Illicit Trade, Organized Crime, and Corruption

A live, international debate in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the University of Geneva discussing the economic, social, and political externalities of illicit trade.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


May 09, 2012 from 8:15 am to 10:00 am America/Los Angeles (UTC-07:00)

The economic downturn highlighted the importance of returning shadow economic activities. Illicit trade, which involves money, goods, or value gained from illegal and generally unethical activity, destabilizes states, compromises human development and long-term growth, and drives global economic disparity.

Illicit trade encompasses a variety of illegal activities, including human trafficking and environmental crimes, but also illegal trade in natural resources, cultural and intellectual property, and substances that cause health or safety risks. Smuggling of excisable goods and trade in illegal drugs or shady financial flows are all included under the term illicit trade.

Estimates of the global retail value of illicit trade vary, but have recently been estimated by Global Financial Integrity (GFI) at $650 billion. The estimate bumps up to $2 trillion if illicit financial flows are included.

During the live conversation simultaneously taking place at swissnex and in Switzerland, experts discuss the economic, social, and technological externalities of illicit trade and its multiple enablers. And speakers propose innovative intellectual property and technological tools to counter the problem.


9:15 am  doors open
9:30 am  presentations, debate, light refreshments
11:30 am  doors close


Elaine Dezenski

Moderator Elaine Dezenski, is Senior Director and Deputy Head of the World Economic Forum’s Risk Response Network. She has held senior management positions in both the public and private sectors, including the US Department of Homeland Security, Interpol, and Cross Match Technologies. She is responsible for the World Economic Forum’s initiatives on global supply chain risk assessment, mitigation, and resilience as well as the development of various risk assessment tools and services. She also leads government engagement initiatives in the Risk Response Network and is a former member of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade.


Jacques De Werra

Speaker Jacques De Werra is a Professor of contract law and of intellectual property law at the University of Geneva. He served as a Visiting Professor of e-commerce law and intellectual property law at the University of Lausanne between 2005 and 2006 and as a Lecturer (for intellectual property law) at the University of Geneva from 2003 to 2006. He holds a LL.M., Master of Laws, from the Columbia University School of Law and a Doctorate in Law from the University of Lausanne. His areas of expertise includes intellectual property law and intellectual property related agreements, computer law, information technology law, and media law, as well as contract law (including agency, distribution, franchising, joint venture, research and development agreements, and technology transfer agreements).


Timothée Bardet

Timothée Bardet joined WISeKey in 2011 as Head of Business Development for the Digital Brand Management unit. With a double Master degree background in both Finance and IT & New Media Management, he first started in Trading of Equity & Derivatives in Paris, France. After a period of auditing for investment funds and private equity firms, he launched a web start-up in Switzerland designing an entirely visual web platform for luxury brands as an e-commerce solution. He joined WISeKey to work with luxury markets on digitally enhanced marketing & anti-counterfeiting solutions.


Justin Picard

Speaker Justin Picard is a Chief Scientist for Track and Trace and holds a bachelor’s degree in physics and engineering, a MSc from the Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, and a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Neuchâtel. He did his post-doctoral studies in digital watermarking at EPFL in Switzerland. He has experience with media and document security companies in US and Germany and was an independent security consultant in Switzerland. Currently, he is responsible for the development of next generation digital anti-counterfeiting solutions. He has written numerous papers on document security, digital watermarking, and information retrieval, and has filed several patents. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Illicit Trade.


Marc-André Renold

Marc-André Renold is an Associate Professor in art and cultural property law at the University of Geneva. He studied at the universities of Geneva and Basel in Switzerland and at Yale University in the U.S. He is an associate professor in art and cultural property law at the University of Geneva and the director of its Art-Law Centre. Professor Renold is an attorney-at-law and member of the Geneva Bar; his areas of practice are, among others, art, and cultural heritage law, intellectual property and public and private international law. Author or co-author of several publications in the field of international and comparative art and cultural heritage law and has been, since its inception, an editor of the “Studies in Art Law” series (19 volumes published to date). He is the co-editor and co-author of “Kultur Kunst Recht : Schweizerisches und internationales Recht” [Culture, Art and Law: Swiss and International Law] (2009), the leading Swiss handbook on the law of art and culture.


Abby K. Wood

Speaker Abby Wood holds a J.D. from Harvard and a M.A.L.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Travers Department of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a past Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies fellow, and a past fellow with the National Science Foundation’s Integrated Graduate Education Research and Training Program in Politics, Economics, Psychology, and Public Policy. Her research focuses on the intersection of law and politics. Specifically, she researches the limits of legal institutions for combating government corruption. Wood has worked for the United States Agency for International Development in Cairo, Egypt, as well as for the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network for Latin America and Caribbean region in Washington D.C.


Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos