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




Forgiveness as a Business Tool


Forgiveness can make us a better person but does it make a better leader? An eye for an eye for an eye for an eye…ends in making everyone blind. (Mahatma Ghandi)

The knee-jerk reaction of too many people in leadership positions when they feel wronged is righteous indignation and the urge for revenge. But one factor that sets truly transformational leaders apart from the run-of-the-mill is the ability to forgive – to let feelings of anger, resentment and blame fall away and become something constructive.

Great leaders know the art of reconciliation.

By Manfred Kets de Vries, INSEAD Distinguished Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change with Jane Williams, Editor Knowledge Abu Dhabi

View this Article on INSEAD Knowledge

Insead receives a $5 million donation to help with expansion of campus

            Graduate business school Insead has received a donation of $5 million from one of its alumni, Mr Andre Hoffmann. — ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

By Amelia Teng

Graduate business school Insead has received a donation of $5 million from one of its alumni, Mr André Hoffmann.

Mr Hoffman, who holds an MBA from Insead, is the vice-chairman of Swiss global health-care company F. Hoffmann-LaRoche. His gift to the school will support the expansion of the school’s campus in Singapore, which is located at Ayer Rajah. In particular, it will go towards the construction of its new leadership development centre,

When completed in 2014, the six-storey centre will bring together business leaders from around the world.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Mr Hoffman said: “Insead provided me with a priceless asset: deep business insight and a global vision of management…Preparing for the future is a fundamental requirement of leadership and I consider it a moral obligation to contribute to the education of tomorrow’s global leaders.”


Published on Jul 03, 2013
3:18 PM