Preparatory Seminar Day 1

The first day of the Preparatory Seminar 2021 was a great success!
We enjoyed a good start with an inspiring speech by Marc Blaser, who taught us not to give up because of failures.
Moreover, he elaborated that understanding their customers’ needs as their own challenges, is what drives the company every day.
The speech was followed by a presentation from the project and communications team of what is to come this week.
The afternoon was all about Geneva, the UN and the SDGs.
Did you know that there is no place in the world where so many missions of different countries are represented as in Geneva?
This explains why so many international organizations, such as the United Nations, are based there. Here, country representatives can collaborate on relevant projects on various important issues such as the SDGs. As the UN faces the challenge of finding common ground for all parties and helping countries formulate their respective goals for the SDGs. After all, a major point of criticism of the SDGs is that they are too broad, but it is precisely this standardization of goals that makes them a good set of guidelines for all countries in the world.
The day ended with a look into the future of work. We got to hear and discuss fairness, connection, and how we can equip ourselves for the unprecedented future.
The main theme was “connecting” knowledge and similar to how we learn by sharing, it should be a process of connecting knowledge to achieve a fair and sustainable future.
To conclude a great day where we learned so much from experts.

Preparatory Seminar Day 2

We kicked off our second day of the Prearatory Seminar with three interesting presentations about the SDG 7, 8 and 12 and its current state in Switzerland. We learned how energy production is impacting the environment, what economic growth means and why it is important as well as how we consume . Did you know for example that ⅓ of food is being wasted at home? Before lunch, we followed the panel discussion that combined business, government and academia. It was an interconnected discussion and for sure a highlight. A big thank you to our impressive host Marcel Hirsiger.

Two students from University of Zurich brought us through the afternoon. They explained us a bit more how humans are functioning in terms of decision making and that we should stop thinking as individuals and that a sole action won’t have an impact. We should rather think altruistic in terms of sustainability.

The day ended with a reflection and we were impressed to see the number of learnings stored in the students minds.

Preparatory Seminar Day 3

On our third day we enjoyed having Nikolina Fuduric, Ph.D. and Alexandra Gillies founder of “Alexandra’s Africa” joining our morning discussion.

The topic was about self-reflection on how to be a part of the good news in sustainability.
The process of this being:
• By looking at what you know (know set)
• Who you are (mind-set)

Alexandra continued talking about the importance of SDG 8 to sustainable tourism. We were pleased to hear how building relationships bring value to her work. Moreover, it is the attributes other people bring to the table that can move a company in the right direction.

After this great first speech, we got to know more about two amazing start-ups.
SmartBreed – they offer an easy and convinient solution to breed insects for example grasshoppers. Their breed boxes are stackable and fully automatic.

Mycrobez – The Youngstar team introduced a solution based on mushrooms to replace expanded polystyrene („styrofoam“) in the packaging industry.

In the afternoon, we were priviledged to learn more about Design Thinking from Deloitte. They coached us through an intensive and refreshing workshop. Are you interested in our results? Look ar the third image what amazing Prototypes our Delegation created, in order to “help with motivation during working from home”.

Preparatory Seminar Day 4

The fourth day of the Preparatory Seminar was once again, an inspirational one. Khalil Radi, founder of Buy Food with Plastic, shared the moving story of how the company was founded. What started with an idea at the beaches of Nicaragua, is today an organization that enables people worldwide to pay for food with plastic bottles. Our participants also got to present them ideas on how to improve the organization.

The next speakers were two alumni from FHNW! Fabian Zbinden and Giacomo Travaglione founded BEEYOND Clothing, a fair and sustainable swiss clothing label that wants to save the bees. For each product sold, a part of their revenue is directly invested in bee conservation projects.

In the afternoon, we welcomed Tobias Andrist, CEO of our Platinum Partner EBL (Genossenschaft Elektra Baselland)
He talked to us about the Journey to the Future. His presentation showed us the values of Renewable Energy and how energy production will develop in the coming years.

The last presentation was held by Emanuel Romano. We were shown how sustainability in the railway sector is reached and what measures Siemens undertakes to be sustainable.

We finished the day with a reflection lounge and a thank you speech by the project team and our supervisor Prof. Dr. Anita Graf.

Preparatory Seminar Day 5

In the morning, of the last day, we held our joint ISP career fair, and got to visit the virtual booths of:

Accenture DACH
Bertschi AG
BBC Bircher Smart Access
EBL (Genossenschaft Elektra Baselland)
KPMG Switzerland
Zenith Technologies

The Keynote speech was held by Dr. Simone Wyss Fedele, the CEO of Switzerland Global Enterprise. Their mission is to support Swiss SMEs in their international business and innovative foreign companies in establishing themselves in Switzerland. She elaborated to all of us, what we should consider when we do business in the US, India, China and the Middle East.

Our day was closed with an interesting panel discussion, hosted by Prof. Michael Jeive. Our speakers;

Javier Bargas
Gian Carlo Alessi, EuroAirport
Sergey Malashikhin, Bachem
Sean O’Connor, Zenith Technologies

They answered many questions around the topic the Resilience in Times of Crisis. We got to hear how the four companies, from completely different Industries, are handling the current crisis.