What «opening doors» mean to Florian Schaffner

Story by Tanya König

What does «opening doors» mean to you?

It’s giving somebody a shot, giving an opportunity, opening a window. These doors are rarely the size of a gate, but small gestures that accumulate over time: An invite, a phone number, a small sponsorship. We have had many such doors opened to us in past and now and our current projects all benefit from and build on these gestures. So whenever we’re given the chance, we open doors for others – because most of the time, these doors open in both directions. You may learn as much from the person stepping through the doorframe as they do from you.

Who is Florian?

Florian Schaffner recently finished his PhD in Economics. He’s the co-founder of a number of projects including up & coming, a digital catalogue for young Swiss artists, Print Matters!, – a store for independent magazines, Bande de Coquins, a city-newsletter and Wyatt, an online subscription service that supplies subscribers with fresh toothbrushes.

Sarah Ebling

          Sarah Ebling holds a professorship in Accessibility Studies at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) and is a senior researcher at the University of Zurich. Her research focuses on natural language processing in the context of disabilities and special needs, specifically, sign language technology and automatic text simplification. Her groups’ contributions involve artificial intelligence techniques with a strong emphasis on user involvement. She is involved in various international and national projects and leads a large-scale Swiss innovation initiative entitled „Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies“ (2022-2026; https://www.iict.uzh.ch/).