Fishbowl Conversation

Activism in the 21st Century: Driving Change in Finance

Thursday, October 5, 2023 From 11:30 to 12:30 (CET) Centre International de Conférences Genève - Room F

Activists play important roles in the financial system – bringing attention to sustainability issues, calling out inconsistencies between talk/action, and pushing for greater ambition. This session will explore how other organizations can complement the work of activist NGOs and brainstorm ways to work together to create a culture of accountability.


Laurent Matile

Senior Policy Advisor - Alliance Sud

Laurent Matile has over 25 years of experience working in government, international organizations, NGOs, and academia. He currently serves as a Senior Policy Advisor at Alliance Sud, specializing in responsible business conduct, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the SDGs. A lawyer by training, Laurent Matile worked at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs on WTO negotiations as well as on the Switzerland-EU negotiations, then on the Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, before joining the UN/WTO International Trade Center. Mr. Matile is also a Lecturer in Law at HEG - Genève.

Elisa Vacherand

Deputy Practice Lead, Finance - WWF International

Elisa Vacherand is a sustainable finance expert with 20 years’ experience, working with financial institutions, UN bodies and leading conservation organisations to finance a net-zero, nature positive world. Currently, Elisa pilots the WWF Finance Practice strategy, advocating for a systemic change in the finance sector towards to incorporation of climate and nature-related risks and opportunities ("greening finance"), and fostering existing financial mechanisms to increase funding towards net zero and nature positive projects ("financing green"). Priorly, Ms. Vacherand was a consultant at UNEP Finance Initiative, group global head of ESG risk management at BNP Paribas and Credit Derivatives trader at Société Générale.

Remco Fisher

Climate Lead - UNEP FI

Since 2012 Remco has built the climate programme and team at UNEP FI.  He oversees UNEP FI’s climate-related work on policy, the convening of finance sector platforms & working groups, the development of tools and guidelines, as well as research and training.

Remco led the establishment of the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance. Remco has also been instrumental in UNEP FI’s work with over 120 financial institutions spanning the banking, investment, and insurance industries, to develop, test, and standardise methodologies on climate risk assessment that respond to the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Prior to joining UNEP, Remco worked as an analyst in the infrastructure team at the German Development Finance Institution (DEG; KfW Group of Banks).  He holds a British BA Honours in Business Administration and Economics from Napier University in Edinburgh and a dual Diplom (MSc) from Aachen University, Germany, and Universidad de Alicante, Spain, and is fluent in German, Spanish, English and French.

He has been a leading or supporting author of more than a dozen UN publications on sustainable finance and climate change.

Marie-Laure Schaufelberger

Head of ESG and Stewardship - Pictet

Marie-Laure Schaufelberger is Head of ESG and Stewardship for the Pictet Group where she drives corporate strategy for the Pictet Group’s Responsible Vision across investments and its own assets. She is also President of Sustainable Finance Geneva. Ms. Schaufelberger began her career at Pictet in 2007 in the media relations and public affairs team where she was also responsible for Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. In 2014, she joined Pictet Asset Management’s Thematic Equities team as a Product Specialist, covering business development and client portfolio management across several environmental and social thematic impact strategies. Ms. Schaufelberger holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Geneva Graduate Institute and is a CFA charter holder.

Peter Haberstich

Solutions Campaigner on Climate Change & Sustainable Finance - Greenpeace Switzerland

Peter Haberstich heads the campaign for sustainable finance at Greenpeace Switzerland. Previously, he has designed campaigns for various civil society organisations in the fields of human rights or development cooperation. He has a background in business communication, innovation management and sustainable development.

Julia Steinberger

Academic and Activist - University of Lausanne

Professor Julia Steinberger researches Ecological Economics at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Her research examines the connections between resource use (energy and materials, greenhouse gas emissions) and societal performance (economic activity and human wellbeing). Since 2023, Professor Julia Steinberger co-leads the EU ERC Synergy grant “REAL- A Post-Growth Deal” on post-growth societies. She is Lead Author for the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report with Working Group 3.