Meso explores urban futures

Meso is working to make Switzerland's urban areas sustainable and regenerative.

Meso wants to test the future of interior design, mobility, and nutrition in cities and agglomerations through clever experiments. Cities account for 70% of CO2 emissions globally. At the same time, they have a lot of potential to effectively work towards achieving sustainability goals. Many urban governments and their populations (both in Switzerland and worldwide) are ready to embark on faster transformations. We work with all actors who are ready today to actively shape the cities of tomorrow. In a small space, various actors can test what it means to live in a regenerative society.

Three key questions

In order to support the necessary change in the coming years, Meso would like to find answers to three key questions:


How do we move from powerlessness and silo thinking to collective action?


How can we use innovation as an engine of social transformation?


How can we get broad sections of the population excited about the necessary change?

Strategic experiments as an engine for joint learning

Strategic experiments are a core tool of Meso. They make it possible to test how a more socially and ecologically sustainable life could function in interventions limited in time and space. In contrast to conventional innovation, strategic experiments are characterized by working with portfolios of complementary interventions, involving various actors in design and implementation, and testing innovations as realistically as possible. They also include formats for joint learning in order to diversify findings as much as possible and to enable successful solutions to be scaled.

Meso wants to connect

We bring established actors from administration, science, business and civil society together with innovative pioneers, with the aim of becoming able to act and learn together.

Meso wants to create something new

New spaces for experimentation and thought should allow us to learn together how we can make urban spaces more sustainable.

An open network

Meso is a network of innovative organizations that want to work together to shape a more sustainable future.

The first fruit of our work is already here: The Better Playbook. A practical guide that helps all innovators to systemically align their innovation efforts and develop concrete solutions that do justice to the complexity and urgency of the climate crisis. Interested in taking a look at the playbook and learning how we work with it? Here you can sign up for a free trial workshop (1h over noon).

“How can transformation be achieved without trauma? No one knows how we as a society can change our everyday habits within the next 10–15 years. We need to try out new things — we can't afford to not experiment.”

Björn Müller, PhD
Transformational psychologist,
Managing Director Stride the UnSchool

“Complex situations require a systemic view, exploration and experimentation. Meso is seeking an approximation to what is socially feasible and ethically desirable.”

Miriam Nietlisbach
Future Designer, Explorer & Designer, Cerca

“If we want to be able to shape the future together as a society, we need vision, curiosity and new forms of cooperation: Meso wants to offer space for this.”

Ivo Scherrer
Social entrepreneur and innovation consultant

“With Meso, we free ourselves from abstract thinking and, together with experiments, find out what works in reality. This is how change is possible.”

Ruben Feurer
Partner Think & Do Tank Dezentrum

“With Meso, we are taking a perspective that allows us to identify meaningful links and change systems sustainably.”

Elias H. Schaeferr
Partner schaefer | hansen
Co-Director Smart Regio Basel

«Meso ist für uns ein Raum zur Vernetzung und Reflexion über systemisches Handeln. Wir sind überzeugt, dass wir die Zukunft nur gestalten können, indem wir heute gemeinsam an den Fähigkeiten von morgen arbeiten.»

Stephanie Frick
Enabling Social Innovation, Transcap Initiative

“A new culture requires practice. Through practical experimentation and action, Meso makes new standards and opportunities tangible on a concrete level. I'm really happy to be there.”

Sonja Schenkel
Transformative Design for Nature and People, Storytex

“By definition, transformation is teamwork.”

Samuel Eberenz
Stiftung Risiko Dialog and Verein Utopieverdacht

“Complex situations require a systemic view, exploration, and experimentation. Meso is seeking an approximation to what is socially feasible and ethically desirable.”

Peter Eisenegger
Connecting the dots,
Ferric Worx

“Meso gives me space for networking and reflection. I want to use this space to move from being overwhelmed to taking concrete actions and exploring the possibilities of systemic action.”

Eva-Maria Spreitzer
Researching Transformation & Practicing Futures Literacy, the initiative

“Qualitatively? Quantitatively? — Collaborative!”

Salomon Billeter

“Without methodical and communicative support, many innovation and urban development projects run aground — we want to remedy the situation with Meso.”

Christian Hansen
Partner schäfer | hansen
Co-director of Smart Regio Basel

The roles of Meso


Meso as an orchestrator who brings together existing anchor institutions from science, politics, business and civil society with less established pioneers and enables them to act and learn together.


Meso as a pioneer for systemic work, who creates time and financial resources for frequently forgotten systemic work and thus helps various actors break out of the often restrictive project logic. Meso wants to help set up and finance strategic experiments.

Community of Practice

Meso as a community of practice and learning that stimulates creativity and imagination, Meso wants to be a learning community that deals critically, openly and constructively with the question of how we want to live differently and how we — together — can live differently.

Competence Center

Meso as a competence center for practical transformation work, which supports pioneers, individuals and institutions with specific tools and offers.

Thought leader

Meso wants to act as an ambassador for strategic experiments, systemic change and collective learning and to show that social transformation is possible and worthwhile.


Ivo Scherrer

Funding partner