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Piccard: “Trust is more important than courage”

On 26 June 2016, Bertrand Piccard completed his round-the-world flight in a solar plane in Abu Dhabi. Exactly one year later the scientist, visionary and psychiatrist attended the “TheTalk@TheStudio” event organised by Ringier and Helvetia and spoke about innovation, fears and failure.

29 June 2017, text: Katarina Karadzic, photos: Thomas Lüthi

With a wide range of innovations and initiatives, Helvetia has set out to align its long-standing, successful insurance business towards changing customer needs and to take advantage of the opportunities of digitisation. These changes throw up questions and also generate fears. How far should the risk-taking go? What are the consequences of failure? What are the opportunities and how big is the benefit? Bertrand Piccard answered these questions in his interview with Christine Maier at the third “TheTalk@TheStudio” event organised by Helvetia and Ringier.

Extraordinary Piccard Dynasty

Not every family can claim to have produced pioneers and adventurers over several generations. But the Piccards can. Auguste Piccard went into the stratosphere in a balloon. His son, Jacques Piccard, set the deep sea diving world record. And his son, Bertrand Piccard, circumnavigated the world in a balloon and a solar plane. And Piccard suffered from a fear of heights as a teenager. “At the age of 16, I wanted to go hang-gliding. It was the only way to overcome my fear,” recalls the global influencer.

Give everything, think positively

Coming from a home of adventurers, Piccard did not have a fear of uncharted territory, but a fear of failure. This constantly accompanied him on board the three “Breitling Orbiters” and the “Solar Impulse”. “But the fear of missing out on an opportunity was even greater. I want to be able to look back and be certain that I gave my all,” explains Piccard. He continues: “In the solar plane I constantly thought my project would fail. But I knew that as well as failures there are successes and that gave me strength.” This knowledge should also give companies like Helvetia strength and make them fit for the future.



After Thomas Jordan and Prince Michael of Liechtenstein, Bertrand Piccard was invited to “TheTalk@TheStudio”. The series of events was created by Ringier and Helvetia Insurance. On invitation from hosts Marc Walder, CEO of Ringier, and Dr Philipp Gmür, CEO of Helvetia, around 70 guests of each attended a talk at the Ringier Pressehaus where presenter Christine Maier interviewed a high calibre guest from the field of politics and economics.

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