The Oberalp Board4Next is the consequence of the last Oberalp Summit. Every year, the Oberalp Group invites the most important retailers and customers to this worldwide meeting. Over the course of two days, a relevant topic of the industry will be highlighted, as well as the collections of the company's own mountain sports brands for the coming year will be presented. "The Gen Z Mountains - How the next generation is changing the outdoor industry" was the topic of the last Oberalp Summit in Zurich. "If we are to understand a new generation of potential employees and customers, we have to deal with the views, ideas and approaches of Gen-Z," says Oberalp CEO Christoph Engl. "In doing so, listening is more important than understanding". The Oberalp Group gave representatives of this generation the stage in Zurich and offered retailers and partners a deep insight into how Gen-Z sees the mountain. The project Board4Next is the consequence of this for Oberalp: A group of eight employees under the age of 28 will take on responsibility at Oberalp over the next two years and will work for the management in an advisory function.
From the 40 or so applications submitted by employees under the age of 28, the management selected four women and four men who had to undergo a creative application process. "It was very important for us to find a heterogeneous group of employees, from different areas and nations," says Ruth Oberrauch, member of the management board and sponsor of this project. "Even the expertise of the Gen-Z representatives on the Board4Next couldn't be more different, Customer Service, Product Design, Sales, Retail and Marketing as well as USA, Italy, France and Germany as a mix of nations. It's a great group with a wide variety of skills and cultures," says Ruth Oberrauch, pleased with the good choice. The Gen-Z representatives will fulfil two tasks over the next two years: they will work on a specific project (mountain and gaming industry) and they will attend the Oberalp Group's board meeting once a year.
In managing the assigned project, Board4Next members have free rein over budget and organization. "The only binding deadline we set is a project update once a year," says CEO Christoph Engl. Board4Next members are trained in design thinking, project management, and public speaking, thus qualifying for further professional development. There is no separate compensation for the extra work, however.