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Future Skills

Future Skills

03. Mar 2023
ETH Student Project House, Zürich

It has been apparent for some time that the future is likely to be more complex than the world we have been living in. But with the right skillset, even the most demanding challenges can be transformed into unimagined opportunities.  

  • Do we have the skills we need today?  
  • What do they include? 
  • How can we acquire them both in education and in the established professional world?

Future generations in particular should also be equipped with the necessary skills. Does our current higher education system take sufficient account of this and contribute to their acquisition? And how do we ensure that we have the necessary skills of the future in our companies? We want to get to the bottom of these questions at our Leadership Meeting.

Strategic initiative in the area of teaching at ETH Zurich

It has been recognized that, in addition to their professional competencies, future university graduates will also need to acquire skills and abilities that will become significantly more important in the coming years for professional life and social participation. Today, in addition to imparting formal subject competencies, universities also have a central role to play in enabling digital competencies such as interdisciplinary skills. Accordingly, ETH has installed the Strategic Initiatives department on the Rector's staff, which supports the Rector in the implementation of strategic projects in the area of teaching. Dr. Judith Zimmermann heads this area and, together with her team, is responsible for major teaching development initiatives to strengthen interdisciplinary skills and computational competencies, as well as the development of strategic management tools, such as the quantification of teaching activity or the calculation of teaching capacity. In addition, the Strategic Initiatives staff unit is responsible for providing extra-curricular teaching opportunities, such as the Student Project House and the Collaborative Learning Platform with ETH Week.

ETH Student Project House

The ETH Student Project House (SPH), led by Dr. Lucie Rejman, pursues the vision of being a dynamic ecosystem that empowers makers and innovators to create a better tomorrow. It is an open platform for the exchange of ideas between students of all disciplines, enabling them to think outside the box of their own degree program, to explore new avenues, to identify a real need, to design solutions, to think entrepreneurially and to test hypotheses with real prototypes. 

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Arrival of the participants for the Leadership Meeting in the Student Project House.


Welcome by Dr. Felix Graf, Member of the Board SMG


Reflection with Kathrin Höckel, education expert and lecturer, University of Heidelberg and Nina Remmers, Managing Director, Bernd Remmers Consultants: "Future Skills / Mindset - what matters?"


Deep Dive Future Skill "Listening"


Presentation by Dr. Judith Zimmermann, Head of Strategic Initiatives, Staff Rector ETH: "Future Ready Graduates - Designing Future Ready Education at ETH Zurich"

Presentation by Dr. Lucie Rejman, Head of Student Project House: "Empowering Makers and Innovators through the ETH Student Project House"

Mirroring universities with Sarper Melik Ertekin, Master's student, Co-Founder and CEO Maze


Presentation by Prof. Dr. Benjamin Grewe, Neuroinformatics & Neural Systems, ETH: "Should we learn to learn like children again?"



SMG invites to aperitif / optional tour through the Student Project House


End of event


Kathrin Höckel, education expert and lecturer at Heidelberg University, accompanies organizations and personalities in development and change processes and is an expert in future competencies. In addition to her engagements as a consultant in the public and private sector, she teaches at the University of Heidelberg, was an employee of the OECD in Paris for many years, a fellow at Harvard University and at Professor Otto Scharmer's MIT u.lab (Theory U). She studied at Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich as well as at the London School of Economics and holds a Master's degree in History and Political Science as well as in Public and Economic Policy.


Nina Remmers, has been Managing Director of Bernd Remmers Consultants since 2016. Her focus is on supporting companies in the areas of corporate culture, change and leadership. She completed her bachelor's degree in business administration at the University of Bern and her master's degree with a focus on "Marketing & Creativity" at the ESCP Europe in London and Paris. Subsequently, she worked as a consultant for internationally renowned communication agencies. She is a certified Leadership Coach (INSEAD) and has been a member of the Board of Directors of Burkhalter Holding AG since 2021.


Judith Zimmermann, has headed the staff unit Strategic Initiatives since 2017, which supports the Rector of ETH Zurich in the further development and sustainable design of teaching. She studied computer science at ETH Zurich and subsequently worked for more than 10 years as a study coordinator and study advisor at the Department of Computer Science. In addition to her work at the department, she holds a didactic certificate in computer science and a doctorate in Educational Data Science from ETH Zurich.


Lucie Rejman, Head of Student Project House, loves people, ideas and our planet. After completing her PhD in chocolate technology at ETH, she followed her passion and built a start-up company called ZüriChips, which fights food waste. She also completed an MAS in Management, Technology and Economics and a Leadership course at Oxford. Now she is pursuing her second passion, helping others to advance their ideas and realize their dreams.


Sarper Melik Ertekin, master's student, co-founder and CEO Maze, graduated in 2021 with a bachelor's degree in information technology and electrical engineering from ETH Zurich and is currently preparing for his master's degree. Parallel to his studies, Ertekin worked in various functions. From 2019 to 2022, he served as a teaching assistant at ETH and as a mixed reality developer and data scientist for Rimon Technologies. Since the end of last year, Sarper has served as the Lead of Google Developer Student Club and Vice President of IT Committee from ETH Entrepreneur Club. Further, he co-founded MAZE in September 2022 and leads it as CEO. MAZE develops AI business assistants that automate repetitive content and generate content for different needs of different platforms.


Benjamin Grewe, Neuroinformatics and Neural Systems ETH Zurich, has been an assistant professor at the Institute of Neuroinformatics since 2017 and conducts research at the interface between biological and artificial intelligence. Grewe studied physics in Kiel and Heidelberg. During his PhD at ETH Zurich, he focused on brain research and developed new methods to analyze and measure neuronal signals in the brain. He then moved to Stanford University, where he studied how neuronal networks in the brain learn and store memories. The goal of his research group at ETH is to project this knowledge onto artificial neuronal systems in order to improve them and bring them closer to human intelligence.


Felix Graf, Member of the SMG Board, has been CEO of the NZZ Media Group, one of the largest private media companies in Switzerland, since 2018. After studying and completing his doctorate at ETH Zurich, Felix Graf held various management positions at McKinsey, Swisscom, Teleclub and CKW. Most recently, he served as CEO of CKW for four years and was also a member of the Executive Board of Axpo Holding AG. Felix Graf holds a master's degree in physics and chemistry from ETH Zurich and a doctorate in physics from ETH Zurich. In 2007, he was appointed Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum (WEF).

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Schweizerische Management Gesellschaft
Zeltweg 48, 8032 Zürich,
Telefon + 41 44 202 23 25

Event location
ETH Student Project House
Clausiusstrasse 16
8006 Zürich

Arrival by public transport
Tram 10 from Zürich Bahnhofplatz / HB to ETH / Universitätsspital (direction ZH Flughafen) Tram 6 from Zürich Bahnhofstrasse / HB to ETH / Universitätsspital (direction Zoo).

Or from Zurich main station by foot, 10 Min.

Arrival by car
The ETH parking garage on Karl-Schmid Strasse is currently only accessible to ETH members. We recommend arriving by public transport.


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