Switzerland at Pier 17: Opening doors and ideas

On September 25, 2017, San Francisco City Hall was lit up in red in white to celebrate the Grand Opening of Switzerland at Pier 17.

On September 25, 2017, San Francisco City Hall was lit up in red in white to celebrate the Grand Opening of Switzerland at Pier 17.

“This is swissnex 2.0,” announced Christian Simm, CEO of swissnex San Francisco, at the Grand Opening of Switzerland at Pier 17.

The Swiss and San Francisco community celebrated the launch of the shared waterfront hub of Swiss innovation: a place for international collaboration amongst diplomats, academics, creatives, and entrepreneurs. In the new swissnex gallery, luminaries such as Google’s Blaise Agüera y Arcas, Artist Thomas Hirschhorn, and O’Reilly Media CEO Tim O’Reilly discussed the future of storytelling, hospitality, food, work, biotech, and machine intelligence. A complete list of speakers and activities can be found here.

Guests enjoyed the talks amongst shiftable geometric shapes made from recycled foam, designed by BUREAU A as part of the #SOFTFORM exhibition, which included Tweeting idea-hats with a running printout of future-focused questions from Fragment.in. Later, musical guests included a DJ set by Josette Melchor of Gray Area, and the first West Coast performance of OY’s Ghanaian-Swiss avant-garde dance music.  

The celebration wasn’t limited to the remodeled interior of Pier 17. Mayor Ed Lee announced Sept. 23 “Switzerland at Pier 17 Day” in San Francisco, and City Hall was lit up in Swiss colors on Sept. 25.

Not content with ideas alone, swissnex San Francisco launched three new initiatives to help shape and understand the future.

The opening of the swissnex space is an inspiring time. These initiatives will help our spirit of optimism shape the future of ideas and design. 

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