My Learning Story: Christine Beerli

Learning every day!

03/04/2020
Christine Beerlie square big

 

The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is about access to quality education and life-long learning – both essential to bringing positive change into the world.

We are living in times of constant, rapid and profound change, triggered by climate change and digital transformation. To find the right answers to new questions we need to learn more, and maybe differently. Curiosity, creativity and critical thinking are as important as maths, IT, languages skills, etc... We need to be innovative and ingenious to build a just, peaceful and sustainable world for us and our children.

Learning needs well-run education systems, but it comes from inside the human being. It’s fun, but sometimes it’s painful. In preparation for the upcoming Ethical Leadership in Business event in June 2020, we have invited diverse people from around the world to share stories of their learning journeys. These stories offer inspiring insights and invite us to reflect on our education and life-long learning.

‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a brighter future.

 

Interview with Christine Beerli, President of the IofC Switzerland foundation

 

Christine, you chose the sentence: I am learning every day! What have you learnt so far from the current corona virus epidemic?

I am learning what a lot of us are being forced to learn: how to live with an empty agenda and to relate with my family, friends and professional contacts without meeting them. This has shown me what I always knew: that I like (most) people. I am looking forward to the time when we can meet again face to face. 

 

We are very honoured to have you as the President of the Council of the Initiatives of Change Foundation. What unexpected things have you learnt in this role?

I did not expect the international network to be as big and strong as it seems to be. It is impressive to see that so many people around the world are building on the same values and are promoting ethical leadership in business, for instance.
 

What was the one key thing that you learnt during  your time as a member of a law firm?

 That the rule of law and an independent judiciary is as important for the wellbeing and development of a country as democracy is.
 

Politics is said to be a ‘hard school’: what was the hardest lesson you learnt when you were in Parliament in Switzerland?

This may not be the most difficult lesson, but it was an interesting one: the politicians whom you hear and see most in the media are not the ones who work hardest for the wellbeing of the country.

 

What was your best learning experience as a Vice-President of the International Committee of the Red Cross?

People in very difficult, even seemingly hopeless, war situations are not mere ‘victims’. They are extremely strong personalities who just want the space and the opportunity to look after their families.
 

You were also a teacher; in what ways should the Swiss educational system be changed to respond to the opportunities and challenges of the 21st century?

The present crisis and the shutdown of schools is pushing the Swiss school system towards much more digitalization. This will have a lasting positive effect.
 

Because of demographic changes and technological innovation, 33 per cent of Swiss employers are finding it difficult to recruit. How can we speed-up life-long learning and reskilling in Switzerland?

I think people’s attitudes have changed very much in recent years. Everybody knows that he or she will have to invest in learning throughout their life if they want to keep up with new developments and safeguard their employability. 

 

How do you keep up with digital transformation?

I don’t know if I do keep up. I use my computer and my tablet because it is not possible to work without them. I do not really know how they work: but then the same is true for my car!
 

You are officially retired, but in reality, but you are very active. How do you share your life lessons?

I have no lessons to share: I am very happy if I can be of help here and there.

 

Who is your best teacher?

Life and my dog.
 

What has life taught you?

That if you try to give your best in ever situation, it keeps you rooted and calm. But the most important things in life can barely be influenced.
 

What do you want to learn which you haven’t yet dared to?

The tango.
 

 

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