WHEN PHILANTHROPY IS ACCUSED OF JEOPARDIZING DEMOCRACY

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The influence wielded by large foundations is a controversial topic in the U.S., where a handful donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—a key contributor to Gavi and The Global Fund in Geneva—account for most of the world’s philanthropy. CNNMoney Switzerland asks Henry Peter, head of the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy, whether power is also an issue with foundations in Switzerland when it comes to the allocation of funds.

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When philanthropy is accused of jeopardizing democracy
The influence wielded by large foundations is a controversial topic in the U.S., where a handful donors like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—a key contributor to Gavi and The Global Fund in Geneva—account for most of the world’s philanthropy. CNNMoney Switzerland asks Henry Peter, head of the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy, whether power is also an issue with foundations in Switzerland when it comes to the allocation of funds.

GESDA foundation matches CHF 3 million public funding with private donor
A new Geneva-based foundation that wants to advance the next big trends in scientific research has secured CHF 3 million in funding from a private donor— matching the sum already awarded by the Swiss government, its chairman tells CNNMoney Switzerland. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman of the Geneva Science and Diplomacy Anticipator (GESDA) and former Nestlé CEO, says the new foundation will help “create a competitive advantage for Geneva.”

Killer robots: a growing business that’s raising questions
Military spending into artificial intelligence is expected to grow up to USD 18.82 billion by 2025. At this pace, fully autonomous weapons, also known as killer robots, will soon become a reality. In the meantime, a campaign coordinated by Human Rights Watch is asking governments to stop them.

Why modern slavery cannot be solved without the financial sector
Over 40 million people are estimated to be victims of modern slavery or human trafficking, and the financial sector needs to play a role in eradicating it, says Fiona Reynolds, CEO of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Speaking at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva last month, Reynolds presented an action plan designed by a commission she chaired.

Swiss companies fall short in Corporate Human Rights Benchmark
Over half of major companies across four key sectors are failing on human rights—particularly on due diligence—according to the latest Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB). Of the five Swiss companies ranked, none scored above 60 percent. Speaking at the UN Forum on Business & Human Rights, Margaret Wachenfeld, CHRB board director, explains where firms are falling short.

Crunch time for UN talks on killer robots as business demands clarity
Talks over a treaty to ban lethal autonomous weapons—so-called killer robots—have come to a head at the UN in Geneva after campaigners, backed by 30 nations, businesses, scientists, and NGOs, called on states to turn up the heat on the “glacial” pace of negotiations. With another two years of talks planned and no laws to stop them, there are concerns that the arms industry and certain countries will continue to ramp up development of these weapons.

Geneva launches first Center for Business and Human Rights in Europe
The University of Geneva is launching the first center dedicated to human rights at a business school in Europe, in collaboration with NYU’s Stern School in the U.S. Dorothée Baumann-Pauly, the center’s director, discusses upcoming projects and why a proposal to hold Swiss-based multinationals accountable for human rights violations abroad won’t work without proper measures to ensure companies are putting rules into practice.

How much climate change is costing Switzerland
In just 15 days this past summer, Switzerland saw the equivalent of one year’s drinking water melt from its glaciers, something that hurt power production and impacted infrastructure.

Water supply on edge in Swiss Alps too, warns Mountain Summit
The impact of climate change on mountain ecosystems is putting the world’s water supplies—and the economies that rely on them—at risk, warns Carolina Adler, co-chair of the inaugural High Mountain Summit organized by the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva. This comes after the heat wave earlier this year caused Swiss glaciers to melt at record rates.

Millennials’ message on global trade: “please listen to us”
Millennials and Generation Z now account for two-thirds of the global workforce and need to be given a bigger say in the debate on the future of global trade. That was one of the resounding messages delivered by a dedicated panel of young entrepreneurs invited to speak at the 2019 WTO Public Forum in Geneva. Andrés Escobar, founder of U.S.-based IMPCT Coffee, and Chebet Lesan, founder of Kenya’s Bright Green Renewable Energy, say it’s as simple as “please listen to us.”