Pioneers – A myclimate Evening with Bertrand Piccard on Innovation, Energy, and Bold Ideas for the Future of Economy and Society

6. octobre 2017

myclimate patron Dr. Bertrand Piccard enthralled more than 100 invited guests at the myclimate event “Pioneers”. At Zurich’s new innovation hub «kraftwerk», the solar flight pioneer talked about pioneering spirit, entrepreneurship, effective climate protection, and the courage of having new ideas. Later on, Piccard initiated a discussion forum with Thomas Binggeli, founder of Stromer ebikes, Georgette Vun, of the disruptive start-up Spark Horizon, and René Estermann. To conclude the evening, myclimate presented the new project “Solibrium”.

Solar Impulse; myclimate; pioneers; World alliance for efficient solutions; Spark Horizon

Dr. Bertrand Piccard (2nd from left) in discussion with moderator Monika Schärer, Georgette Vun, Spark Horizon, and Thomas Binggeli, Stromer at myclimate Soirée „Pioneers“

On the occasion of its 15th anniversary, the myclimate foundation invited friends and partners to a special evening. The event was held under the name “Pioneers”. The goal was to look for and discuss solutions for an economically successful and ecologically responsible future of economy and society.

Listen to the recording of the podium discussion on the myclimate Soundcloud account (in German)

Pioneer for profitable and sustainable solutions

Dr. Bertrand Piccard – official member of the myclimate patronage committee since January 2017 – used the first 30 minutes to present his vision of a successful and sustainable future. He focused on pioneering spirit: “Everyone can be a pioneer. Being a pioneer is a frame of mind! Pioneers often come too early, the industry often comes too late.” The founder of Solar Impulse further emphasized that he is not as concerned with theoretical considerations and attitudes but rather with practical success stories when talking about a sustainable future and pioneering spirit. “If people are not interested in climate protection, you have to convince them that climate protection is profitable. Our goal is to find and support 1000 profitable solutions for environment and climate and basically take them to the governments circumnavigating the world a second time!”, he presented his new project “World Alliance for Efficient Solutions.“ The new alliance will be officially presented at the 23nd Conference of the Parties in Bonn.

Entrepreneurs and Pioneers

The evening’s moderator Monika Schäfer took these statements as an opportunity to extend the discussion group. With Thomas “Thömu“ Binggeli, founder of Stromer ebikes and former CEO of BMC, an entrepreneur draw the attention to the importance of pioneering spirit in successfully building and developing a company. “If we had not invested in our bikes’ connectivity and digital smartness, even without fully understanding it at that time, Stromer would not exist as a company today. I received this impulse from the CEO of Swisscom during a bike trip six years ago.”, Binggeli pointed to a defining pioneering experience in his career.

Georgette Vun presented the idea behind the start-up Spark Horizon: extensively cover areas with charging stations for electric vehicles that are financed by personalised ads but are free to use for customers. Georgette Vun, who can look back on a successful career at, among others, UBS, named personal reasons, not least her three children, for her engagement in both disruptive and sustainable innovations.


myclimate CEO and host René Estermann presented a new myclimate project “Solibrium“ – the 101st project since the inception of the foundation. “Solibrium“ aims at marketing solar home systems to households in Kenya. These systems allow reading or studying during evening hours. They enhance families’ sense of security, provide opportunities for additional income, allow access to information and, not unimportantly, replace the ubiquitous kerosene lights. The project is administered by myclimate’s long-term project partner eco2Librium.

More information about Solibrium (in German)

The event was held in the new “kraftwerk” Zurich. The former EWZ substation Selnau currently hosts 30 international start-ups that beat out 1500 applicants and came out on top in the Kickstart Accelerator programme. “kraftwerk” is run by Impact Hub Zürich together with EWZ, digitalswitzerland,and Migros Engagement. myclimate was supported in hosting the event by “EquiTable” form Zurich, who catered exquisite, local, and sustainable menus, and by Lemonaid with its sustainable lemonades as well as tee and infusion beverages.

Photo gallery of the myclimate soiree “Pioneers” with Bertrand Piccard
Recording of the discussion

Support Solibrium

The Solibrium project needs to be pre-financed to successfully scale up and have a substantial impact. myclimate invites you to make a simple donation exclusively designated for Solibrium and to bring light and energy into the west of Kenya. Click on this link or send us an e-mail with your address and donation amount to kenia(at)

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