Post-event reports

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  • 16 Apr 2022 18:00 | Iulia Popescu (Administrator)

    Wealth Management for Women by Sonia Rüegger from Lombard Odier

    Event held on 7th of April 2022 at Maison de la Femme, Lausanne  

    The insightful session touched upon some core aspects of women, financial investments, challenges, and how they can control their financial situation and build financial stability. Sonia Rüegger spoke of why women should think of their future financial position and plan better. Women need to manage their finances better in various situations - as an entrepreneur or while living as a couple.

    Some of the critical areas of the session included the following:

    Need for custom financial planning

    Everyone has their priorities and their custom financial situation. There is no one size fits all formula.

    Discussion included strategies for creating wealth, accumulation, and consumption of capital with various financial instruments. Some of the financial planning aspects were multiple aspects of investment like optimization of post-tax performance, pension, and retirement planning. The investment duration spanned short-term to mid-term to long-term based on financial goals like succession planning and philanthropy.

    Financial planning strategies for women

    Women managing their capital should focus on a two-pronged strategy: wealth preservation in the short/medium term and wealth generation in the long term.

    Importance of having the correct asset allocation to align with financial goals

    Asset allocation is a critical part of attaining one's financial goals. Sonia discussed the returns and risks from major asset classes over a 10-year horizon. The expected annualized returns versus expected annualized volatility mapped low risk-low return instruments like Bonds to high risk-high return ones like Private Equity.

    Challenges in a women’s financial journey

    Women hold nearly one-third of global private wealth. However, a women's financial life planning is different from men's as women's financial life journey faces significant challenges.

          Lower risk tolerance

          Maternity leave

          Flexible working conditions

          Gender pay- gap

          Longer life expectancy

    Due to this, women have less money to invest and grow, lose their wealth over time, and fall short of meeting their financial goals.

    Solutions for women to successfully invest in wealth management

    Women are more disciplined investors than men and can achieve success in financial investments with appropriate knowledge and some guidance.

    We thank our VP and volunteers for their work: Katarzyna Grzesik-Harz, Patricia Fromaget-Montanier, Jenitha Jacob & Iulia Popescu

  • 17 May 2020 11:02 | Iulia Popescu (Administrator)

    Please find here the registration of the webinar hold on 7th of May by Johan Franzèn, the founder of Entnest

  • 17 May 2020 10:47 | Iulia Popescu (Administrator)

    On 5th of May we had the pleasure to have Kusum Gurbani hosting a webinar on #blockchain introduction: basics, use case, benefits. 

    Please find here the registration link of the webinar. 

  • 09 Oct 2019 16:30 | Iulia Popescu (Administrator)

    Click here to watch OWIT Lake Geneva / WEI session on Gender Inclusiveness in Trade and Services at WTO Public Forum 2019. 

    In completion, please find here the Session Overview & Recommendations - WTOPF WEI-OWIT Report October 2019 (1).pdf

  • 04 May 2017 15:52 | Deleted user

    OWIT Lake Geneva organized a Panel Discussion on the Future of Digital Trade on April 26. The event was free of charge for OWIT Lake Geneva members and our special guests. The 44 participants that attended the events benefited from the vivid discussion, and the debate.

    The high-level panel discussion highlighted the importance of e-commerce in the inclusive trade agenda and the leading role played by ITC and eBay.

    We are honoured to share with you a statement delivered by Her Excellency Ms. Rhoda M. Jackson, Ambassador of the Bahamas.

    Distinguished speakers included:

    • H.E. Mr Eloi Laourou, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Benin
    • H.E. Ms. Rhoda M. Jackson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
    • Mr Paul Batibonak, Trade and Development Specialist, Cameroon Permanent Mission
    • Mr Juan Hoyos, Adviser Sustainable and Inclusive Value Chains, International Trade Centre
    • Mr Fabian Staechelin, Business Development Manager, eBay

    Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook to view a livestream of the event!

    For more information on our panelists and their e-commerce initiatives visit:

    Special thanks to Girls in Tech for being our technology partner for the event and thanks to Florence Maghe for the amazing pictures.

  • 17 Jun 2016 16:23 | Anca Gosling (Administrator)

    OWIT Lake Geneva held its annual Gala Dinner on June 7 at Swissotel Metropol. The event was a real success with a group of 28 participants that benefited from the networking opportunity in a cordial summer meeting. 

    Our special guest, James Spencer guided us through a series of exercises demonstrating how the marriage of leadership and improv encourages creativity, team building, and brings along effective communication. 

  • 01 Jun 2016 16:31 | Anca Gosling (Administrator)

    Running remains the most popular endurance sport and for the last decades the number of women outnumber men.

    Individually a lot of us run for fun, for health, for an active lifestyle or for networking.  There are OWIT running stars among OWIT members. It was in 2016 that OWIT Lake Geneva tried out the first team running experience.

    La Genevoise is one of the Geneva Marathon: a two day sport event in favor of UNICEF. La Genevoise is a race exclusively for women, gathering ladies ladies of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds. This year, three OWIT members (Veronika, Nasya and Hulya) decided to support UNICEF and joined the team running the 6.5 km race through the beautiful landscapes of Geneva.

    "Being part of the team is amazing: you don’t own your result anymore, you share it and we absolutely loved it. We did not feel exhausted but empowered by the great spirit of La Genevoise. It’s a feeling of mutual encouragement and inspiration - the whole community of running ladies drives you to the finish line."

    OWIT Lake Geneva will certainly repeat the initiative next year, stay tuned for more details on the event. 

  • 11 May 2016 22:48 | Anonymous

    The text below has been kindly contributed by Natalie Mazhindu, Proposal Writer and Project Manager, who attended the networking meeting in Lausanne in April 2016.


    We’ve all been there. Hovering on the sidelines, clutching a glass of warm wine and silently willing ourselves to make a move - any move - just to get the proverbial ball rolling. We glance discreetly around the room hoping we appear as accomplished and fabulous as everyone else seems. We ask ourselves “Should I make eye contact?”, “Who can I approach?”, “Does everybody know each other?!”, and then ponder how best to introduce ourselves with confidence but not arrogance, assertiveness but not aggression, smiling but not manic…

    Perhaps you can gather from this introductory insight that networking events are a million miles away from my happy place. I’ve always struggled to feel comfortable in these situations and I suspect I am not alone. As women, it is often against what we know and how we’re educated to push ourselves forward, to raise ourselves up, and to make ourselves heard. Of course, this is not always the case – I speak only of my own experience. However, it is universally acknowledged that there is a significant imbalance with regards to the presence (or absence) of female role models in many professional industries, and this is something I hope to see change.

    I attended my first OWIT networking meeting in early 2015 but then, due to a number of setbacks - both real and imaginary - I did not find my way back until this spring. Luckily, as soon as I arrived I remembered what brought me back. Mira, our host for the evening, warmed us up with an entertaining icebreaker featuring a somewhat unconventional use of toilet paper! As we started the game I was unsure of the intended outcome but, as the activity progressed, we began to develop an understanding of the varied interests and experiences of the group. What began as a fairly quiet evening, soon evolved into lots of friendly chatter, which helped to initiate the deeper conversations we enjoyed for the remainder of the event.

    Though we may all attend these meetings for different reasons, when we find ourselves in the midst of like-minded people with a diverse range of experiences, it is at once interesting and inspiring. Mira brought us together and this room full of bright and educated professionals transformed into something inviting rather than uncomfortable.

    At times, we women can be our own worst enemy - often overly critical of ourselves and each other as society has taught us to be. This event was lively and dynamic and I hope it leads to further opportunities to go beyond the usual; where I can meet other supportive influences and engage in intelligent conversations within a positive environment.


  • 22 Jan 2016 12:56 | Anonymous

    John Steinbeck once said in an interview, “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple, learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”  The evening with Cristina Bianchi and Maureen Steele (Innovation Event, Part 2 on Nov 26, 2015)was very much about all of that. Well, all except for the rabbits.

    We’ve been wired to think of innovation as a sudden breakthrough, something which happens miraculously in the head of a single genius, or a disruptive idea brought to life by a bunch of smart engineers working in a lab. Cristina and Maureen invite us to take another perspective – to look at innovation as an incremental change – something new, useful, with added value, which each and every one of us can help create, be it a product, a process, a system in our organization, or the way we communicate… Cristina and Maureen help us understand how creativity draws on divergence and a collision of different ideas. You don’t need to be born an innovator, but you can become one. To get ideas, people need to switch to exploratory mode. So try these:

    ·         Observe and be curious.

    ·         Ask questions. Listen attentively.

    ·         Look for opportunities. Take risks, experiment.

    ·         Dare to be creative and do things differently.

    ·         Be willing to fail but learn from it.

    You’ve been tasked with coaching a creative team. You know that people working together have more and better ideas but how to get them to the harmonious spirit where 1 + 1 = 3? How to keep ideas coming? Cristina and Maureen offer us their Model for running a creative team session -a clear set of guidelines on how to behave with each other. Think of it as a bridge across the wild river of change. It takes you in a structured way from where you are to where you want to be. This bridge consists of 8 stepping stones

    1.      Agree operating guidelines and rules - decide how you’re going to interact.

    2.      Define the issue – make sure you all have the same understanding.

    3.      Decide what you want to achieve, including – and very important! – how the stakeholders will be affected so take into account their needs and interests.

    4.      Generate ideas by adopting divergent thinking. Typical questions to boost creativity are “What if…?”, “What else..?” Welcome ideas from everyone.

    5.      Filter generated ideas – consider which idea stands the most realistic chances of achieving, what would be the outcome and impact of each idea.

    6.      Assess feasibility of the best ideas – for example what are the resources needed, are they at hand or they need to be sourced externally, or what the financial implications might be.

    7.      Action planning. Remember: Innovation = idea generation + action. So plan the implementation and how to measure success.

    8.      Close the process and feed-back. Acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the team.

    Sounds simple. In practice however the process of innovation in a team can be a lot more complicated.  How you as a coach can handle people in a situation of conflict, preserve the team’s innovative spirit and keep ideas coming in? Maureen and Cristina shared a handful of trouble-shooting techniques. Just two of the essentials:

    ·         Revert to the team’s ground rules. Look for win-win solutions.

    ·         Remember it is how you and the team deal with the problem that makes the difference and lead towards a positive outcome to everyone.

    Now you have a rough idea how to awake the creativity, how to structure the process of innovation and how to handle in case of conflict. Enjoy.

    Article contributed by Mira Lannutti, OWIT Lake Geneva Marcom team volunteer

  • 20 Jan 2016 13:04 | Anonymous

    When you think of Amnesty International, you may think of their work for political prisoners.  You would probably not make the link between Amnesty International and human rights within business. 50 years after Amnesty was set up to defend human rights they are dealing with questions like poverty, gender inequality, forced evictions and the responsibility of multinational companies for human rights

    On October 15 at OWIT event in Lausanne Stella Jegher, director of media and advocacy for Amnesty International Switzerland gave a fascinating insight into how multinational companies can help sustain human rights through the way they do business.

    Companies operating across borders can be involved in some severe abuses such as forced labor, child labor; forced evictions of communities from their lands and violence against trade union members.  Many states are failing to protect the human rights of their people – namely those of the poorest ones, amongst them women, indigenous people, rural and migrant communities who are at the greatest risk of exploitation.

    Often, nobody is held to account for this kind of abuse as it happens far from the company headquarters.  Amnesty calls this the accountability gap which canoccur for a number of reasons: such as a lack of specific legislation, the lack of capacity to prosecute and the dependence on the company as an investor.

    Stella highlighted to the group 3 main cases that Amnesty is working on

     1) The Bhopal case in 1984 where a toxic gas leak left more than 20,000 people dead and where 30 years later survivors and activists are still fighting for justice.

     2) The Shell Petroleum Development Company in the Niger delta, where huge oil spills have destroyed the livelihoods of fishermen, farmers, and families.

     3) The Trafigura case in Cote d’Ivoire where operations to clean a petroleum product coker naptha produced toxic waste that was dumped by a third party at 18 locations in and around Abidjan causing contamination and illness.  

     Amnesty is calling for four standards of conduct for multinationals: prevention, accountability, remedy and protecting rights beyond borders.

    Article contributed by Derwyn Cafferkey, Change Consultant and OWIT Lake Geneva Executive Vice President

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