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Discovering the world of the Olympiads

Aktualisiert: 20. März 2023

Find out how Luca Ferrari, a member of the IChO’s Organizing Committee, had his first experience at this international event. How he experienced his arrival in a project with international ambitions and values of cohesion and sustainability.

"On 1 January 2023, I joined the Organising Committee for the 2023 Chemistry Olympiad, which will take place in Zurich this summer. This was the first time I heard about national and international Olympiads. As I had graduated from high school in a more literary way, I had never really been interested in these kinds of events.

So, with the task of taking care of the communication of this international event, I discovered a world that was completely unknown to me.

And I have to admit that I did not expected this... The Organising Committee has the task of planning and organising the arrival of around 900 persons from all around the world, in Zurich at ETH and for a period of 10 days.

I never thought this would be such a big challenge: fundraising, organising accommodation and transport, food, volunteers, activities (on and off campus), goodies, collaboration with partners, the ceremonies and much more. And to top it all, the Scientific Committee also has to prepare the whole competition part, with the preparatory problems, the theoretical and practical exams, the corrections and the marking. In short, as I am sure you have understood, it's not just about printing out a few copies of an exam, having the students sit in a room to answer the questions and calmly correcting the copies to publish the results on an online website a few weeks later. It's much more than that.

So it is a complex ecosystem that develops around the organisation of this incredible event. But that's not all. The Organising Committee has decided to focus on two criteria that will guide this Olympiad: "togetherness" and "finding solutions". This has led the entire organising team to rethink each stage in order to create a real synergy between delegations and minimise the environmental footprint of this international event. This is a major challenge that requires additional investment from the whole team.

And my goal is to communicate all our activities on social media, on our website and in our newsletter. Fortunately, I am not alone in this! I work with a great team who are really committed to the success of this event. Let me introduce a few of them:

  • Andreas is the most incredible boss you can have! She is creative and inspiring. She helps me find great interview topics to share with you.

  • Silena is so benevolent to me and helps me to have an overall view of all partners involved in the project. By working with Silena, we are able to present you with great projects and people involved in finding great solutions.

  • Julia is so motivated and full of ideas. With her help, I can show you all the great projects that are being developed at ETH Zurich and its Departement of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences D-CHAB.

  • Ivan is always there to help you find the right information. He takes care of the liaison to all delegations, the Scientific Committee, and all the volunteers and he helps me introduce you to these people who will be there for you throughout the IChO 2023.

Of course, there are many other people working in the team. I will prepare some great videos to present some of them to you. So, do not forget to follow us on social media[GM2] and subscribe [GM3] to our newsletter:

· Newsletter:

Together with the communications team, we look forward to meeting all of you: students, mentors, volunteers, observers and guests. Together we will share the beauty and scope of the Chemistry Olympiad with you and hopefully motivate other young students to embark on the extraordinary adventure of the Olympiad."

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