by Gianluca Gygax
Semester breaks always provide me with some time to reflect on achievements and on what I have learned. The last semester was arduous, enriching and rewarding for multiple reasons. However, what stands out the most, is having had the pleasure to be the Environmental Committee President and leading a group of incredibly motivated students. Together we took on the challenge to promote and foster sustainability at the Graduate Institute Geneva.
With the vision of a sustainable society, our goal is to have an impact on the values and lifestyle of the future world leaders. In 2018, we achieved this through many events, projects and campaigns. For example, the Swiss Sustainability Week moved the topics of environment and sustainability to the center of attention at the Graduate Institute and our event at Geneva Peace Week reached out beyond Maison de la Paix, engaging multiple stakeholders in ‘International Geneva’. Furthermore, we promoted a sustainable lifestyle among the students through SCOOP, a recycling project and trips that put us in touch with nature. I sincerely believe that we have achieved significant progress in making the Graduate Institute and its community more sustainable.
Nevertheless, sustainability does not yet happen automatically among most Graduate Institute students. The Environmental Committee needs to further promote the internalization of sustainable values and behavior among the Graduate Institute community. We have to constantly remind ourselves that sustainability is not the cherry on the cake but the bread and butter. Without sustainable development, we are facing an unstable and grim future, and this is true regardless of field of interest and work. Fortunately, knowing the incredible group of Environmental Committee members who stand for environmental and sustainability issues reassured me that we have started a rethinking process in favor of sustainable behavior at the Graduate Institute. In the coming semesters, this process needs to spread and accelerate even further.
With the end of my presidency, I would like to sincerely thank everyone with whom I had the pleasure working. You have shown me once again how a group of people can achieve more than the sum of its individual actions. Furthermore, through the process of carrying out our mission, you have taught me that the little details do matter in order to have an impact. Because how you do anything is how you do everything.
Seeing the attitudes and work ethics of the current Environmental Committee members, I feel very confident that the Environmental Committee will continue to fulfill its mission under the new President, Spencer Williams, and the new Vice-President, Nina Bianchi.
Environmental Committee President 2018,