Chicago Booth Alumni Club

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2020 Club Updates

Posted On: 2/9/2020 12:00:00 AM

Dear fellow Swiss Alumni of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business,

Let me first wish you a very Happy New Year! May 2020 bring you joy, happiness, good health and success!

By way of this end-of-the-year/start-of-the-year letter, I would like to give you a brief overview of what happened in 2019, a broad outlook of 2020 and a few messages from the club and the school. I will close with some personal thoughts.

2019 Was a Very Active Year

In 2019, we held a record of eight events:

  •  January 22, University of Chicago reception at the World Economic Forum in Davos
  • March 26, Fireside chat with Law Professor Omri Ben-Shahar, joint event with the Law School Alumni Club at Homburger in Zurich
  • June 4, Chicago Booth Goes Luxury – Global Powers of Luxury Industry at Deloitte in Zurich
  • July 4, Summer Apéro At Martel in Zurich
  • September 1, Chicago Booth Family Day in Nuolen at the beautiful Obersee
  • September 26, Worldwide Booth Night at the James Joyce Bar in Zurich
  • October 3, Executive MBA Information Session & Alumni Panel at the Park Hyatt in Zurich
  • October 31, Advertising Industry Insights Event at Vizeum Switzerland in Zurich

Even though we have good attendance at these events, this list may come as a surprise to some of you. Given our large alumni base in Switzerland, my Executive Committee and I are at a bit of a loss to understand how some alumni keep missing our great events. While we do our best to plan and think ahead, dates and places of events are set and communicated mostly by email 1-3 months ahead. So, please stay tuned for our communications: 

You can find an overview of future and passed events here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/alumni/clubs/zurich/events
Please update your contacts through the school: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/alumni/resources

2020 Outlook

Here is a list of what we on schedule for this year:

  • January 21, University of Chicago reception at the World Economic Forum in Davos
  • June/July, Summer Apéro At Martel in Zurich
  • August/September, Chicago Booth Family Day in Nuolen at the beautiful Obersee
  • 24 September, Worldwide Booth Night at the James Joyce Bar in Zurich

In addition, we are currently working on a couple of events on Future of Food, Fintech/Blockchain and Energy. We are committed and dedicated to make 2020 yet another great year for Chicago Booth Alumni in Switzerland.

A Bit of Club Information

We thought you might find it useful to gain a bit of insight on how we manage the alumni club. The Committee’s focus is on planning and organizing events, mainly by allocating single events to a dedicated member. The general administrative burden weighs on the CFO (thank you, Nicola) and the President (a thankless task, :-D). As we enter the 6th year as a Committee, we decided to start a gradual rejuvenation over the coming years to ensure smooth transition. So, if you would like to support the Club, give back to Booth and have fun, please do contact me! One of the first jobs to take up apart from event organizing, would be communication and marketing, as we continue to struggle to reach all alumni.

We are also working on the long-term project to establish a formal legal entity to embody the club, as is common in Switzerland. We will soon reach out to you on that one!

A Few Closing Thoughts

As we enter the next decade, uncertainty reigns. Populism spreads, not only in politics through would-be charismatic strongmen. Social media allows us to build, and stay in, our own echo chambers. Many business leaders seem more to care about profiting in the short-term themselves, than to build a great business and leave a lasting legacy. Critical, rational and fact-based thinking, speaking and acting has gone somewhat out-of-fashion. These developments make it all the more important, I would argue, to uphold the long Chicago tradition of critical, honest and unbiased thinking. As inconvenient as it may sometimes be, our Chicago education forces us to think things through, speak up and act consistently.

The Executive Committee and I are dedicated to building a platform for exchanging and debating ideas, thoughts and truths. We invite you to actively participate and shape it!
Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Oliver Banz, ’05
President, Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Zurich