Thingsy, launched mid-September 2021, is the 100th project supported by Migros Pioneer Fund. Thingsy has developed an app to extend the useful life of electronic devices, contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Since 2012, the Migros Pioneer Fund has been looking for bold ideas to further social progress and supporting pioneering projects. The projects are supported both financially and in the form of coaching for a period of three to five years. As well as Thingsy, the Migros Pioneer Fund has enabled pilot projects (such as Twiliner, the night bus with reclining seats), implemented model projects (such as Stop Hate Speech, the digital resource against online hate speech) and embedded functional approaches throughout Switzerland (such as OFFCUT, the materials market for used and remnant materials). “Migros’ social commitment is unique worldwide in terms of its variety, independence and stability. The Migros Pioneer Fund places a targeted emphasis on future-oriented social questions,” says Hedy Graber, Head of Directorate of Cultural and Social Affairs at the Federation of Migros Cooperatives. Through this, Migros makes a valuable contribution towards a responsible society.
Upcoming handbook for pioneers
100 projects supported – representing more than 100 challenges, failed attempts and moments of frustration, but also more than 100 encouraging successes. “Pioneer projects point us towards alternatives and increase our scope for action. They motivate like-minded people and are a breeding ground for social change,” says Stefan Schöbi, Head of the Migros Pioneer Fund. Together with his team, he is now putting together a publication where the Pioneer Fund will share its collected experience and insights from the last nine years working with Swiss pioneers. The publication will be developed via the communication platform “From 0 to 100 – ideas become reality”, in an open process where practical tips, tricks and tools can be contributed. A beta version of this publication has now been released. The aim is to inspire future pioneers and support them with the implementation of their ideas.
The Migros Pioneer Fund
Migros has a tradition of voluntary social commitment. In 1957, the Migros Cultural Percentage was anchored in the company’s articles of association. In 2012, Migros founded the Engagement Migros development fund, now known as the Migros Pioneer Fund. Migros subsidiaries, including Denner and the Migros Bank, have since participated with 10% of their dividends in the Migros Pioneer Fund, which has an annual budget of around CHF 15 million. The Pioneer Fund is part of Migros’ voluntary social commitment, included in the new umbrella brand Migros Commitment since April 2021. The Migros Pioneer Fund looks for and supports ideas with social potential. Unlike at Migros Cultural Percentage, it is not possible to submit an application for support to the Migros Pioneer Fund. An eight-person team tracks down pioneering projects in the current focal areas. The scouts support the pioneers as equals and help them to flesh out and implement their plans.
The Pioneer Fund in numbers:
projects supported by the Migros Pioneer Fund to date.
years is the average length of time that a project is supported. The shortest pilot project lasted just six months and the longest almost 10 years.
Pioneer project years facilitated by the Pioneer Fund (if we were to add up all of the projects together).
man (or woman) years worked across all 100 of the enabled projects.
million invested by Migros Pioneer Fund in pioneer projects up to September 2021. The contribution per project is calculated on the basis of the specific project plan and varies from several hundred thousand to several million Swiss Francs.
Photo/stage: Simon Tanner