Lausanne, 19 October, 2023
“To rebuild doesn’t have to mean to grow and grow and grow. It can also mean to reduce.” – Martina Kühne, PhD
The world is at a crossroads, with cities at the forefront of sustainable development and reimagining what urban life can be. On October 19, 2023, over 100 guests gathered for our event titled “Reimagining Living: Building within our Planet’s Limits.” This event, part of our 20th anniversary series, encouraged attendees to explore radically new ways of living, building, and designing our cities.
Bringing together a diverse range of perspectives from Switzerland and the Bay Area, the event raised critical questions about the essence of a city and challenged conventional wisdom. CEO Emilia Pasquier began the evening by expressing her gratitude to Switzerland, the birthplace of Swissnex, which has now evolved into a global network.
Keynote speakers at the event offered insights into the future of cities and urban life:
- Bruno Lanvin (IMD) shared a Global View on Cities with Inspiring Cases from Around the World, highlighting several key takeaways:
- There is more than one way to be “smart.”
- Cities can learn from each other.
- Cities will lead the global green and digital economy by being human-centric.
- Cities and their leadership need to see themselves as shapers of the future.
- Talent will be the key to cities’ sustainability and livability.
- Vishaan Chakrabarti, FAIA (PAU, UC Berkeley CED), presented a virtual keynote on the Future of Sustainable Cities and the US Perspective. He urged attendees to think about urbanity in a different way, emphasizing that urbanity is not solely about size but is defined by pluralism—a place where people of all backgrounds can connect.
Following these insightful speeches, a panel discussion highlighted the importance of breaking silos and the interconnected nature of politics and our collective future. The panelists included:
- Georgios Sarantakos (Urban Twin Project, ETH/EPFL joint initiative) – Gathering Data to Build Better Cities
- Marie-Laure (MarLa) Burgener (GreenGoWeb) – Gathering Data to Build Better Cities II
- Maria Loizou & Céline Carrière (rebuiLT EPFL)
- Margaux Peltier (Enerdrape) – Future of Energy in Cities
In a world facing increasing urbanization and environmental challenges, events like “Reimagining Living” provide a platform for rethinking the future of our cities. As we navigate this pivotal moment in history, the question remains: can we rebuild and redefine our cities within the limits of our planet? The event encouraged attendees to explore this question and more, offering hope and inspiration for a sustainable urban future.
The event came to life thanks to collaborative efforts of organizations such as FUSTIC, EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), Enterprise for Society Center (E4S), and kühne wicki / Future Stuff. Innovaud sponsored the event, and it received support from the ECAL University of Art and Design Lausanne, Future City Alliance (SmartCity Alliance & CityZen), and Innovation Booster Swiss Smart Cities.
More Event Photos
Listen to our podcast
Out now: The Anniversary Season
In our anniversary season we share the stories of selected Swiss innovators, that play an active role in co-creating the future. Listen as they share why they do and what they do, what challenges they've faced and what's next on their audacious journey to change the world.