For the second consecutive year and as part of the Festival’s Unlimited programme, the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation has renewed its collaboration with the Fondation du Verbier Festival, by organising the new edition of the Verbier Festival Philanthropy Forum. A look back at the event that took place on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July 2019 in Verbier.
In the heart of the Swiss Alps, in an exceptional setting, Verbier offers two unique conditions that have become rare today: on the one hand, the mountain with its calm and serenity; on the other hand, music – the language of the soul according to Kant – which together offer a certain availability to talk about generosity.
“Should more be done for culture in the 21st century? “, “Are we generous? “These were the main topics addressed this year during the two round tables, moderated by Etienne Eichenberger, President of the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation.
“Without philanthropy in Switzerland, culture would not exist”
Through the prism of philanthropy, the speakers at the first round table shared their personal views on the place and importance of culture in their lives today. For the Director of the Leenaards Foundation Peter Brey, it is both a “driving force for being together and a vector of change in society”, for Bruno Mégevand, President of the Fondation de la Cité de la Musique: “Art is something that elevates us”. In his daily life, the President of the Verbier Festival Foundation, Peter Brabeck, says “Living Culture”. At a time when the states are disengaging, Vera Michalski-Hoffmann, Founder of the Jan Michalski Foundation, acknowledges “the importance and role of patronage in the cultural sector in Switzerland, which is fundamental today ».
“Giving, receiving, transmitting”
The second round table, devoted to generosity, also brought together international panelists with: Lana Ojjeh, philanthropist and representative of NextGen, Beatrice Fihn, Director of the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize, Pascal Vinarnic, Founder of the Demeter Foundation and Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch.
The conversation, both intimate and personal, allowed the speakers to reflect on the pivotal moment in their lives that convinced them to get involved and serve the general interest.
Together, they agreed on the importance of getting involved and giving today, not just money, but time and skills.
The film of the event and the interviews of the panelists will soon be available online.
Photos © Nicolas Brodard