SHAPING RESILIENT SOCIETIES: A Multi-Stakeholder Approach to Create a Responsive Society

COVID–19 has unveiled the fragility of our societies and ecosystems. The University of Geneva (UNIGE) and the University of Zurich (UZH), have launched an event series in the form of a multi-stakeholder dialogue to (1) address current and future shocks, (2) shape recovery paths, and (3) build more sustainable and better prepared societies and ecosystems. The first Expert Dialogue took place on November 12th, in collaboration with the Geneva Science Policy Interface (GSPI), the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and selected international organizations.

This dialogue has brought together 60 experts as well as decision and policy makers to evaluate and future-proof local, national and inter-national response mechanisms, policies and strategies. The first dialogue event consisted of six thinking groups representing various sectors and co-led by a professor from the University of Geneva and one professor from the University of Zurich.

The Expert Dialogue has enabled a fruitful exchange withing and across six thinking groups:

  1. Health system strengthening
  2. Global health law, human rights and ethics
  3. Governance Mechanisms for Access & Use of Data in Public Health Crises
  4. Building Socio-Economic Resilience to Global Shocks
  5. Turning point COVID-19: Re-shaping healthcare to successfully battle epidemics and pandemics 
  6. Pandemics, Climate and Sustainability

Each thinking group provided invaluable insights in their area of expertise. Then potential synergies between the thinking groups were explored, while tackling overarching questions and starting to consider potential joint outputs.

As leading comprehensive Swiss universities, UNIGE and UZH have established a strategic partnership in 2017, thus providing a strong framework for a multilateral expert dialogue on societal and economical resilience and responsiveness in the face of the current global crisis.

Rector Flückiger and President Schaepman announced during the meeting that this initiative is a key priority of the UNIGE-UZH strategic partnership.