From Boston to Zurich: Shaping the Future of Food

Harvard, Tufts, and WPI will be represented in the “Lake Week” festival at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Wädenswil this month.

January 24, 2024 | Boston & New York

On January 29, the School of Life Sciences and Facility Management (LSFM) of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) will launch its inaugural Lake Week, designed as an annual festival at the interface of environment, food, health, and society at its Reidbach Campus in Wädenswil, on Lake Zurich. This year’s event will focus on the future of food, featuring exhibitions and experiences in ZHAW’s new building dedicated to this topic.

As part of Lake Week, two experts from Boston-area universities will participate as speakers in an International Day on the topic of the “planetary health diet.” David Havelick, Assistant Director of the Harvard Office for Sustainability, will deliver a keynote and take part in the panel discussion “Aligning existing with new measurement efforts: the role of institutions,” where he will be joined by Katie Stebbins, Executive Director of the Food & Nutrition Innovation Institute at Tufts University, and Advisor at Swissnex in Boston and New York. In addition, two professors from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) – Danielle Cote and Angela Incollingo Rodriguez – will share their interdisciplinary work on 3D food printing as part of the festival.

Representing the global Swissnex network at Lake Week will be Malin Borg, CEO of Swissnex in Brazil, and Nathalie Minder, Head of Innovation at Swissnex in Boston and New York.

Boston’s presence in the event reflects the ZHAW’s strong network in New England, which the School of Life Science and Facilities Management has targeted due to the region’s strength in the life sciences and food innovation. In October 2022, LSFM leadership came to Boston on a delegation visit facilitated by Swissnex to seek new collaborations on food innovation. During the trip, they met with representatives at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and finalized preparations for a dual degree agreement, which was concluded in April 2023. Lake Week itself was partly inspired by a 2018 visit to Boston by Urs Hilber, Dean of LSFM, during which he attended HubWeek, a festival of ideas and innovation founded by The Boston Globe, Harvard, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Massachusetts Institue of Technology.