Background - 26.03.2021 - 00:00 

How a crisis can be used to boost innovation

At the START Summit taking place digitally from 19-27 March 2021, Mammut CEO Dr. Oliver Pabst and Mammut Athlete Katherine Choong joined the stage to provide insight into how enduring a crisis can spark an innovative mindset.

26 March 2021. For this fireside chat, Mammut CEO Oliver Pabst introduced the company he has led as CEO since 2016. The sports group is a Swiss multinational mountaineering and trekking company that was founded in 1862.

Pabst talked about the two biggest challenges facing Mammut: Digitization and sustainability. “We want a zero CO2 footprint, to be carbon neutral by 2050,” he said.

New challenges, embrace change

The Mammut chef also talked about the opportunities that the COVID crisis has given his company, saying that dealing with COVID and all the challenges it brought with it gave them a chance to challenge the norm and embrace change. Doing so also brought his team closer together.

Mammut’s corporate purpose is to create a world moved by mountains. With the onset of COVID, and with countries putting their populations in lockdown, Mammut’s temporary slogan became, “the mountains will wait. During this time, Mammut reached out to its customers providing them with tips on how to take care of their mountain climbing equipment while it was sitting idle and even had instructions on how people could stay fit while in lockdown.

Another silver lining that Pabst has seen with the COVID crisis is that it has given many of us a better appreciation of nature and the mountains.

Katherine Choong, a Swiss native from Glovelier in canton Jura, first put on her climbing shoes at the age of 8. Now, she is an elite competitive climber and in 2018, she became the first Swiss woman to navigate the redpoint ascent of an 9a route – one of the most difficult climbs that exist.

Freedom in the climb

Choong says that nature is her playground and said that, “when I climb, I feel free and I have more confidence.” Once focused on a law degree, Choong, who has been a sponsored athlete at Mammut since she was 14, decided against that path. She now climbs as much as she can.

The START Summit brings together startup and technologically-minded entrepreneurs including founders, investors, students and researchers. Year after year, START Summit provides a platform where entrepreneurial minds can exchange ideas, find inspiration and challenge the world we live in.

Image: Adobe Stock / lzf

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