Suzana Matoh participates in ETH Academy on Sustainability and Technology

The ETH Academy group gathered together in front of the Kaubad Hotel

Suzana Matoh participated at the 10th ETH PhD Academy on Sustainability and Technology in Zürich and Appenzell in Switzerland. The academy took place from May 29 to June 3 and focused on ‘Ensuring a Sustainable Future: Technological, Organizational and Institutional Change’. Suzana was among 13 PhD students and postdocs from 8 countries who were selected to participate and present their research projects at this year’s ETH Academy.

The Academy began with a welcome dinner in Zürich where all the participants, organizers, and academy’s faculty met each other. The next day started with an introduction to the ETH Academy and short presentations by the academy’s faculty which consisted of Dr. Kathleen Eisenhardt, Dr. Inês Azevedo and Dr. Volker Hoffmann. Later on that day Professor Kathleen Eisenhardt gave a talk on ‘Weaving Strategic Decisions: Strategy Formation under Novelty, Resource Constraint and Complexity’.

A Traditional Swiss Fondue

After these talks the participants delivered paper presentations at the Kaubad Hotel. These were divided into three groups according to the Academy’s themes: technological change, organizational change, and institutional change. Each presenter was given a one hour slot for presentations and discussions. Suzana was a discussant for the paper on ‘Greening industrialization: Understanding how a technology’s product architecture and use environment affect local low-carbon industry development’ written and presented by Tyeler Matsuo from ETH Zürich.

Suzana also presented her paper on ‘Linking business model innovation to material demand reduction’. She was linked with PGR Hendrik Thelken from the University of Groningen as her discussant and Professor Eisenhardt and Professor Hoffmann for the in-depth feedback. Suzana received very useful feedback regarding her project in which she is linking decision-making to business model change in the sustainability context of material demand reduction. The feedback, comments, and suggestions from the discussant, professors, and other participants was very constructive and will help her move forward with the project.

Dr. Inês Azevedo also gave a very interesting and dynamic presentation about the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making and their projects related to energy systems, how they are likely to be shaped in the future, and energy efficiency in the U.S. There was then a roundtable discussion where the professors answered questions and gave advice on how to build an academic career, how to approach publishing papers, and how to communicate projects effectively.

Hiking in the Swiss Alps

The ETH PhD Academy is a great platform for postgraduates to showcase their work and to network with other like-minded scholars. There was time for work and there was time for relaxation while walking in the beautiful nature surrounded by the breath-taking Swiss Alps, taking a dip in the swimming pool, or joining the yoga session guided by the one of the other participants. The family owned hotel in Kaubad was a perfect place to be, we were spoiled by a warm hospitality and delicious food in abundance. We had fun during the breaks and meals where we have learned different fun facts such as how to approach eating a traditional Swiss cheese fondue.

Find out more about the ETH PhD Academy here.