Mobility and transport have become key traits of our globalized society and it is hard to imagine a world in which we do not commute to work, travel to distant countries for holidays or eat exotic fruit regardless of the season. It has become normal to consume goods that have been produced on other continents and transported over vast distances to reach us. While many of us enjoy such a lifestyle, there is a huge imbalance, as others do not have access to adequate transport systems and infrastructure.
However, the growing demand for passenger and freight transport that sustain our consumption patterns has pervasive and non-discriminating implications for the entire population. Transport is one of the leading causes of climate change as it produces roughly one third of all greenhouse gas emissions and this share is on the rise. Some regions of the globe are already facing some of the harmful effects like rising sea levels, extreme weather patterns and melting glaciers, and if left unchecked, global impacts may be devastating.
On a local scale, lower air quality caused by traffic in urban areas as well as overcrowded streets and public transport have negative consequences for our health and well-being. Therefore, it is high time to transform mobility and move towards sustainability for the sake of our well-being and that of the planet.
To address these global challenges and create more balanced and fair solutions, this year’s ETH Week is running under the motto of “Rethinking Mobility”. It is a one-week course for ETH Zurich students from all departments who are interested in learning about, addressing and finding innovative solutions to global issues. ETH Sustainability organizes the course on a yearly basis before the start of the fall semester, this year September 8-13. It is specifically designed to foster critical thinking, creativity and working in interdisciplinary teams. This is encouraged by allowing participants to define the problem they want to work on and find ways and tools to solve it. The curriculum integrates scientific methods with Design Thinking and trained tutors accompany the teams and are responsible for aligning the fast-paced process with team dynamics. ETH professors, CEOs, journalists, policy makers and NGO leaders help develop and give feedback to the student ideas.
SCCER Mobility is supporting the organization and content of this year’s ETH Week. Professors and industry partners of our network will provide inputs and insights. Two major themes will structure the content: Decarbonization and Digitalization. Decarbonization of transport represents one of the key challenges in order to meet climate goals, while digitalization is one potential enabler towards a smart, autonomous and sustainable mobility system. Different technical approaches to reach decarbonization ranging from the powertrain and vehicle to the required energy system and infrastructure will be elucidated. Likewise, ways in which digitalization can promote this transition on the micro as well as the macro-scale will be highlighted. Participants will aim to elaborate innovative solutions that are feasible not only on the technical level, but also from an ecological, economic and social perspective.
If you are up for the challenge, early bird registration and call for tutors are now open!
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