Humans above technology.

An image of Ilona Dürler
An interview with Ilona Dürler, Elective Course Lecturer

A mini-blog series by Daniel Cade

Isn’t it strange how sometimes you meet people for the first time and find out that they’ve already had an impact on your life? Ilona is one of those people. She’s probably got you out of a tight spot in the past, too. She’s Managing Partner at Ginetta, the company responsible for significantly reducing the time it takes to buy a ticket for public transport via the SBB app. As Ilona put it, “People running for the train will catch it now because tickets are pretty easy to buy on mobile.” Thank you, Ilona!

Ilona works at the forefront of that sweet spot where business, technology, and design intersect. Using her previous experience working at design agencies, software companies, and an insurance provider, Ilona focuses on finding solutions that place humans above technology. “That’s our motto, and it’s the red thread through our elective course on the MBA,” she explained. “It’s about putting people at the centre to understand their goals and using technology to achieve them.”

Ilona’s elective on Digital Product Creation has proven to be a big hit with students in the past. Why? “It’s particularly useful for MBAs because, in addition to the business analysis, you need to be able to check the technical feasibility and design desirability to launch a successful digital product. Our elective takes MBAs through a process that teaches them to switch from inside-out thinking to outside-in, seeking solutions through a more customer-centric mindset.”

The process uses a real-life case provided by an industry partner - which in the past has included the likes of Google, Mammut, and Weleda – and looks at everything from strategy alignment to product research, rapid prototyping and working with software engineers to convincing management by measuring success. 

Is a class of talented MBAs potentially impacting my life positively every year? Thanks again, Ilona!


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