ETH Week

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Are you waiting for an opportunity to tackle a real-world problem?

ETH Week is a new, innovative course designed to foster critical thinking and creativity. During ETH Week, you and other students from all ETH departments have the chance to address an important global challenge. Professors, CEOs, journalists, policy makers and NGO leaders help you to develop and verify your ideas. Be surprised and see what you can really do within one week.

You will work in teams of ten, together with other students that you haven’t met yet as they are still spread all over ETH Zurich. While most of the time is reserved for team work, you will get in depth inputs from experts. You will also be introduced to various methods for solving problems and generating ideas. Our role is to provide you with the tools, structure, and environment for you to be able to give a successful presentation at the end of the week. Actually, we also provide you with food, plenty of inspiration, and opportunities to meet people who have stories to tell, from entrepreneurs and artists to your professors.

A key attribute of ETH Week is that you will learn to identify the problem you want to tackle rather than work on a task that is handed to you. You will also acquire knowledge via hands-on excursions, empirical observations and conversations with researchers and experts, not only through lectures and scientific literature.

ETH Week 2017 will take place from 10–15 September. This year, you will focus on Manufacturing the Future, a topic central to engineering, science and management and relevant to all study programmes at ETH. 

This year, we handle the registration in two waves so that you can start planning your summer earlier. The first 50 priority seats have been filled. The second wave is now open and 150 seats remain available. Register by May 28 and you will know if you can participate by June 4.

Théophile-Messin Roizard, French bachelor's student in the 3rd semester of engineering.

‘I find it motivating to work with others on a project, and the mix of different degree courses is great. It's a completely different way of learning: We develop an idea, toss it out, and then come up with something new – and we're free to find our own solution.’

‘I registered because as an environmental engineer, I'm very much involved with the topic of water. While developing the concept in the team this week, I noticed that others from technical degree courses often think only about the technology when looking for a solution, not about the people.’

Carina Heuberger, Swiss master's student in the 1st year of environmental engineering.
Julian Helfenstein, Swiss doctoral student at the Institute of Agricultural Sciences.

‘I'm here as a tutor for the second time because I find ETH Week extremely inspiring. I would love to fill a bottle with the atmosphere and smell it over and over again to gain new inspiration.’

‘The interdisciplinary exchange offers so much. You learn to understand the vocabulary of other departments and also to translate yourself to some extent so that others can understand what you mean. I also like that we learn new things in a fun manner here.’

Gunther Klobe, German master's student in the final year of physics.
Xingong Xu, Chinese bachelor's student in the 1st semester of computer sciences.

‘I've never collaborated with such a large group in a workshop before, and I find it very productive. It's exciting to interact with different subject areas, and everyone works in a very purposeful manner. I also really enjoyed the lectures.’

‘ETH Week is a wonderful opportunity for students from all subject areas to tackle important societal issues and look for solutions together. They learn new approaches and, most importantly, critical thinking, which they will need later in the workplace.’

Sarah Springman, Rector of ETH Zurich.
Suzanne Thoma, CEO of BKW Group (all photographs: ETH Zurich/Alessandro Della Bella).

‘Interdisciplinary approaches are becoming more and more important as technologies increasingly grow together. We therefore need people who can bring these different technologies together. This is especially true of my industry, the energy sector.’

Get more information about ETH Week 2016 'Challenging Water'

Find out about ETH Week 2015 'The Story of Food'




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