Master's day at the Social Sciences Faculty 19 February 12h-17h

Come and meet the students and the master's director at the Master day SdS, in the central hall of UniMail. 


Guest lecture series 2014  

For the second year in a row, the students in the Masters program hosted a guest lecture series in which professionals from a variety of sectors were invited to give presentations on their areas of expertise. The purpose of the series is for the students to learn more about topics of interest, as well as make connections in the professional world. The Autumn 2014 lecture series, organized by Master candidate Natalie Photiadis, boasted an impressive line-up of professionals across a spectrum of organizations.

Lorenza Jachia Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies

Ms. Jachia discussed the role of standards in the policy-making process, specifically how regulatory standards relate to sustainable development and risk management. A veteran of the UN since 1995, Ms. Jachia’s recent interests include overcoming technical barriers to trade through regulatory cooperation and how standardization can contribute to sustainable development.

Arianna Rossi, Research and Policy Officer for the ILO/IFC Better Work Programme, Ms. Rossi presented on the Better Work Programme and how it is improving working conditions and competitiveness in the global garment industry. Ms. Rossi coordinates the research and impact assessment activities of the Better Work Program, and her work focuses on labor rights in global production networks, corporate social responsibility, gender, and the impact of multi-stakeholder initiatives on workers’ wellbeing and firms’ competitiveness.

Anne-Cecile Remont (Master in standardization, social regulation and sustainable development cnadidate 2014), Global Purchases Sustainability Leader at Procter & Gamble Ms. Remont discussed in a personal capacity her experience on the implementation of a sustainable sourcing program in a multinational company. Ms. Remont has been in Strategic Purchases at Procter & Gamble since 2005, and she has been leading the sustainable sourcing efforts of the company since September 2014.

Roland Christen, Sales Director for Switzerland & Austria, Interface, Inc. Mr. Christen provided an overview of the social and environmental innovations of Interface, the world’s largest designer and maker of modular carpeting and pioneer of corporate sustainability since the 1990s. Mr. Christen began with Interface in 1983 and witnessed the company’s radical transformation from an industrial business model to one based on sustainability.

Roberto Morfino Fellow, McKinsey & Company and Helga Vanthournout Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company Mr. Morfino and Ms. Vanthournout discussed their experiences as consultants for McKinsey & Company, including the design of a development strategy for an African country and work related to the circular economy and environmental sustainability. Mr. Morfino is a consultant in the areas of strategy planning and operational improvements. Ms. Vanthournout is a world specialist on sustainability with strong expertise in climate change and environmental strategy. Laurent Brossy Assistant Vice President, Responsible Investment Specialist at Banque Cantonale de Genève Mr. Brossy offered an overview of sustainable finance and shared his experience with the establishment of a sustainable investment fund at BCGE. Mr. Brossy, an institutional asset manager, is responsible for analyzing the environmental, social and governance aspects of small and mid-size businesses in Switzerland.

Written by Natalie Photiadis, Master candidate 2014.



The Master in standardization, social regulation and sustainable Development is part of the Geneva School of Social Sciences

Since January 1st, 2014, the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences is split into two new entitites: the Faculté des sciences de la société and the Faculté d’économie et de management.

The creation of these two new faculties is the achievement of several years of consultations, involving external experts and various departments of the University (in particular the participatory Council of SES). Signed by the Conseil d'Etat last october, the aim is to form two consistent sets of disciplines to improve governance and interdisciplinary collaboration. The project also aims to enable management studies to enhance their international visibility.


November 2013

Proud to announce the first six master graduates

Fabian MUNZ, Tsitsi MUPOPERI, Laila Sukma DINDA, Marissa MORGAN, Janis CUMMINGS and Yi WANG       

The Master’s admitted its first group students in 2011. Students coming from around the world have come to study in this programme at the University of Geneva — from as diverse places as Zimbabwe, Japan, Indonesia, Ecuador, and China, to Saint-Gallen Switzerland, Germany, and the United States. Their topics of interest mirror the diversity of countries they represent: from water management and environmental activism in Africa to challenges in China’s governance policies and the technology industry in Ecuador. The students brough and shared with each other a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. Interests in engineering as well as humanities, economics, social sciences, video for social sciences  and sustainable development had a large prominence in this group.

By the end of the second year this group had a particular interest in combining  the knowledge of the three pillars of the master, standards-setting, social regulation and sustanable development.    They were very active and engaging in trying finding an internship and a research topic that would match their interest and apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout the Master’s Programme.  For this purpose the Master created synergies and collaboration frameworks with international organizations such as Unicef and UNEP and local NGOs in Geneva in order to create channels of cooperation.

Such organizations  provided our students with a substantial internship opportunity, which allow them not only to contribute in the day to day practice of the organization, but also allowed them to undertake research on most relevant topic for the organization and relevant departement.



21 November 2012


Open Master's Day - 13 December 2012 - Save the date!


05 November 2012 

Monday 12 november 2012 |Research Seminar: Master in Standardization, Social Regulation and Sustainable Development

Eco-labels and standards for sustainable development

Monday 12 november 2012 | 15h-17h Uni Mail, Room 4276

The increased focus on social and environmental issues has led to a range of product and process innovations, often accompanied by a label to inform consumers of the relevant practices. The diffusion of these labeling schemes or “ecolabels” such as FSC,

USDA Organic or FairTrade has generally been widespread, though adoption of individual labels by firms and consumers has varied widely. In this paper we examine how diffusion of such a labeling scheme depends on the stringency of its requirements, its governance practices, and the way it is portrayed in the media, using a sample of 40 labeling schemes. We combine data from three sources: opinions from 67 experts on the labels’ stringency, governance and breadth of adoption; data on the labels’ governance practices; and data on media coverage of the labels based on coding of 3043 articles in Lexis-Nexis’ major world publications. We find that accreditation of verifiers is the only governance practice that predicts the experts’ assessment of overall quality of governance; that better-governed labels are more widely adopted but that more stringent labels within our sample are not less widely adopted; that open and consensus-based standard-setting is the only governance practice that is associated with more favorable media coverage; and that more favorable media coverage does not contribute to more widespread adoption.



Background Document


Seminar presented by: 

Pavel Castka

Associate Professor in Operations Management



22 October 2012

CSOs Plan Input to Post-Rio and Post-2015 Sustainable Development Processes

Representatives from civil society came together on 20-21 October 2012, in New York, US, to discuss stakeholder input to the UN’s processes on governance and sustainable development following the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). The meeting was organized by Stakeholder Forum, the Green Economy Coalition (GEC), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

At the meeting, titled “Post-Rio to Post-2015: Planning International Stakeholder Engagement," representatives of the Major Groups and global stakeholders discussed the inclusiveness of Member States' negotiations to determine the post-2015 development agenda and create the new High Level Political Forum to replace the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Expressing concern that they have hit a “glass wall” now that these negotiations are taking place within the UN General Assembly (UNGA), stakeholders discussed their search for entry points to make their views and experiences heard.

Further information 

World Standards Day Message

14 October 2012

Less waste, better results – Standards increase efficiency

International standards such as those from IEC, ISO and ITU are crucial for increasing efficiency. This issue has come to the forefront as global challenges like sustainability and financial uncertainty mean that organizations are challenged to achieve better results with less waste.

Quite simply, efficiency indicates the ability to achieve objectives by implementing processes to develop products or services of optimal quality with minimal waste, expense, or unnecessary effort. It helps organizations maximize profits and meet their goals, and is crucial for success in today’s challenging and competitive economic environment.

In today’s highly competitive and complex world, the issue of sustainability, viewed from an economic, environmental and societal perspective means that businesses must be more efficient across a wide range of measures and issues.

International standards are powerful tools for helping organizations capitalize their potential in the global marketplace. Developed by experts from around the world, they contain internationally harmonized best practice which can be used to measure, compare and increase efficiency and reduce waste.


Further information

December, 2011

Simpler, faster and better ISO standards with IT

How information technology (IT) can make the development of ISO standards "simpler, faster and better" was the subject of the first IT Forum organized by ISO, the world's largest developer of voluntary International Standards (nearly 19 000), for its worldwide membership of national standards institutes.

The three-day event (29 November-1 December 2011) attracted more than 80 participants and experts from 35 countries who discussed IT's contribution to achieving ISO’s strategic objectives. They also discussed:

  •  IT-related trends that raise new paradigms or opportunities for standards organizations to consider as the ISO community concentrates on its customers, products and processes
  • How to understand better the IT tools and services that ISO offers, how they affect current projects and will provide improved assistance to customers,creating new standardization products and contributing to shorter development times.

Further information


November, 2011

2011 Human Development Report on Sustainability

Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All

The 2011 Human Development Report argues that the urgent global challenges of sustainability and equity must be addressed together – and identifies policies on the national and global level that could spur mutually reinforcing progress towards these interlinked goals. Bold action is needed on both fronts, the Report contends, if the recent human development progress for most of the world’s poor majority is to be sustained, for the benefit of future generations as well as for those living today. Past Reports have shown that living standards in most countries have been rising - and converging - for several decades now. Yet the 2011 Report projects a disturbing reversal of those trends if environmental deterioration and social inequalities continue to intensify, with the least developed countries diverging downwards from global patterns of progress by 2050.

The Report shows further how the world’s most disadvantaged people suffer the most from environmental degradation, including in their immediate personal environment, and disproportionately lack political power, making it all the harder for the world community to reach agreement on needed global policy changes.

For more information you may click here Human's Development Report Website





Important dates

  • 2 January 2013 and 28 February 2013 - Application period - It is highly recommended to apply as early as possible.
  • 28 February 2013 - Deadline for submission
  • 30 April 2013 - Deadline for submission of prospective students holding a Bachelor diploma from a Suisse university.
  • 30 May 2013 - Standardized Tests deadline - GRE or GMAT and English Proficiency Test