Academic

The Swiss Genius 2022: Bulgari celebrates the first Swiss Innovation Award ceremony

On the 4th of July, the Award Ceremony of the Swiss Genius 2022, a competition around the topic of corporate social responsibility, launched by Bulgari in collaboration with Luxury Tribune and the Swiss Centre for Luxury Research, took place in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Isabella Hübscher

By Isabella Hübscher07 juillet 2022

The moderator of the event Christa Rigozzi, Cristina D'Agostino, Felicitas Morhart, Frank Bodin, and Vincenzo Santagada (from left to right) spoke about CSR in their daily activities on stage (DR)
The Managing Director of Bulgari Switzerland, Robert Marino, held a speech at the beginning of the event (DR)

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is at the heart of Bulgari’s development strategy and plays a key role in its daily operations. This key value is not new to the watch- and jewellery manufacturer, owned by the LVMH group. Indeed, the company has proven its engagement in corporate social responsibility throughout the years, by taking great actions such as producing hand sanitizers during the pandemic, or by raising over 100 million euros for the initiative “Save the children” in the last 10 years. “It’s not about the trend, it’s about awareness and consciousness. We have already implemented many policies, such as zero plastic in the packaging and full traceability of our raw materials”, says Roberto Marino, managing director of Bulgari Switzerland.

Following this strong belief, Bulgari partners with many different institutions. “With all the challenges the future holds, it is necessary to collaborate and build partnerships within the industry and with research centres and universities, in order to improve within the sustainability space”, explained Vinzenzo Santagada, CSR project manager at Bulgari. The Swiss Genius is a part of these actions. By launching the Swiss Genius innovation award, Bulgari’s goal is to challenge future generations, the managers of tomorrow, to embrace this mission with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach through the development of a project created entirely by students, around one main topic: How can the luxury industry still innovate in the context of CSR?

Vincenzo Santagada, CSR project manager at Bulgari (DR)

Luxury Tribune, together with the Swiss Centre for Luxury Research, have been collaborating with the Bulgari brand since the very beginning of the project. Founder and editor-in-chief of Luxury Tribune, Cristina D’Agostino, as well as the founder of the Swiss Centre for Luxury Research, Felicitas Morhart, were among the five jury members judging the projects submitted by the students. The other jury members included Eleonora Rizzuto, general manager for ethics and CSR at Bulgari, Frank Bodin, CEO and founder of Bodin Consulting, and Jelena Tašić Pizzolato, Managing Director at LifestyleTech Competence Centre.

The competition took place within Switzerland and five of its universities, namely the University of St. Gallen, HEC Lausanne, the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, and the Università della Svizzera italiana. After a great number of projects were submitted and past the first round, three teams were selected as finalists, which were announced at the Swiss Genius Award Ceremony, which took place at the Royal Savoy in Lausanne on the fourth of July. The first finalist group, “Trilogy”, composed of Camilla Cappellini, Arianna Pittaluga and Ewa Węgrzyn, submitted a project on the topic of “Communication practices and Customer engagement to innovate CSR”. Further, the second group named “PACE”, with Céline Griner, Paulina Bastida, and Anne-Catherine Burgener spoke about “philanthropic NFTs in the Luxury Industry”. Last but not least, the third finalist group with Maeva Attobra, Rajae Salhi and María Pilar Contero submitted a project around innovation in CSR within the branding and communication areas of Bulgari.

All present students, as well as the jury members and the Bulgari team gathered on stage for the finale (DR)

The winning team, Trilogy, was announced live on stage by the moderator Christa Rigozzi, a Swiss TV entertainer and ambassador of the Bulgari brand. The prize includes an invitation to Bulgari’s HQ in Rome to present the project to the Global CSR team, in addition to a full tour of Bulgari’s workshops and offices. Additionally, two internships, in the CSR and innovation departments of Bulgari’s HQ are being offered by the brand to two students.

Bulgari has the aim to repeat the Swiss Genius every year, and maybe even go across borders. “We hope that this can also be an inspiration for our other markets in the years to come”, says Vincenzo Santagada.

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