“A globalized world
needs a world biennale.”

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Mission Statement
The World Biennale is the worldwide traveling innovation laboratory for the contemporary arts with the strong focus on sustainability and responsibility.

The World Biennale is an international non-profit organization, network, and platform that provides contemporary art experiences based on excellence and innovation, relevance and universal significance as well as sustainability and social responsibility.

The World Biennale understands itself as a multidisciplinary, open, and dynamic system that includes all aspects from the world exhibition to the experimental laboratory. Therefore, it provides biennials, traveling exhibitions, public art interventions, and collateral activities.

Ultimate and idealistic goal of the World Biennale is to prompt people mentally and emotionally, to show new meanings, to sensitize, to stimulate perception and reflection, to raise questions, to make the world more interesting and to show its value and richness.

The art must be fundamentally relevant and universally significant. Furthermore, excellence and innovation are essential. The World Biennale will take intellectual demands and economic needs into account. Philosophy and sciences, but also popular culture and current questions of our time, will find place in it.

Likewise, the World Biennale is to play a bridging role between the different worlds and societies. On one side, it is a network that strengthens and continues to link the international art world. On the other side, it promotes and makes visible the local structures. The World Biennale stimulates the exchange between the actors and the places of the arts, the global centers and the peripheral regions, the real and the virtual worlds as well as the individuals and the arts.

Additionally, the World Biennale is modular, connective, and adaptable. All formats, shapes, looks, and appearances that serve the objective of the World Biennale are imaginable. For example, the World Biennale can supplement the existing biennales and institutions and vice versa. Possible are therefore also collaborations with museums and other organizations, such as a parallel biennial or contributions to each other’s exhibitions, interventions, or events.

The World Biennale stands for:

  • Idealistic values such as the good, the beautiful and the true;
  • Eternal and existential questions (philosophia perennis);
  • Respecting all cultures of the world;
  • Connecting people, values, and art (art as missing link);
  • Serving and developing positive feelings and thoughts;
  • A harmonic equilibrium or symbiosis between nature and civilization;
  • Promoting awareness, sustainability, and to be satisfied with the essential;
  • The participation and responsibility of every single one.

The World Biennale is an international protected trademark and organized by a registered non-profit and tax-exempt organization under Swiss law based in Zürich.

The organization and its operations follow the established principles of good governance and best practice. Sustainability, including social aspects and responsibility, is an important subject of the World Biennale. Compensations need to be fair and care must consequently be taken with the resources. For example, vacant facilities could be used or temporary exhibition spaces could later be reused as living and working spaces.

The confirmed Members of the Board of the World Biennale belong to the most significant people in the art world.

  • Jacqueline Burckhardt, Co-Founder and Editor of the art magazine Parkett
  • Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, London
  • Simon de Pury, Art Auctioneer and Collector

Advisory Board
The confirmed Members of the Advisory Board of the World Biennale belong to the very skilled and established professionals in their fields.

  • Catherine Ackermann, Film Producer, Consultant, and Coach
  • Silva Arnhold
  • Gerhard Schwarz, Philosopher and Consultant

Management Team
The Management Team of the World Biennale consists of highly approved experts with general and special knowledge in art and other fields.

  • Oliver Orest Tschirky, Founding Director
  • Armin Berger, Associate Director
  • Teresa Ryf-Esbert, Executive Assistant to the Directors
  • Matthias Maier, Head of Financial Controlling

Because no suitable codes and conducts for sustainable behavior of organizations were available, the World Biennale developed its own concept of values. All institutions, organizations, companies, and individuals are invited to copy-past or enhance the concepts.

A. Sustainability
For the World Biennial and its operations, it is evident and a matter of course not only to contribute to the welfare of the world, but also to operate in a sustainable, responsible, reasonable, equitable, and fair manner.

The World Biennale and its activities include to:

  • Promote the natural and cultural inheritance of humanity;
  • Act for the benefit of society and its development;
  • Respect social and sustainable responsibility;
  • Protect life, nature and its resources; and
  • Operate in a professional and legal manner.

The World Biennale and its operations follow the principles of good governance and best practice, including a code of ethics and a code of conduct for international cultural non-profit organizations.

Principles of Corporate Sustainability

  1. Sustainable Mobility and Logistics
    a. Avoid unnecessary journeys and transports
    b. Use public transportation or shared economy
    c. Compensate CO2
  2. Sustainable Energy and Materials
    a. Optimize consumption
    b. Use renewable energy and materials
    c. Avoid standby and waste
    d. Pursue, reuse, or recycling
  3. Sustainable Nutrition and Way of Life
    a. Healthy and unprocessed food
    b. Seasonal, local, and natural products
    c. Fair production and trade
    d. Sufficient exercise, mental balance, and healthy development
  4. Sustainable Social Requirements
    a. Reasonable compensations
    b. Healthy working conditions and good work-live balance
    c. Respecting legal frameworks
  5. Sustainable Encounters and Cooperation
    a. Openness and respect
    b. Courtesy and kindness
    c. Credibility and reliability
  6. Sustainable Organization and Operations
    a. Political and ideological independence
    b. Transparence and fairness
    c. Effectiveness and efficiency
    d. Equality of race, gender and ethics
The World Biennale aims to execute entirely these idealistic principles and animates actively its partners and visitors to do the same through its own good example as a role model.

B. Responsibility
Our world lives in an interesting time of failed neo-liberalism, environmental degradation, increasing nationalism and digital monitoring, decreasing liberty, and missing responsibility. Because of the need to unify the individual pursuit of happiness and the fundamental social responsibility of all societies and people, the World Biennale tries to develop hereby a positive approach as a participative, open source project. Everybody is invited to bring in ideas and inspirations. It is evident that not everything of this approach is logical (in the analytical sense) but it is supposed to be reasonable.

This manifesto is based on the freedom and responsibility of the individual, human rights, equal opportunities, idealism and the belief in the good, true, and beautiful. It should serve to find a way for a happy and fulfilled life with self-realization of each single one and to transfer the existing world in a peaceful sustainable future.


  • Humans contain all good and bad characteristic traits.
  • Humans are social beings (cannot stand-alone and be isolated).
  • Humans have and should have dreams and desires that they aspire to.
  • Humans need a pluralism of values. Some values must be maintained, e.g. the good, the beautiful and the true.
  • Humans are responsible for what they do and don’t do.
  • Humans are free until they restrict the freedom of others or damage other’s values.
  • Fantasy, creativity, learning, and knowledge as humanistic values have the same importance as numeric values.
  • The world is vulnerable but changeable.
  • Contradictions and errors are human and inevitable.
  • Social contracts on different levels define the framework for peace, liberty and prosperity.
  • Humans are part of the nature. All parts of the nature, even plants and dead nature, have the rights, e.g. to become and to perish, to have a dignified life and a dignified death, or to eat and be eaten.
  • Humans have more responsibility because of their reason.
  • Responsible happiness is the highest value.
  • Responsibility and happiness must be pursued.
  • ...

1. Individual Level
Happiness as the highest value includes all other positive connotated values and virtues such as: wealth, health, family, friendship, peace, power, liberty, justice, reason, gratitude, belief, ...

Steps to happiness (less and less directly influenceable)
1. Consciousness / Awareness.
2. Respect / Estimation / Attention.
3. Courtesy (is the adornment of kings and queens).
4. Gratefulness (with what we are and what we have).
5. Contentment (in principle).
6. Happiness (internal and temporary).

2. Collective Level

Temporary grievances and challenges
  • Today’s economy is based on growth. Growth has become a limited good.
  • Today’s economy is not based on successful products anymore but on artificially created expectations.
  • Today’s economy exploits the future.
  • Today’s consumer is singularized.
  • ...
General rules for all societies
  • The conditions are everywhere the same in principle.
  • Infrastructure is public owned (may not be privatized).
  • No private or corporate monopolies (e.g. power, social, information, markets, …)
  • ...
Conditions for a sustainable world
  • All products are designed to be recycled.
  • All products are produced socially and environment-friendly.
  • The richer the society, the higher the social and environmental requirements.
  • Agricultural goods are produced locally in principle.
  • What can be produced locally has to be produced locally.
  • What is imported, is subject to the same requirements as the local gods.
  • Taxes are fair (no individual tax agreements).
  • ...

June 6, 2019

The partnerships are based on sustainability, responsibility, mutual emphasis as well as a strong spirit for an inspiring and flashing art world.

The Club of Rome

When you are interested in becoming a partner of the World Biennale or its projects, please contact our office.

We intend to expand our activities and create a World Biennale Foundation. Therefore, we are grateful for all donations.

World Biennale
Seestrasse 258
CH-8810 Horgen-Zürich


Registry CHE-168.599.148

We kindly ask for your understanding that we will not be able to answer or return all unsolicited submissions, applications and proposals.

Graphic Design: Miguel Soler-Roig, www.ideaskema.com
Web Design: Jean-Claude Jossen, www.jcjavm.com