The “Opportunity Zürich” programme identifies new talent and offers the recipients of welfare benefits eight intensive months of training as web developers. The project tackles personnel shortages in the ICT area and relieves pressure on welfare benefits.

Ongoing digitalisation of the workplace is changing the employment market for good.
Digital capabilities are increasingly becoming a key component for companies.
The work-integration scheme of the city of Zurich’s welfare office and the Stiftung SAG foundation have responded to these developments with a new programme for long-term unemployed adults. “Opportunity Zürich” provides eight months of training in web development for the recipients of welfare benefits. The first course started on 6 April. All 25 training places are taken – 9 women and 16 men have successfully passed an up-front two-stage assessment and will be taught by experienced web development trainers and receive support from job coaches until the end of November 2021.

Flexible, hands-on training

Practically oriented training is key: during the training course, participants work on concrete projects to learn how to programme and design websites and apps. The city’s work-integration team and its project partner, Stiftung SAG, analyse the hard and soft skills required by the market in IT on a continuous basis, in order to ensure successful entry into the workplace. “Opportunity Zürich” is also able to train participants to meet the specific requirements of individual companies. Companies interested in cooperating with “Opportunity Zürich” should contact the welfare office of the city of Zurich (

Opportunity – an international project

“Opportunity Zürich” is a cooperative initiative between the city’s work integration team and Stiftung SAG, and is part of the network. is present in 18 countries and has enabled the training of over 11,000 people since 2013. In Switzerland, the réalise foundation is responsible for implementing the concept. “Opportunity Zürich” received set-up support from the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation.

Further information

The eagerly awaited BD Zoom Award livened up the year again for nearly 50 secondary school pupils in the canton of Geneva. The aim was the same in this sixth year of the awards: to spark and develop an interest in reading while promoting the energy and diversity of Swiss comic books.

As in previous years, dozens of meetings between authors and pupils were highlights of the sixth annual awards, despite the health situation of recent months. Each visit was a chance for active discussion on themes tackled in the different comic books.

The BD Zoom Award is also an opportunity for pupils to (re)discover the unique language of comic books, and to address topical social issues such as the life of young people in deprived areas, and social anxiety.

After these meetings and a look at the books, the pupils selected their top three comics, with the winner to be chosen by a final pupil vote on 30 April 2021.

The three finalists are:

– Peggy Adam for Les salles gosses, éditions Atrabile

– Marina K for Je suis grosse, éditions Antipodes

– Fanny Vaucher and Prix Burnand for Le siècle d’Emma, éditions Antipodes

Partners for 6 years

The BD Zoom Award is the result of an innovative partnership between the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth and the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation, a founding partner, which gave its backing for two three-year periods, so a total of six years. This collaboration dovetails with the Foundation’s other work to foster accessible culture for all and education in Switzerland. With a prize of CHF 10,000, the BD Zoom Award gives broad visibility to the selected authors as well as to our region’s publishers. It shines a spotlight on a vibrant local comic book scene and supplements efforts to support reading in the Canton of Geneva. It is one of the 165 ongoing traditions that embody the intangible cultural heritage of Switzerland, continuing the tradition of illustration, comics and poster art in Geneva.

A three-way venture in an innovative programme

In 2016, the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation, Pro Senectute Genève and the University of Geneva co-founded the programme “1h/m²: a student under my roof”. This new initiative, hosted by the University of Geneva, meets the ambitious objectives of combating the social isolation of the elderly and strengthening intergenerational ties, while helping students to find accommodation in Geneva. The programme thus offers an exchange of space (a room at the owner’s house) in exchange for time and a helping hand: computer help, shopping, DIY, cooking, gardening, conversation in a foreign language, babysitting, etc.

©Carla da Silva

A success story: a combination of rapid growth and real impact

Increasing steadily from 23 student/OAP “tandems” in 2016 to nearly 70 in 2020, the “1h/m2” programme has rapidly become an undeniable success, while close and personalised monitoring has been maintained on each tandem to guarantee quality relationships. By the end of 2020, numbers had risen to a total of 203 young people from all over the world who had been able to experience Geneva in intergenerational lodging with 140 hosts, whose average age is around 75. The programme now offers what amounts to 10% of the rooms managed by the University of Geneva – the equivalent of a small university hall of residence.

Since its launch, the programme has also received continuous media coverage as well as several accolades: the “Cantonal Prize for Sustainable Development” in 2018, the “Youth Prize” of the Youth Parliament in 2019, and in the 2019-2023 Health Promotion and Prevention Plan of the Canton of Geneva, the “1h/m2” programme is mentioned as one of the campaigns to be supported under the heading “Wellbeing and Quality of Life in Old Age” (Action 6.1).

After five years of collaboration, the values, impact and success of this initiative have led the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation to enthusiastically renew its support for the “1h/m2” programme until the end of 2024.

We hold true to our mission despite the pandemic

In spite of the current pandemic, when the issue of cohabitation between generations has become very difficult, the programme has been maintained with the approval of the Cantonal Head Physician. In fact, several hosts expressed their desire to continue living with their student despite the health risks. “Oh no, you’re not going to take my student away from me! I’ve already had to stop seeing my family!”, a lady of 86 exclaimed, adding that she has enjoyed a good life and is not afraid of dying soon, should that be her fate. Thus, around 40 senior citizens have been able to get through these months of the pandemic by relying on the presence of a young person in their home and the programme has continued to fulfil its purpose of combating social isolation.

Special support has been set up in response to each situation. When the daughter of a 75-year-old host told her mother that there was no question of hosting a young person three days after a student had moved into her home, the programme helped the girl to find another host.
Sabine Estier Thévenoz, Programme Manager

Once teaching went fully online, some students decided to leave Geneva, a city that was too expensive for them, and had to be replaced at short notice with hosts who did not want to be left alone.

Enhanced monitoring

The students were given specific advice about the necessary safety precautions. The possibility of moving any student who might fall ill with COVID-19 was planned for, to prevent infecting their host during the quarantine period. Since coursework was undertaken in their rooms, it was sometimes necessary to remind elderly hosts that the student’s presence in their home did not mean that they were always available. Some students also spoke of the fact that this solitary period of work and exam preparation was hard for them.

Finally, thanks to more intense monitoring than usual, around 60 tandems are living through this very singular period of the pandemic together. Because of these changes, the programme has been able to continue the fight against the social isolation of old people who do not wish to be left alone during this pandemic.

Despite the context, BNP Paribas in Switzerland is happy to renew its annual appointment with the art world, confirming its support to WoPart (Work on Paper Art fair) through an innovative virtual session.

WoPart 2020 : an innovative edition

Organized since three years in Lugano, Wopart invite this year visitors to discover a digital version of the fair as well as our two exclusive rooms, where BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation is hosted.

The first room is dedicated to masterpieces on paper from the Collection of the Foundation such as Le Corbusier, David Hockney and Joan Miró.

The second one is dedicated to an exhibition of recent works by Lisa Lurati, a young promising talent from Ticino selected by the artistic committee of the Foundation. Visitors can discover a selection of works on paper (mainly photographs) she produced during her artistic residency at La Cité des Arts in Paris, during the last months. The works are also exhibited in the Bank’s function rooms and hallways in Lugano.

Lisa LURATI: a talented young artist

Lisa Lurati was born in 1989 in Lugano.Through a broad palette of techniques on paper ranging from photography to drawing, she also experiments cyanotype, sculpture and video. Her work manages to occupy a very particular space. A space where pure aesthetics mingle with the deeply personal, where existential mediations are thrown into the mix with the absurd and trivial, all the while keeping up a deep sense of humility and wonder towards the outside and inside world.

Lisa has recently finished her Master at the Institut Kunst of Basel (FHNW) in addition to photography studies at the Centre d’Enseignement Professionnel de Vevey (CEPV). She will hold her second solo institutional exhibition, after the one in Photoforum Pasquart (Biel) in 2018, at the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Yverdon (CACY) in 2021.

Untitled, 2020 Colored photogram 40 x 30 cm – unique

The Foundation: a support to young swiss artists

Raising awareness of the work of young graduates through initiatives such as the Lugano Art Event serves as a genuine springboard for emerging artists; this is particularly true in Ticino, where there are no art schools to speak of.

Every year, the Lugano Art Event fosters valuable dialogue between Bank clients, the selected artist and the leaders of local cultural institutions.

Lisa Lurati, Stage of Disapearance, 2020 (work in progress)

Lisa Lurati, Stage of Disapearance, 2020 (final work)

More than 100 staff and members of their family were registered to take part in the staff version of the 2020 BD Zoom Prize. Discover the winning comic book selected in an online vote.

Five years of public-private partnership

The BD Zoom Prize is a result of the partnership between the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth (DIP) and the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation, which is a founding partner. The aim is not only to popularise comic books among young people and promote the French-language works of Swiss authors, but also to make culture accessible to as many people as possible.

“The BD Zoom award is primarily an invitation for students to discover original artistic objects, different compared to books they would usually study at school.
Leafing through a comic book is a way of opening oneself to a different universe, with its own narrative codes and aesthetic. Given that comic books are not at the heart of regular school teaching traditions, students approach them without inhibitions and in a more curious and autonomous way compared to the method of studying a classical novel.
The exploration of those books has a high point, as meeting with the authors helps them understand the fact that behind every book and work the is a different personality, with their way of working, their desires, and their imagination…
The wild gamble is to believe that the student who will have taken part in this adventure will then want to discover by himself/herself the many other universes that books contain.” Tells us Gabriella Della Vecchia, Cultural Councillor School&Culture, Art, citizenship, school and sport service at the Youth and training public education department.

A completely new format for the 5th BD Zoom Prize

For the past five years, the BD Zoom Prize has been awarded by high school pupils (15-19 year-olds) to the best comic book published during the year. The procedure involves not only reading comic books individually and the award ceremony, but above all interactive exchanges. Usually more than a hundred meetings are organised in classrooms to discuss comic books with the authors in order to better understand their approach.

This year we had to rapidly rethink the format. Not only for the high school pupils, but also for the authors and BNP Paribas  in Switzerland employees, who also award a “staff prize” to the author of their choice.

Because it was impossible to organise physical meetings with the students and staff, the authors answered a series of questions by video.

The exploration of those books has a high point, as meeting with the authors helps them understand the fact that behind every book and work the is a different personality, with their way of working, their desires, and their imagination…”

Gabriella Della Vecchia

Three finalists with very different projects

In 2020, more than 700 high school pupils in Geneva took part in the competition and shortlisted three comic books as finalists: Femme Sauvage by Tom Tirabosco, L’enquête de l’Inspecteur Mc Cullehan by Pierre Schilling and Saccage by Frederik Peeters.

Tom Tirabosco chosen as the winner by both pupils and staff

Following an online vote organised by the DIP in May, the pupils awarded the prize to Tom Tirabosco’s Femme Sauvage.

The BNP Paribas in Switzerland’s employees made the same choice. Instead of the usual physical meeting of staff following a Q&A session with the authors, an online vote was organised to enable the bank’s staff to pick their favourite comic book. Like the high school pupils, the bank’s staff were wowed by Tom Tirabosco’s Femme Sauvage.

Femme Sauvage, a dystopia that advocates a return to nature

Femme Sauvage is the story of a young woman who finds herself faced with a hostile environment, pushing her to go beyond her limits. The story shows both the beauty and cruelty of nature in a world which may resemble a not-too-distant future.

“In the near future, in a world in total chaos, where unbridled capitalism and climate disruption have turned everything upside down, a young woman sets off alone to join the rebellion. This will take her on a long a journey in a hostile environment, a journey that will push her to her very limits.”

750 high school pupils award the BD Zoom 2020 prize to Tom Tirabosco for his comic book “Femme sauvage”. This award highlights the energy and diversity of comic books while promoting an interest in reading. It is awarded in partnership with the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation.

The BD Zoom prize introduces contemporary comic books to pupils at several schools in the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth and allows them to meet the authors in class. Between October and February, there were a total of 120 personal visits by the six selected authors, in addition to visits to workshops and exhibitions. At the end of this first phase, the pupils selected three finalists: Femme sauvage by Tom Tirabosco (Futuropolis), L’enquête de l’inspecteur Mc Cullehan by Pierre Schilling (Les requins marteaux) and Saccage by Frederk Peeters (Atrabile).

Due to the COVID-19 health guidelines in place, including the closure of schools, the final vote by pupils took place remotely. The three finalists took advantage of new technology and made short videos for the pupils to recapture their interest, reactivate the creative exchange and assist them in making their decision.

The pupils particularly appreciated Tom Tirabosco’s Femme sauvage, a black-and-white comic book that follows the quest of an angry woman as she flees a chaotic world to go and live with rebels in the forest. Her journey will push her to the limit. This environmental theme is particularly appropriate in the current context. Tom Tirabosco already won the BD Zoom prize in 2016 with his comic book Wonderland (Atrabile).

In addition to its educational goals, the BD Zoom prize specifically aims to cultivate cooperation between the various entities in the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth, including business students at ECG Aimée-Stitelmann. This prize reflects the philosophy of the Ecole&Culture programme, which encourages all pupils to engage with culture. It is part of the canton’s support for the book industry aimed at highlighting the importance of illustration, comic books and posters in Geneva.

The BD Zoom prize includes a cash award of CHF 10,000. It is the result of an innovative public-private partnership between the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth and the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation, which is a founding partner. This prize is part of the Foundation’s efforts to foster education, social inclusion and local culture.

This year, the the awards ceremony had to be reinvented. The Salon du Livre festival, to which pupils are traditionally invited for the ceremony, has been moved to the autumn. The BD Zoom prize took advantage of this opportunity to create a new concept, organising an augmented version of the event in Carouge, in cooperation with venues exhibiting the authors nominated for the prize. The pupils were meant to visit these exhibitions before the final ceremony. Unfortunately, this programme had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.


Laurence Anthony


Nadia Keckeis


00 41 79 380 26 55

The BD Zoom prize seeks to raise awareness among school pupils of the amazing richness of French-language comics in Switzerland. The event has moved up a gear this year, with record numbers of pupils (740) taking part and a brand-new weekend celebration of comics to mark the fifth anniversary of the prize.

Almost 50 classes of pupils in their late teens are taking part in the 2020 event. Between November and February, pupils had a chance to discover the amazing richness and diversity of selected works written or published by a French-speaking Swiss author or publisher. The project culminated with the authors making around 130 class visits, which sparked a whole host of poignant conversations. In the end, the classes selected the three finalists, one of which will receive the prize after the final vote on 24 April.

The three finalists are:

  • Femme sauvage by Tom Tirabosco (Futuropolis)
  • L’enquête de l’inspecteur Mc Cullehan by Pierre Schilling (Les requins marteaux)
  • Saccage by Frederik Peeters (Atrabile)

To celebrate the fifth year of the prize, enrolled classes will take part in a weekend comic extravaganza to be held in Carouge on 22-26 April 2020 before the final vote, where they will have a chance to see original work by the six selected authors (A. Baladi, F. Peeters, I. Pralong, P. Schilling, T. Tirabosco, Vamille) on display in the six galleries of the Vieux Carouge district.

Over the weekend, members of the public can also visit the exhibitions and take part in events including meet-and-greet sessions with the authors, screenings, quizzes, debates and even an open-air comic market (detailed schedule to follow).

An innovative partnership

The BD Zoom prize, which includes a cash sum of CHF 10,000, is the result of an innovative partnership between the Department of Public Education, Training and Youth and the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation, which is a founding partner. After an initial three-year commitment to the project, the Foundation has extended its support for a further three years. This collaboration dovetails with the Foundation’s other work to foster accessible culture for all and education in Switzerland.

Through the visibility it offers the selected authors, the BD Zoom prize shines a spotlight on the region’s comic book scene and supplements efforts to support reading in the Canton of Geneva. The prize continues the tradition of Illustration, comics and poster art in Geneva, which the Confederation selected for its list of the 165 ongoing traditions that embody the intangible cultural heritage of Switzerland.

From 26 January to 17 May 2020, the Beyeler Foundation is presenting a collection of works by Edward Hopper (1882-1967), one of the foremost American painters of the 20th century.

The BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation is this year’s “multimedia partner”. The exhibition takes the form of a 3D short film entitled Two or Three Things I Know about Edward Hopper directed by famous film director and photographer Wim Wenders.

A retrospective on the theme of landscapes

The Beyeler Foundation exhibition focuses on Hopper’s iconic depictions of the infinite expanses of America’s natural and urban landscapes. This is an aspect that is rarely at the forefront of exhibitions devoted to Hopper, yet it is key to understanding his work and its reception. The exhibition features watercolours and oils from the 1910s to the 1960s, offering a broad and fascinating panorama of the many facets of Hopper’s painting.

Video homage by Wim Wenders

Further enhancing the visitor’s experience, the Beyeler Foundation intends to show a 3D short film by Wim Wenders entitled Two or Three Things I Know about Edward Hopper in one of the exhibition rooms. Intended as an immersive journey into Hopper’s world, the film will offer visitors an extraordinary experience as it delves into the heart of his paintings.

Digital interaction is central to the partnership between the Beyeler Foundation and the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation

Having worked in partnership for many years, in 2018 the Beyeler Foundation and the PNP Paribas Swiss Foundation decided to take their co-operation to a new level. After collaborating on the restoration of major works of art, two years ago the two foundations opted to put new technologies to good use in cultural interpretation.

For the second year, BNP Paribas is supporting young scientists with their research into climate change. An exhibition in the Bank’s Geneva offices outlines the expeditions sponsored in 2018.

3 years of partnership in support of research

In 2016, the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation joined forces with the Swiss Polar Institute to help young researchers take part in an expedition to Antarctica. They embarked aboard the Akademik Treshnikov, a Russian ship, for the Antarctic Circumnavigation Expedition (ACE). This 3-month expedition took them on a complete tour of the Antarctic continent, during which they were able to measure and quantify the impact of environmental changes and pollution in the Southern Ocean.

©Andrea Baccarini

The Polar Access Fund: open access to the Poles for young researchers.

In 2018, building on the success of this important project, the Foundation and Swiss Polar Institute launched the Polar Access Fund in order to provide vital funding to young scientists conducting research into climate change. Every year, the Polar Access Fund helps between 5 and 10 doctoral and post-doctoral students with grants for as much as CHF 20,000. These grants allow these young researchers to undertake their first scientific expedition in extreme environments like the Polar latitudes.

Discover the expeditions sponsored in 2018

Within the framework of its partnership, the BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation is committed to supporting and promoting the work of young academic scientists who benefit from the PAF grant.

From 29 November until 20 December, an exhibition, open to the public, has been set up in the Bank’s entrance hall in Geneva. There, you can discover the  5 researchers, their projects and the various expeditions they went on.

The BNP Paribas Swiss Foundation is delighted to announce a new partnership with Tanzhaus Zürich for the creation of a new contemporary dance troupe: The Field. This is the Swiss Foundation’s first partnership in Zurich and in the field of contemporary dance.

The Field

In 2019, the BNP Paribas Foundation joined forces with Tanzhaus Zürich to support the creation of contemporary dance in Switzerland. A group of five young dancers from Switzerland and abroad will be hosted at Tanzhaus, in order to refine their art form in an optimal environment. The dancers will be free to create performances and various forms of outreach, enabling them to interact with and be inspired by the world around them. The group will be trained by dancer and choreographer Marisa Godoy and Romain Guion throughout the 2019-2020 season.

Fanfare opening

At 6.00 pm on 6 September, a crowd of dance enthusiasts arrived at the institute’s new facilities next to Untere Letten and the Barozzi/Veiga architectural firm, to participate in the first day of the Tanzhaus opening weekend.

Performances were given all throughout day one of love and dance, in three different Tanzhaus studios and in the main foyer. At 8.45 pm, the new company The Field gave its first mini-performance.

For many, such as Zurich’s Mayor Corine Mauch, who gave the opening speech, the evening was an immersion in another world. In addition to opening its doors to the public, Tanzhaus has also opened the public’s eyes to this salle de danse that is already bringing joy to Zurich and its residents.

©Helen Ree