Business Bled Strategic Forum

Business Bled Strategic Forum 2019

3 September 2019, Bled, Slovenia

AmCham Reinvention Breakfast – Predicting the Unpredictable: How to Win in the Flow of Constant Change?
In partnership with AmCham Slovenia.
Globalization, technological development, the new digital era, and a variety of other global advancements and challenges have unleashed a far-reaching tsunami, which is disturbing balance everywhere.

The future is uncertain, and stability cannot be taken for granted. The rules of the game for doing business are regularly changing and companies strive to adjust to the fast-moving, constantly changing landscape. These mysterious conditions are challenging companies and leaving shattered careers in its wake. No matter how much we believe we have prepared for it, it is clear that one can ever be prepared enough.

What are the recipes for success in an era of unpredicted (in)stability? Why companies sink and how to reinvent after a business disaster? What are the new forms of corporate reinvention? How to lead in change? Are we ready for the Society 5.0? Who will take the lead?

Rethink your company’s relationship with change.


The Three Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence: Science, Business & People
In partnership with Siemens.
In 1950, British mathematician Alan Turing published a paper on computing machinery and intelligence posing the question of whether machines can think. While AI research has steadily progressed over the past 60 years, the promises of early AI promoters proved to be overly optimistic, leading to an “AI Winter” of reduced funding and interest in AI research during the 1970s. The AI winter ended in the 1990s as computational power and data storage were advancing to the point at which complex tasks were finally becoming feasible. In 2015, Alphabet’s DeepMind launched software to play the ancient game of Go against the best players in the world using an artificial neural network that was trained on thousands of human amateur and professional games to learn how to play. AlphaGo was able to beat the world’s best player at the time, Lee Sedol, four games to one in 2016.

More recently, the availability of big data, cloud computing and the associated computational and storage capacity and breakthroughs in an AI technology called “machine learning” have dramatically increased the power, availability, growth and impact of AI.

While artificial intelligence could boost productivity, contribute to economic growth or solve some of our major medical challenges, it could also present an attack on our democratic and ethical values, impinge on our privacy, and leave millions of people jobless. How can we benefit from AI to advance our economies and secure a better quality of life for everyone, while giving up retaining our rights, freedom and human dignity? Can we boost productivity, and design machines to perform tasks that would overburden humans, while being able to afford basic social protection for everyone? Will automated jobs create more working poor or will they create 4-day working weeks, so that we can spend more time with family and friends?

The panels will bring to the stage three prominent speakers, one for each dimension of artificial intelligence. They will discuss the rapid advances in technological AI development and what these mean for economic landscape as well as for the required social changes.


A Climate-Neutral Smart Economy – Greentech
In partnership with Center of Energy Efficient Solutions and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.
The transition to a green and more environmentally friendly economy (GreenTech) – encompassing social, environmental, climate and energy aspects – is a major challenge for modern society.

Resources (air, water, land, workforce, etc.) come at a price: this should not burden the next generation; on the contrary, it must be paid by current users. Reduced greenhouse gas emissions, less environmentally damaging technologies, improved resource management, as well as land, water, waste and energy use policies have all became inevitable and have profoundly affected all sectors of the economy, the transformation of enterprises, organisations, society and individual habits. Indeed, they have brought about a shift in policies and changes to the map of progressive green countries.

Numerous countries, companies and investors have already recognised the advantages and tangible benefits of green economy: financial, environmental and business as well as those related to knowledge, experience and reputation. Green economy is the driving force of innovation in all areas: from technology, business models, education, human resources and forms of cooperation. For this reason precisely the focus should be shifted to green innovation, and funds channelled in the same direction. At the same time, the regulatory environment including green taxes, banks through green investments, insurance companies, international financial institutions and court decisions foster the green economy; the same also goes for activist societal movements.

The discussion on a climate-neutral future economy – GreenTech – will aim at setting relevant political outlines and guidelines. Slovenia has a chance to take the lead in this respect and position its resources (nature and knowledge) on the global map of the drivers of sustainable development. From a country of cheap resources it must develop into the world leader in terms of quality of life and social responsibility.


Pitch your Green Idea!
In partnership with Center of Energy Efficient Solutions, EIT InnoEnergy, and ABC Accelerator.


Invest Talk Slovenia 3.0: Trends and Challenges of Global FDI: A Threat or an Opportunity?
In partnership with Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia.
The intensification of global foreign direct investment (FDI) activity has important implications for both origin and destination countries. However, within FDI landscape there has been a shift in the last decade from traditionally advanced economies to emerging market economies (EMEs), both as a source of, and destination for, investments, attracting a growing share of FDI flows. Global FDI flows are declining, which is in contrast to the accelerated growth in GDP and trade.

New investment regulations in 2017 mainly reflected concerns about national security and foreign ownership of land and natural resources, and intensified the scrutiny of foreign takeovers, in particular of strategic assets and technology firms. Since the EU clearly has one of the world’s most open investment regimes – with more than 35% of total EU assets belonging to foreign-owned companies – it will be interesting to get a glimpse of the Union’s future strategy and its impact on Slovenia.

What are FDI trends and drivers from global and EU perspectives? What is the purpose of the recently adopted EU investment screening framework? What are the insights of the state and investment promotion agencies (IPAs), and what is the investor perspective of the country investment climate and of the risks and benefits when deciding where to invest?


Tourism for All Destinations: Dispersal over Place and Time
In partnership with Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia and Slovenian Tourist Board.
Tourism is a tool for peace and for achieving a balance between different, more and less developed, parts of the world. International tourism is growing exponentially. Countries, destinations and companies in the global tourism market are “fighting a sophisticated battle” for tourists. This important economic branch brings prosperity and generates 10% of global GDP, creates one in 10 jobs and accounts for 30% of services exports.

Digitalisation has transformed concepts of destination promotion. In the era of Industry 4.0 and hyperconnectivity, tourists easily exchange advice about where and when to travel. Instagrammable locations gain further popularity, while others struggle to catch the attention of visitors, in spite of hard efforts. Owing to new technologies and a variety of tourist capacities, travel has become cheaper and more accessible to wider groups of people and different generations. The need to travel is becoming a fundamental need of many who wish to visit the most popular and best-rated global destinations.

According to experts, modern technologies and smart solutions are among the most powerful tools. Can we develop sustainable tourism to satisfy tourism stakeholders, visitors and local residents? Do we possess enough knowledge, skills and other resources to steer tourist flows?

At this year’s tourism panel within the framework of the Bled Strategic Forum, we will try to provide practical strategies on how to address the growth of tourism in Europe to the benefit of all. Some highly respected experts will share with us their ideas and experiences.