A conference of delegates in times of change

Venturing into new territory, questioning the status quo: at the Mobility Cooperative’s 27th conference of delegates, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors revealed how the car-sharing pioneer intends to tackle the challenges of the future.

Text   Daniel Schriber


  • Mobility

Anyone who has ever had anything to do with Roland Lötscher knows he is bursting with energy. After delivering his annual review, the Mobility CEO left the lectern to take a seat in the red chair alongside it (it had to be red of course) – and the dynamic CEO was suddenly taken by surprise: the chair suddenly started rolling away from him. Not only did this scene made Lötscher and the 145 delegates smile, it was also very fitting for Mobility: the company has been constantly on the move ever since it was founded more than 32 years ago. 

Lötscher used a metaphor from another area of transportation that the CEO is very much involved in in his spare time, namely sailing. “When the wind changes, you have to adjust the sails to stay on course. Otherwise the boat slows down, becomes less steady –  and at worst capsizes.” Translated into the world of Mobility, according to Lötscher, this means: “We have to question the status quo, venture into new territory, and engage in experimentation.”

CEO Roland Lötscher aims to get Mobility fit for the future.

Broad support as a valuable resource

Innovative projects such as “I&any”, the ride-pooling service trialled last summer, and the pilot project “V2X Suisse” may not (yet) be commercially viable –  but they’re still very important for Mobility. The cooperative’s pioneering status contributes significantly to its identity and is something that delegates both appreciate and expect. This applies to Arnold Aders, for example. A member of the Schaffhausen section, he has been actively involved as a delegate for many years, attending the conference this time around as a replacement delegate. What the 73-year-old particularly appreciates is the constructive dialogue between the administration and the grassroots. According to Aders, the co-operative model is not only well communicated, it is very impressive to see how people embrace it in practice, too. For good reason, as the longstanding Mobility user surmises: “The management clearly regards the broad support it has as a valuable resource for the cooperative. And rightly so!”

Another striking feature of the Mobility Cooperative is its diversity. Alongside the 73-year-old pensioner from Schaffhausen is the 27-year-old doctoral student from Basel: “I was politicised by my father,” says Lea Bachmann. When Mobility adjusted its pricing policy a few years ago, father and daughter decided to attend a section meeting together. And, lo and behold: the two of them now head up the Basel section. Lea is happy to “sacrifice” the first sunny Saturday in a long time for Mobility. “The conference of delegates addresses highly topical issues that affect our entire society.”

The Cooperative’s structures are being modernised

The “ever faster pace of change” and the “unpredictability of various factors” were also mentioned by President of the Board of Directors Markus Mahler – who then added with a smile: “It wasn’t an easy year – and I think that’s something we now say every year. Younger people might say we’re just getting old.” And yet it’s true course: wars, crises, climate change  – these are all things that challenge Mobility as well, in the broadest sense. “We’ve remained adaptable by introducing new pricing and a new app, as well as by making other changes,” said Mahler. The company was also in the process of modernising its cooperative structures, he said.

How will travel and transportation change tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow? And what will the role of car sharing be? Since there was no one among the 145 delegates with a crystal ball, Cathérine Hartmann provided valuable input. The environmental psychologist from Zurich University of Applied Sciences opened the afternoon with her presentation on “Changing behaviour in the context of mobility and change”. Read the interview to find out why we’re still not doing enough for the environment.

Hartmann’s presentation was one of many highlights at the conference of delegates. It was a meeting that involved not just discussion of a range of topical issues but also ventured a look into the future – a future that Mobility can look ahead to with confidence. Or to put it in the words of President of the Board of Directors Mahler: “We intend to make the most of the opportunity to make our powerful brand even more powerful. This will take courage, adaptability, perseverance and patience. But above all, it will take great collaboration –  and that’s certainly something we have right now.”

Guest speaker Cathérine Hartmann provides insights into the psychology of sustainability.

Board of Directors: Matthias Wunderlin succeeds Rolf Georg Schmid

After the maximum term of office of twelve years, Rolf Georg Schmid is retiring from the Mobility Board of Directors. President Markus Mahler paid tribute to Schmid in a charming speech, praising him for his “great ability to speak candidly and ask direct questions”. Without further ado, the President bestowed a knighthood on his departing colleague: as the new owner of a small piece of land in the Principality of Sealand (UK), he is now allowed to use the title “Sir”. 

Markus Naef (born 1969) and Matthias Wunderlin (born 1973) stood as candidates to replace Schmid on the latter’s retirement. Wunderlin won the contest by 88 votes to 57, so he is now a member of the Mobility Board of Directors. The other members of the Board of Directors Markus Mahler, Carol Chisholm, Rebecca Karbaumer and Raoul Stöckle were re-elected.

Who shares, gets more – but of what exactly? That’s what we wanted to know from those present at the 27th Mobility Cooperative Delegates’ Meeting. Click here for the video.

Photos: Patrick Besch

Your comments will appear within 24 hours.

Your browser version is no longer supported

Update your browser or use an alternative. We recommend using Google Chrome, Safari, Edge or Firefox.