IMG_2878[VERBIER INSTITUTE] On August 29-30, more than 150 people participated in the launch of the Verbier Institute.

During the opening cocktail reception, Anders Sjostedt and Michael Mathres did a speech about the Verbier Institute and its vision. Delegates learned about its origins and its 10-year vision.

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President of the Commune de Bagnes, Eloi Rossier, with Anders Sjostedt

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Michael Mathres and John Elkington discussing sustainability on Swiss train.



The next day, the launch event started at 10.00am with a passionate speech by the Commune de Bagnes President, Mr Eloi Rossier. He explained how sustainability was important to the region, and that despite its challenges, sustainability is part of the economic development of Verbier.

Then there was a small presentation by John Elkington, Chairman of Volans, who discussed the macro trends of sustainability, and its main challenges for the next 10 years, with a focus on his new book “The Breakthrough Challenge“.

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Full house listening to the plenary panel

This was followed by an inspiring panel discussion with Julia Groves, CEO, Trillion Fund, Aleyn Smith-Gillespie, VP, Carbon Trust, André Schneider, VP, EPFL and John Elkington. Each speaker gave their a brief outlook of their experience in the sustainability sector and what they are focusing on to pioneer sustainability globally and in their respective organisations.

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Starwood Executive, Alexandra Leclerc giving a workshop on Sustainability and Tourism

After the panel discussion, there were two workshops. One on hotel and sustainability given by Starwood, and another about the Carbon Zero programme for Verbier until 2025. Many ideas and suggestions were suggested in both workshops. An outcome report will be written in due course.

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Aleyn Smith-Gillespie of Carbon Trust giving a workshop on Carbon Zero in Verbier

The event continued with a passionate speech about art, communications and sustainability from Per Arnoldi, a famous artist from Denmark. He told the crowd a story about his encounter with President Bill Clinton and how you can transform intangible emotions into effective communications.

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Per Arnoldi, Danish Artist and Designer, telling stories about Bill Clinton, communications and sustainability

After the lunch, 50 delegates participated in our first Telecabine networking. This is a new concept where everyone was asked to discuss a particular sustainability challenge in the telecabine, and suggest solutions before they arrived at the top of the mountain.

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Delegates walk the talk for Art and sustainability in the Alps

After the telecabine networking, all delegates walked down the mountain and discussed sustainability and art. The event ended back in Verbier with a closing drinks reception for everyone.

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Closing cocktails at the Verbier telecabine station

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