3:21 - Balancing entrepreneurship and politics
9:23 - How politics can help startups
16:58 - Measuring economic impact
22:28 - Making Switzerland more startup
26:59 - Mainstreaming impact accounting
Gerhard Andrey is a Grüne Schweiz member and national councillor on the Swiss Parliament. He also co-founded the Swiss digital agency Liip, is a board member at Alternative Bank Schweiz, and has a background in engineering.
Gerhard felt drawn to politics because he strongly believes political decisions should be made democratically by individuals, and not by corporations. However, being an entrepreneur himself, he thinks politics and entrepreneurship can act in a mutually beneficial way, and he’s especially passionate about SME’s potential to drive real positive societal impact. He’s a fan of the Verantwortungseigentum movement and thinks companies should be “owned by” their purpose and not their capital — he would like to see the development of a new legal structure in Switzerland to represent this kind of company.
At Liip he’s had to say no to a long list of opportunities because of his commitment to not harm planet Earth. Recently, Liip has also begun to strive to live up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Gerhard is also adamant about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, both for his own sake and for the sake of his children.
He’s currently working on creating a Swiss green bank which would finance cleantech projects.
"I don’t believe in a Unicorn economy."
"SMEs are the most important companies for generating positive contributions to society."
"To make Switzerland more startup we shouldn’t try to replicate Silicon Valley’s unicorn economy. We need to grow sustainably and look beyond pure financials. We have the brains, we have the universities. So let’s do it."
If you would like to listen to the first four episodes in our Startup Days co-production, check out our conversations with Laura Matter, Olivier Laplace, Lars Mangelsdorf and Roland Siegwart.
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