701-0901-02L  ETH Week 2023: Circular Realities

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersF. Rittiner, C. Bening-Bach, S. Brusoni, R. Knutti, A. Vaterlaus
Periodicitynon-recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentAll ETH Bachelor`s, Master`s and exchange students can take part in the ETH week. No prior knowledge is required


701-0901-00 SETH Week 2023: Circular Realities Special students and auditors need a special permission from the lecturers.
ETH Week 2023: Circular Realities takes place from 10-15 September 2023. The program is open to Bachelor and Master students from all ETH Departments. All students must apply through a competitive application process at Link. Participation is subject to successful selection through this competitive process.
45s hrsF. Rittiner, C. Bening-Bach, S. Brusoni, R. Knutti, A. Vaterlaus

Catalogue data

AbstractETH Week is a project-based course during which students define a problem and develop a solution related to the UN SDGs. Participants get the chance to attend talks and discussions with inspiring leaders and changemakers, go on field trips throughout the Zurich area, as well as meet and network with more than 60 experts. The 2023 edition explores the concept of a circular economy.
Objective- Domain-specific knowledge: Students have immersed knowledge about a certain complex, societal topic which will be selected every year. They understand the complex system context of the current topic, by comprehending its scientific, technical, political, social, ecological and economic perspectives.

- Analytical skills: The ETH Week participants are able to structure complex problems systematically using selected methods. They are able to acquire further knowledge and critically analyse the knowledge in interdisciplinary groups and with experts and the help of team tutors.

- Design skills: The students are able to use their knowledge and skills to develop concrete approaches for problem-solving and decision making to a selected problem statement, critically reflect on these approaches, assess their feasibility, to transfer them into a concrete form (physical model, prototypes, strategy paper, etc.) and to present this work in a creative way (role-plays, videos, exhibitions, etc.).

- Self-competence: The students are able to plan their work effectively, efficiently and autonomously. By considering approaches from different disciplines they are able to make a judgment and form a personal opinion. In exchange with non-academic partners from business, politics, administration, non-governmental organisations and media they are able to communicate appropriately, present their results professionally and creatively and convince a critical audience.

- Social competence: The students are able to work in multidisciplinary teams, i.e. they can reflect critically on their own discipline, debate with students from other disciplines and experts in a critical-constructive and respectful way and can relate their own positions to different intellectual approaches. They can assess how far they are able to actively make a contribution to society by using their personal and professional talents and skills as "Change Agents".

- Remote collaboration competence: The students work in a hybrid setting blending physical and virtual communication and collaboration methods and tools. They experience the potential and limitations of remote collaboration.
ContentThe week is mainly about problem-solving and design thinking applied to the complex world of health and well-being. During ETH Week students will have the opportunity to work in small interdisciplinary groups, allowing them to critically analyse both their own approaches and those of other disciplines, and to integrate these into their work.

While deepening their knowledge about sustainable urban development, students will be introduced to various methods and tools for generating creative ideas and understanding how different people are affected by each part of the system. In addition to lectures and literature, students will acquire knowledge via excursions into the real world, empirical observations, and conversations with researchers and experts.

A key attribute of ETH Week is that students are expected to find their own problems, rather than just solve the problem that has been handed to them.

Therefore, the first three days of the week will concentrate on identifying a problem the individual teams will work on, while the last two days are focused on generating solutions and communicating the team's ideas.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits1 credit
ExaminersF. Rittiner, C. Bening-Bach, S. Brusoni, R. Knutti, A. Vaterlaus
Typeungraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


General : Special students and auditors need a special permission from the lecturers

Offered in

Health Sciences and Technology BachelorElectivesWInformation
Computer Science BachelorMinor CoursesWInformation
Environmental Sciences BachelorEnvironmental PlanningWInformation