Innovation and talent.
A healthy life balance
Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland – David Meier has led a globetrotting life. But two things have kept the 34-year-old innovator in Graubünden for the past seven years.
When the paraglider is spread out on the grass and the ropes are in your hand, you move forward as far as you can until you feel resistance. You run down the slope towards the valley and leave the ropes and all your anxiety behind before finally lifting off. “It’s a powerful feeling,” says David Meier, referring to feelings of calm, freedom and transcendence. “Flying takes you off to another world.” But another world can only exist as long as this world does. And in this world, David is a husband, father and innovator.
Atop the roof of technology company Gritec and surrounded by the Graubünden mountain panorama sits a glazed conference room. When David is in this room, he looks for the areas in which his employer Gritec’s expertise intersects with that of the client. According to David, innovation is only possible by finding and combining the right methods, technology and tools. As Head of Innovation, he runs creative workshops and steers thinking with a view to reaching this point. It is a varied job that involves a lot of communication. “With every project comes something completely new.” Sometimes the focus is on medical technology, sometimes it’s industrial automation, and other times it’s generators. And although, in his mind, his job is done as soon as the client has left the conference room in the valley, the best thing for him is seeing the ideas developed there actually put to practice.
David arrived at Gritec seven years ago – his first position after graduating. That’s a long time given the 34-year-old’s life up to that point: born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, he spent his childhood in the Zurich Oberland, followed by four years in Indonesia, attending school in Singapore, Pfäffikon and Basel, before going on to study in Zurich and complete an internship Germany. “I’m at home no matter where I am,” he says. “At the moment, that’s Graubünden.” The range of career options helped. Having started out as a developer at Gritec, two years later he joined the management team, and today he is in charge of the innovation division. “I need challenges and like to apply myself and have an impact.”
He may have come to Graubünden for the job, but it was meeting his partner that made him stay here. Their first daughter was born two years ago, the second arrived in July 2020. Every Wednesday, David stays home in Igis – just a few kilometres away from the office. He makes a conscious effort to spend time with his family. “To me, that’s more important than making a career for myself.” David says that between work and family, the only thing that’s been neglected is flying. To enjoy the experience to the fullest, he needs at least half a day.
The first time David went paragliding was back in 2006. It was the second day of the training course on the Elm mountain in the canton of Glarus. There was snow on the ground and the landing site was nowhere to be seen. “It was a queasy feeling,” he remembers. He started running, ready to take off, but had to stop. But he doesn’t see this situation as a failure. He believes you have to be able to weigh up risks and assess your own skills: “That goes for flying and work.” He went up the mountain a second time, laid out the parachute, took the ropes in his hands again – and took off. If you want to create something new and make it reality, you must be ready to fail too.