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Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland Launch Conference

15 February 2018 | Bern, Switzerland

Highlights for Thursday, 15 February 2018

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Web CoverageAbout | 15 Feb

L-R: Urs Wiesmann, Co-Chair of SDSN Switzerland; conference facilitator Katrin Muff, Business School Lausanne; Bertrand Piccard, Solar Impulse; 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate Jacques Dubochet, University of Lausanne; Océane Dayer, Co-Chair of SDSN Switzerland; and organizer Michael Bergöö, Biovision

SDSN The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) Switzerland was launched in Bern, Switzerland, on 15 February 2018, as part of the global SDSN, a UN initiative. SDSN Switzerland aims to provide an environment to discuss challenges faced by Switzerland in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development.

The SDSN Switzerland Launch Conference brought together around 250 representatives and decisionmakers from science and research, think tanks, government, civil society, business and international organizations to discuss how to effectively implement these international sustainability agreements in Switzerland and beyond. SDSN Switzerland is the 25th SDSN, and is co-hosted by the Centre for Development and Environment of the University of Bern, and Biovision – Foundation for Ecological Development.

The Conference featured plenary sessions on various topics, including: SDSN as a tool to build bridges and create solutions; making Switzerland sustainable; and Switzerland’s opportunities and responsibilities for a sustainable world. Nine parallel breakout sessions were held in innovative formats, including “story harvesting,” to explore opportunities for SDSN Switzerland to serve as a catalyst for implementing the 2030 Agenda. Keynote addresses were held by Bertrand Piccard, explorer and initiator of Solar Impulse, who completed the first solar-powered flight around the world, and 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate Jacques Dubochet, University of Lausanne.

The meeting identified a wide range of practical ways in which SDSN Switzerland can play a role in achieving the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In an atmosphere of optimism and enthusiasm, participants displayed a broad commitment to the transformation to sustainability and to the challenge of spreading relevant knowledge and stories to all sectors in society.

IISD Reporting Services, through its ENB+ Meeting Coverage, has provided a summary report from the SDSN Switzerland Launch Conference, which is now available in HTML and PDF.


Keynote address by Bertrand Piccard, explorer and initiator of Solar Impulse, the first solar-powered flight around the world

Keynote address by 2017 Chemistry Nobel Prize Laureate Jacques Dubochet


A view of the plenary room during an introduction by conference facilitator Katrin Muff, Business School Lausanne


Facilitator Katrin Muff, Business School Lausanne; Klaus Leisinger, Global Value Alliance; Barbara Kux, Coaching4Vision; and Teresa Ribera, Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations, during the panel discussion on Switzerland’s opportunities and responsibilities for a sustainable world


Participants and organizers at the SDSN Switzerland Launch Conference


Participants engaging in “World Café” discussions during one of the interactive breakout sessions

Photos courtesy of Biovision

Web CoverageAbout | 15 Feb
Funding for coverage of the SDSN Switzerland Launch Conference has been provided by the
Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development
Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development