Sustainability Week in Switzerland

Switzerland’s largest sustainability event addresses various aspects of sustainability within higher education institutions, such as research, teaching, governance and operation models. And everything is organized by students.

Created in 2013 and now in its eighth edition, Switzerland’s largest sustainability event took place this year in 15 cities, including 34 higher education institutions and over 400 volunteers. Taking place all over the country from March to May 2020 with more than 200 events organized by students from various faculties, the event is a milestone in the Swiss students’ desire to have sustainability included in universities, both in management and in curricula.

The Sustainability Week aims to promote local sustainability initiatives and connect academics from multiple disciplines with organizations. To do so, are organized free and public events such as film screenings, debates, lectures, workshops and even “discosoups” – a celebration that transforms food that would be wasted into a gastronomic musical gathering with soup and music.

In these weeks organized by students, a central theme is the analysis of how education is focused on Sustainability or not, and how it prepares students to contribute to the accomplishment of the UN 2030 Agenda – 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

This year, the event also had the participation of Marcelo Veloso, Leadership & Sustainability Fellow at oikos International, which will be based in Rio de Janeiro during 2020, at swissnex Brazil. His goal will be to develop projects between the two countries by exploring the themes raised during Sustainability Week, which had also the participation of the most prominent researchers and experts in sustainability in Switzerland.

More than a national meeting, Sustainability Week is a way to promote knowledge and innovation in sustainable practices, creating an opportunity to reflect, imagine, innovate and develop products for an economy focused on the future of the planet. Students reflect on the skills that will be needed to solve future challenges and, above all, on how the education system can stimulate these skills.


Image: Freepik