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Expanding horizons

Guest contribution by Florian Rittiner, project leader ETH Week


Foto Source:  © ETH Homepage 2021

During ETH Weeks, students deal head on with the greatest challenges of our time. This year, the focus was on the “health for tomorrow,” understood as the health of each individual but also of society as a whole. A hugely important topic, of course! The United Nations (UN) has defined health and well-being as the third of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “To ensure health and well well-being for all, at every stage of life.”

At this ETH Week, the students took a holistic view of the topic of health and discussed it with regard to the individual, professionals and society. Knowledge was shared in a variety of ways, with students listening to lectures and keynotes and going on excursions, such as to an Alzheimer's research facility and an addiction clinic. Emphasis was placed on the students’ exchange with experts.

The Knowledge Fair, on Tuesday afternoon, was another, if not the most important, element of this interdisciplinary exchange. It allowed students to exchange in small groups where they could talk directly with experts from different fields of research and practice. This gave them the opportunity to look at topics from very different perspectives and to critically question issues.

The Trilogos Foundation, by presenting the Trilogos®Method, was able to contribute a very important and unique topic to the Knowledge Fair. The input from Michael Weiss and the personal exchange with Linda Roethlisberger opened up a whole new perspective on the topic of health and well-being for the students. ETH Zurich is, as its name suggests, a technical university. Accordingly, groundbreaking technologies and the latest findings from the natural sciences tend to be the focus, at the expense of examining emotionality or spirituality. Yet when seeking to understand health, especially mental health, these aspects must not be left out. Since ETH Weeks have a claim to holism, the contribution of the Trilogos Foundation was considered important.

More importantly, however, the students got to know a method that can offer them orientation beyond ETH Week. Studying at ETH Zurich is demanding, and many a student reaches a point at which they ask themselves where they want to go, where their strengths and weaknesses lie, and how they can continue developing.

On behalf of ETH Week, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Trilogos Foundation for its great support of this year’s ETH Week. It has been a very pleasant cooperation. We would also like to express a very special thanks to Linda Roethlisberger and Michael Weiss for their contribution to the Week’s great success. The students very much appreciated the exchange.

Florian Rittiner

Zurich, September 29, 2021