Trai­ning at the Univer­sity of Geneva

What do New York City and Geneva have in common? Both cities are home to the grea­test number of inter­na­tio­nal orga­ni­sa­ti­ons world­wide. For exam­ple, Geneva is home to the United Nati­ons (UN), the Inter­na­tio­nal Commit­tee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the World Health Orga­niza­tion (WHO). These inter­na­tio­nally active and renow­ned orga­ni­sa­ti­ons have an influence on the foun­da­tion sector, one which is rapidly evol­ving in a world that is incre­asingly more complex. Geneva offers the ideal envi­ron­ment for this, and the Univer­sity of Geneva makes a signi­fi­cant contri­bu­tion to it. It places special focus on the phil­an­thro­pic sector. The univer­sity has deve­lo­ped a study programme titled ‘Stra­te­gic and Opera­tio­nal Phil­an­thropy Diploma of Advan­ced Studies (DAS)’, and ran it for the first time last Septem­ber. Martina van Berkel, graduate of the programme, says: ‘I learnt the prin­ci­ples and stra­te­gic key elements for buil­ding and leading a profes­sio­nal phil­an­thro­pic orga­ni­sa­tion. I also had a light­bulb moment, as many best prac­ti­ces (such as diver­sity and project selec­tion) also apply to other indus­tries.’ Martina van Berkel has been working as a project mana­ger at UBS in the Digi­tal Plat­forms & Market­places depart­ment for almost two years now. As a former top athlete (Olym­pic Games 2012 and 2016, swim­ming events ), she is now co-presi­dent of the Swiss Olym­pic Athle­tes Commis­sion and was also recently on the Swiss Olym­pic Execu­tive Council.

In Septem­ber 2022, the programme will run for the second time. Those inte­res­ted can regis­ter via email at

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