News & Events Archive

05 FEBRUARY 2021
ETH Circle Roundtable: kick-off

The first get-together of the new year took place on Friday, 5 February 2021, at 17h00 CET. We discussed new workstreams, heard from President Joël Mesot, and discovered the ETH Circle website.

13 NOVEMBER 2020
Inaugural ETH Circle Roundtable

ETH Circle Roundtable November 2020

Due to the Corona Pandemic, the Inaugural Annual Meeting was replaced by an online meeting, enabling members to join virtually. The group discussed their contributions to and expectations from the project, exchanged with President Joël Mesot and other ETH stakeholders, and participated in an online quiz testing their knowledge of ETH.

17 MAY 2019
Viva Tech Conference in Paris

On the occasion of the Viva Tech Conference in Paris, Swiss Ambassador to France Livia Leu hosted a breakfast session that was attended by ETH President, Joël Mesot. Moderated by ETH Professor Sonia Seneviratne, the meeting set out to clarify expectations of the group, who concluded the ETH Circle should be all about building bridges and connecting people. The discussion topics included developing a shared mindset and pride in ETH, and using best practices in communication and storytelling to show-case ETH Zurich.

23 JANUARY 2020
ETH Circle Spotlight in Davos

This ETH Circle Spotlight featured ETH alumnus Joe Paradiso from the MIT Media Lab, and took place at the ETH Zurich Pavilion in Davos during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. Sharing his experiences of living in Zurich and working at Hönggerberg through personal photos and anecdotes, Joe entertained members with stories and sound bites from his self-made modular synthesizer. Hear it all for yourself in this episode of the ETH Podcast: podcast-joe-paradiso

17 OCTOBER 2019
Working session and networking dinner in Boston

In this working session followed by a networking dinner, ETH submitted to members a first draft of a value proposition for the community, based on the year’s earlier events. Joined by Rector Sarah Springman, the group agreed on the importance of the “why” in clarifying the purpose of the project for both members and the institution. Participants also wanted to tie the value proposition of the ETH Circle to the overarching mission of ETH, in such a way that the community contributes to this directly. Finally, the discussion also explored the capacity of the group to have an impact beyond ETH, and provide a service to society.

10 SEPTEMBER 2019
First ETH Circle Spotlight in Zurich

In the kick-off meeting in Davos, one member challenged ETH by saying that what they would want from the ETH Circle is the opportunity to meet eminent ETH alumni. This event was a direct response to this: the first in a new series called the ETH Circle Spotlight. This new event format features a distinguished speaker, followed by a networking opportunity. The session was moderated by Chris Luebkeman (Director, Arup Global Foresight – now Head of Strategic Foresight at ETH Zurich), and featured ETH President Joël Mesot in conversation with Special Guest Urs Hölzle (Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure, Google).

05 JUNE 2019
Meeting ETH alumni in New York

The group was made up of ETH alumni who noted that while the university provided them with an excel-lent education for a small tuition fee, an emotional connection to the institution was largely lacking during their study time. This made it more difficult to continue feeling connected upon completing their studies. The ETH Circle could be an important vehicle to reinforce pride in ETH. In addition, it could serve ETH as a way to tap into an interdisciplinary group of people with shared values, committed to the mission of the university. The ETH Circle should support ETH’s global branding efforts, benefitting not only ETH, but Switzerland as a whole.

15 FEBRUARY 2019
The second workshop in Washington D.C.

The second workshop was hosted by ETH Circle Member Martin Dahinden at the Residence of the Swiss Ambassador to the US. The group debated some of the challenges the project might face going forward. Brand perception was noted to be key: not a lot of people outside of Switzerland know what ETH is. They are unaware of its association to Einstein and the great science coming out of the universi-ty, and they don’t recognise its logo. The group compared and contrasted alumni relationships at ETH with US universities, noting it would be interesting to explore replicating some aspects, while keeping in mind the “Swissness” of ETH.

23 JANUARY 2019
Kicking off the design phase in Davos

Kicking off the design phase of the ETH Circle project, this first workshop was held in Davos, at the ETH Zurich Pavilion during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. Participants identified several objec-tives the ETH Circle should focus on, and discussed at length what the role of members should be. The ultimate goal they agreed on reflects the initial hypothesis that led to the launch of the ETH Circle: to position ETH as a top university, and increase its visibility globally.