Activities – House of Switzerland at the WEF Annual Meeting 2024

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Food Systems Transformation and Climate Change: Collaborative Action and Measuring Success

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
09:00 - 12:00
Location : Nordside

Organized by the Federal Office for Agriculture with the WEF Food Action Alliance and the World Benchmarking Alliance. The event is fully booked.

Since the UN Food Systems Summit in 2021 (UNFSS), it is widely recognized that there is an urgent need to transform our food systems towards more sustainability and resilience, including by incorporating food systems strategies into different sectoral policies at national level.

This event will look at collaborative initiatives promoting sustainable and resilient food systems, with a special focus on the linkages between food and the climate policy areas, as well as the contributions of the private sector. The initiatives and tools will be briefly introduced, followed by a discussion on what is required to operationalize the collaborative effort needed globally to effectively implement the commitments of the UNFSS and the recent Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action at national level, and how to measure progress, from the perspective of different food systems actors.

Welcome speech

  • Christian Hofer, Director-General, Federal Office for Agriculture

Podium speakers

  • Agnes Kalibata, Ms., President, AGRA
  • Dominique Burgeon, Mr. Director, Liaison Office with the United Nations in Geneva, FAO 
  • Lawrence Haddad, Mr., Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
  • Gerbrand Haverkamp, Mr., Executive Director, World Benchmarking Alliance
  • Rob Cameron, Mr. Vice President, Global Head of Public Affairs and ESG Management, Nestlé
  • Gunhild Stordalen, Ms. Founder & Executive Chair, EAT
  • Alvaro Lario, Mr., President, International Fund for Agricultural Development
  • David Nabarro, Mr., Strategic Director, 4SD Foundation
  • Martien van Nieuwkoop, Mr., Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank
  • Emeline Fellus, Ms. Director, Agriculture and Food & Member of the Extended Leadership Group, WBCSD 
  • Adam Gerstenmier, Mr., Executive Director, Food Action Alliance / WEF

Sylvia Ekra, Ms., Deputy Director, UN Food Systems Coordination Hub

Person for information (please note that the event is fully booked) 
Patrick Mink
Function Senior Policy Officer
+41 79 621 02 60

Person for media requests
Hugo Wyler
Stv. Leiter Fachbereich Kommunikation und Sprachdienste
+41 58 46 30107

Event cover date 16 January

Geneva Day #1 Unlocking the True Potential of Sustainable Financing in a Complex World

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
11:30 - 14:00
Location : Crystal Lounge

Oganized by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation & the Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva. The event is fully booked.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the escalating climate crisis, sustainable financing has gained substantial traction. At the same time, some financial entities are distancing themselves from traditional Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) ratings. However, without real, efficient and effective sustainable and impact financing, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will be extremely difficult. The world not only faces unprecedented environmental and social challenges, it also has to deal with more and recurring conflicts. Can sustainable and impact finance act as a catalyst for real change? How can we align the goals of donors, investors and philanthropists to make a meaningful, large-scale impact beyond glossy ESG-reports? What nuances of modalities and risk management should stakeholders consider, especially in conflict-affected contexts?

Join us for this groundbreaking and interactive event which goes beyond questioning and aims at redefining the effectiveness and scope of sustainable and impact financing in today's complex world. The session will chart interactively with you different paths for public-private-philanthropic partnerships to navigate toward a sustainable future.

Welcome speech

  • Helene Budliger Artieda, State Secretary for Economic Affairs
  • Luc Frieden, Prime Minister Luxembourg 


  • Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund of Agricultural Development 
  • Sunil KC, CEO of NMB Bank in Nepal
  • Patrick Odier, Chairman of Building Bridges and Chairman of Swiss Sustainable Finance
  • Rachel Kyte, Board member at the Private Infrastructure Development Group 
  • Peter Maurer, Co-Chair Humanitarian and Resilience Investing Initiative 
  • Liam Foran, Founder and inaugural CEO of the Peace Dividend Initiative

Innovation solutions

  • Guillaume Bonnel, CEO of the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Finance Initiative (SIFI)
  • Josien Sluijs, Managing Director Aqua for All and President of the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Finance Initiative (SIFI)
  • Christian Leugger, Deputy Director, Head of Media and PR, Association of Swiss Cantonal Banks
  • Anja Hochberg, Head Multi-Asset Solutions Zürcher Kantonalbank 


  • Christian Frutiger, Assistant Director General SDC

Person for information (please note that the event is fully booked)
Graf Susanna 
Senior project management 
079 203 74 30

Person for media requests
Susanna Graf 
Senior project management           
079 203 74 30           

Reber Rosalyne 
Kommunikationsbeauftrage DEZA 
078 910 96 63

Event cover date 16 January

Geneva Day #2 Building Connectivity to Break the Digital Divide

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
13:30 - 14:30
Location : Nordside

Organized by the Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva with GIGA Initiative. The event is fully booked.

The last years have been marked by the acceleration of technological innovation and demonstrated how, for many of us, new technologies shape the way we live, communicate, buy or think. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the potential of new technologies to deliver services to people. At the same time, it has laid bare and even expanded inequalities when it comes to connectivity, both within societies and between countries. There is a need to scale up infrastructure and partnerships to leave no one behind. Ensuring universal school connectivity must be at the heart of these efforts. But how to deploy the private financing infrastructure in emerging markets? How to develop a sustainable model that not only facilitates the construction of the infrastructure but also ensures its long-term viability, while setting in motion a self-sustaining cycle of revenue generation? This panel will address these important questions by focusing on the Giga initiative. It will highlight the innovation needed in tech as well as in blended finance and look into the specific role of public and private investors as well as Development Finance Institutions in this context.

Welcome speech

  • Jürg Lauber, Permanent Representative of Switzerland in Geneva 

Podium speaker

  • Mondli Gungubele, Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies of the Republic of South Africa
  • Esther Kunda, Director General in Charge of Innovation & Emerging Technologies, Ministry of ICT & Innovation of the Republic of Rwanda
  • Kitty van der Heijden, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF 
  • Jenny Lindqvist, Senior Vice President, Ericsson Europe and Latin America


  • Karen Wilson, Founder & CEO, GV Partners

Person for information (please note that the event is fully booked)

Person for media requests
Paola Ceresetti
079 240 19 18

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Geneva Day #3 Humanitarian demining in Ukraine

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
16:00 - 17:00
Location : Nordside

Organized by the Mission of Switzerland to the UN in Geneva with the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The event is fully booked.

In the wake of Russia’s military aggression, up to 30% of the territory of Ukraine are possibly contaminated by mines and other explosive ordnance. Although great progress is being made under Ukrainian leadership and with international support, the challenges remain colossal. The rapid damage and needs assessment estimate short-term needs (until 2026) of $ 5.6 billion and over $37 billion by 2033. At the same time, humanitarian demining is a precondition for recovery and reconstruction, the use of agricultural land and the return of displaced persons. This panel will take stock of the most recent developments and look ahead: What will be necessary to make quick and sustainable progress in humanitarian demining and to protect the Ukrainian population from mines and other explosive ordnance? And how can public and private actors best combine their potential to support Ukraine and address its needs, based on the Lugano Principles

Opening by

  • Viola Amherd, President of the Swiss Confederation 

Podium speakers

  • Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Ukraine
  • Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
  • Ramin Toloui, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (tbc)
  • Philipp Hildebrand, Vice Chairman BlackRock


  • Simon Geissbühler, Head of Peace and Human Rights Division, Swiss MFA

Person for information (please note that the event is fully booked)

Person for media requests 
Paola Ceresetti
079 240 19 18

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Scaling the Global Foresight Network Across Public and Private Sectors

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Location : House of Switzerland

A multilateral meeting hosted by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the World Economic Forum.

Large-scale, interconnected transformations in geopolitics, the global economy, and societies around the world are contributing to an increasingly uncertain policy and business environment. The need to disrupt “business as usual” is evident in the proliferation of public and private sector foresight initiatives and, especially, in the leading role taken by the UN Secretary General in announcing the UN Summit of the Future, scheduled for September 2024. In 2023, the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, established the Global Foresight Network as a platform for public-private collaboration to drive foresight and future preparedness. The Network aims to scale a community of peers and best practice; develop thought leadership; derive collective insights on futures intelligence; and foster impactful public-private collaboration throughout 2024. 
Join this working group session to help kick off the network and contribute to advancing this work, and discuss the specific collaborations, products and programming that would have high impact for the global foresight community in 2024. If you are interested to learn more about the Global Foresight Network, please message

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Geneva Day #4 Quantum for All

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
17:30 - 19:00
Location : Nordside

Organised by the Prosperity and Sustainability Division of the the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator. The event is fully booked.

From climate change mitigation to global agriculture, quantum computing has the potential to transform industries and societies, with recognition reflected in Nobel Prizes and billions of dollars of investment in recent years. Governments, industries and citizens are increasingly aware of the enormous challenges - technical, political and intellectual - that must be overcome if quantum computing is to be developed inclusively and deliver on its promise to help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs. Beyond the vision of making quantum solutions accessible to all, the session will address concrete actions, international governance instruments and infrastructures already in place or under development to ensure that no one is left behind in the quantum revolution.

Welcome speach

  • Ignazio Cassis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation

Podium speakers

  • Ignazio Cassis, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
  • Fabiola Gianotti, Director-General, CERN 
  • Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman, GESDA 
  • Matthias Troyer, Technical Fellow and Corporate Vice-President, Microsoft 
  • Anousheh Ansari, CEO, XPRIZE Foundation 
  • James Manyika, Senior Vice President of Research, Technology and Society at Google


  • Enrica Porcari, Head of IT Department, CERN

Person for information (please note that the event is fully booked)
Niccolo Iorno
Scientific Advisor
+41 79 705 69 00

Person for media requests
Jean-Marc Crevoisier
Head of Communication, GESDA
+41 79 763 84 10

event cover 16 January

160 Years of Diplomatic Relations Japan-Switzerland

Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Location : Crystal Lounge

Organized by the Swiss-Japanese Chamber of Commerce SJCC.

Celebration Event of 160 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Japan and Switzerland

Welcome speech 

  • Martin Herb, President SJCC

Podium speakers

  • Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, Head of Economic Affairs, Education and Research
  • Masahiro Nakata, Minister Embassy of Japan
  • Christoph Mäder, President Economiesuisse
  • Elisabeth Schneider-Schneiter, National Councillor, President Parliamentary Friendship Group Switzerland-Japan


  • Martin Herb, President SJCC

Person for information, registration & media requests: 
Arisa Takata Herb     
Director SJCC
+41 78 847 34 15    

Event cover date 17 January

Tackling Inequality through Private Sector Leadership

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
07:30 - 09:00
Location : Nordside

Organized by Building Bridges with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality The event is by invitation only. 

Data from the World Inequality Report shows that the top 10% of the highest earners in the world now own 76% of all wealth, while the bottom 50% owns just 2%. These inequalities are putting the stability of our societies, political systems and economies at risk. Indeed, Moody’s estimated that over $8 trillion of the debt it rates is highly subject to social risks, versus around $2 trillion that faces environmental risks. 

For the private sector, addressing systemic social inequality is not only a moral imperative but also strategic risk management.

This session will first engage in a discussion to explore pathways for the private sector to strengthen the development of financial disclosures on inequalities to strengthen the stability of financial systems and improve outcomes for people. The Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI) will then come together and commit to action.

Welcome speech 

  • Hélène Budliger Artieda, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Switzerland
  • Peter Bakker, CEO & President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
  • Patrick Odier, Chairman of Building Bridges and Chairman of Swiss Sustainable Finance

Podium speakers

  • Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Co-President The Club of Rome
  • Marie-Laure Schafelberger, Head of Stewarship, Pictet & President, Sustainable Finance Geneva
  • Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary General, UN Global Compact
  • Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever
  • Geetha Tharmaratnam, Chief Impact Investment Officer, WHO Foundation
  • David Herranz, Senior Vice President, European Head of Sales, Manpower Group, Alternative Co-Chair BCTI


  • Nik Gowing, International Broadcaster; Founder, Thinking the Unthinkable

Person for information & event registration
Boris Le Montagner
Building Bridges
+41 76 478 04 88

Person for media requests
Alix Mottet
Communication Assistant
+336 45 79 07 16

Event cover date 17 January

Re-Thinking Energy Infrastructure: Empowering Decarbonization – Moving from strategy to implementation

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
10:30 - 13:30
Location : Nordside

Organized by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy with the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Switzerland Global Enterprise S-GE, Swissmem, the Swiss Export Risk Insurance as part of the Team Switzerland and ETH Zurich. The event is fully booked.

The recent energy crisis and the Paris Climate Accord both underscore the need to transform our global energy system. Accelerating decarbonization efforts with innovative and sustainable technologies in the infrastructure sector demands solutions not only from science and industry, but also from the financial sector. Interaction between these sectors, as well as between existing and new infrastructure, is particularly relevant in the implementation of larger programs, such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the United States or the green hydrogen initiative in Brazil.
This event will highlight regional perspectives on the global push to decarbonize the energy sector and showcase the concrete contribution Swiss companies are making in the areas of decarbonization not only by exporting its advanced technologies, but also by financing such innovative infrastructure globally. 
The discussion will be followed by a lunch break that will offer ample time for participants interested in business opportunities to network and interact with industry experts.

Welcome Impulse

  • Federal Councillor Albert Rösti, Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, Switzerland 

Opening Impulses

  • Alexandre Silveira, Minister of Mines and Energy of Brazil
  • Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency 

Panel Discussion

  • Dominik Schneiter, CEO, WinGD
  • Stefan Paul, CEO, Kühne + Nagel International
  • Jason Rondou, Director, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
  • Gina Domanig, Managing Partner, Emerald Technology Ventures 
  • Luciana da Costa, Infrastructure, Energy Transition and Climate Change Director of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)

Closing Remarks

  • Benoît Revaz, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy 


  • Chris Luebkeman, Leader of the Strategic Foresight Hub, Office of the President, ETH Zurich 

Person for media requests
Lukas Dick
Federal Council and Parliamentary Affairs Specialist
+41 79 320 57 95