The Lombard Odier Foundation awarded its 20th Extraordinary Voyages Prize to six school leavers in French-speaking Switzerland. This anniversary edition, held at the Agora Lombard Odier on EPFL’s campus, also looks back on the history of a prize that, in the lapse of a generation, has enabled around one hundred French-speaking young people to embark on an extraordinary journey. Movetia, by its director Olivier Tschopp, is a member of the jury of the Prize, which invites young people to exchange and confront other intercultural horizons.

"The Extraordinary Voyages Prize has always encouraged the discovery of different cultures, openness, understanding of the world around us and respect for others at a special time for young people as they start their professional lives,” says Patrick Odier, Chairman of the Fondation Lombard Odier. This year, we were again delighted to discover projects that will certainly leave a lasting impression on the winners."

The 20th Extraordinary Voyages Prize of the Fondation Lombard Odier sponsors the travels of six French-speaking Swiss people. Coming from the cantons of Jura, Fribourg and Geneva, the winners’ projects and the meaning behind their travel ambitions impressed the jury. These projects were carefully selected from the 40 applications submitted by 66 different school leavers. The award ceremony took place at the Agora Lombard Odier on the EPFL campus on 16 May in the presence of the jury members and former winners. Also present was Marco Simeoni, Chairman of the Race for Water Foundation and sponsor of this special edition, whose journey expeditions the world are dedicated to protecting the environment and are a source of inspiration.

The 2019 winning projects include initiatives involving permaculture and community life around the world, a trip to West Asia through its legendary bazaars, and above all, self-discovery. The prize is all about allowing these young people to grow and discover themselves. According to Dorian Pajic, who won the prize in 2011 and travelled through the vineyards of South America; "This experience allowed me to learn about wine production and discover the warm and generous spirit of the locals. This journey enabled me to pursue my oenology studies and fulfil my passion and profession as a winemaker. I often think back to this opportunity I had to explore new cultures and winemaking traditions."

Created on Lombard Odier’s bicentenary in 2000, and geared towards all school leavers in French-speaking Switzerland, the Extraordinary Voyages Prize has enabled 101 young people to make the journey of their dreams in 65 different countries, while sharing their stories with the public on various media channels. To celebrate the 20th edition of the prize, the Fondation Lombard Odier has launched a new website that will make it possible to follow the 2019 winners and revisit past trips.