Remember when we had several questions about how to move forward and change?
A few months back when we developed this year’s theme, we wanted to get answers from businesses, non-profits and governments on how they address climate change, inequity and other burning topics. With our Seminar Abroad we just did that. We got out and got the several organizations talking and showing us what they undertake today for a better tomorrow.
As the Seminar in Switzerland laid the foundation with talks from businesses mainly from Switzerland, we were now ready to discover what the situation looks like in Northern America. For that aspect, we hosted Online Days with several parties from all around Canada and the United States. We had Sheridan College and UCLA expanding on their programs for sustainability in the form of courses, initiatives and simple educational transfer to be better and create an impact.
From Silicon Valley on new tech, how to find, produce and push solutions as well as finance them, we got together Jeffrey and Alex from Swisscom Outpost in Silicon Valley and Ecosystem Ventures respectively. Both shed light on how important it is to be in the right place at the right time. We have also heard that the pandemic brought a whole other dynamic to finances, how fast solutions can be and need to be developed. YVR Airport and Microsoft introduced us to their measures, and the movement they foster within their organization and as role models for others in their fields. Keena McDonald from American Express educated us further on inequity and racism and gave us tools to spot it and improve.
We were also honored by two governmental bodies, the Swiss General Consulate in Atlanta and the Swiss Consulate in Vancouver. Both invited several speakers to the two meetings from both local economies of greater Atlanta and British Columbia.
After two years without travel, this year we could finally experience businesses abroad again. So we headed to the Swedish cities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö as well as Copenhagen in Denmark as the second part of our Seminar Abroad.
We met with Stockholms city officials and were guided through their sustainability plans. Besides their plans, we enjoyed a walking tour through the royal seaport where we could see how a new development area grows with climate change and net zero in focus. Climate change and nature were also the focus of our visit to the Scandinavian Green Rooftop Institute in Malmö. They showed us how they test and implement solutions to battle extreme climate events such as heavy rain, high temperature and slowly changing urban architecture by creating green rooftops and sustainable urban drainage systems. Finding a meaning in their actions is what drives Nilas and Hugo from the SGRI. The company understands “Zero Insignificance” and that feeling purpose in the working life is generally recognized as essential motivating factor in today’s working life.
With Impact hub and Uni3 by Geely, we had two visits where we can see how they give tools, real estate, knowledge and space to startups to grow and realize their ideas to be better. During our visits with ABB, IBM and Novo Nordisk we could see how large corporations have grown more sustainable, are changing their products to become circular and are answering to the people’s demand for battling the climate. All three are using their corporate strengths and expertise to also push their industry and foster change. They also gave insight into how challenging it can be, but always closed that it must be done anyhow because the risks and stakes in it are higher. These companies definitely align with our Vision Zero and the vision to live and do business in a more purpose-oriented way, creating sustainability for themselves and the community.
For in-depth information on our mentioned visits and meetings, check our blog posts.