Nicola Forster

Nicola Forster is a partner at ◆crstl and a serial social/political entrepreneur as well as a public sector innovator.

As a law graduate (lic.iur./MLaw) with studies in Zurich, Montpellier (France) and Lausanne, in 2009 he successfully led the nationwide youth campaign on free movement of persons for a coalition of Swiss youth parties and Economiesuisse. Based on this experience, he founded the grassroots think tank foraus (Forum Aussenpolitik) and has been its president ever since, growing it to 1000+ volunteers, 10+ employees in its Zurich and Geneva offices as well as international expansion of its innovative crowdsourcing model. Today, he advises different foundations, international think tanks as well as foreign ministries as the German Federal Foreign Office on creative formats and strategic innovation. He is a co-founder of the staatslabor, the Global Diplomacy Lab, the German grassroots think tank Polis180 and several foraus spinoffs around the globe. He is the Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Bern Hub by the World Economic Forum and sits on the boards of the WEF Open Forum Davos, Fondation Science et Cité (as vice president), Law & Economics Club as well as Fondation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe. Nicola is a Swiss Ashoka Fellow and Mercator Fellow as well as a Swiss Study Foundation Alumnus; he has been ranked among the Top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 by The Diplomatic Courier and counts on a multidisciplinary and global network of entrepreneurs, thought leaders and decision makers. He regularly contributes to Swiss and international media and is a frequent keynote speaker, panelist, moderator and facilitator (e.g. with the Open Situation Rooms design thinking format).

Nicola is currently based in New York, Berlin and Switzerland and has lived in a wide range of countries, including Ethiopia, Russia, Australia, USA, France, Germany or Belgium.


In the media

◆ Aargauer Zeitung, Die Schweiz ist reif für neue Ideen – 31.07.2017

◆ Die Volkswirtschaft, foraus, le laboratoire d’idées numérique, à la conquête du monde – 23.05.2017

◆ Schweiz am Wochenende, Tinder der Aussenpolitik – 11.02.2017

◆ Ashoka, Meet Nicola Forster, the new Ashoka fellow in Switzerland – 20.07.2016

◆ Tages Anzeiger, Es gibt keinen Grund, so viel Angst zu haben – 16.07.2016

◆ Tages Anzeiger, Entscheidend war, klügere Köpfe ins Boot zu holen – 09.07.2016

◆ Tages Anzeiger, Kopf des Tages: Der Thinktanker – 28.04.2016

◆ World Economic Forum Agenda, 5 Trends for the Future of Diplomacy – 14.08.2015

◆ Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Der Unerschrockene – Wie Nicola Forster den Think Tank foraus zum Fliegen brachte – 11.08.2015

◆ Greater Zurich Area, Innovation heisst, den Standort ständig neu zu denken – 15.05.2015

◆ Die ZEIT, Denkfabrik: Er will wissen, nicht glauben – 10.02.2011