SDSN Switzerland Assembly 2020

​18 February 2020
9:30 - 13:00

University of Bern

SDSN Switzerland Assembly

The SDSN Switzerland Assembly convened on 18 February 2020 members, partners and other interested stakeholders to exchange, network and explore ways to cooperate and develop joint activities.  


Our network members were in the spotlight of the second SDSN Switzerland Assembly. With almost 40 member organizations and many partners, SDSN Switzerland has grown to a respectable size. To explore each other’s projects and activities, our members and partners were invited to join a marketplace with a stand. Participants were invited to freely move around and explore. As one of the participants called it, the marketplace provided space for ‘contextual networking’ market stands were organized by several SDSN Switzerland members and partners:

Assembly 2020

  • Thought-provoking questions were raised by Scaling4good. Scaling4good is all about getting people to think from different angles and scaling up good ideas.

  • The Sustainability Week Switzerland is a fast-growing and expanding event by VSN-FDD-FSS which brings the sustainability debates to students and the broader society.

  • Collaboratio Helvetica showed how they create spaces for cooperation and creative solutions

  • The Mountain Research Initiative presented its wide network and explained the vital role of the mountains for sustainable development.

  • As large areas covering different municipalities, the Swiss Parks offer a "laboratory" for experimenting innovative ideas that converge the three dimensions of sustainable development.

  • One of our soon to be new members, the World Trade Institute, is conducting research on the economic and legal challenges in addressing Switzerland's sustainability footprint.

Before starting with the marketplace session, the Assembly elected Prof. Dr. Janet Hering (eawag) to co-Chair the Network with Océane Dayer (WWF Switzerland). Janet takes over the co-chair of SDSN Switzerland from Prof. Urs Wiesmann (CDE). Urs was instrumental in setting up SDSN Switzerland and led it together with Océane through the initiation phase of the organization. Participants were informed of another change in the Leadership COuncil and Executive Committee: The Biovision Foundation is now represented by its CEO, Dr. Frank Eyhorn.

In his keynote presentation, Urs highlighted strategic priorities for the next stages of SDSN Switzerland. These priorities build on the outcomes of last year's Assembly and guide the next activities of our network.

In the final discussion moderated by Urs and Océane, the question was raised about what members and partners learned in the marketplace sessions and what they can contribute to the Network. Why is policy perceived as an obstacle for transformational change rather than a conduit? Others pointed out that we shouldn't just leave but ask ourselves what we can do together.

We are happy to announce that the Assembly elected Prof. Dr. Janet Hering (eawag) to co-chair the network with Océane Dyer (WWF Switzerland). Janet takes over the co-chair of SDSN Switzerland from Prof. Urs Wiesmann (CDE).