD (France) and trained as a scientist with Sandoz, Denis started his career teaching Economy of Development in Switzerland, Colombia then at INSEAD in France (1968-1969). After few years as Managing Director for Sandoz in Spain, he engaged in several NGOs in India before starting Antenna International in 1984, initially a lawyers network engaged in Human Rights. He then started Antenna Technologies in 1984, a scientists network engaged in researching and promoting innovative technologies for the Bottom of the Pyramid.

Denis will open the doors of his Foundation that accounts today 20 on-going R&D projects, a network of 11 affiliates and about 50 programmes in Africa and Asia in the areas of Nutrition, Water, Agriculture, Energy, Medicines and Microcredit.

We will first meet at Antenna Technologies Foundation for a little presentation by his team who will share concrete examples of their work, to then open a broader discussion on Social Innovation.

This will be followed by Drinks & Apéro at “Tout Simplement”, a cosy nearby bar where we will continue our discussions around a glass of wine and tapas on the terrace.

When:       Thursday, August 29th  2013


Where:      From 18:00 to 19:00

                 Presentation & Discussion @ Antenna Technologies Foundation

                 Rue de la Grenade 24, 1207 Geneva (Eaux-Vives)


                 From 19:00 onwards

                 Drinks & Tapas @ “Tout Simplement”

                 Rue de Soleure 2, 1207 Genève (Eaux-Vives)


–          Conference:                    Free

–          Drinks & Tapas:             A contribution of 20 CHF will be asked and payable cash


Please register before Tuesday August 27th by sending an email to [email protected].


We look forward to seeing you there!



Kind regards,


Leila Ojjeh (MBA ‘01D)

INSEAD Alumni Association Switzerland President




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