François Meienberg

François Meienberg is currently working for the Swiss NGO ‘Public Eye’ as a program coordinator with the focus on agriculture, intellectual property rights and biodiversity. His rather unusual and highly unique career path started off with an apprentice as a chemical laboratory technician at ETH Zurich.

Subsequently he acquired the degree of a professional actor and performed in various theatres in Switzerland and Germany. Meanwhile being active on stage he founded – together with two friends – a new political party which was dedicated to environmental protection and life quality. It almost instantaneously became a considerable political force in the community Opfikon. In the following years François Meienberg gradually educated himself to the profound expertise he has today through diverse activities such as his political involvement, his positions as Campaign Coordinator for Greenpeace and AKTE, his membership in the Swiss national FAO Committee and the long-term participation in Public Eye (since 1999) as a joint managing director as well as program coordinator. Being asked about his average working day he smiles and lists a number of activities performed today – indicating that one day barely resembles the other. His activities reach from developing, coordinating and conducting campaigns, meeting network partners and other stakeholders, generating/drafting factsheets, lobbying, attend conferences at national and international levels, to participating in awareness raising events of Public Eye’s regional (voluntary) groups. François Meienberg’s dedication for public eye’s mission to reveal issues caused by Swiss companies that conflict with human rights and sustainable resource use becomes very obvious as you hear him speak. Being able to break down complex issues to their core components and communicate them in correct and simple words he sees a crucial ability when being working in the science/policy/society interface. Furthermore, he emphasises on the dedication and enthusiasm required for successfully deliver one’s own message.