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

6. October 2017

myclimate patron Dr Bertrand Piccard impressed more than 100 invited guests at the myclimate "Pioneers" event. At "kraftwerk", the new centre of innovation in Zurich, the solar aviation pioneer spoke about pioneering spirit, entrepreneurship, effective climate protection and the courage to have new ideas. Later, Dr Bertrand Piccard opened the discussion session with Thomas Binggeli, founder of Stromer ebikes, Georgette Vun, from the disruptive start up Spark Horizon and René Estermann. To close the evening, myclimate presented its 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 (left) at the myclimate soirée "Pioneers"

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the foundation, myclimate invited friends and partners to a special evening. The title of the event was "Pioneers". Solutions were sought after and discussed for an economically successful and ecologically responsible future for the economy and society.

Listen to the podium discussion on the myclimate soundcloud page

Pioneer in profitable, sustainable solutions

In the first 30 minutes, Dr Bertrand Piccard, since January 2017 an official member of the myclimate Patron's Committee, presented his vision of a successful and sustainable future. The focus of his speech was pioneering spirit: "Anyone can be a pioneer. 'Pioneer' is a state of mind! Pioneers often come too early, industry often too late."

When speaking about a sustainable future and pioneering spirit, the founder of Solar Impulse further emphasised that the focus for him was not on theoretical considerations and attitudes, but rather on practical examples of success. "If people are not interested in climate protection, then they must be convinced that climate protection is profitable. Our goal is to find 1000 profitable solutions for the environment and the climate, to support them and, with them, to fly around the world a second time, so to speak!" said Dr Bertrand Piccard during the presentation of his new project "World Alliance for Efficient Solutions". The new alliance will be officially unveiled at the Climate Change Conference in Bonn.

Entrepreneurs and Pioneers

Monika Schärer, the moderator for the evening, used exactly this remark to open up the discussion. Thomas "Thömu" Binggeli, founder of Stromer ebikes and former CEO of BMC, gave his perspective as an entrepreneur on the importance of pioneering spirit for successfully building and developing a company. "Had we not, without having really understood this at the time, invested in the connectivity and the digital 'smartness' of our bikes, Stromer would not still exist as a company today. I gained this insight six years ago during a bike ride with the then-CEO of Swisscom.", elaborated Binggeli, discussing, among other things, the formative, pioneering experience of his entrepreneurial career.

Georgette Vun presented the concept behind the start-up Spark Horizon: establishing charging stations for electric vehicles nationwide that are financed by personalised adverts, but are free for the user. Georgette Vun, who can look back on a successful career at UBS among other things, gave personal reasons, not least her three children, for why she is now an advocate of innovations that are both disruptive and sustainable.

Solibrium

To conclude the discussion, myclimate CEO and host René Estermann presented myclimate's new project "Solibrium", the 101st project since myclimate was founded. The goal of Solibrium is to market solar systems for domestic use in Kenya. These systems enable learning and reading to take place in the evening hours. They increase a family's sense of security, create opportunities for additional income, grant access to information and last but not least, they replace the widespread use of kerosene lamps. The project is being implemented by eco2Librium, a long-term partner of myclimate.

More information on Solibrium

The event took place in Zurich's new "kraftwerk" building. The former EWZ Selnau electricity substation currently provides a home for 30 international start-ups that had previously competed against 1500 other participants in the Kickstart Accelerator programme. The "kraftwerk" is operated by Impact Hub Zurich, together with EWZ, digitalswitzerland and Migros Engagement. In hosting the event, myclimate was generously supported by the Zurich restaurant EquiTable with extraordinary, local and sustainable culinary creations, and was also supported by partner Lemonaid who provided sustainable lemonade and tea infusions.

Photo gallery for myclimate "Pioneers" soirée with Dr Bertrand Piccard

Listen to the discussion

Support Solibrium

For successful scaling and so that Solibrium can make a real difference, the project is in need of preliminary funding. myclimate invites you to make a simple donation that will be transferred to Solibrium, to bring light and energy to the west of Kenya. Click on this link or send us an email with your address and donation amount to kenya(at)myclimate.org.

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