Curiosity at the edge: announcing the panel program for Tradeshift at Davos 2019

January 10, 2019 Amy Moore

We’re excited to be back in Davos, and even more thrilled about what we have in store. This year, we have a provocative program where we’ll be gathering business leaders, academics, scientists, and artists from around the world to discuss Curiosity at the Edge and explore what’s in the “in-between.”

Sometimes we see edges as fractures, but with an inquisitive mind, we can find surprising connections and see fractures as part of the whole. New things happen where one idea ends and the other begins: shift happens.

Africa and China are creating a foundation for a cultural renaissance. Media outlets like the New York Times are exposing hard truths that happen before our eyes while brands are redefining corporate citizenship in a new era of consumerism. The forces of commerce, culture, and opportunity flow through the fractures and contradictions, creating fusion, friction, and even art.

Want an insider view into what’s happening at Davos? Join us: we’ll be your passport to the cutting edge conversations at Davos.

Take a look at our panels, bookmark our Davos content hub for live stream events, and subscribe to our blog for the latest updates:


Tuesday, January 22 8:30 – 9:00 am

At the edge of centralization

Has centralization reached the edge of its potential? Everywhere we are looking, decentralized models are gaining territory where centralized structures and approaches have ruled. This is impacting the fundamental structures of enterprises – their financial supply chains, their spend, trust, access to market and access to finance, how products are created, distribution and demand, funding models and internal organisation.

Moderated by: Aaron Stanley, Live Journalism Editor, CoinDesk


  • Mark Foster: SVP, IBM Global Business Services
  • Greg Medcraft: Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD
  • Yorke Rhodes III: Co-founder Blockchain @Microsoft
  • Gert Sylvest: Co-founder and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers
  • Mona El Isa: CEO & Co-founder, Melonport AG


Tuesday, January 22 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Same at the edge of different: How diversity will drive the future of work

15% of the global population does not have the same opportunities as the rest of us. People living with disabilities are often socially challenged and tend to end up on welfare or in severe poverty. But they often possess special skills and personalities that could potentially be an asset to businesses. Is inclusion possible in an environment where businesses are competing in a globalized world? Are people with disabilities outliers in the labor market or assets to business and society?

Moderated by: Sarika Garg, Chief Strategy Officer, Tradeshift


  • Caroline Casey: Activist & Founder of Aisling Foundation
  • Troels Lund Poulsen: Minister of Employment, Denmark
  • Thorkil Sonne: Chair of Denmark’s Council of CSR and SDG
  • Olivier Oullier PHD: President, Emotiv


Tuesday, January 22 12:30 – 1:00 pm

Magic at the edge of menace: How tech makes us human

Some champion the rapid advancement in technology, which has created instantaneous communications, given people greater access to information, and has simplified global trade. But others worry what the increasing reliance on technology means for humanity. Is this progress really for the greater good or is it just benefiting the corporations that control it?

Moderated by: Margot Edelman, Vice President, Technology at Edelman


  • Andy Maguire: Group Managing Director and Group Chief Operating Officer, HSBC
  • Kai-Fu Lee: Chairman & CEO, Sinovation Ventures
  • Christian Lanng: CEO & Co-founder, Tradeshift
  • Laszlo Bock: CEO of Humu, Inc., author, & former SVP of People Operations at Alphabet / Google


Wednesday, January 23 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Conscience at the edge of capitalism: Redefining corporate citizenship

As corporations and brands take a stance on politically charged and ideologically divided issues related to immigration, equal rights, etc., the power dynamics are shifting along with the public markets. From Nike’s support of Colin Kaepernick to Dick’s Sporting Goods tightening its gun sales and Salesforce’s stance on transgender rights, corporations are wading in where they once stood back. What does this mean for business and how should leaders balance their conscience/political beliefs with their commitment to shareholders as they navigate these waters?  

Moderated by: Anna Lewis, Chief Strategy Officer, XPRIZE


  • Sarika Garg: Chief Strategy Officer, Tradeshift
  • Claudia Edelman: Founder, We Are All Human Foundation
  • Hayley Romer: Publisher & Chief Revenue Officer, The Atlantic
  • Sarah Kate Ellis: President & CEO, GLAAD


Wednesday, January 23 12:30 – 1:00 pm

Opportunity at the edge of crisis: The economics of water

Water is a path to prosperity. Like trade, it links all of humanity in a myriad of ways. People have always established societies near water, not only for survival but to create connections with each other. Whether connecting through trade routes or over a glass of beer, water is a vital ingredient to both our personal and professional lives. This discussion focuses on water, trade, and how access to both relate to economic mobility. Our panelists discuss how inaccessibility to water isn’t a problem to be solved, but a market to be served.

Moderated by: Louise Roug, International Director of Huffpost


  • Matt Damon: Actor & Co-founder,
  • Gary White: CEO & Co-founder,
  • Christian Lanng: CEO & Co-founder, Tradeshift
  • Tony Milikin: Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer, AB InBev


Wednesday, January 23 6 – 6:30 pm

Art at the edge of truth: How messages shape markets

With a single tweet, Trump can have major effects on domestic and global trade, sending stock markets fluctuating and experts scrambling to make sense of it. Especially when they see his messages as less than truthful or pushing an agenda based on his own biases. But is this anything new? A single news article can have a similar effect. And news organizations are also potentially conflicted with their own need to make deals with corporate investors and advertisers. This discussion will examine whether trade routes are truly connected by the free exchange of ideas and how stories—real, fake, biased, photographic, etc.—impact trade, both locally and globally.

Moderated by: Carol T. Christ, Chancellor, U.C. Berkeley


  • Andrew Ross-Sorkin: Columnist, New York Times
  • Mark Thompson: CEO, New York Times
  • Christian Lanng: CEO & Co-founder, Tradeshift

Thursday, January 24 12:00 – 12:30 pm

Innovation at the edge of irrelevance: What happened to Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley, which once stood as the epitome of innovation, now has a hit satire named after it. What happened to the misfits, rebels, and risk takers—the builders? What if Silicon Valley could get back to its original value of creating the unimaginable and bettering our world? In this panel, we’ll talk about whether Silicon Valley is still vital or just creating noise.

Moderated by: Nicholas Carlson, Global Editor-in-Chief, Business Insider


  • Christian Lanng: CEO & Co-founder, Tradeshift
  • Luke Nosek, Managing Partner, Gigafund & Co-founder, PayPal
  • Samantha Stein, Tech Commentator


Thursday, January 24 12:30 – 1:00 pm

China at the edge of Africa: 3 perspectives 

With a combined population of 2.4 billion, the potential economic, societal and cultural impact of the relationship between China and Africa is huge. It may redraw global trade flows, drive unprecedented technological innovation, and create a foundation for a cultural renaissance for both societies. Or it may see the African continent become China’s largest overseas territory.

Moderated by: Mikkel Hippe Brun, Co-founder & SVP APAC, Tradeshift


  • Cherie Blair CBE, QC: Founder and Chair, Omnia Strategies & Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation
  • Chin Okeke: Managing Director, Eclipse Live Africa
  • Stephany Zoo, Head of Marketing, Branding & Communications, BitPesa


Panels With Partners

Tuesday, January 22 8:00 – 8:30 am

Building blocks and blockchains: how to avoid fragmentation of the global trading system

While a proliferation of new technologies are resolving huge inefficiencies in trade, they’re also giving rise to a whole new set of issues.  New digital solutions require new business networks, calling for an entirely different set of standards and governance in trade. And industry needs differ, yet the solutions need to converge. Our expert panel will discuss current challenges, opportunities, and what successful solutions are available—including new types of business networks, trade ecosystems, and partnerships you can use to overcome the challenges while also resolving huge inefficiencies in trade into the next decade.

Moderated by: Aaron Stanley, Live Journalism Editor, CoinDesk


  • Brian Behlendorf: Executive Director, Hyperledger
  • Gert Sylvest: Co-founder and GM of Tradeshift Frontiers
  • Gerry Mattios: EVP, Bain & Company
  • Thérèse Couture: Director of Treasury Operations Department, World Bank

Come and Join us

New things happen where one idea ends and the other begins. We’re exploring all these themes at Davos 2019, and we’re excited for you to be a part of it.