The Multi-Faceted Path to Sustainability

Webinar series in cooperation with the Swiss Corporate Network – the stars.

As companies today are exposed to even more scrutiny regarding their role in impacting the environment, global leaders are increasingly devoting more time to evaluate the entire system in which their enterprises operate. For this reason, the stars network from Switzerland, well-known for their symposiums in Switzerland, Singapore and China, has launched a series of six webinars plus a bonus created and moderated by Dr Gordana Kierans.

The 1st webinar was held under the heading “Systemic and Sustainable Change: Opportunities and Challenges for Companies” featuring a Q&A with Dr Anna BIRNEY, Director of the School of System Change at the Forum for the Future, United Kingdom.

The 2nd event hosted Dr Janez POTOČNIK, Co-Chair, UNEP International Resource Panel and former EU Commissioner for Science & Research and for the Environment, Brussels and Ljubljana. He gave a presentation regarding the issue of resource extraction under the title “The Future Will Be Green or There Will Be No Future“.

The 3rd session travelled virtually to Yunnan, China and Professor Lun YIN, Professor, School of Geography and Ecotourism, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming, Yunnan, China. He illustrated how the traditional knowledge from Yunnan ancestors can help companies combat climate change today. They have preserved their traditional wisdom through many generations with much of this ancient knowledge ironically very useful for solving the today’s environmental challenges that our present civilized society has both caused and now faces.

Dr Kierans joined from London to moderate the 4th session with Mr Reto RINGGER, CEO of Globalance Bank from Zurich. The focus of this webinar was on financing sustainability. More precisely, they talked about the Connection Among Profitability, Impact, Transparency and the Future. Mr Ringger is a true pioneer at the interface of financial markets and sustainability. He talked about sustainable investing, the complex and confusing world for investors, greenwashing and particularly about the importance of transparency.

The 5th session with Mr Martijn LOPES CARDOZO, the former CEO of Circle Economy, the organisation behind Circularity Gap Reports. It is undeniable that despite the prominence of circular economy topics in the media our economic system is “circulating” too little. Indeed, circular economy progress has actually regressed – not progressed – over the last five years. However, now that many of the world’s economies are rebounding from Covid, it is an opportune time to once again assess our circularity measurements. In addition, as technology is undeniably and irreversibly shifting from non-renewable to renewable energy and from combustion engines to electric vehicles, we consequently have an additional incentive to accurately measure our economic factors to assess how we are managing these seismic challenges.

A session on learning with Tensie WHELAN, Clinical Professor of Business and Society and Director of the Center for Sustainable Business, New York University, Stern School of Business, New York was titled “The Role of Education: Between Learning and Unlearning“. Prof. Whelan also addressed the question if universities are doing enough to implement sustainability in their curricula and mentioned experimental learningregarding the circular economy. Furthermore, value creation, the regenerative economy and the concept of Life in business studies werecovered. The nexus of sustainability, resilience, efficiency and profitability was also discussed, especially concerning the obvious question of whether sustainability is profitable.

The bonus 7th conversation with the world-renowned Biomimicry expert Janine BENYUS was about what we can learn from Nature’s engineers and physicists who have been around for 3.8 billion years. Janine, as well as numerous well-known corporate brands are working on creating truly sustainable products that are both functional and harmless for all life on our planet. She explains her Amoeba to Zebra approach to a challenge of looking for how the Natural World finds solutions to its problems. Also discussed are the topics of conservation, how organisms help each other, the “wood-wide web”, and the right combination of life to keep systems healthy. This webinar forms a perfect bookend to the very first session of stars Webinar series – “The Multi-faceted Path to Sustainability” in September 2023 which covered systems and systemic change.

The stars network brings together renowned global experts and business leaders who are typically 1 to 2 levels below C-level, nominated by their top management and have the potential to move up to C-level in the next few years. The participants come from all over the world and from varying sectors mainly from business but also from science, politics, culture, NGOs and the media.