PARIS — The Viva Technology conference in Paris is shaping up for its biggest edition yet, with French President Emmanuel Macron set to meet with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and more than a dozen technology bosses in the run-up to the annual event.
Macron has promised to question Zuckerberg, who is also due to testify before members of the European Parliament on Tuesday, on issues like tax and data privacy.
The French government’s Tech for Good Summit is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, the day before Macron attends VivaTech, where he will be welcomed by Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, who is cohosting the event.
Arnault, France’s wealthiest man, has gathered a jury of industry heavy-hitters for the second edition of the LVMH Innovation Award, due to be handed out to one of the 30 preselected contestants who will present their ideas at the LVMH Luxury Lab during the third edition of the conference, set to run from Thursday to Saturday.
Joining Arnault, the jury’s chairman, will be Ginni Rometty, ceo of IBM; José Neves, founder and ceo of Farfetch; Richard Liu, founder, chairman and ceo of JD.com; Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft, and Jimmy Iovine, cofounder of Beats Electronics, WWD has learned exclusively.
The remaining jury members are Ian Rogers, chief digital officer at LVMH; Alexandre Arnault, ceo of German luggage maker Rimowa, and music producer Alex da Kid, a spokesman for LVMH said.
More than 820 start-ups from 58 countries applied for the award, representing a rise of almost 60 percent versus last year. They are from China, Canada, Israel, South Korea, the United Kingdom, the United States and France.
Among them are AlgiKnit, which creates textiles from recyclable biopolymers; Arylla, which makes an invisible ink that can be used to verify the authenticity of luxury goods; Bobbli, which allows viewers to purchase products seen in a movie or on television, and Foko Retail, an online application to manage physical stores.
In addition, 22 LVMH-owned brands will be present on the group’s stand.
Bernard Arnault will be among the several dozen speakers at Viva Technology, alongside Facebook’s Zuckerberg; Rometty; Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and ceo of L’Oréal; Satya Nadella, ceo of Microsoft; Dara Khosrowshahi, ceo of Uber, and Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of Procter & Gamble, among others.
Meanwhile, Rogers and Andrew Wu, LVMH group director for China, will take part in a CEO Forum talk about LVMH’s collaboration with start-ups in China.
The conference is organized by advertising and public relations company Publicis Groupe and French media group Les Échos, which belongs to LVMH and publishes the financial daily of the same name.