Cortona Week’s mission is to provide a platform that opens up the door and nurtures wider scopes of thinking, competence and creativity for all.
It was quite a revolutionary endeavor when Cortona Week was launched in 1985. The event was created to foster transdisciplinary and intercultural competence in natural scientists and engineers by exposing and extending their expertise in physics, chemistry, biosciences, material sciences and informatics, to a much broader scope of other domains such as: spirituality, literature, psychology, music, fine arts, bodywork, and intercultural knowledge.
More than 30 years later, not much has changed in academia. It seems as if the general education still does not manage to supply enough
intercultural competence and a broader knowledge of life’s different scope to potential future leaders, whether they are from the natural
sciences, humanities or the arts.
Loyal to its original aim, Cortona Week strives to serve as a platform to foster individual artistic, spiritual and humanistic capabilities for students in the natural sciences. Over the years, the objective has been extended to students in the humanities and arts in order to immerse them in basic principles of natural sciences. Therefore, participation in Cortona Week has been extended to include students from the humanities and arts in an effort to actively breakdown traditional barriers, prejudices and misunderstandings between these different fields of expertise.
To better achieve Cortona Week’s goal, and to promote intensive exchange between teachers, workshop leaders and students, the seminar takes place far from the academic institutions for a full week.
Speakers and workshop leaders are selected on the basis of their expertise and didactic skills. We try to keep a 50:50 gender ration, and embrace the different stages of life with our selection.
ETH Zurich plays a leading role in this interdisciplinary, educational seminar week. Since 2008, Cortona Week is organized in cooperation with the Zurich University of Arts (ZHdK). Both schools have incorporated Cortona Week into their credit systems. Cortona Week has been established as the summer school of ETH Zurich in the framework of the IDEA League.