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The week ahead Pedal power, solar homes and digital politics

Here are some of the stories we will feature in the week beginning July 3.



A Swiss non-profit group offers cycling lessons near Bern that help to integrate migrants, including many women and those with little to no experience riding a bicycle. From their six two-hour lessons spread over three weeks, participants gain both self-confidence and mobility.



A team involving hundreds of Swiss university students is stretching the rules of an American-led international building competition to give communities a cool, energy-efficient place to hang out. The Swiss team is competing to build the most futuristic, solar-powered modular house, but the Swiss entry isn’t really a house – it’s a small, innovative community centre.

(©Thomas Kern/


What’s a 93-year-old digital warrior to do in Switzerland? For Pierre Rom, that meant joining a movement of politically engaged young people, the so-called “army of comment-writers” that promotes dialogue and openness for Operation Libero, a new political movement formed in the aftermath of the 2014 Swiss vote to limit mass immigration. His new mission: to speak out against hate on the Internet.



Renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, whose latest major prize came on July 1 in Germany for a lifetime of achievement, reflects on everything from his latest projects to the cost of fame. “I do not like to stand in places where they look at me and whisper, "Look, there's Zumthor,” he says.



Switzerland ratified a UN treaty to protect children 20 years ago, but in the last UN assessment of the country, in 2015, some problem areas were flagged for improvement. A look at the pace of progress since then.

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