Newsletter December 2021

Dear Members,

The days here in Switzerland are short and 2021 is coming to an end.

This last newsletter of the year brings you updates on two events that we (co-)hosted, looks forward to the launch of a new white paper on Mapping the Humanitarian Transformation on February 1st, and gives you an insight into what innovations inspired Sebastian Buckup, GIM Board member of Head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution at the WEF.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy holiday season! We’re looking forward to Innovating Together in 2022! Onwards and Upwards! Health and Kindness to all!

Learning from each other - with Sebastian Buckup

Every month, we will either interview one member or provide an opinion piece. This month we asked GIM Founding Member & Board Member Sebastian Buckup, Head of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum and Head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Global Network

“What is the most innovative thing you’ve learned this month?”

Sebastian: “I was very intrigued by a Paris-based cultivated-meat start-up called Gourmey which produces lab-grown foie gras. In many parts of the world, restaurants and supermarkets stopped selling the famous French delicatesse because of its cruel production method known as gavage; birds are essentially force-fed multiple times a day through metal tubes until their livers swell. And yet, at least in Geneva, in the French part of Switzerland where I live, the buttery goose or duck liver continues to be a highly popular staple in the Christmas season and beyond. And that’s where Gourmey comes in. It promises a gavage- and even slaughter-free foie gras based on duck stem cells which are grown in vitro, a technology embraced by the nascent cultured-meat industry which is estimated to take a 41% share of the $1.8 trillion global meat market by 2040. 

It is a nascent industry I came across at various occasions this year, amongst others by getting to know Carrie Chan, the founder of Avant Meat, a Singapore-based start-up with a similar technique but a much bigger vision: whilst Gourmey caters to a small group of French Cuisine lovers, Avant Meat aims to cater to the billions of people who rely on fish protein as part of their daily diet. Avant’s promise: producing over one million fish filets from the DNA of just one fish, solving over-fishing and lots of other human and planetary concerns. This year has seen a huge hype around alternative proteins as an important contribution to meeting human needs within our planetary boundaries. Is the hype justified? Will it work? – and, will it also taste good? In 2022 I at least want to try!”

You’re invited to keep the conversation going on the forum!

Upcoming Events

The Geneva Innovation Movement is (co-)organizing a number of events over the coming months. See the Events page for more detail.

Knowledge Sharing Circle: 4th Industrial Revolution & Scaling Digital Transformation

On Monday December 6, 2021, the GIM held the first small-scale knowledge sharing circle on the topic of the 4th Industrial Revolution and Scaling Digital Transformation. The discussion focused on the following hypothesis:
There are hidden tech champions in our organizations, how do we identify them, how do we get them involved, and how do we protect them?
The discussion shaped itself around the skills and capabilities that organizations require to stay relevant, and how acquire these skills or recognize them in staff members who are not hired for that particular job. Finally, we discussed how to scale the skills within the organization without burning the individuals involved. Initial actionable outcomes have been defined, including discussion circles and training modules. The group will come together again soon to start to pilot these outcomes.
More to come!

New Members

Please welcome our new members:

Melissa Baek
Finance and Budget Officer at United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Lee Howell
Visiting Associate Professor at UNIGE


Highlighted Event - Mapping the Humanitarian Transformation: Spotlight on Innovation in International NGOs

On February 1st, we will formally launch the research paper “Mapping the Humanitarian Transformation: Spotlight on Innovation in International NGOs (2021 – Center for Innovation & Partnerships (UNIGE) and Geneva Innovation Movement),  hosted on our brand new Insights page

The research paper presents a snapshot of innovation in INGO’s today. It highlights key opportunities and challenges to fostering further innovation as we move into the post-pandemic world.

During the event, a panel of experts from INGOs and other humanitarian experts will share their insights on best practices for innovation in INGOs, which challenges the organizations face, and how they can be addressed.

The event will be held at Campus Biotech in Geneva, with the option to join virtually. More information can be found here.

New Horizons for Investing in Innovations for Global Health

In November, we co-hosted New Horizons for Investing in Innovations for Global Health together with the Health Innovation Exchange (HIEx) and Cross-Border Impact Ventures. HIEx is an initiative born out of UNAIDS Office of Innovation to create a platform for connecting innovation, governments, and funding.

The event brought together country ministers, venture capitalist firms and social entrepreneurs in an open dialog to discuss the importance of leveraging innovations and investments for more resilient health systems. It also set the stage for the launch of the Global Health Security Fund and two new partnerships between the HIEx and both Tata Consultancy Services and Health In Your Hands LLC. It was also incredibly exciting to see the social innovations physically presented in the room by the founders and designers – such as Blackfrog Technologies backpack for delivering vaccines to remote regions. These initiatives have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people, but none of them can happen in isolation. Their success stems from this ecosystem that fosters communication and connections between people and empowers local innovation champions to bring their innovations to scale. The GIM looks forward to working more closely with the HIEx around the increasingly relevant topics of health system resilience.


Warmest congratulations to:

Doreen Bogdan for her candidacy for Secretary General of the ITU and recent show of support from the US Department of State.

 Katherine Tatarinov for winning the GSEM Young Researcher of the Year Award


Do you know any relevant articles, blogs, or opinions that you wish to highlight?

Please contact Iris, so we can publish them through our website and Social Media channels.