Business Leaders at SPH

To inspire the leaders of our economy is an honorable task. This week, on June 27, the Student Project House had the pleasure of hosting 80 members of the «Schweizerische Management Gesellschaft (SMG)».

SMG at SPH - Makerspace Tour
SMG at SPH - Makerspace Tour (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

The visitors were given a closer look into ETH’s nurturing home for new and innovative ideas. As part of the event, the SMG members went on a tour through the SPH’s new building.

The business leaders & SPH students then gathered in the event space and followed the speeches of Felix R. Graf (CEO of NZZ & Board Member of SMG), Michael Domeisen (Member of the Management Board of ETH Foundation), and Günther Dissertori (Rector of ETH Zürich) with great interest.

Speech Günther Dissertori & Felix Graf
Speech Günther Dissertori & Felix Graf (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

Felix Graf emphasized on how well education, research and the economy work together in a triangle in Switzerland, and that the strengthening of this structure is of great importance to the SMG. Furthermore, he mentioned the help, which ETH provides to the economy by pursuing new ways in creating entrepreneurship and start-ups. It is in the interest of the SMG to build bridges early not only to ETH but also to institutions like the Student Project House and its students.

Speech Michael Domeisen (ETH Foundation)
Speech Michael Domeisen (ETH Foundation) (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

Michael Domeisen then went into the similarities between ETH and SMG: Both are shaping our future, but also addressing challenges of our days proactively. He went on to mention that ETH is promoting entrepreneurship for quite some time, and and added that institutions like the Student Project House could not be achieved and operated without the generous support of private benefactors, foundations and corporations.

As the closing speaker, Günther Dissertori presented the challenge ETH is facing in coping with a steadily growing number of students. In order to accommodate this growth in the face of limited resources, he stressed the importance to break new ground in teaching in order to continue to provide students not only with a well-equipped "rucksack" of subject-specific competencies, but also with method-specific, social and personal competencies, often referred to in the jargon as generic or social competencies. And he praises the Student Project House for being a shining beacon within ETH for these aspects.

SMG at SPH Project SEET
SMG at SPH - Project SEET (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

After the speakers' contributions, five projects took over and pitched their ideas. The projects were:

  • «Rimon» - A project focused on AR to «enable people, by rethinking the manual»
  • «Sallea» - Pioneering 3D-Printing by using dissolvable templates.
  • «SEET» - Supporting female refugees in the (re)uptake of their higher education in Switzerland.
SMG at SPH Workshop - Project Treeless
SMG at SPH - Project Treeless Pack (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

Previously, the business leaders signed up for a get together with the individual projects and their makers. On the one hand, this allowed them to get an insightful view along with some additional time for lively discussions. On the other hand, the projects got to share their ideas to industry leaders. It was a great opportunity to network, talk about possible collaborations and find new perspectives to existing issues.

SMG at SPH Apero
SMG at SPH - Apero (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

The event came to a close with an apéro in SPH’s co-working space, where guests and students had the chance to continue their networking, conversations and to build bridges for future ventures.

SMG at SPH (Photograph: SMG / Luxwerk Fotografie)

Many of the participating CEOs felt similar like Felix Graf: ETH proves to be an open place for diverse people with an enormous value for the Swiss economy and society. As a physicist and ETH alumnus, he noted that a lot has changed since he studied at ETH and - a huge compliment for us - he would love to study at ETH today once again.

Rafael von Sury, Marketeer & Content Creator @ETH – Student Project House

About: The Student Project House (SPH) at ETH Zurich was built with a unique vision:
It wants to be a dynamic melting pot that would produce the next generation of makers and innovators. We offer students a no-pressure environment that encourages inspiration, discussion, and hands-on (and often messy) exploration to develop a mindset focused on creativity, innovation, and change.