To combat climate change, it is time to act now and educate people on how everyone can make a change for a shared future. Such education and awareness creation can be best done with a seminar where students and experts come together. As part of this year’s connectUS edition, the seminar in Switzerland took place from 13-17 February 2023. Throughout the five-day program, the attendees had the chance to network with business professionals, engage in group discussions, and take part in a variety of activities designed to enhance their skills and abilities. We are excited to share with you some highlights of this insightful program. At this point, we sincerely thank our partners and supporters, without whom the seminar would not have been feasible to this extent.
Tackling the global issue of climate change demands global collaboration, promoting sustainable behaviors, and substantial actions to cut emissions. The five phases of climate action introduced by Anabel Wörner from Climate Partner present a clear roadmap to a better future for our environment. With that in mind, the delegates worked on finding solutions to a real-life case on reducing the carbon impact of service and product provider companies. By working together their key takeaways included the importance of considering indirect emissions as well as global climate initiatives and creating specific teams within organizations to focus on minimizing the environmental impact.
“Everyone will find the path to their own hero’s journey.” – With these words, Prof. Dr. Nikolina Fuduric concluded her inspiring introduction speech. How can our current mindset allow us to apply our know-set in a way that brings us fulfillment? Where can we find the courage to take a step back and reflect on our own passions and vocations? Know-sets enable us to drive change while individual mindsets provide a specific attitude toward new challenges. To flourish together we need sustainable attitudes, which include the desire to challenge established norms and interact with others globally. Future visioning & Lego blocks – how does that work? Each person independently formed a sculpture that represented their future vision. Together each group had to integrate their sculptures into a common group vision, which required converting each individual input into a meaningful overall outcome by recognizing interrelationships and commonalities. The Legos proved to be a valuable tool for illustrating a shared future vision and facilitating difficult challenges but most importantly served as a great team–building activity.
The highlight of Wednesday was the online presentation by Nadja Scherrer, who joined us directly from Miami. Her engaging attitude and vast experience in intercultural proficiency allowed for an interesting speech surrounding the topic of diversity and inclusion in business settings. Her key message was the urge to step out of our comfort zones more often to become more mindful of individuals’ unique experiences, which are important in developing meaningful relationships. And of course, she was able to give the whole delegation valuable tips on interacting with Americans for our upcoming seminar abroad.
On Thursday we left the classroom and visited the Umwelt Arena in Spreitenbach, which is a venue that houses exhibitions promoting sustainable living by showcasing innovative solutions and the importance of environmental conservation. “Global Happiness” was part of the guided tour and presents happiness stories from all over the world and shows that there is a connection to sustainability. Doing so takes up one of the most pressing questions: How can we all live contentedly on a planet with limited resources? It was an interactive and multimedia journey of discovery, linking reflection on happiness and contentment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In the afternoon the connectUS delegation had the opportunity to visit Leonteq’s headquarters in Zurich.
With the various inputs on suitability-related topics, our goal was to inspire the delegation to reflect and question their own behavior in terms of sustainability and inspire them to take action toward finding small but effective solutions in their daily life. Therefore, their task was to define a personal sustainability challenge that they will now document and reflect on.
More information about the seminar? Take a look at our exclusive booklet available on our website or follow us on social media to get the latest news on our prestigious project. We will be providing regular and meaningful insights on best practices from Switzerland and North America and how ESG helps us inspire change for a shared future.
Your connectUS23 team.