Executive, Entrepreneur & Strategist
The story of my relationship with ETH Zurich is one that goes back more than 20 years. I first moved to Switzerland in 1994 when UBS transferred me from New York to Zurich. We came over with one baby and 3 cats and left 15 years later with 3 teenagers and no cats… A lot happened over those years, but one of the important things early on was finding out that, if you had a friend at ETH Zurich, you could get a faster internet connection. This was important because it was how we stayed in touch (remember AOL?) with friends and family. It was my first touchpoint with ETH.
When I left being a banker, I started a gathering called First Tuesday, which was aimed at bringing together entrepreneurs and investors in Zurich, and was part of network of global meetings. This was when I began to better understand the depth of ETH’s research, why it was important, and its role in the Swiss entrepreneurial ecosystem. I still remember hosting a standing room only, ‘shark tank’ style event on campus at the Audimax in 2000, featuring local venture investors, start-ups and ETH spin-outs.
We moved back to Boston in 2009, and shortly thereafter we sold our company to Bloomberg and I started commuting to NYC. This was when I got the call to moderate the first of the ETH Meets You event series in New York. Since then, I have moderated events in Zurich, Boston, Davos, New York and virtually during COVID – always learning about new areas, meeting fascinating professors, researchers, and members of the broader ETH community. For anyone with curiosity around science, technology and the transformation of our world, it’s a fantastic institution to work with. In the words of William Gibson, “the future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed”. ETH is one of the handful of institutions around the world that can give you those insights into the future. This is why I strongly believe in the mission and vision of the ETH Circle.
In specialized areas of academic research, ETH has always been well recognized – Albert Einstein was an alumni after all. However, ETH can and must play a role in applying technology at scale as the world faces urgent challenges: from the climate crisis, to food access, to all the ways we work, travel, and connect. The ETH Circle is an important step in telling the stories of ETH across the world’s stage and advancing that mission.
Susan Kish is the Host of the We Are ETH Podcast, featuring ETH Circle members, ETH Zurich alumni and friends. You can listen to it here.
Luca Di Tizio
Mulan Sun Buschor
Felix Seidel Caprez