Featured Luncheon Speaker

Didier Sornette

Tuesday, September 30

Sornette is professor of entrepreneurial risks in the department of management, technology and economics, an associate member of the department of physics and of the department of earth sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, as well as a professor of finance at the Swiss Finance Institute. He is the author of more than 500 research papers and seven books.

Sornette’s research is based on the hypothesis that most extreme risks (and gains) are “dragon-kings,” that is, they almost always result from maturations and drifts towards a critical instability, with measurable precursors either at the technical and/or socio-economic levels. Sornette uses rigorous data-driven mathematical statistical analysis combined with nonlinear multi-variable dynamic models including positive and negative feedbacks. In 2008, he launched the Financial Crisis Observatory to test the hypothesis that financial bubbles can be diagnosed in real-time and their termination can be predicted probabilistically.

Felix Salmon

Wednesday, October 1

Salmon is widely admired as one of the most insightful commentators on the finance world today. He combines an outsider’s willingness to speak truth to power with an insider’s understanding of how to make power actually listen. He is well known for tackling subjects from regulation to derivatives with a zest and a sense of fun unusual financial writing.

As the senior editor at Fusion, Salmon is breaking new ground in bringing intelligent financial analysis to a wider and younger audience, using animation, videos, data visualization and more. This is just the latest step in his career as a popular online voice. He has written for Roubini Global Economics, Conde Nast Portfolio, where he originated the Market Movers financial blog, and most recently Reuters, where his work was awarded numerous accolades including the Loeb Award.

His work has also appeared in a variety of print publications, including Wired, The New York Times, New York magazine, and Euromoney magazine.