International Swiss Talent Forum

General objective

The International Swiss Talent Forum (ISTF) is a politically independent think-tank for young adults (18 to 23 years old) who are interested in and committed to addressing the universal and long-term challenges of our time. It was launched by the foundation Swiss Youth in Science in 2009 and brings highly talented young people to Switzerland from all over the world.

By placing students alongside experts, decision-makers and lateral-thinkers, we create a space for innovation, interaction and debate to develop new solutions for globally significant issues. Close collaboration in such a setting encourages participants to tackle interdisciplinary problems with solution-oriented approaches. Participants also have the chance to meet likeminded peers and build a network of national and international contacts, which can launch their aspirations in business, science or politics.

ISTF is organised over four exciting days, and revolves around a single, globally significant topic. Swiss Youth in Science unites 70 highly-talented and motivated young people in Switzerland, giving them the task to collaboratively find novel solutions for this issue. The meeting is led by an internationally recognized Topic Leader, typically from academia, and the participants’ work is guided by a group of experts, who challenge participants with a question relevant to a specific aspect of the ISTF main theme. The work of each group of participants is guided by a dedicated coach. To find realistic, culturally appropriate solutions to the globally-relevant solution, the ISTF draws participants from more than 20 countries.


Objective of YOUR work

At the ISTF, we’re challenging you and your colleagues to find novel and thought-provoking ideas around the annual theme. It’s a chance for you to contribute to shaping the future of your generation. With the support of your coaches, each group of seven international participants will develop ideas that will be presented on the last day of the Forum.

Your final idea should fit into the following criteria:

  • It’s been collaboratively developed
  • You believe it is relevant and important for society at large
  • You believe it will solve a particular issue for a certain audience
  • You really LIKE the idea!


Our Partners


Founding Partners

Main Partner




Scientific Partner





« It was simply spoken great! I would have never thought that it would be as amazing as it was. There were so many great people,​ topics, discussions, etc. If I were able to, I would not have slept a second!​ »

Anna Räss, Switzerland  


« I cannot deny that the ISTF has been a one-of-kind experience, whose memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. The most enriching part by far has been getting to know so many interesting people from such a vast variety of cultural backgrounds. »

Fernando Castro Prado, Spain