How can we make tourism in the Alps future-proof?

Can you imagine Switzerland without its snow-covered mountains?

The Alps face significant impacts from global warming. Climate change is accelerating there, and the landscape is already undergoing transformation. What does this mean for the future of the Swiss mountains – which provide a home, livelihood and retreat for a large part of the population?

At Spotlight, we shine the light on ideas that pave the way to a brighter future in the mountain region, not just for this year but also for the years to come.

This year, we aim to revolutionize a sector that is essential for the economy in the Alpine region: tourism.

How can we shape a resilient economy for a net-zero future for the Alps, with tourism and mountain sports at the forefront of this transformation? What energy-efficient solutions are needed for driving this change?

We are calling all changemakers:

How can we make tourism in the Alps future-proof?

Submit your idea until July 5, 2024, 11:59 am CEST

If you have a climate-conscious idea for tourism and related activities that:

  • Helps travelers to make climate-positive choices in their travel planning; or
  • Spurs innovation in the Alpine region towards net-zero through the interest of tourists; or
  • Redefines and efficiently implements infrastructures or services to reduce CO2 emissions through tourism (e.g., energy-efficient use of existing facilities, novel services, solutions for winter sports of the future, mobility, synergies, technological innovations); and
  • Can be implemented in practice.

This is your sign:

to apply now!

Application is open until July 5, 2024, 11:59 am CEST!

The Process and the Award

1. Get ready for the Spotlight & submit your idea

Submit your idea via our application form by July 5, 2024, 11:59 am CEST.

Describe your vision and goals, and introduce your idea with a 2-minute video and pictures. This will also how your project will be presented on our website if you get selected for the next step.

After the application deadline, our jury will make a preliminary selection to determine which ideas will be featured on our «Wall of Fame».

👀 Details on the selection process and important dates are in the FAQs.

2. Activate your community and step into the spotlight

The «Wall of Fame» will be live on the Clima Now Spotlight website on September 2, 2024. Now it’s your turn to activate your community and gather votes for your idea. Public Voting closes on September 16, 2024, 11:59 am CEST. The 7 projects with the most votes will be invited to the Spotlight Pitch Night on October 24, 2024 at Kraftwerk Zurich.

At the Pitch Night, you will step into the Spotlight and present your idea to the jury and audience. The prizes to win are:

🥇 1st Place: CHF 50’000
🥈 2nd Place: CHF 25’000
🥉 3rd Place: CHF 10’000
🧡 Audience Award: CHF 5’000

3. Get into action: Horizon bootcamp & Spotlight Alumni Community

After the Pitch Night, get ready to dive into action!

🚀 Everyone on the «Wall of Fame» has the chance to receive guidance on implementing their ideas during a three-day bootcamp (individual dates), called Horizon Program. This is organized by Impact Hub Zurich & One Planet Lab Switzerland. (Places are limited. The winners are automatically included, and the remaining spots are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.)

🤝 Additionally, everyone on the Wall of Fame also becomes part of the Spotlight Alumni Community and will be invited to annual reunions.

Our Spotlight Partners

We have partnered up with in innovative organizations renowned for their pioneering approach to future-proof entrepreneurship or tourism in mountainous regions. They bring their expertise, extensive networks, and genuine commitment to supporting Spotlight 2024.

Tourist marketing organization of the canton of Graubünden

Graubünden Ferien is the tourism marketing organization of the canton of Graubünden. Together with their partners, they pursue the goal of attracting more guests to Graubünden and making the industry sustainable and fit for the future. The Graubünden heraldic animal, the ibex, is their trademark and they live its characteristics – proud, sure-footed and team-oriented.

Internationally active energy and infrastructure company

The Alpine habitat is undergoing continuous change and is coming under increasing pressure due to advancing climate change, intensive tourism and the expansion of infrastructure. Finding a balance between value creation through future-oriented energy and infrastructure construction and appreciation of the Alpine region is associated with many challenges. BKW offers solutions in the areas of buildings, energy and infrastructure to keep prosperity and the environment in harmony in an environment worth living in. We make living spaces worth living in.

Where Outdoor Apparel Meets Environmental Activism

Patagonia is a renowned outdoor apparel company that stands out for its commitment to environmental and social responsibility. With a focus on quality and durability, Patagonia designs and produces a wide range of outdoor clothing and gear for activities such as trail running, climbing, skiing, and surfing. Beyond its products, Patagonia is known for its advocacy work on environmental issues, promoting fair labor practices, and supporting grassroots environmental organizations.

The Jury

Proven experts from the fields of impact, entrepreneurship, community, tourism and technologies provide Clima Now with their knowledge. They review all submitted ideas and make a preliminary selection. At the Pitch Night, they provide valuable input and select the winning projects.

Beth Thoren Director of Environmental Action EMEA, Patagonia

Beth Thoren is a respected environmental leader. She joined Patagonia from her position as Deputy Chief Executive at Client Earth, an environmental NGO using the power of the law to create systemic change.  Before that, she spent a sabbatical as a crew member of the Sea Shepherd campaign ship.

Beth grew up in Tokyo and studied marine engineering.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration at Harvard and worked as a marketing director for nearly 10 years before moving into the environmental sector.

Martina Hollenstein Stadler Head of Sustainability, Graubünden Ferien

Martina Hollenstein Stadler is a passionate tourism expert and has been advocating for the diverse natural and cultural landscape of Switzerland’s mountain regions for over ten years. She knows what it takes to position a destination for the future. At Graubünden Ferien, she is responsible for implementing the sustainable transformation together with partners to make tourism in the canton future-proof.

Regula Adank Sustainability Manager BKW

Regula Adank holds a Diploma in Natural Sciences, a CAS in Social Management/Social Responsibility, and a CAS in Digital Transformation. She is currently a Sustainability Manager at BKW and has extensive experience in sustainability roles at Swiss Post and the Federal Office for Spatial Development. Her education includes advanced studies in digital transformation and social management.

Nicholas Bornstein Head & Founder, Protect Our Winters

Nicholas Bornstein received his Ph.D. in political science with a dissertation on Swiss environmental policy. He worked in EU affairs at the Federal Office of Public Health in Bern and represented Switzerland’s interests at the Swiss Mission to the EU in Brussels. Upon his return to Switzerland, he spent four years at the think tank W.I.R.E. in Zurich before joining Public Affairs consultancy furrerhugi.

He founded Protect Our Winters Switzerland in 2017 bridging his love for the outdoors with his passion for environmental protection.

Carmen Carfora Head of Sustainability, Andermatt Swiss Alps & Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG

Carmen Carfora is a communications and ESG professional. Andermatt Swiss Alps Group and Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG have set out to transform Andermatt into a model Alpine community, offering a distinctive and sustainable habitat for generations to come.

Carmen spearheads Andermatt Responsible, the companies’ initiative for climate-friendly and sustainable tourism in the Andermatt region. She serves as the liaison for diverse stakeholders within the regional tourism sector. She holds a Master’s degree in German, English and Media Studies and an MAS in Communication Management and Leadership. Since 2017 she’s been a member of the board of the Swiss NGO Solafrica.

Franziska Heidenreich Team Leader bilateral Climate Protection, myclimate & Board Member, Clima Now

Franziska Heidenreich was a member of the executive board of the myclimate foundation and head of carbon offset projects for more than 10 years and now builds programs for bilateral carbon offset for myclimate. Franziska holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations, a master’s degree in Environmental Science, and a postgraduate degree in Development Policy.

Martin Meili Co-Founder and President of the Foundation Board, Clima Now

Martin Meili took part in the first Earth Day in 1970 as an exchange student in the USA and was already confronted with the problems of climate change and the “point of no return”. With his commitment to Clima Now, he wants to ensure that suitable solutions are finally promoted and appropriate measures are taken.