4th article in the blog series with SwissFoundations!

The above statement, which reached us by email a few days ago, hits the nail on the head: networking within and outside the Swiss foundation sector is becoming more important than ever. The interest in the Swiss Foundation Symposium, which has now developed into the largest sector meeting in Switzerland, is correspondingly great. It is particularly nice to observe how the field of participants and speakers becomes more colourful and mixed with each passing year. So you can forgive me for a bit of name-dropping when I present you with a first glimpse of this year's programme:

Antonis Schwarz, a young perspective of the new generation of philanthropists, will take the main stage. As founder of the Guerilla Foundation and impact investor, he will speak about the potential of activist philanthropy - just before Leslie Johnston, Executive Director of the C&A Foundation, and directly after Aengus Collins, Head of Global Risks and the Geopolitical Agenda of the World Economic Forum.

As you can see, it's getting political. And when it comes to politics, psychology is not far behind. Prof. Dr Veronika Brandstätter-Morawietz, Professor of General Psychology with a focus on motivation, Thomas Vellacot, CEO of WWF Switzerland, and Dr Barbara Bleisch, philosopher and presenter of Sternstunde Philosophie (SRF), will discuss "Why we know (almost) everything and yet do (so) little". The second day will continue with Gabriele Woidelko, Head of History and Politics at the Körber Foundation, on the topic of "Defending the open society together - How foundations promote democracy and solidarity in Europe".

Once the Swiss foundation sector is gathered in one place, we not only want to discuss with each other, but also learn from each other: What happens, for example, when foundations let their target groups have a say in decision-making? What if the foundation board suddenly has to think entrepreneurially? How do you find the right funding concept? And how can a constructive culture of error be created?

As befits a future-oriented symposium, the topic of digitalisation will not be neglected. Although it has been on everyone's lips for some time, it has seldom been addressed in concrete terms, so we want to approach the whole thing from an implementation-oriented perspective: Lukas Bruhin, Secretary General of the Federal Department of Home Affairs, will report exclusively from the workshop of the digital transformation of foundation supervision (eESA). The next day, two foundation representatives will describe whether the digital transformation in foundations is primarily about eliminating pads and pencils or whether there is more to it. We have invited Stefanie Holm, Communications Manager of the ON Foundation, and Karin Schumacher, Chief Operating Officer of the Fondation Botnar.

This is a small foretaste of two dense days that will offer 19 discussion, practical and thematic forums, numerous keynotes, a diverse supporting programme and a joint evening event. We look forward to welcoming you on our "Grand Tour de Suisse" this year in the Bernese Oberland and to discovering the ecosystem "Beyond the Comfort Zone" together.

Katharina Guggi
Communication & Digital Strategy

Posted in Grantmaking Foundations, Foundations Switzerland

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