Coaches & Speakers


Creativity, the ability to generate novel and useful ideas, is the seed of innovation, but unless it’s applied and scaled, it’s still just an idea. 

United by the passion for creativity and precise, targeted communication, our coaching team is there to support and empower participants in the creative process that drives innovation and creates impact. By guiding participants through the three-cycle co-creation process, work groups are equipped to maximise their innovation potential, to implement agile thinking methods, and to engage a startup mindset to their ideas.

Meet our coach team, a group of specialists in the fields of marketing, design, communications, concept development and creation:


Philipp Rufer

Since finishing his studies of economic sciences at University of Zürich, Philipp has been working in the field of organisational development. He is a creative problem-solver and supports with his own company all kinds of transformations and projects in organisations. He started his career in the automotive sector with several roles in strategy development, customer relationship management, sales development and cultural projects. After 8 years he shifted the focus on people and worked with psychologists in the field of behavioural change. Philipp is married, has two kids and a strong passion for surfing.


Christina Stent

Christina calls the world her home and has spent many years living and working in Australia, Costa Rica and in several European countries in the field of tourism and tour management. During the past 20 years she dedicated her talents to the Swiss live communication scene, as the co-owner of an event and incentive agency, the head of concept development and a project development specialist. In recent years she specialized herself in coaching and developing the future generation. Christina is working as a coach and creativity/co-creation faciltitator while finishing a master’s degree in coaching and organizational development. She is married, has two daughters and enjoys spending her free time close to the water and being a host for spontaneous get-togethers at her home on the Rhine.


Chris Wyer

Chris is the founder and design director of RAWCUT Design Studio, lecturer and author of several books as „the game of the future“. He has an affinity for financial services and worked amongst other for the top 3 banks in Switzerland in a role as UX/UI design lead.


Debbie Zedi

Debbie has been working in the field of marketing and communications, concept development and creation for 20 years. She started her career with a job at the idea factory «BrainStore», which notably influenced her approach to conceptual work, facilitating ideation/creation processes as well as leading and motivating heterogeneous teams. Another important station in her professional life was in live communications, where she worked as a concept developer and creative director. These positions in agencies and working freelance, gave her the opportunity to work for many different companies and institutions in various market areas. Her latter jobs took her to the education sector, where she’s at present in the position of head of marketing at the University of the Arts in Zurich.


Sarah Pietrasanta

Sarah is not into titles at all. Nevertheless, some of them do appear in her career:

– Programme Director, Radio RaBe
– Project Manager Media Department, Federal Office for Migration
– Creative Director, aspectfilm
– Mastermind, PS: Copy, Story & Concept
– Creative Director, Blue Spirit Communications
– Mastermind, diesarah

In other words: Sarah is a general store for advertising, communication and entertainment/culture. In these areas she’s in particular available for: Ideas, Strategies, Concepts, Copies, Content, Scenarios and Speeches.


Manuel Linder









Manuel Linder (35) from Berne, married to Stephanie and father of Levin, has three professional mainstays. As a consultant at Bucher+Suter, he creates innovative customer experiences for major corporations such as Roche and Allianz. As a consultant, he supports INNOArchitects and Punkt Rufer in workshops on topics such as “Tomorrow Ecosystems“ or “Digital Economy” and accompanies companies such as Migros, Mobiliar and Swiss Post in their digital transformation. As co-founder of the start-up company SPOUD, he is revolutionizing the way we look at Data. Manuel is a passionate entrepreneur and networker.


Innovation Process

Creative and innovative thinking is key to tackling the main topic at this event! Supported by experienced moderators, innovation-coaches and media professionals, participants follow a structured, yet open process based on the principle of co-creation.

Preparation phase: before the Forum, selected participants connect as digital tribes in an online social network to get to know their fellow team members and to receive preparatory scientific materials relevant to their given Challenge.

At the Forum, Plenary Sessions inspire the ISTF participants in the main auditorium and set the tone through expert talks, impulse speeches, a creative session, one-on-one debates, and informal and formal exchanges with other groups. Our “Topic Leader”, a leading voice in the Artificial Intelligence research community, will open the ISTF with a keynote speech, and will engage the Challengers in a panel discussion, highlighting the event’s core messages by connecting the dots between topics and speakers in unexpected ways, adding additional layers of meaning.

Work Sessions are at the core of the symposium. Groups of seven participants engage with the five Challengers in three cycles of highly interactive discussions and debates, deliberating over the potential solutions or answers to their specific challenge.

Co-Creation: Within Cycle 1, each group is briefed by their Challenger and then defines their project work to develop their research commitment. Within Cycle 2, there will be plenty of space for innovation. Using a variety of techniques to encourage out-of-the-box thinking, participants will draw on their creativity to find novel and visionary ideas and solutions relevant to their designated questions. In Cycle 3, participants will describe and visualise their best ideas, aiming to create meaningful changefor a constructive, sustainable, and livable future.

Output: On the last day of the Forum, a representative of each group presents the group’s ideas in a 15-minute pitch at the public closing event. The format of the final presentation is largely open. The Coaches and Media Team will be happy to share potential presentation ideas, techniques and formats with you.

  • Cycle 1: briefing => defining the problem => researching the topic
  • Cycle 2: dreaming => ideation => possible solutions
  • Cycle 3: building a story => visualizing concepts & ideas for public presentations





Check back here soon! ISTF 2019 speakers and special guests will be announced later in the year.