switzerland

The Swiss Pavillion Expo 2017 Astana is committed to the SDGs. From 13 to 27 July, it develops several activities in order to raise awareness about the challenges of building a better future for the next generations.

Horyou CEO and founder, Yonathan Parienti, with Swiss Pavilion visitors (Photo Swiss pavilion)
Horyou CEO and founder, Yonathan Parienti, with Swiss Pavilion visitors (Photo Swiss pavilion)

The Swiss pavilion, organized by Presence Switzerland, showcases the Confederation as an innovative country with an interactive and surprising exhibition on the issues of energy efficiency, renewable energies and global water management. As part of the Swiss Pavillion, the Swissnex Lab is dedicated to thematic immersion and networking, in order to facilitate bilateral cooperation and academic exchange between Switzerland and Kazakhstan.

One of the activities, Perception Change Project, includes a temporary installation with a wheel of fortune that introduces sustainable development, a Human Library involving innovators and presenting a talk on Education and Innovation with experts and changemakers.

Horyou Team attended an event on Education & Innovation on July 18, 2017, and had the opportunity to hear unique stories from speakers invited by the Perception Change Project in cooperation with partner organizations, notably the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Kazakhstan Institute of Standardization and Certification, the UNICEF Kazakhstan and its Liaison Office in Geneva, the University of Geneva, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). «Horyou Team was excited to see the commitment of the Swiss Pavilion to promoting the sustainable development goals in Astana. We share the same resolve to shape better times to come, and SIGEF 2017 in Kazakhstan will be our initiative during EXPO2017 to support that momentum of awareness and implementation», said Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou.

Horyou team visits the Swiss Pavillion at EXPO2017 in Kazakhstan
Horyou team visits the Swiss Pavillion at EXPO2017 in Kazakhstan

The event was followed by a project called “Human Books”, whereby people shared their stories with the public, creating empathy by touching on topics such as climate change and education in emergency situations and refugee camps. One of the touching stories was Isaac Mustopulo’s, a 15-year old student from Kazakhstan who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and, despite all odds, has finished 8th grade at a local school in Taraz where he excels academically and is actively involved in extracurricular activities. He is an advocate for inclusion and is working on a project that would introduce tutors to public schools for students with disabilities.

“Sustainable Development Goals are not only the UN’s or governments’ business, we all have a role to play in achieving them. The topics related to the SDGs and the work of organisations in Geneva and elsewhere can be illustrated in a playful manner and through storytelling. We are delighted to be a part of Expo 2017 Astana”, said the Head of Project, Aziyadé Poltier-Mutal.

More than 700 people visited the Swiss Pavilion on its first day
More than 700 people visited the Swiss Pavilion on its first day

Finally, the Education & Innovation Talk session opened a dialogue between several thought leaders. Ms Tatiana Aderikhina from the Education and Child Protection at UNICEF shared how an equity–focused and inclusive approach starting from early childhood education can have positive impact toward social inclusion and reduce the numbers of unschooled children. Mr Zhasulan Kenzhegalyiev, a specialist from the International Cooperation Department of the Unified Government Fund of Normative outlined how Astana is leading the way in SmartCities and how this can benefit both the population and the overall sustainability efficiency. Prof Barbara Moser-Mercer, from the University of Geneva, a specialist in higher education in emergency and crises situations, expressed how connected learning builds the knowledge and skills needed to adapt, and how that could prove to be a key factor in the development of higher education for people victims of conflict situations within refugees camps. Ms Ekaterina Perfilyeva, editor in chief of the Open School of Sustainable Development, shared how through volunteering to support facilitation of translation and sharing of knowledge and meaningful information we could advocate a better understanding and implementation of sustainability principles with the Youth.

The overall discussion from the panelists with the audience, outlined the fact that there are numerous synergies and initiatives that could support the achievement of SDG 4, related to Education.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

Young students from all over the world gathered for a 4-day entrepreneurship school
Young students from all over the world gathered for a 4-day entrepreneurship school

It’s a warm day in Geneva. A group of young entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and cultural origins is gathered for the first of the 4-day program of the Entrepreneurship School. The educational project, in its 25th edition, is an initiative of ThinkYoung, a Brussels-based think thank which aims to improve the youth world and provide developing tools to young people. The goal of the program is to create, in groups, management projects until the end of the week – the best one will be awarded for its creativity, feasibility, sustainability and profitability.

The first speaker of the afternoon is Yonathan Parienti, CEO and founder of Horyou. Surrounded by curious faces, he has to present the social network for social good and then, be ready to answer the questions of each group for 5 minutes, in rounds. They are challenged to make as many questions as possible, to push the speaker as much as possible. Eager, they want to know about everything – funding, recruiting, partnerships, personal features.

Parienti seems happy about their passion and curiosity – it is exactly what he expects from this generation of future business leaders. “The new generation is getting ready to manage their own business very soon. Being an entrepreneur is not to wait for things to happen but to build something that is missing in the world”, he says. He is asked to tell his story – a former banker from JP Morgan and Bank of China who, after 13 years on the financial market, decided to build his own company, inspired by the dream to make the world a better place.

Yonathan Parienti presented Horyou and shared his entrepreneur experience
Yonathan Parienti presented Horyou and shared his entrepreneur experience

Like many entrepreneurs, Yonathan kept his job while he was working on the initial steps of Horyou. After a few months, he finally decided to “jump” into the entrepreneurial adventure. “At some point you have to give all your energy and time – and then you literally jump”, he says. Between 2012 and 2013, he built the team and in December 2013 he launched the Horyou platform – which now congregates a community of more than 250,000 users and 1,100 organizations from 180 countries and is currently closing its 4th investment round.

The audience is very interested about investors and partnerships – the best advice, he says, is to choose them very well. “Be certain that people that invest in your company really match your ideals and the ideals of your company. If you don’t have the right investors with you, your chance of success will be compromised”, he says. It’s not only a matter of being chosen, then. It’s a match.

Marketing strategy

Connect online and offline worlds for the social good. This is one of the missions of Horyou, but it was not an obvious choice since the beginning. “We started as a social media platform, but soon we realized we needed to be more, to truly connect with members and organizations”, he says. The first experience was with the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, the SIGEF, in 2014, organized in Geneva by Horyou. “When we gathered 2,500 global citizens, coming from all over the world, meeting for 3 days of interactions, it was the very key moment we saw what we were doing was meaningful”, he says. The growth strategy continued with digital campaign, documentaries, the launch of Horyou blog, Horyou TV, the mobile application and other projects that made the enterprise unique and continuously innovative. Currently, Horyou team is organizing the 3rd edition of SIGEF, which will take place in November in Marrakesh, Morocco, during the COP 22. It’s, indeed, a match.

Young entrepreneurs were curious and asked for advice
Young entrepreneurs were curious and asked for advice

Challenges and opportunities

When asked about challenges, Yonathan is optimistic. “Life is not about failure and success. It’s about what do you do now. It is about finding the energy and resources to face whatever challenges. I find this in people we support and I get inspired by them”. As an advice for the future entrepreneurs, he says: “Challenges should be seen as part of the path for a start up. You have to plan it. You have to go for what you need. Be confident, believe in your project”.

After a few round of questions, the lecture is done. However, the entrepreneurs are not tired of asking – they surround Yonathan during coffee break and ask for more – contacts, stories, but advices over all. The last one, before leaving, is that there is not such a thing as a recipe for success. Trust your intuition, he says. It is and will be your best friend.

Written by Vivian Soares

Have you thought of a world where nobody would have to be concerned about paying for their basic needs? The unconditional basic income (UBI) project, which will be submitted to a vote in Switzerland next month, addresses this controversial issue that has been the “talk of the country” for quite some time. And last week, hundreds of academics, executives, trade union representatives and the general public gathered in Zurich to discuss the UBI in connection to new technologies, disruptive work and a shrinking middle class, both in the developed and developing worlds. While attending for Horyou blog, I was very interested to see how the basic income discussion would fit with the concept of Spotlight, the global social currency created by Horyou. And I discovered that there are many people studying and working hard for more income equality all over the world.

Yanis Varoufakis - Photo by Jonas Rohloff/Neopolis Network
Yanis Varoufakis – Photo by Jonas Rohloff/Neopolis Network

Named “The Future of Work”, the conference discussed alternatives for the current crisis of capitalism, marked by income stagnation, deflationary process and decreasing interest rates on a global scale. Renowned specialists such as Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Minister of Finance, and Robert Reich, former US Labour Secretary under Bill Clinton, were among the speakers.

First to speak was Robert Johnson, executive director of the Institute of New Economic Thinking, for whom the root cause of our society’s challenges is a mix of political pessimism, technological disruption and a political system whereby economic growth is powered and consumed by the wealthy few. “We are living under fear of social unrest caused by the increasingly precarious conditions for workers”, he said.

Robert Johnson - Photo by Jonas Rohloff/Neopolis Network
Robert Johnson – Photo by Jonas Rohloff/Neopolis Network

One of the signs of this precarity is the rise of sharing economy platforms like Uber and their impact on working conditions. A panel called Disruptive Work presented cases of companies like Uber and Zipcar, whereby members are proposed flexible conditions while not enjoying the same rights and income they would be in a “traditional” industry. “My father had one job in his life, I had six in mine, and my daughter will have six simultaneously”, said Robin Chase, co-founder of the car sharing platform Zipcar. She is optimistic about the new working model – according to her, 85% of people are not happy with their current jobs and the so-called “peer inc” companies can tap exponential learning and lead people to interesting jobs instead of automated ones.

A system where a basic income would guarantee people’s survival would give everyone freedom to chose a meaningful job without having to work hard to make ends meet. For the critics of the project, it would lead to a situation where many people would be discouraged to work at all. Some experiments made in Africa, India and Germany, however, show the opposite. Michael Faye, co-founder of the non profit GiveDirectly, shared his experience with cash transfers in extreme poor villages in Africa. “The only social group who stopped working were children”, he said. “There is no evidence that they become lazy and spend the money on drugs and alcohol. In fact, people go back to school and start working for the community”. The same phenomenon happened with the Mein Grundeinkommen experiment in Germany – from the 36 people who benefitted from a cash transfer which guaranteed their survival, only one spent it on luxuries. “Most people changed jobs and started spending more time with their children”, says the executive Amira Yahia.

Robert Reich, who worked as a US Labour Secretary and now is a professor at UCLA, is one of the biggest supporters of the project. “Even the Silicon Valley is starting to be interested in the basic income project. Companies are concerned about people not being able to afford the products that they manufacture, as the middle class is shrinking”, he said. In his opinion, a basic income would create an aggregated demand that would address such issues as inequality and social insecurity. “The central question is not economic but ethical. Who is the government working for, and who has the influence and power? How do we use the abundance and distribute the gains produced by society?”, he asked. Reich is not convinced about the effectiveness of a basic income, but believes it is “inevitable” to create a system which promotes the circulation of income.

Robert Reich - Photo by Jonas Rohloff/Neopolis Network
Robert Reich – Photo by Jonas Rohloff/Neopolis Network

The closing speech was Yanis Varoufakis’. Famous for his controversial statements about capitalism and the financial system, he stated that the social democracy tradition is dead and that capitalism has been agonizing since 2008. “The new system transfers the value of production towards the financial sector that remains insolvent. This created a deflationary process and today, half the global economy is on negative interest rates”. Varoufakis went on to explain that the working class can no longer ensure itself through social insurance, as youngsters find it very difficult to find full time jobs, and wages are stagnating. “This is aggravated by the fact that low wage routine jobs would be rapidly replaced by artificial intelligence”.

The basic income, according to him, is a necessary tool to stabilize society. “The struggle is ethical as we need to overturn the dominant paradigm of capitalism. The basic income is a dividend for the collective production market, it is about giving money to the underserving, to the rich, the surfers, people who are collectively producing wealth”, he advocated. At the same time, a redistribution of wealth would benefit central banks as well by working as a counter deflationary tool, and promote the creation of value at work, as people would have the right to turn down a job they don’t feel connected to. “We need to create a system which aggregates capital and creates a stream for everyone. It’s a trust fund for all our children”, he concluded.

Written by Vivian Soares

Special thanks to Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute and Neopolis Network for all the support and pictures.

Assemblage des morceaux de bambou pour fabriquer les yourtes.
Assemblage des morceaux de bambou pour fabriquer les yourtes.

L’ONG Sholutions , basée en Suisse, a pour mission d’offrir des abris pour les familles victimes de typhons et de la pauvreté aux Philippines. L’organisation fabrique des abris de type yourte avec du bambou. En effet, le bambou utilisé a pour avantage d’aider l’économie locale et est un moyen durable de substitution aux constructions en bois.

Nous découvrons ici un large échantillon de leurs activités grâce à Pascal Bruelhart , fondateur de l’organisation, qui a accepté de répondre à nos questions.

1.Pouvez-vous nous présenter brièvement Sholutions?

Sholutions est l’abréviation de Shelter Solutions, en français, Solutions d’abris. Nous sommes une association créée par trois suisses aux Philippines suite au typhon Haiyan en novembre 2013. L’ampleur des dégâts et de la misère que cette catastrophe a engendré pour les victimes nous a alors interpellés et nous avons décidé de nous lancer.

2.Le fait d’utiliser du bambou pour la construction de ces yourtes permet aussi d’aider l’économie du pays concerné et a un fort impact environnemental. Pouvez-vous nous en dire un peu plus ?

Le bambou n’est encore pas assez bien utilisé aux Philippines. La Chine, elle, par exemple, exploite très bien cette ressource, meilleur substitut au bois. La culture du bambou est assez simple et permet des revenus constants par hectare annuellement. Cette culture permet aussi d’absorber de grandes quantités de Co2. Selon les variétés, la récolte est de 800 pôles et plus de 150 pousses pour l’alimentation par an. Ces dernières, appelées « bamboo shoots » en anglais sont coupées pour éclaircir la plantation et permettre un meilleur apport en nutriments aux autres pôles de bambou. En comparaison, un arbre tel que l’eucalyptus, poussant rapidement et utilisé pour la production de pulpe à papier, est sujet à la coupe, donc revenus, tous les 7 ans seulement. De plus, après une culture d’eucalyptus, plus rien ne pousse par la suite alors que le bambou permet la création de nouvelles forêts avec une grande variété d’arbres. Par ailleurs, bien placées et utilisées, les différentes plantations de bambou aident à protéger des villages de fortes rafales de vent, à conserver le tracé de certains cours d’eau et à consolider des collines sujettes à de possibles glissements de terrain. Enfin, ces plantations permettent aussi la création de très agréables forêts où il fait bon se promener tout en écoutant la musique un peu magique du cliquetis des bambous.

3.Vous pré-fabriquez aussi certaines yourtes de manière à être plus efficace en cas d’urgences dues au changement climatique. Combien de temps cela prend-il de construire une yourte ?

La construction d’une yourte en cas de catastrophe prend facilement 3 jours pour des experts, voire plus d’une semaine. On pourrait même l’estimer à plus, si l’on prend en compte les traitements anti-peste et séchage que le bambou doit subir avant utilisation afin de ne pas être réduit en poussière et pourrir après 2 ans déjà.

En revanche, pré-fabriquer une yourte de manière éco-industrielle comme nous le faisons ne prend que quelques heures. Les procédés sont optimisés, ce qui permet aussi de mieux utiliser les ressources, soit plus de 90% du bambou. Le montage ne prend qu’une demi-journée pour une équipe de 3 personnes mais cela dépend aussi grandement d’éléments tels que les options de plancher, le raccordement au réseau d’eau ou encore l’électricité.

Etape de la fabrication de la yourte en bambou.
Etape de la fabrication de la yourte en bambou.

4. Un de vos derniers projets a été la construction de yourtes pouvant servir de classes pour les enfants dans des zones de conflits. Pouvez-vous nous en dire un peu plus ?

Nous avons eu des demandes pour des classes en Iraq, malheureusement nous ne sommes pas encore prêts pour l’exportation des produits. Nous travaillons sur le paquetage et cela devrait être possible courant 2016. La facilité du transport et le montage d’un abri sont des critères importants pour les ONGs. C’est l’avantages des tentes et bâches. C’est un peu triste que quelques heures de transport et montage priment sur d’éventuelles années d’occupation de l’abri. Les yourtes peuvent être mises à disposition avec différentes options selon la région climatique: plus ou moins d’isolation thermique, différents produits organiques ou plastique pour toits et parois, ameublement intérieur selon utilisation. Nous travaillons sur différentes variantes et notre site web permettra de créer la yourte selon les besoins d’utilisation.

5. Y a-t-il eu une réalisation qui a eu une importance toute particulière pour Sholutions durant ces dernières années ?

Nous avons aidé à acheminer des vivres après le typhon Haiyan. Les deux dernières années ont principalement servi à l’étude d’abris suite à des catastrophes et différents projets innovateurs émergeants. La yourte est le fruit de nombreux meetings avec des professionnels de l’aide d’urgence et celle-ci peut amener de grandes innovations tout en étant une aide au développement durable ainsi qu’un élément permettant de réduire la pauvreté. Nous avons mis beaucoup d’énergie pour les différents prototypes créés jusqu’à ce jour et courant 2016 nous devrions pouvoir voir les premières mises à disposition et utilisation de ces produits.

6. Avez-vous un projet que vous espérez mettre en place prochainement et dont vous souhaiteriez nous parler ?

La pré-fabrication ou le stockage d’abris en réponse à de graves intempéries ou situations humanitaires exceptionnelles n’existe pas à l’exception de bâches et/ou de tentes. La première usine mondiale fabriquant des abris pré-fabriqués vient de voir le jour en Suède avec la Fondation Ikea qui produit des panneaux en plastique et isolation, constitués de quelques cartons facilement transportable une fois pliés. Nous voyons tant d’atouts bénéfiques à la nature et la communauté avec le projet d’usine de pré-fabrication. Ceci est notre projet majeur pour le moment. Une fois bien installée, l’usine permettra la création d’une académie du bambou pour la promotion de technologies vertes et culture du bambou ainsi que sa transformation en produit exportable.

Autre étape de la fabrication de la yourte.
Autre étape de la fabrication de la yourte.

7. Que pensez-vous de Horyou et de sa communauté dont vous êtes un membre actif ? Qu’est ce que la plateforme vous apporte dans le cadre de votre action?

Horyou nous permet de présenter au mieux notre organisation ainsi que de trouver des synergies et contacts à travers le monde.

8. Notre philosophie s’articule autour de valeurs universelles que nous retrouvons dans le slogan « Dream Inspire Act ». Qu’est ce que ces 3 mots évoquent pour vous et votre organisation ?

Dream évoque un monde meilleur, plus écologique et endurant quant à Inspire, il évoque plus de productions en harmonie avec la nature. Finalement, Act me fait penser au besoin d’offrir les connaissances aux communautés vivants dans des régions éloignées pour qu’elles puissent mieux subvenir à leurs besoins.

8. Si vous pouviez partager un message avec l’ensemble des membres de la communauté Horyou, quel serait-il ?

Tant de catastrophes et des moyens énormes déployés pour réparer les conséquences de celles-ci. Aidez-nous à changer cela. Nous pouvons agir en amont et préparer des solutions. C’est plus efficace et cela permet une meilleure résistance ainsi que la création d’emplois écologiques pouvant aider au développement durable de la planète. Plantez du bambou un peu partout ! Nous vous trouverons plein d’emplois possibles avec ce matériau.

Pour en savoir plus, visitez leur page Horyou ou leur site internet!

Ecrit par Laurie Martin

A convivência cria amizade ,carinho respeito e deixa muita saudades.
A convivência cria amizade ,carinho respeito e deixa muita saudades

Chaque jour, nous découvrons les magnifiques actions de nos Membres, Personnalités et Organisations sur la plateforme Horyou. Ils sont toujours prêts à Agir ! Cette semaine, nous mettons en lumière le travail et les actions de remarquables organisations au Brésil et en Suisse ainsi qu’un des membres de notre plateforme.

Organização : ONG Frutos do Amanhã
Localização: Brasil

A ONG Frutos do Amanhã é uma ONG idealizado para cultura dar apoio ao ensino, educação para crianças na região de São Vicente no Brasil. A ONG Frutos do Amanhã com a parceria da AIESC organizarão uma ação durante quase três meses, eles receberam em sua sede intercambista de vários países tais como: Colômbia, Costa Rica, Peru e Chile. Eles vieram para a realização do Projeto Driblando. Saiba mais aqui.

Por Edriana Oliveira Major

Soirée de soutien de la Fondation Aidez-nous à aider le 18 Mars.
Soirée de soutien de la Fondation Aidez-nous à aider le 18 Mars

Organisation : Aidez-nous à Aider
Lieu : Suisse-Colombie

Venez danser pour Aidez-nous à aider!

La fondation Aidez-nous à Aider soutient les petites communautés travaillant dans l’extraction, la production et la commercialisation de l’émeraude Boyaca en Colombie. La fondation organise des formations pour renforcer et développer les capacités des personnes travaillant dans le domaine et aide à la création de micro-entreprises pour un développement durable de ses populations et communautés. La fondation organise un soirée de soutien le vendredi 18 Mars à 19h au Movenpick Hotel à Genève pour leur projet de soutien aux mères célibataires de la région. Concerts et danses sont au programme ! Entrée : 20 francs. Pour en savoir plus sur l’événement, cliquez ici.

Par Laurie Martin

Membre : Guillaume Thébault
Lieu : Suisse

Projection du film « Futur d’Espoir »

Projection du Film Futur d'Espoir le samedi 5 mars à Genève.
Projection du Film Futur d’Espoir le samedi 5 mars à Genève
Projection gratuite du film “Futur d’espoir” de Guillaume Thébault à l’école Rudolf Steiner de Genève samedi 5 mars à 16h30. L’occasion de découvrir un film réalisé par un membre de la plateforme Horyou qui touche à des thématiques très actuelles. En effet, le documentaire va à la rencontre de maraîchers, de botanistes ou paysagistes et met l’accent sur les solutions alternatives à l’agriculture conventionnelle intensive que l’on pourrait exploiter pour réduire notre impact sur cette planète. Pour les plus intéressés, une présentation du projet est prévue à 15h15. Découvrez la bande annonce et cliquez ici pour en savoir plus sur cette action !

Par Laurie Martin

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