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Philipp Aerni

Ordentlicher Professor FH/Direktor CCRS
+41 26 429 64 71
Büro: Technopark Zurich

Dr. Philipp Aerni is Director of the Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS) at the School of Management Fribourg (HES-SO). He received his Masters Degree in Geography (with Minors in Environmental Science and Economics) from the University of Zurich and his PhD in Agricultural Economics from ETH Zürich. Prior to his position at CCRS, Dr. Aerni worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Institute for Environmental Decisions at ETH Zurich, the World Trade Institute at the University of Berne as well as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Philipp Aerni is also a senior lecturer at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. Among numerous other engagements, he is a member of the Jury of the Swiss Family Business Award, the Forum Genetic Research (SCNAT), and Liberethica (a Platform on ethics, business and religion). As an interdisciplinary social scientist he is interested in the role entrepreneurship and innovation as potential driving forces for inclusive and sustainable change.


Journal article

AERNI, P. (2023). COP-27: A great opportunity to address the double crisis of food security and climate change-and for the EU to re-align its farm to fork strategy. Frontiers in Environmental Economics.
CAKIR, I., AERNI, P., BERGMAN, M. M., CAKIR, B. (2023). esg2go: A Method to Reduce Bias, Improve Coherence, and Increase Practicality of ESG Rating and Reporting. Sustainability, 15.
CAKIR, B., SCHLUEP, I., AERNI, P., CAKIR, I. (2021). Amalgamation of Export with Import Information: The Economic Complexity Index as a Coherent Driver of Sustainability. Sustainability, 13 (4).
AERNI, P. (2021). Decentralized economic ecosystems in Switzerland and their contribution to inclusive and sustainable change. Sustainability, 13 (8).
AERNI, P. (2021). The ethics of farm animal biotechnology from an anthropological perspective. Sustainability, 13 (7).
AERNI, P. (2019). Politicizing the Precautionary Principle: why disregarding facts should not pass for farsightedness. Frontiers in Plant Science, 10.
AERNI, P. (2017). Principled Embeddedness: How Foreign Direct Investment May Contribute To Inclusive And Sustainable Growth In Developing Economies. ATDF Journal, 9 (1/2), pp. 3-19.
AERNI, P. (2016). Coping with Migration-Induced Urban Growth: Addressing the Blind Spot of UN Habitat. Sustainability, 8 (8).
AERNI, P., GAGALAC, F., SCHOLDERER, J. (2016). The role of biotechnology in combating climate change: A question of politics. Science and Public Policy, 43, pp. 13-28.
SCHLUEP, I., AERNI, P. (2015). Ursachen von Preisvolatilität auf Agrarmärkten. Die Volkswirtschaft (3), pp. 55-58.
AERNI, P., NICHTERLEIN, K., RUDGARD, S., SONNINO, A. (2015). Making Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) Work for Development in Tropical Countries. Sustainability, 7 (1), pp. 831-850.
COTTIER, T., AERNI, P., KARAPINAR, B., MATTEOTTI, S., DE SÉPIBUS, J., SHINGA, A. (2014). The Principle of Common Concern and Climate Change. Archiv des Völkerrechts, 52 (3), pp. 293-324.
AERNI, P. (2013). Resistance to agricultural biotechnology: the importance of distinguishing between weak and strong public attitudes. Biotechnology Journal, 8 (10), pp. 1129-1132.
AERNI, P. (2013). Why do the biotechnology and the climate change debates hardly mix? Evidence from a global stakeholder survey. New Biotechnology, 30 (4), pp. 344-348.
OSER, F., NÄPFLIN, C., HOFER, C., AERNI, P. (2012). Towards a Theory of Negative Knowledge (NK): Almost-Mistakes as Drivers of Episodic Memory Amplification. Human Fallibility, 6, pp. 53-70.
NÄPFLIN, C., OSER, F., AERNI, P. (2012). Discussion-Based Teaching Methods Addressing Policy Issues Related to Agricultural Biotechnology. Moral Development and Citizenship Education, 6, pp. 147-153.
AERNI, P. (2011). Connecting catch-up growth to sustainable development – a new theoretical perspective. ATDF Journal, 8 (3/4), pp. 29-42.
FARINELLI, F., BOTTINI, M., AKKOYUNLU, S., AERNI, P. (2011). Green entrepreneurship: the missing link towards a greener economy. ATDF Journal, 8 (3/4), pp. 42-48.
AERNI, P., SCHOLDERER, J., ERMEN, D. (2011). What would Swiss consumers decide if they had freedom of choice? Evidence from a field study with GM corn bread. Food Policy, 36 (6), pp. 830-838.
AERNI, P. (2011). Do Political Attitudes Affect Consumer Choice? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Study with Genetically Modified Bread in Switzerland. Sustainability, 3, pp. 1555-1572.
AERNI, P. (2011). Food Sovereignty and its Discontents. ATDF Journal, 8 (1/2), pp. 23-40.
AERNI, P. (2010). Sustainable Urbanization: The Missing Bottom-Up Dimension. ATDF Journal, 7 (1/2), pp. 44-53.
AERNI, P. (2010). Is Agricultural Biotechnology Part of Sustainable Agriculture? Different Views in Switzerland and New Zealand. AgBioforum, 13 (2), pp. 158-172.
AERNI, P. (2009). What is Sustainable Agriculture? Empirical Evidence of Diverging Views in Switzerland and New Zealand. ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS, 68 (6), 1872-1882.
AERNI, P., RAE, A., LEHMANN, B. (2009). Nostalgia versus Pragmatism? How attitudes and interests shape the term sustainable agriculture in Switzerland and New Zealand. Food Policy, 34 (2), pp. 227-235.
AERNI, P. (2008). A New approach to Deal with the Global Food Crisis. ATDF Journal, 5 (1/2), pp. 16-32.
AERNI, P. (2007). Exploring the linkages of commerce, higher education and human development: A historical review. ATDF Journal, 4 (2), pp. 35-48.
OZERTAN, G., AERNI, P. (2007). GM cotton and its possible contribution to environmental sustainability and rural development in Turkey. International Journal of Agricultural Resources Governance & Ecology, 6 (4/5), pp. 552-575.
AERNI, P. (2006). Mobilizing science and technology for development: The case of the Cassava Biotechnology Network (CBN). AgBioforum, 9 (1), pp. 1-14.
AERNI, P. (2006). The Principal-Agent Problem in International Development Assistance and its Impact on Local Entrepreneurship in Africa: Time for New Approaches. ATDF Journal, 3 (2), pp. 27-33.
AERNI, P., BERNAUER, T. (2006). Stakeholder attitudes towards GMOs in the Philippines, Mexico and South Africa: The issue of public trust. WORLD DEVELOPMENT, 34 (3), 557-575.
AERNI, P. (2005). Stakeholder attitudes towards GMOs in South Africa. Environmental Science & Policy, 8 (5), pp. 464-476.
AERNI, P. (2004). Risk, regulation and innovation: The case of aquaculture and transgenic fish. Aquatic Sciences, 66 (3), pp. 327-341.
AERNI, P. (2004). Stakeholder perceptions towards agricultural biotechnology in Mexico. International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Technology, 3 (1/2), pp. 95-115.
AERNI, P. (2002). Stakeholder attitudes towards the risks and benefits of agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: A comparison between Mexico and the Philippines. Risk Analysis, 26 (6), pp. 1123-1137.
AERNI, P. (2001). L'aquaculture : un transfert à risques. Biofutur, 222, pp. 34-37.
AERNI, P. (2001). Assessing stakeholder attitudes to agricultural biotechnology in developing countries. Biotechnology and Development Monitor, 47, pp. 2-7.
AERNI, P., CHAUVET, M. (2001). La evaluación de opiniones públicas sobre la Biotecnología Agrícola en México. Bio-Tecnologia, 6 (2/3), pp. 44-53.
AERNI, P., ANWANDER PHAN-HUY, S., RIEDER, P. (2000). Public acceptance of genetically engineered food - The case of transgenic rice in the Philippines. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 2 (1), pp. 99-118.
AERNI, P., RIEDER, P. (2000). Acceptance of modern biotechnology in developing countries - A case study in the Philippines. International Journal of Biotechnology, 2 (1/2/3), pp. 115-131.
AERNI, P., ANWANDER PHAN-HUY, S., RIEDER, P. (1999). Indications on public acceptance of transgenic rice in the Philippines. Biotechnology and Development Monitor, 38, pp. 18-21.


AERNI, P. (2018). Global Business in Local Culture: The impact of embedded Multinational Enterprises. SpringerBriefs in Economics.
SCHLUEP, I., AERNI, P. (2016). When corporatism leads to corporate governance failure. The case of the Swiss watch industry. Banson.
AERNI, P., GRÜN, K.-J., KUMMERT, I. (2015). Schwierigkeiten mit der Moral: Ein Plädoyer für eine neue Wirtschaftsethik. Springer Gabler.
AERNI, P. (2015). The Sustainable Provision of Environmental Services: from Regulation to Innovation. Springer.
AERNI, P. (2015). Entrepreneurial Rights as Human Rights. Banson.

Book chapter

AERNI, P. (2023). Standards für eine nachhaltige Unternehmensführung: Entstehung, Analyse und ein Lösungsansatz. In Alex Gertschen (Ed.), Rädewerke der Normalität: Wie Normen und Standards Vertrauen schaffen (pp. 208-216). NZZ Libro.
AERNI, P. (2022). Wir stehen für Euch ein!' Eine Analyse der politischen Rhetorik im Wettbewerb um das öffentliche Vertrauen. In Matthias Lindenau (Ed.), Vertrauen – ein riskantes Unterfangen? (pp. 49-62). Wbg academic.
STAVRIDOU, M., SCHLUEP, I., AERNI, P. (2021). Preface to Transitioning to Decent Work and Economic Growth. Transitioning to Decent Work and Economic Growth (pp. 1-7). MDPI.
AERNI, P. (2021). Exploring the roots of the GMO narrative and why young people have started to ask critical questions (2nd ed.). In Agnès Ricroch et al. (Ed.), Plant Biotechnology (pp. 277-304). Springer.
AERNI, P. (2021). "Business as Part of the Solution": SDG 8 Challenges Popular Views in the Global Sustainability Discourse. Transitioning to Decent Work and Economic Growth (pp. 67-101). MDPI.
AERNI, P. (2021). The City as an Ecosystem. In Hiromi Hosoya and Markus Schaefer (Ed.), The Industrious City (pp. 105-115). Lars Müller Publishers.
AERNI, P. (2019). Langfristige Direktinvestitionen als Chance für lokales Unternehmertum und Beitrag zu inklusivem Wachstum. Almanach Entwicklungspolitik 2020: Afrika zwischen Aufbruch und Armut (pp. 171-180). Caritas-Verlag.
AERNI, P. (2018). The Use and Abuse of the Term ‘GMO’ in the ‘Common Weal Rhetoric’ Against the Application of Modern Biotechnology in Agriculture. In James Harvey (Ed.), Ethical Tensions from New Technology: The Case of Agricultural Biotechnology (pp. 39-52). CABI Publishing.
AERNI, P. (2017). Attitudes towards the role of innovation in promoting sustainable agriculture. In Melanie Paschke (Ed.), Agriculture in Transformation (pp. 60-65). IDEA GmbH Verlag.
AERNI, P. (2017). Regulatory Barriers to Trade: Private Standards. In Thomas Cottier and Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer (Ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law (pp. 413-415). Edward Elgar Publishing.
AERNI, P. (2017). Stimulating the Private Sector. In Thomas Cottier and Krista Nadakavukaren Schefer (Ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of International Economic Law (pp. 617-619). Edward Elgar Publishing.
SCHLUEP, I., AERNI, P., ONIANG'O, R. (2016). Europe and Africa: Addressing the food security challenges. Creating Sustainable Bioeconomics. Routledge.
AERNI, P. (2015). Agricultural biotechnology and public attitudes: An attempt to explain the mismatch between experience and perception. In R. Watson and V. R. Preedy (Ed.), Genetically Modified Organisms in Food (pp. 149-156). Elsevier Press.
AERNI, P. (2015). Welche Ethik braucht es für die Durchsetzung der UNO-Nachhaltigkeitsziele? In P. Aerni, K.-J. Grün and I. Kummert (Eds.), Schwierigkeiten mit der Moral: Ein Plädoyer für eine neue Wirtschaftsethik (pp. 25-44). Springer Gabler.
AERNI, P. (2014). The motivation and impact of organized public resistance against agricultural biotechnology. In D. Castle, P. Phillips and S. Smyth (Eds.), Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development (pp. 482-521). Edward Elgar Publishing.
AERNI, P. (2014). The great misunderstanding of the global food crisis. In B. Heap and D. Bennett (Ed.), Insights – Africa’s future: can biosciences contribute? (pp. 76-87). Banson Publishers.
AERNI, P., RÜEGGER, D. (2012). Making Use of E-mentoring to support Innovative Entrepreneurs in Africa. In T. Cottier and M. Burri (Ed.), Trade in the Digital Age (pp. 433-454). Cambridge University Press.
AERNI, P., KARAPINAR, B., HÄBERLI, C. (2011). Rethinking Sustainable Agriculture. In T. Cottier and P. Delimatsis (Ed.), The Prospects of International Trade Regulation: From Fragmentation to Coherence (pp. 169-210). Cambridge University Press.
AERNI, P. (2011). Learning from the past: how to bring ethics and economics in line with the real nature of the human being. In M. Cockell and al. (Ed.), Common Knowledge: Rising to the Challenge of Transdisciplinarity (pp. 15-30). EPFL/CRC Press.
AERNI, P. (2011). Die Moralisierung der Politik als Kehrseite der Angst vor dem globalen Wandel. In Philipp Aerni and Klaus-Jürgen Grün (Ed.), Moral und Angst (pp. 13-32). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlag.
AERNI, P. (2011). Interdisziplinarität an Schule und Universität: Das Fallbeispiel Geographie. In Philipp Aerni and Fritz Oser (Ed.), Forschung verändert Schule (pp. 152-174). Seismo Verlag.
AERNI, P., BOIE, B., COTTIER, T., HOLZER, K., JOST, D., KARAPINAR, B., ... BIGDELI, S. (2010). Climate Change and International Law: Exploring the Linkages Between Human Rights, Environment, Trade and Investment. German Yearbook of International Law (pp. 139-188). Duncker & Humblot.
AERNI, P. (2010). Wirtschaftliche Auswirkungen eines EU Beitritts auf die Schweiz: Landwirtschaft und Umwelt. In T. Cottier and R. Liechti (Ed.), Die Schweiz und Europa (pp. 307-309). Vdf Hochschulverlag.
AERNI, P. (2010). Reforming agricultural policy in Turkey in Accordance with New Growth Theory. In Baris Karapinar and Fikret Adaman (Ed.), Rethinking Structural Reform in Turkish Agriculture: Beyond the World Bank’s Strategy (pp. 229-242). Nova Publishers.
AERNI, P. (2009). Public Perception of Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa. In Zerihun Tadele (Ed.), New Approaches in Plant Breeding of Orphan Crops in Africa (pp. 223-243). Stampfli AG.
BERNAUER, T., AERNI, P. (2009). Trade Conflict Over Genetically Modified Organisms. In K. Gallagher (Ed.), Handbook on Trade and Environment (pp. 184-194). Edward Elgar Publishing.
BERNAUER, T., AERNI, P. (2009). Implications of the Transatlantic Biotech Dispute for Developing Countries. In M. A. Schreurs, H. Selin and S. D. VanDeveer (Eds.), Transatlantic Environment and Energy Politics (pp. 127-144). Ashgate.
AERNI, P. (2008). Politische Interessen und öffentliches Vertrauen in der Gentechnikdiskussion. In H. Busch and G. Pruetz (Ed.), Biotechnologie in Gesellschaftlicher Deutung (pp. 2-11). Herbert Utz Verlag.
AERNI, P. (2007). Agricultural biotechnology and its contribution to the knowledge economy. Green Gene Technology. Advances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology (pp. 69-96). Springer.
AERNI, P. (2007). Anwendungen der Agrarbiotechnologie in der Armutsbekämpfung. In Ursula Renz and Barbara Bleisch (Ed.), Zu wenig: Dimensionen der Armut (pp. 218-228). Seismo Verlag.
BERNAUER, T., AERNI, P. (2006). Competition for Public Trust: The Transatlantic Biotech Conflict and Developing Countries. In R. Falkner (Ed.), The International Politics of GM Food and Trade (pp. 138-154). Palgrave Macmillan.
AERNI, P. (2005). Wahrnehmungs- und Netzwerkanalyse von Interessenvertretern in der Gentechnik-Debatte in Entwicklungsländern. In U. Serdült (Ed.), Zürcher Politik- und Evaluationsstudien (pp. 37-54). Universität Zürich.
AERNI, P., RIEDER, P. (2001). Public Policy responses to Biotechnology. Our Fragile World: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development. Encyclopaedia of Life Support Systems (ELOSS). UNESCO.

Book editor

AERNI, P., SCHLUEP, I., STAVRIDOU, M. (2021). Transitioning to Decent Work and Economic Growth. MDPI.
AERNI, P., OSER, F. (2011). Forschung verändert Schule. Seismo Verlag.
AERNI, P., GRÜN, K.-J. (2011). Moral und Angst. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlag.

Journal editor

HIDALGO, C., AERNI, P., SEMITIEL-GARCIA, M., SCHAEFER, M. (2021). Economic Complexity and Sustainability. Sustainability.
AERNI, P., GLASMEIER, A. (2016). A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation. Sustainability.
WESSELER, J., AERNI, P. (2011). Sustainability and the Global Bioeconomy. AgBioforum.
AERNI, P. (2011). Biotechnology and Sustainable Development. Sustainability.
AERNI, P. (2008). The Food Crisis. ATDF Journal.
AERNI, P. (2007). Agriculture in Turkey: structural change, sustainability and EU compatibility. International Journal of Agricultural Resources Governance & Ecology.
AERNI, P., KONDE, V. (2006). A Focus on Entrepreneurship. ATDF Journal.
AERNI, P. (2005). Agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: perception, politics and policies. International Journal of Biotechnology.

Working Papers

AERNI, P., ZOU, W. (2022). Stakeholder Surveys in Selected African Countries on the Perception of Initiatives to Promote Capacity Development (CD) for Agricultural Innovation (1). Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS) at the School of Management Fribourg.
CAKIR, I., CAKIR, B., AERNI, P. (2022). Methodological Framework of esg2go (2). Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS) at the School of Management Fribourg.
AERNI, P. (2020). Mit Emotionen und Moral gegen die Konzerne: Analyse eines entwicklungspolitischen Irrwegs (36). Austrian Institute Paper.
AERNI, P. (2016). Das bedingungslose Grundeinkommen als Taschengeld für die postmaterielle Wertegemeinschaft (10). Austrian Institute Paper.
AERNI, P. (2016). Der neue Chefökonom der Weltbank sieht Staats- und nicht Marktversagen als Gefahr für die globale Nachhaltigkeit (11). Austrian Institute Paper.
AERNI, P. (2016). Migrationsdruck im 21. Jahrhundert: Gefragt sind produktive und prosperierende Städte (14). Austrian Institute Paper.

Doctoral thesis

AERNI, P. (1999). Public Acceptance of Transgenic Rice and its Potential Impact on Rice Markets in Southeast Asian Countries. ETH Zurich, Zurich.


AERNI, P. (2021). ESG4KMU: How to measure and compare the sustainability performance of SMEs? Brugg, Switzerland.
AERNI, P. (2021). Green Finance Initiatives in Switzerland and Opportunities in China. Chengdu, China (PRC).


AERNI, P. (2022). Institutional Framework Conditions for the Promotion of Private Sector Capacity Development (CD) for Agricultural Innovation in Selected African Countries.
AERNI, P., BAERISWYL, P., BALZARETTI, R., BONNARD, A., SAGER, M., SEILER, M., ... WÜRTH, B. (2019). Aussenpolitische Vision Schweiz 2028.

Paper presented at a peer-reviewed conference

AERNI, P. (2022). Stakeholder views on effective Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation in Africa: Why the private sector matters. Italy.
AERNI, P. (2009). Technological innovation and its contribution to sustainable development in agriculture. SGGW Conference, Warsaw.