Learning by sharing

How the Preparatory Seminar established a platform to execute the model.

The knowledge is out there, we just need to bring it together.” This statement set connectUS’ starting point for the development of the “Learning by Sharing” model. “Learning by Sharing” is a concept aiming to offer a platform to unify this knowledge from different areas of expertise in our economy and society. The discussion on sustainable opportunities cannot be unilateral but should ultimately consist of a joint effort involving government, business and academia.

During our Preparatory Seminar we included a panel discussion hosted by Marcel Hirsiger, lecturer at FHNW and Career Services Representative at campus Olten. The panel discussion simulated the first active application of the model and its combination of government academia, and business. Our Preparatory Seminar Manager, Nuria Brüngger, managed to acquire a wide variety of expert speakers. Therefore, we welcomed Res Witschi, delegate for sustainable digitization at Swisscom as representative of business. For government, we had Carmen Maybud, head of Energy and Climate Confederation at BFE, Timothey Nussbaumer, Economic Policy Advisor and Angela Knuchel, regulatory analysis and politics at SECO, joining us. And last, Dr. Silke Waterstraat, lecturer at FHNW in Financial Risk Management took the role of representative of academia.

Marcel Hirsiger asked the speakers various questions for example what sustainability means for them, how we can motivate each other to follow a more sustainable future and what the challenges are. Swisscom for example included the achievement of a climate target into the evaluation of the board’s bonus. Nussbaumer on the other hand mentioned that it can be more difficult in terms of economic growth to follow as sustainable way because being cheap and fast can contribute to pollution and therefore, the state needs to intervene with policies to set a framework.

“Sustainability often needs an initial investment and is therefore not affordable for everyone. In many cases a minimum level of wealth is required to be able to commit to it. Large organizations as well as the more developed countries have the resources to make the sustainability transition. Therefore, they play a key role in their duty to provide exemplarity.” – Carmen Maybud

Not only the panel discussion contributed to ‘Learning by Sharing’. During the week we gained various other separate insights that has helped us to get a bigger picture of each side. We managed to hear specially tailored opinions from government organizations such as the United Nations Office, SFOE, and FOEN. Our own lecturers from the FHNW such as Dr. Nikolina Fuduric, who recently started to research in sustainable Marketing, represented another point of view for academia. And finally, various companies like EBL for example with its keynote about future of energy presented by Tobias Andrist, CEO, were joining us as business representatives.

The preparatory seminar taught us that we should be sensitive to other opinions and respect other perspectives. We should build upon our knowledge and fresh it up with new insights and learnings.