The think tank foraus promotes constructive foreign policies and an informed dialogue: independent, scientific, relevant. foraus provides young talents with a non-profit access to the debate in order to contribute their ideas to the foreign policy-making process – outside the traditional framework of party politics. foraus publishes scholarly sound recommendations for action in the form of discussion papers, succinct analyses and blog posts; foraus also organises debates aimed at finding innovative foreign policy solutions.
Sunflower supports foraus with the project “sustainable fintech” and contributes its knowledge primarily with regard to sociocultural aspects.
Sustainable fintech’s objectives are, on the one hand, to help the Swiss financial industry achieve the Paris climate goals (UN Climate Change Conference 2015) and, on the other hand, to promote the implementation of sustainable development goals. Sustainable fintech has the function of a platform and a network that helps develop sustainable guidelines and innovative services and product ideas promoting these goals.
Project outline for the collaboration of foraus and Sunflower:
The topics “sustainable fintech” and “Asia” jointly discussed by the Sunflower Foundation and foraus are currently undergoing a very dynamic development. Despite increased attention by economy, politics, science and the public, there are numerous open questions and challenges at once, as the following examples show:
- Fintech is central to our economic centre. Although Switzerland has ideal characteristics (e.g. ETH, financial centre), its international performance is only average at most.
- New governance or economic initiatives with global impact (for example AIIB or BRI) will increasingly come from Asia as the post populated region of the world. In Switzerland, however, there is only rudimentary institutional competence for and limited knowledge of Asian policies.
foraus has been successfully addressing these challenges for several years. In 2017, foraus members founded the project “sustainable fintech” and the thematic programme “Asia” on their ow initiative:
- The sustainable fintech project pursues the objective of formulating fresh, convincing ideas for the financial centre Switzerland. It is based on two pillars: (technological) innovation and sustainability. Its regularly scheduled events popularise the topic among the industry and the public, offer a platform for relevant initiatives and help recruiting volunteers. The project is well connected internationally and is regarded and consulted as an expert group on relevant subjects. Lastly, it has a record of proven achievements regarding policies and the industry.
- The Asia programme consists of a core of 15–20 motivated Asia experts with political interest (young professionals, PhDs, students). It is divided into three subgroups (East Asia, South/Southeast Asia, Western and Central Asia) and has selected partnerships (e.g. Stein am Rhein Symposium) and memberships in professional networks (e.g. European Think-Tank Network on China). At the beginning of 2019, the programme published a position paper on a constructive Swiss “China policy”. Furthermore, numerous blogs on Asia-related topics were published.
foraus has been publishing scientifically sound recommendation for actions regarding constructive foreign policy for years. The think tank’s success is based on a unique grassroots model with more than 120 volunteers and several hundreds of members who, for example, are involved in the two initiatives mentioned above as authors of discussion papers and organisers of public debates.
The present project outline shows how innovative solutions can be launched for decision-makers and the public in the two areas “sustainable fintech” and “Asia” with the help of two Senior Policy Fellow positions and a reinforcement of foraus’ volunteer structure.