Navigating Innovation: A Recap of SMG’s X-Plore Days


In the dynamic realm of technology, staying ahead necessitates more than just passive observation of trends; it demands active exploration, collaboration, and continuous learning. SMG's X-Plore Days represent this commitment to innovation, knowledge-sharing, and the resilience required to future-proof our company.

SMG's Pledge to Progress

SMG’s ethos revolves around the belief that progress emerges from collective effort, encompassing not only engineers but every facet of our diverse workforce.
The X-Plore Days exemplify this philosophy, providing a platform for all to dive into AI, diversity, equity and inclusion, and the intricacies of biases within AI. It is more than an event; it mirrors our dedication to fostering a culture of continuous improvement. So what exactly were these days all about?

Sparking Innovation

The inaugural day, Digital Spark, was a symphony of insights from industry experts. The morning kicked off with coffee and networking, setting the stage for an engaging day. The speaker lineup read like a who’s who in the tech world, featuring Goekhan Bakir from Google, Daniela Dorneanu from AWS, Christoph Schnidrig from AWS, and our very own Andreas Gertsch Grover.

The afternoon program and workshops emphasiszed  the practical aspects of AI. Sarah Ebling from UZH shed light on digital accessibility, while our Senior Performance Marketing Manager Giacomo Iotti provided a “non-tech” primer on the basics of AI. The session on biases within AI by Marcel Blattner from Alpine AI was particularly eye-opening, prompting reflection on the ethical dimensions of our work.

The day concluded with an Apéro, offering participants a chance to unwind, discuss the day’s learnings, and forge connections that extend beyond the event.

Hackathon Extravaganza

The X-Plore Days took a thrilling turn with a hackathon – an epic journey of innovation and fun. Over two days, SMG employees united in a creative frenzy, exploring their passions, trending topics, and work-related interests. The projects were as diverse as our team, ranging from using AI to analyze search terms in Google Ads and SEO to empowering phones for object recognition on secondhand marketplaces.

Judging criteria for the hackathon were rigorous, emphasizing the impact on clients, customers, and private users. Projects were evaluated based on their revenue growth potential, cost efficiency improvement, market differentiation, and implementability within the next year.

The winning categories of this year’s hackathon included “Best project combining AI & Diversity and Inclusion”, “Most Impact on Business”, “Most Valuable to Internal Processes”, and “Most Innovative”. These should be ventures that commit to implementing these changes within the next year, strategically designed to fortify internal processes, prioritising scalability and boosting employee productivity across teams. They should also incorporate strategies for mitigating bias, and notably embrace a more extended implementation timeframe, emphasising a commitment to sustained, impactful change beyond immediate outcomes.

Ambition in Action

The AHA Session, or Another Highly Ambitious Session, marked the final day of X-Plore Days. This segment was tailored to address business needs and foster teamwork. The workshops offered a deep dive into OKR Journeys, shedding light on each Business Unit’s perspective, lessons learned, and the foundations of agile leadership.

Internal advocates led discussions on OKRs and Agile, providing invaluable insights into the dynamics of agile leadership, decision-making in agile teams, and the principles that underpin this transformative approach.

Honouring the Minds behind the X-Plore Days

While the X-Plore Days were a triumph, the success rested on the shoulders of the unsung heroes – our Communication & Engagement Team and dedicated Business Unit partners. Their passion and meticulous planning ensured the seamless execution of an event that blended informative sessions, interactive workshops, and a hackathon brimming with ingenuity. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Communication & Engagement Team – Arnie & Peter Grube, Zelia, Emi, Mladen & Christina, and Pajtim Matoshi from AWS for their tireless efforts in bringing the vision of X-Plore Days to fruition.

The Future We Shape Together

SMG’s X-Plore Days were more than a series of events; they were a showcase of what our company can achieve when we come together to learn, innovate. As we navigate the future, these days stand as a testament to our commitment to staying ahead, adapting to change, and building a future-proof company that thrives on collaboration and continuous improvement. Here’s to the success of X-Plore Days and the future endeavors that will undoubtedly shape our collective path forward. Cheers!

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