For the past 75 years, the Caux Palace, an amazing location above Montreux, has been an important starting point for global change. From 1946 on the palace has been used as an international conference centre dedicated to the rebuilding of Europe under the leadership of the Swiss Initiatives of Change. This July distinguished participants from around the world spent time together to reflect, discuss, network and create new ideas on how to shape the world into a better place. This year’s gathering was introduced by Dr. Irina Fedorenko-Aula from Initiatives of Land, Lives and Peace, Rudi Hilti of the System Change Foundation and Dr. Nick Foster of Initiatives of Change Switzerland.
This year, the Caux Dialogue focused on facilitating dialogues surrounding creating sustainable systems for solving global issues, regenerative finance and impact investing, carbon markets and nature-based solutions.
The 2-day impact retreat started each day with a still moment to encourage personal reflection and a mindful approach, a mindset we constantly aim to work from. The dialogue created shared moments of inspiration, sharing both personal and institutional journeys and missions through dialogue groups, panel discussions together with a lineup of prolific and passionate speakers.
Shereen Siwpersad from the Initiatives of Change Netherlands presented projects on how young people can be inspired to contribute to a healthy planet and a green future. It was clear that many young people have already chosen sustainable lifestyle choices and are opting for cheaper vegetarian or vegan food options. Younger generations would like to see larger organizations that cause environmental damage take up their responsibility and lift the responsibility solely from being on the consumer.
Prof. Mark Turell, ChristiAna Viva and Dr. Lauren Fletcher elaborated on what it takes to scale commercial sectors sustainably. Sessions investigating business failures addressed qualitative impact and how many solutions pose a danger of ‘impact washing’. A sustainable business acts locally with a global perspective. Panelists agreed that failures should be seen as a learning experience, indicating a lack of knowledge of the local community or customers. Sharing experiences and storytelling is therefore vital to creating change and this needs to be seen as a collective responsibility. The consequences of climate change have not left us much time to not respond with holistic, full spectrum and responsible solutions.
Rudi Hilti emphasized that systems change in education and culture is also needed to aid this challenge. We need a different lifestyle, which forms our behaviour and inspires passion for doing things differently. Systems Change starts as an idea and dialogue is the first step. Through discussions we mirror our perspectives with others and find common paths towards new regenerative realities.
Amandeep Midha, Anouk Hilti-Zingg, Stenver Jerkku, Julian Sommer, Leo Caprez, Dr. Sergey Ivliev, and Robin Bartmann expanded on the sector challenges and best practices of their work experience in the carbon market and the finance world. Speakers provided Insight into nature-based solutions for the growing climate crisis and blockchain solutions, the quest for transparency, broker engagement, insurance and the impact of carbon credits on the market, amongst other topics, were broadly discussed.
Simple investment documentation would facilitate the financial support of carbon credits. The values of investors are shifting, and trust and credibility are key values in the carbon market and new approaches are needed to accommodate this. The need to accept and work with externalities was stated. It was concluded that companies need to stay open towards innovation and keep committed to creating work that is sustainably impactful. Collaboration is important, especially in building alliances.
Another Session elaborated on widening participation at Davos and the upcoming COP-27 in Egypt in November 2022. Consensus from past COP meetings were drawn and solutions to positively shaping the discussion during this big event were discussed. Previous experience of ILLP delegations at UNFCCC COPs allowed to create a strategy for better engagement.
One of the central themes of the event was about creating trust, and participants have emphasized that if we want to build up trust, we need to learn from each other. This meeting has certainly stimulated learning and exchange and allowed new collaborations to emerge.
The participants are looking forward to turning discussions into action. We would love to thank all the partners: The Initiatives of Change; Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace; The System Change Foundation and The HUS.institute and we are looking forward to future events.