Fondation Botnar is a Swiss philanthropic foundation working to improve the health and wellbeing of young people living in cities around the world. Advocating for the inclusion of youth voices and the equitable use of AI and digital technology, the foundation invests in and supports innovative programs and research, and brings together actors from across sectors to create dialogue and partnerships.
Chief Executive Officer
A letter from our CEO and Vice Chair
Our understanding of the world is rapidly changing. From an abundance of data allowing us to gain new insights, to a technological revolution transforming our daily lives; processes and theoretical thinking that has for many years stood the test of time, now needs to be updated to keep pace with society’s evolution. If we don’t adapt, we will remain behind and hinder progress.
Since Fondation Botnar started a new phase in our operations just over three years ago, we have been funding pioneering innovation, co-creating new approaches, and enabling transformational research to improve the health and wellbeing of young people around the world. As a foundation with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, we put learning, evaluation, and adaptation at the heart of everything we do; recognising the value of such an iterative approach both internally and externally, to guide our mission and approach. The authors of the book What philosophy can teach you about being a better leader speak about strategy as a form of discovery. This is an approach to strategy development that we very much agree with as over these three years we have learned a lot from young people, partners, grantees, researchers, and entrepreneurs. To become more efficient in delivering on our mission, we have taken these learnings on board and recently refined our strategic approach, focussing on three areas: how we understand the concept of wellbeing, our funding instruments, and our governance mechanisms.
For every child and young person to be a thriving citizen.
We want to ensure that every child and young person can lead a life with good health and dignity as a thriving citizen.
Investing in emerging solutions to build a better future for children and young people.
To fulfil our vision, we are seizing the big opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in vibrant, growing secondary cities around the world. We do this by supporting research, catalysing diverse partners, and investing in scalable digital solutions.
The Board jointly oversees the governance and decision making of the foundation. It is represented by 6 members who act in accordance with the mission of the foundation and the will of our founder, Marcela.
The Management Office is run by the CEO. It is responsible for the operational and strategic day-to-day management of the foundation.
Audit & Risk Committee (ARCO)
The ARCO is responsible for monitoring and optimizing the foundation’s internal processes, including ensuring good governance and due diligence.
HR & Organisational Committee (HOCO)
The HOCO is responsible for strategic matters relating to good governance and duty of care, long-term succession planning, personnel, and social policy, and organisational development.
Philanthropy Committee (PHICO)
The PHICO oversees the overall philanthropic strategy, including strategic guidance related to grant-making instruments and processes. It also reviews summaries of grant applications & specialist reviews and prepares recommendations as a basis for decisions to be taken by the foundation’s board.
Investment Commission (IC)
The Investment Commission holds the responsibility of managing the financial assets in the best interests of the foundation.
In 2015, Fondation Botnar benefited from a significant boost to its capital base, resulting in greater funding potential and commensurate increase in demand over time. The following year, in 2016, the foundation’s board committed to building organisational capacity to support the implementation of its mandate. This included appointing a CEO and recruiting a dedicated team to effectively manage the foundation’s future strategic direction, including the evaluation and roll-out of relevant projects and programs.
Fondation Botnar is committed to relying on governance, robust reporting, thorough analysis and an evidence-led approach to guide our decision making. We are a member of SwissFoundations, the association of grant-making foundations in Switzerland, and we commit to best practice governance in line with the principles and recommendations of the Swiss Foundation Code. Our accounting follows the guidelines of Swiss GAAP FER 21 for philanthropic social non-profit-organisations. Our activities are supervised by the Supervisory Authority for Foundations, Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs.
Meet the team
We are proud to be members of the following partnerships and networks:
ITU-T Study Group: SG16 – Multimedia