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Sustainability and the Crisis of Value: Conversations between Bhutan and Switzerland (EN)

25. March | 12:00 - 13:30

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In 1972, Bhutan’s fourth king proposed “Gross National Happiness” (GNH) as an alternative to gross domestic product (GDP), calling the latter an inadequate measure of a country’s value. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to its knees, bringing long standing issues of economic inequality, social justice, and environmental protection to the forefront. Switzerland has been no exception.

This panel brings together diverse voices from Bhutan and Switzerland to discuss how both the climate crisis and global pandemic have challenged sustainable development as we know it, and destabilized traditional notions of economic value, environmental protection, and cultural preservation. Taking the form of an interactive dialogue, speakers will engage with each other about what today’s “crisis of value” means for their respective cultures, countries, and industries. Can Bhutan’s GNH be applied within International Geneva? Where do the Bhutanese and Swiss approaches to s diverge, or alternatively, converge? 

This panel is meant to facilitate intergenerational dialogue between two countries with a long-shared history, and provide an opportunity for shared learning.


Phuntsho Wangyel – Senior Policy Analyst, Gross National Happiness Commission

Jane Carter – Senior Advisor, Natural Resource Governance, Helvetas

Thinley Choden – CEO, Center for Sustainability Studies Bhutan; Founding Curator of Global Shapers Bhutan, World Economic Forum

Kasmira Jefford – Geneva Solutions, Editor-in-Chief; Sustainable Finance and Business, Editor

Sonam Deki – Environmental Health Specialist, Gyaltshen Consultancy; Youth Climate Ambassador, Global Youth Climate Network

Silvano Lieger – Executive Director, Sentience Politics; Catalyst, Collaboratio Helvetica; Board Member, Global Shapers Zurich


25. March
12:00 - 13:30
Event Categories:


Graduate Institute Geneva (Online)
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
Geneva, Geneva Switzerland
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