The Conference of Beautiful Business

Conversations You’ve Never Had, Artist Interventions, and a Sensorial Dinner Salon

Perfume composers, bio-engineers, philosophers and tech founders — these are just a handful of the individuals that will share their visions and creations, when The Palacio swings open its doors for the Conference of Beautiful Business on Sunday, November 5th, 2017. These crafters of code, language, food, film and bots will stimulate our collective discussions on a future in which both humanity and tech can flourish.

Over the course of the day we will we will explore how to lead with purpose and passion, how to build human companies and workplaces, and how to design for deeper connections in an age of exponential change and massive societal disruption.

Tim Leberecht of The Business Romantic Society, Martin Henderson of the BCG Henderson Institute and Lea Steinacker, of WirtschaftsWoche, Germany’s leading business weekly, will be our hosts and moderators for the day. Tim and Martin will set the stage with opening remarks by Tim on The New Romantic Age with Martin articulating the need to Rehumanize Business, as well as the inspiration behind the House.

Then we’ll dive into a talk on Beautiful Futures, joined by Limor Schweitzer, CEO, RoboSavvy, whose company is currently creating the most advanced 1metre tall research humanoid robot in the world. Also joining the discussion will be Keira Havens, Co-founder and CEO, Revolution Bioengineering with her talk “Beautiful Science”, where she looks for the beauty in biotech.

J F Grossen, VP of Design of tech firm HERE will speak explain how to “Design for Nothing”, while Christine Gould, CEO of Thought for Food, will offer her perspective on “Next Generation Food Innovation”. Consultant Catarina Rindi, researcher Dr Söenke Bartling and Rob Knight, Founder of Mattereum, will lend their expertise on blockchain, and contextualise its impact on our future in a conversation moderated by Massimo Portincasso of BCG. We’ll also be joined by Arun Chaudury, Obama’s Official White House Videographer, and novelist Aditi Khorana, whose inspirational journey to publication has helped many to take the leap into the beautiful unknown.

Members of our House Community, clockwise from top left: Christine Gould, CEO and Founder, Thought for Food; Jerry Lieveld, CEO and Chief Creative, DIFR; Anne Kjaer Riechert, Co-Founder of ReDI School of Digital Integration; Surya Vanka, Creator, Design Swarms; Ethan Imboden, Head of Venture Design, frog; Rosa Riera
VP of Employer Branding and Social innovation, Siemens

From there we’ll jump into the Best Conversation You’ve Never Had, with another diverse panel. Dennis Mortensen, Founder of, who’s taken the hassle out of meeting scheduling thanks to Amy and Andrew Ingram, his ‘sassy’ digital personal assistants (you can hire them too!) will talk about “Intelligent Agents and the Future of Work”. We’ll also hear from Haje Jan Kamps, CEO and Co-Founder of LifeFolder in his talk “Teaching a Robot about Death”, about creating a chatbot to help people practice difficult end of life planning conversations in a non-judgemental space. Anita Zielina, Chief Product Officer, Neue Zuercher Zeitung will spin us a tale of “Truth, Trust and Algorithms” and we’ll also hear from David Okuniev, Co-Founder of Typeform, a company that creates more empathic data collection techniques on his talk “Making Data Human”.

In “Internet of You”, social psychologist Pamela Pavliscak will lend her view on the emotional relationships we have with our tech while Martin Harrison from AI consultancy Kortical will bridge the gap for us between marketing and philosophy, with “The Idiots Guide to AI”.

After a lunch break to mingle and reflect, (and perhaps an artistic intervention or two), we will take to four separate wings of the Palacio to workshop some of the key conference themes. Consultancy Strategy of Mind will provide us with practical guidance on “Why and How to Use Philosophical Methods in Business” while Söenke Bartling, Catarina Rindi and Rob Knight will tackle the big question: “Will Blockchain Make Us More or Less Human?”.

House Partner, Indeed Innovation, will facilitate an exploration on the question “How Can AI Help Achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals?”, while Joint Idea’s “Find Your Story, Find Your Tribe”, will help its participants uncover how to deeply connect (yourself and your business) with others. BCG will also take us through “The Futures of Business: Imagined”, a collective exercise to explore the best possible futures through artistic stimuli.

Members of our House Community, clockwise from top left: Gemma Mortensen, co-founder of More in Common; Lourenço Lucena, Perfume Composer; Leila Janah, Founder and CEO, Samasource and LXMI; Rob Knight, co-founder and CEO of Mattereum; Serban Mogos, Co-Founder, Eyeware; Anita Zielina, Chief Product Officer, Neue Zurcher Zeitung;

We’ll reconvene mid-afternoon for a panel on Brave New Work, with outlooks from company leaders and entrepreneurs. We’ll hear from Judith Wallenstein, Senior Partner at BCG on “The Future of Work” and Fortune Top 40 Under 40 Leila Janah, Founder and CEO of Samasource and LXMI on her mission to “Give Work not Aid”. Anne Kjaer Riechert, Co-Founder of ReDI School of Digital Integration will share her perspective as Managing Director of this non-profit digital school designed for tech-interested newcomers applying for asylum in Germany, while Sophie Devonshire, CEO of The Caffeine Partnership will talk ‘superfast’, describing how we can “Lead at Speed”. We’ll hear how the Fortune 500 are developing more human centered organisations with Christoph Knorn, Global Director of Employer Branding at Siemens, while Angela Lester, Co-Founder and CEO of K Street Partners will offer fresh perspective on the “The Work Life Conundrum”. Julia von Winterfeldt, CEO and Founder of Soulworx will bring to life the “Humans of New Work”, while Claire Behar and Coral Massivelli of Girls in Tech will weigh in on the benefits of women’s growing influence in the tech world. Gianpiero Petriglieri, Associate Professor at INSEAD will close the session with his take on “Humanizing Leadership”.

After final remarks from our hosts Tim, Martin and Lea, we’ll adjourn for harbour-view drinks and networking.

Our hope is that the Conference will invigorate, inspire, and uplift you both emotionally and intellectually, but if your senses are still unsatiated, do join us back at the Studio for Lourenco Lucena’s scented dinner salon “The Future Smells Good” — an olfactory ode to his Ten Commandments for a better future.

We’ll continue drinking, discussing and debating well into the night, when the port comes out at our Late Night Living Room, kicking off at midnight and hosted by Book Doula Ariane Conrad and LifeFolder CEO Haje Jan Kamps.

If you’re in Lisbon for Web Summit, this is an event not to miss! Grab your ticket here.

The House of Beautiful Business is a production of The Business Romantic Society in collaboration with the BCG Henderson Institute and Siemens, as well as Typeform, HERE Technologies, Indeed Innovation, A Hundred Years, Caffeine, K Street Partners, Soulworx, Uberbrands, diffferent, Joint Idea, Gat Rooms, Moi Moi, and Girls in Tech.