600 guests at the 21st Business Forum - for the first time at the Circle Convention Center

600 guests attended the 21st Economic Forum of the FRZ Zurich Airport Region. This year's business forum was held for the first time in the new city quarter at Zurich Airport.

Keynote speaker was extreme mountaineer Dani Arnold. He told with impressive pictures and videos about his previous successes, records and challenges during his tours and adventures. Arnold always managed to include entertaining elements in his presentation.

Mountaineering - expeditions, rock climbing, ice climbing in various countries around the world - is his passion. "It's worth taking a risk to achieve your dreams," Arnold says. With this attitude, great will and technical ability, he was able to set alpine milestones. He tries to combine speed and difficulty in his projects. Some milestones in his career: speed records on the Eiger and Matterhorn north faces, first ascents in Patagonia, Alaska, Pakistan and China.

Solo climbing - without aids such as rope - is a brutally honest way of climbing, he says. Success depends solely on one's own ability. "There are no excuses." Dani Arnold speaks of calculated risk. To take rash risks is stupidity. The father of one daughter still doesn't want to give up solo climbing, but he rarely embarks on such adventures. He also points out the great effort involved in his expeditions. Many preparations have to be cancelled again and again and plans have to be postponed.

Importance of Zurich Airport

Other speakers at the business forum included Stephan Widrig, CEO Flughafen Zürich AG, Patrick Frost, Group CEO Swiss Life AG, and Prof. Dr. Gian-Luca Bona, CEO EMPA.

Stephan Widrig explained that the situation in international air traffic is normalizing. In October 2021, 1,613,866 passengers flew through Zurich Airport. While this represents an increase of 244 percent compared to the same period last year, it is still down 43.8 percent compared to October 2019, he said, adding that it is paying off for Flughafen Zürich AG to broaden its base with additional revenue sources. The Circle, which officially opened a year ago, the Airport Shopping and the Airside Center, including gates, stand for this.

Patrick Frost tried to dispel the impression that Swiss Life Group was a real estate giant. Swiss Life (formerly Rentenanstalt) accounts for just one percent of real estate assets in Switzerland. Just like Flughafen Zürich AG, rental income is of interest to Swiss Life, he said. "We have no interest whatsoever in rising real estate prices," Frost says. Swiss Life holds a 49 percent stake in The Circle; Flughafen Zürich AG 51 percent.

Innovation as a challenge

Gian-Luca Bona used data from the research laboratory on the Jungfraujoch to show how accurately air quality can be measured. With data-supported predictive control in the building, around 25 percent heating or cooling energy could also be saved annually. The goal is closed loops for energy, water, materials, technology, food and information. Empa's core competencies are based on energy systems, building materials, the system of catalysis, thin-film technology, advanced manufacturing, technology assessment, as well as artificial intelligence, big data and digital twins.

Musical splashes of color

After the welcome by André Ingold - President of FRZ and the City of Dübendorf - FRZ Managing Director Christoph Lang moderated through the evening. Among other things, he was allowed to announce the videos of the event premium partners ABB, UBS and Swiss Life. Klassik Nuevo provided the musical highlights, Fleurop the floral highlights. Prior to the event, the software-supported matchmaking "meet & match", which enabled visitors to engage in 1:1 conversations with their target groups, was in high demand. Over 200 conversations took place.


FRZ CEO Christoph Lang, Stephan Widrig (CEO Flughafen Zürich AG), FRZ President André Ingold, extreme mountaineer Dani Arnold, Prof. Dr. Gian-Luca Bona (CEO EMPA), Alain Kappeler (SOS Children's Village Foundation Switzerland) and Patrick Frost, Group CEO Swiss Life AG. (Photo: www.andremaurer.ch)
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