What did we learn at the Symposium?

Last week we attended the 2017 edition of the Swiss Foundations Symposium in Geneva, Switzerland. With over 400 people present at the event it maintained its reputation as the largest conference for foundations in Switzerland.
We had a great day networking and gaining insights from some of the amazing keynote speakers and roundtables present at the event.
The theme of the event was ‘The added value that foundations can bring to society’ and was first brought up in Lukas von Orelli, president of the SwissFoundations’ opening speech, where he stated:

“It is the added value that explains the fertility of the ground on which foundations evolve”.

During the day, the theme was brought up by different keynote speakers and discussed at roundtables in order to have a comprehensive view of it. Monique Bär, founder and president of the Arcas Foundation, discussed the importance for founders to realise that they alone are not responsible for the success of their foundation. Indeed, many players are always involved whether it be a board to work with or other societal actors such as volunteers.

Bruno Jochum, director of Doctors without Borders Switzerland, discussed the importance of building confidence between the donors and the foundation and the need to create a partnership between the two. Also present that day was Luc Tayart de Borms, managing director of the King Baudouin Foundation who presented a more European view on philanthropy.

The highlight of the day was the video interview with Hansjörg Wyss, former CEO of Synthes and Chairman of the Wyss Foundation. He discussed the added value of foundations and the issues philanthropy faces today. Check out the video below for a short clip of this interview.
All in all, it was a great day of insights and learning for us. We would like to thank all the speakers for sharing their knowledge and SwissFoundations for organising the event, we look forward to returning next year!

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Source: SwissFoundations