Get an insight into our project

What is connectUS?

connectUS is a prestigious project, now in its 14th year, organized by students for students at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).
The two-part project include seminars in Switzerland and abroad. Delivering a a one-week preparatory seminar in Switzerland open to all final-year students from the Schools of Business, Engineering, Life Sciences (plus other FHNW Schools on application) as well as international students from our broad network of partner universities worldwide. The seminar in Switzerland offers the participants an insight into the country or region, the business environment and relevant socio-economic and demographic challenges. Speakers from industries, embassies and trade organizations, chambers of commerce as well as FHNW lecturers offer the participants a comprehensive seminar. In the international phase, each project takes an interdisciplinary delegation of between twenty and thirty students and staff to travel to their chosen country or region.

Change today for a better tomorrow

With “Vision Zero” an own framework, based on the seven lenses of purpose by Henry Playofoot and Ross Hall, has been developed. “Vision Zero” leads the way to live and do business in a more purpose-oriented manner along with the idea of sustainability for oneself and the community. All this follows the aim of creating a better tomorrow.

Eight zeros have been developed to highlight the negative actions and attitudes we should eliminate to create a better future:

Risk cannot be avoided and will therefore be omnipresent. Nevertheless, irresponsibility is an aspect which can in fact be escaped. It is necessary to carry out a thorough risk-analysis when it comes to decision-making. Acting responsibly means being able to justify decisions, having valid reasoning and taking responsibility if something does not work as planned. These are sought-after characteristics from all stakeholders. 

Being employed is one thing, staying in the job for a considerable time another. The aim of every employer should be to keep staff-wellbeing high. Employees should be given a voice and meaning to their everyday work. This purpose leads to higher motivation and thus less dissatisfaction. From a sustainability perspective, it can be seen that with zero dissatisfaction companies are able to retain talent, have low turnover rates and therefore reduce costs and obtain important knowledge and know-how. 

Based on the purpose perspective of making the world a better place, this dimension calls for action and animates to step forward rather than remaining stationary or even stepping back. 

Enhancement of a sustainable world and way of living energizes the spirit to constantly solve problems rather than living with them. We want to animate each individual and organization to take action because every day offers another opportunity to work for a more sustainable tomorrow. 

 

The resource scarcity around the globe must be successfully addressed; a sustainable production process is key to achieve the survival of our planet. The perspective of improving the supply chain leads us to topics to be examined including supply chain management, lean management and the concept of circular economy. The efficient use of resources in production and throughout the supply chain offers a vision of zero waste of resources.  

Finding a meaning in our actions is what drives human beings. Feeling purpose in the working life is generally recognized as an essential motivating factor in today’s world. Recognizing a purpose also leads to the promotion and facilitation of creativity, innovation, and leadership. 

Moreover, even customers’ buying preferences orientate towards products based on the company’s underlying idea, branding and reputation, and whether it is justifiable. This clearly shows that in order to drive profit, companies need to have zero insignificance and deliver a narrative representing a purpose. 

Zero empty promises” goes hand in hand with trust. If this foundation of a relationship is not met, its continuation may be complicated and endangered. Therefore, the focus should lie on transparent behavior of organizations to keep trust high.  

An organization that cares about its surroundings and the wellbeing of the world must strive for cooperation with and appreciation of employees as well as external stakeholders. Besides acting in favor of the organizational goals, it is also essential to consider the wellbeing of the planet, acting more sustainable as an organization within the market and the environment. This vision can be summarized as to follow an eco-system rather than ego-system.  

 

With our delegation being in the last year of their studies, job search is around the corner. When applying for a position, several factors are considered. Employees want to be a part of the organization and the values it delivers. Organizations are expected to be authentic and not delusional in order to recruit and retain talent. 

Are you ready to change today for a better tomorrow?
Take action, become a partner and join the journey to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome!

– Your connectUS Team 2022

Seminar in Switzerland

Expert guest lecturers from various fields such as Management, Politics, Culture and Law, will offer a thorough introduction to life and work in the US and Canada.

Career Fair

Partners of all international projects have the possibility to present their company and recruit students from various fields of study.

Seminar abroad

Participating students get a unique chance to experience the meaning of the US and Canadian culture and business world in real life.

Closing Event

At the closing event, all of the flagship projects will reflect on their insights and experiences gained during the preparatory seminar and on-site seminar.