Panel discussions

Sustainable University Day 2015
18 March 2015 | University of St. Gallen

 

The Sustainable University Day 2015 featured two panel discussions:
 

STÜRMER FOTO
STÜRMER FOTO

Workshops' panel


The following four workshop participants discussed selected insights and expectations with the audience, presented their personal views and formulated concerns to be addressed to the rectors:

Omid Aschari, University of St. Gallen
Gianina Caviezel, University of St.Gallen
Olivier Graefe, University of Fribourg
Marlyne Sahakian, University of Lausanne

Moderation: Katrin Muff, Dean, Business School Lausanne



see below for the panellists' statements and backgrounds

 

STÜRMER FOTO
STÜRMER FOTO

Presidents' panel

How can universities better prepare & develop experts and leaders to deal with the increasingly complex challenges of the economy, society and the planet? And: How can we (in our roles) stimulate faculty to achieve this goal?


Dominique Arlettaz, Rector, University of Lausanne
Thomas Bieger, Rector, University of St. Gallen
Lino Guzzella, President, ETH Zurich
Sascha Spoun, President, University of Lüneburg

Moderation: Katrin Muff, Dean, Business School Lausanne



see below for the presidents' statements and backgrounds
Personal committments of participants (pdf)

 
Workshop panellists
 

Omid Aschari, University of St. Gallen

“Leaders are challenged – more than ever before - to see beyond fragments to the whole and reflect on the overarching purpose of theirorganizations. Similarly, universities must orchestrate deep soul-searching and utilize a collaborative approach to arrive at mature, sustainable andcomprehensive solutions to issues that concern future generations as well.“
 
Omid Aschari is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at the University of St.Gallen and Managing Director of the globally no.1 ranked Master in Strategy and International Management (SIM-HSG) since its inception in 2003. He is Founder and Chairman of ASG Strategy Group AG, a professional service firm advising and developing leaders, management teams and organizations since 2005. His research interest focuses on personal mastery and its significance for ethical and effective leadership.

 

Gianina Caviezel, University of St. Gallen

"Students of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Their future roles in our society will be shaped by the knowledge and values they gathered and experienced during their studies. Hence, it is crucial to sensitise students to the importance of sustainable economic behaviour and integrated sustainability. The combination of academic education and practical work experience opens new perspectives and deepens the understanding of current challenges and sustainable problem-solving approaches."
 
Gianina Caviezel founded the student consultancy Student Impact (formerly oikos consulting) in May 2012. Student Impact aims to create social and environmental impact by supporting sustainable business ideas of start-ups and SMEs. Gianina Caviezel is a Ph.D. candidate in sustainability management at the Institute for Economy and the Environment at the University of St. Gallen and is an active member of the WEF Global Shapers Community.
 

Olivier Graefe, University of Fribourg

"The broad consensus in favour of sustainable development must serve as a basis for a deeper societal reflection on our production and consumption patterns, but also on our values and our relationship to nature and to fellow humans. Universities must be able to continuously lead and inspire this reflection beyond the search for local short term solutions in order to find and propose a new mind-set and unprecedented approaches that are appropriate to the extent of our environmental and social problems."
 
Olivier Graefe is Professor in Human Geography at the Department of Geosciences of the University of Fribourg. His research focusses on political ecology of natural resources, especially the management of water, land, and national parks. He is a member of the Swiss Hydrological Commission of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, the former Director of the Doctoral program of Geography of Western Switzerland, and he is a member of the Swiss Sustainability Platform for Research.
 

Marlyne Sahakian, University of Lausanne

"Future leaders need to grapple with complexity; inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches are necessary towards a more systemic approach to societal problems. Yet each new generation seems to be confronting problems anew. More could be done to encourage the sharing of knowledge and experiences between generations, so that we are not constantly reinventing the wheel."
 
Marlyne Sahakian is a researcher in the Industrial Ecology Group of the University of Lausanne, where she leads a project on energy consumption among Swiss households, and recently completed a project on food consumption in Bangalore (India) and Metro Manila (the Philippines). Her research interest is in understanding natural resource consumption in relation to environmental promotion and social equity, and identifying opportunities for transitions towards more “sustainable” societies. Marlyne is a co-founder of the SCORAI Europe network, focused on sustainable consumption research and action.
 
Presidents
 

Dominique Arlettaz, Rector, University of Lausanne

"Since higher education institutions are key actors for building the future of our society and our planet, they clearly should consider very seriously their responsibility and sustainability when elaborating their strategy. I believe, that responsibility and sustainability should be part of all decisions made by the University and need to be implemented through concrete actions, not only through ambitious declarations. And if these actions should have real impact, they must be developed and implemented by including all members of the academic community: professors, researchers, students, and the administrative staff."
 
Dominique Arlettaz is Rector of the University of Lausanne since September 2006. He earned his doctor's degree in mathematics from the ETH Zurich. At the University of Lausanne, he additionally served as President of the Mathematics Department (1996-2000), Dean of the Science Faculty (2000-2003) and Vice-Rector of the University (2003-2006). Dominique Arlettaz was Vice-president of the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS; 2009-2014) and President of the Conférence des Universités de Suisse Occidentale (CUSO; 2006-2010).
 

Thomas Bieger, Rector, University of St. Gallen

"The University of St. Gallen as one of the leading universities in the field of management, economics, law, social sciences and international affairs has had for a very long time a strong emphasis on issues of ethics and sustainablity. In establishing its Institutes for Business Ethics (in 1989) and for Economy and the Environment (in 1992) it was among the earliest movers in Europe. Today, educating responsible leaders is part of our educational vision. Our challenge is to move it from our contextual studies and from elective courses to the core of our degree programmes."
 
Thomas Bieger is a full professor of Business Administration with a specialisation in tourism and director of the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance at the University of St. Gallen. From 2003 until 2005 he served as the Dean of the Faculty of Management at the University of St.Gallen and from 2005 til 2010 he was Vice President. From 2010 til 2014 he was President of The Global Alliance in Management Education (CEMS). Since 2011, Bieger has served as the President of the University of St.Gallen.
 

Lino Guzzella, President, ETH Zurich

"Tackling the greatest problems of our times – including climate change, over-exploitation of natural resources, or rapid demographic change, – will require new technical solutions and attitude changes based on a better understanding of how environmental, economic and social systems interact. Academic institutions have a crucial role to play in helping societies make the changes needed. Therefore, ETH Zurich equips its students with a high level of disciplinary knowledge and analytical skills. At the same time, we are also keen to encourage our students to look beyond the boundaries of their own subject area. This involves learning how to put forward arguments in a skillful way, forming their own opinion, and generally acting responsibly. Sustainability at ETH Zurich is integrated into research, teaching, and operations and is an integral part of university life."
 
Lino Guzzella is President of ETH Zurich since January 2015 and has been full professor of thermotronics at ETH since 1999. He obtained his doctor’s degree in mechanical engineering from ETH. After industrial experience in research and development with Sulzer in Winterthur and Hilti in Schaan, he was appointed Assistant Professor of ETH Zurich in 1993. From 2001 to 2003, Lino Guzzella headed the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering, and from mid-2012 until the end of 2014, he served as Rector of ETH Zurich.
 

Sascha Spoun, President, University of Lüneburg

"The idea of sustainability is necessarily normative. It is based on the assumption that we should think and act with respect to future generations. Thus, sustainable development in ecology, society, and economy requires leaders that are able and willing to act in a sustainable manner and to stimulate others to follow them. They need to think holistically and to analyse with scientific accuracy. This is why research and teaching at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg is based on the ideals of humanism, activity orientation, and sustainability. The university's research and teaching has been based on the principles of sustainability, transdisciplinarity, and a holistic education since 2008."
 
Sascha Spoun is president of the Leuphana University Lüneburg since 2006. As president of Leuphana, he initiated the university's realignment and implemented an innovative, multiple awarded programme of education. Previously, he managed the reform project "New Conception of Teaching" at the University of St. Gallen in order to implement the bachelor and master programme. He studied economics and politics in St. Gallen, Munich, and Paris and holds a PhD in economics. He is author of numerous articles on Public Management and Sustainable Education.
 
Moderatorin
 

Katrin Muff, Dean, Business School Lausanne

Katrin Muff holds both an MBA and doctoral degree from Business School Lausanne (BSL). Besides other positions, Katrin worked nearly a decade for ALCOA, in Switzerland as a Business Analyst, in the United States in Mergers & Acquisitions and in Moscow, Russia as General Manager. She co-founded Yupango, a coaching consultancy for start-up companies. Returning to BSL as Dean since 2008, Katrin led the school’s transformation to combine sustainability, responsibility and entrepreneurship in education and applied research. As one of the initiators of 50+20, she developed the collaboratory idea for RIO+20.
 

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