We are a group of 11 students studying Business Economics and IT at KEA Copenhagen School of Design and Technology. As a part of our education, we started our 4th semester with an exciting trip to Switzerland. We visited the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons in Chur. Our goal was to learn how the university works with practical relevance and applied science in relation to sustainability and digitization. As part of our journey, we had the chance to visit four local companies and learn about their work to incorporate sustainability into their business strategy as well as the challenges they face in the context of digital transformation. The days were structured with activities as shown:
Day 1: Introduction of UAS Grisons, Quiz about Switzerland and cheese tasting, bus to Erlebnisberg Pradaschier and meet up with students in Switzerland.
Day 3: Company visit to Weisse Arena Group in Laax with presentation of their sustainability strategy "GreenStyle” and ending the day with a swim in the Caumasee in Flims.
Day 4: Presentation by Mauro Casellini regarding Crypto Valley and heading home.
Below, we will each describe our most memorable moments of the trip.
Maria á Høvdanum, 26 years old
Maria á Høvdanum
"The visit exceeded my expectation of Switzerland in general. I was surprised to see how the environmental mindset was an imprinted value of the people in Switzerland, the town was very clean with waste sorting within every 5 meters that people respected, and we also learned the incredible fact that Switzerland recycle up to 50% of its municipal solid waste and burn the remaining waste in incinerators and use it to produce energy, which is really inspirational.
By staying in the remaining topic, my key take away was our visit in LAAX and the inside knowledge about GreenStyle’s value and purpose of work, by moving every perspective in the green transition. After this we got to discover the amazing location Caumasee where we enjoyed a swim and jumping from the tilt – and of course top it all off with a nice and cold drink."
Emil Waltersdorph Hansen, 31 years old
Emil Waltersdorph Hansen
"During our study trip to Switzerland, we were introduced to the various and different ways the Swiss society and government structure is, compared to the Danish. The amount of autonomy in each canton seems to have been beneficial to drawing foreign companies and investment into Switzerland.
A specific example of this was the origin of Zug as Crypto Valley. We had the honor of meeting Mauro Casellini, who generously shared his knowledge about Crypto Valley’s history from its humble beginnings to its prospects and usability. It was a very interesting lecture and encounter with the crypto world – more grounded in its nature than the hype and marvels that is often experienced when engaging with crypto currency."
Frederik Øgaard Jensen, 30 years old
Frederik Øgaard Jensen
Danish Students in our Campus Brewery
"Being a huge food and beverage enthusiast, my goals for this trip were to experience the local cuisine, and in particular to taste some local wines and beers. And also, to acquire a Swiss Army Knife as the ultimate souvenir to remember this trip.
Fate would have it, that we were invited to participate in a beer tasting. The tasting was hosted by Ingo Barkow, who teaches the optional course in brewing, and his TA. When we arrived, they had only just finished setting up their new brewing equipment, that is to be used by the students in the coming semesters. Ingo gave us an introduction to the whole brewing process, from start to finish. His enthusiasm was obvious, and his knowledge endless; being a Master of Beer, he takes great pride in the brewing course."
Lasse Madsen, 27 years old
"The trip was exciting and an educational experience with a wild array of learning points. One was learning about Hamilton Medical, their process of business and its potential. And learning how different companies organize and pull their resources across the globe towards a mission. The trip was both full of learning and great scenery with a great emphasis on green initiatives."
Magnus Kirchheiner Hansen, 27 years old
Magnus Kirchheiner Hansen
"For me, visiting Switzerland felt strangely familiar due to the many ways our countries share values such as social welfare, personal freedom and civil engagement in the community. Much like in Denmark, the drive for constant innovation and improvements was firmly imprinted into the businesses we visited during our stay, and it was fascinating hearing about the individual companies’ approach. For instance, we observed how the Hamilton Company had an almost fully digitalized and automated production system, all the while striving to further improve the process as well as their products."
Mikkel Nielsen Stenberg Sandstrøm, 24 years old
Mikkel Nielsen Stenberg Sandstrøm
"Our trip to Switzerland was an enriching experience, both in the perspective of experiencing the country and its ecosystem, but also educational-wise. We got an opportunity to visit the UAS Grisons, but also visit a few companies in the nearby area of Chur.
The visits gave an insight in how firms with completely different products still are on board with digitalization and innovation, which tells me that both Switzerland and Denmark are likeminded in how businesses should innovate, both in the perspective of digitalization, but also environmental."