Fishbowl Conversation

Green FinTech: Accelerating Solutions for Climate Change and Environmental Challenges

Tuesday, October 3, 2023 From 11:30 to 12:30 (CET) Centre International de Conférences Genève - Room F
Fintech Innovative Finance

The session will enable participants to explore the world of fintech and understand its potential to address the SDGs and accelerate a transition to a sustainable financial system. It will highlight key areas where fintech is making a difference and outline concrete examples of tech solutions that already exist.

The event is organised as a 60-minute roundtable fishbowl discussion format. The inner circle participants are:

  • Qasim Abbas (Co-Founder, The Ark)
  • Christoph Baumann (Envoy for Sustainable Finance, SIF)
  • Frederic Fournier (CEO, Open Forest Protocol)
  • Yvonne Johansson (Co-Head, Center of Excellence Sustainability, UBS Switzerland)
  • Oliver Marchand (Head of Climate Risk Center, MSCI)
  • Thomas Puschmann (Executive Director, Global Center for Sustainable Digital Finance, Stanford & University of Zurich)
  • Gerrit Sindermann (Deputy Executive Director, Green Digital Finance Alliance)
  • Simone Thompson (Co-Founder and CEO, Climada)


Yvonne Johansson

Co-Head, Center of Excellence Sustainability - UBS Switzerland

She is responsible for driving sustainability as a strategic priority for the retail and corporate business, identifying opportunities to support clients and communities in the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Gerrit Sindermann

Deputy Executive Director - Green Digital Finance Alliance

Proven leader in banking, FinTech, and tech sectors with a passion for climate and environment-focused solutions. His entrepreneurial journey has taught him adaptability, resilience, and the importance of people. Through his experiences, he has solidified a commitment to impactful societal work, particularly in climate and environmental sectors. At the Green Digital Finance Alliance, he champions the Every Action Counts coalition, partnering with global digital platforms committed to activating 1 billion people towards green action. He delves into areas like digital finance, sustainable finance, climate change, ESG, sustainability data, waste, carbon credits, green bonds, and more. Collaborating across sectors including financial services, e-commerce, software, international organizations, philanthropies, and non-profits. As an advisor, he offers insights into fundraising, business strategies, sales, negotiations, and mediation. He's especially adept at mediating founder disputes and handling stakeholder relations.

Christoph Baumann

Envoy of the State Secretary for Sustainable Finance - State Secretariat for International Finance

Mr. Baumann holds an LLM in international law from the University of London, a master's degree in economics from the University of Zurich, and is a CFA charterholder.

Frederic Fournier

CEO - Open Forest Protocol

As the CEO and Co-founder of Open Forest Protocol (OFP), Frederic Fournier leads a global platform to transparently measure, verify and fund forestation projects. With over 20 years of experience in environmental engineering, geology, and hydrogeology, he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the field of carbon compensation and sustainable reforestation. Frederic Fournier is also a board member of the Swiss Green Fintech Network, a multi-stakeholder association dedicated to fostering the green digital finance ecosystem in Switzerland. Additionally, he co-founded and direct ON A MISSION, a non-profit organization that enables businesses and individuals to invest in local sustainable reforestation projects. His mission is to leverage technology, innovation, and collaboration to create a positive impact on our planet and a safe climate for future generations.

Simone Thompson

Co-Founder and CEO - Climada

20 years in international blue ship organisations spanning finance, marketing, project management, branding, sales and communications capabilities. Active member of a number of strategic advisory boards. Kellogg University, Harvard, LSE, Insead Alumni, IMD.

Oliver Marchand

Global Head of Climate Research - MSCI Inc.

Oliver Marchand is Global Head of Climate Research at MSCI Inc., a worldwide provider of support tools and services for investment needs. Dr. Marchand finished his PhD in Computer Science from ETH Zürich in 2003. In 2005, he took a role as Head of IT at Fisch Asset Management (FAM). His small team managed to build the entire portfolio management system for FAM, and his decade-long stay provided many valuable lessons for building a company, like negotiation skills, IT security skills and transparency. After leaving FAM, Dr. Marchand joined forces to found Carbon Delta, a financial technology B2B service evaluating the ecological footprint and possible environmental impacts of companies. In October 2019, Carbon Delta was acquired by MSCI Inc., hoping his work at MSCI may continue to have a transforming power in the sustainability of the financial industry.

Qasim Abbas

Co-Founder - The Ark

Qasim is a co-founder of THE ARK, an impact engagement and measurement platform focusing on biodiversity, and has over 10 years experience in investing and scaling digital business models. In his work in company building he has successfully launched products to improve supply chains and operations in the construction and environment sector. Qasim is a guest lecturer at multiple leading universities in the field of new technologies and impact investing. He holds engineering degrees and an Executive Master in Finance from the London School of Economics.

Thomas Puschmann

Executive Director - Global Center for Sustainable Digital Finance Stanford & University of Zurich

Thomas Puschmann has been an early internet pioneer who brought the first local government in Germany online in the early 1990s and introduced the internet at Siemens. He has spent more than two decades at the nexus of technology and business in both science and business and is Founder and Executive Director of the Global Center for Sustainable Digital Finance at Stanford University and the University of Zurich. In addition, he is Founder and Director of one of the first FinTech research labs worldwide, the Swiss FinTech Innovation Lab at the University of Zurich, Professor at the University of the Fraser Valley in Canada, Co-Founder of the Association Swiss FinTech Innovations, Co-Founder of the Swiss Green FinTech Network, Co-Founder of Extreme Tech Challenge Switzerland and Member of the Swiss Innovation Council Innosuisse. He serves as an advisor for many strategic national and international initiatives and is an advisory board member of various institutions to foster innovation and develop an innovation and start-up ecosystem. Before his current position he was heading one of the first digital finance research projects at the Universities of St. Gallen and Leipzig and was a visiting scholar at MIT Sloan School of Management and Stanford University. Prior to this, Thomas spent five years in consulting and software development, where he was a member of the executive board at ESPRiT Consulting and The Information Management Group.

Brigitta Gyoerfi

Partner Innovation Lead - Tenity

Brigitta Gyoerfi helps companies innovate like startups with the discipline of a large institution. She is a senior innovation and agile leader with a broad skill-set spanning 18+ industry experience in finance, project management and international business management combined with exceptional knowhow in product, service, business-design, coaching, facilitation and leadership development.