The International Swiss Talent Forum provides a framework for inspired Swiss and international students to brainstorm ideas and solutions to highly topical issues. Four intensive and eventful days await the young participants! They learn how to work in a diverse and multinational team and are able to engage in a broad range of activities, including:


  • Keynote speeches
  • Workshops
  • Blog exchange & social media
  • Team building activities
  • Evening social events
  • Final presentation of results


Make the most of this excellent opportunity to exchange views on new and existing challenges in an active dialogue with high-calibre personalities from business, science, society and politics.


Theme 2018: The Future of Urban Life

Cities are attractive because they are places of opportunity – they offer a variety of economic benefits, they present cultural and social connectivity to their inhabitants, and they centralize services and increase accessibility to these services, creating places of high dynamism and constant change. In recent decades, accelerated globalization has connected cities like never before.

But cities also present challenges. The prospect of opportunity drives rapid population expansion, which must be met through adequate planning and management. The urban population is less self-sufficient, relying heavily on services like water, electricity, food, waste disposal, security, and transportation. But because of the complexity of cities, managing these services, and ensuring people can access them, and rely on them, is increasingly difficult.

Cities are places where our modern technologies are most obvious – in our buildings, in our critical infrastructures, in our living spaces and on our desks. It is human ingenuity that has made the city possible. Human ingenuity must also make the city of the future a viable place to live!


Focus topics/”Challenges”

As we stand at the beginning of an exciting journey with “The future of Urban Life”, there are many questions: How will mobility in cities work in the future? How green will our cities be? How can the city of the future be supplied with energy? How can we achieve better urban governance, planning and design? Such complex questions need interdisciplinary solutions that that we will tackle at the ISTF 2018.

Later this year we will reveal five subtopics (“Challenges”) on this website that are relevant to the overall theme. Each registered participant will be assigned one subtopic and tackle the Challenge as part of his/her workgroup. Supported by experienced moderators and coaches, groups will follow a structured innovation process and get inspiration for their work through experts, a Keynote speech, short speeches, as well as informal and formal exchanges with other groups.

At the end of the Forum each group will present at least one of their ideas in a public closing ceremony.



Innovation Process

Creative and innovative thinking is key to tackling the main topic at this event. You will go through a structured yet open process based on co-creation principles, where participants cooperate with each other and with highly skilled staff.

The inspirational project work is split up in three cycles. Within Cycle 1, participants will be briefed and will define their project work and build a research commitment. Within Cycle 2 there will be plenty of space for dreaming! With state-of-the-art creativity techniques, participants will collect ideas relevant to their designated questions. In Cycle 3, participants will describe and visualise their best ideas, which might – in the end – effectively influence livability in Future Cities.

Cycle 1: briefing => defining the problem => researching the topic
Cycle 2: dreaming => ideation => possible solutions
Cycle 3: building a story => visualizing concepts & ideas for public closing ceremony



Check back here soon! International Swiss Talent Forum 2018 speakers will be announced later in the year.



Saturday, 17 February to Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Thun, Switzerland

Who should apply?
Talented and motivated young adults

Official language:



A detailed program will be available on this page in late 2017.