Switzerland must play a worldwide leading role in digital transformation. So far, Switzerland has proved that it can democratically legitimize technological and social change. This is a central prerequisite for the population to communicate this change and recognize the great potential and opportunities in digitization.
It is important that the actors of digital transformation, the digital shapers, are in constant dialogue with the population. They focus on the opportunities, potential and challenges facing Switzerland in the coming years.
Regulation must primarily allow new ideas instead of protecting existing business models. Applicable laws should be tested for their suitability for digital transformation.
Data is part of Switzerland’s infrastructure, such as road, railways and power networks, and is of great value. The government and the economy are obliged to generate added value from these data. Moreover, the state must play a pioneering role with its data.
Education and creativity are Switzerland’s raw materials. Already children should create and learn how to create digital content.
Teachers should be trained and educated accordingly.
Switzerland has to become the world’s leading research location for the digital transformation. For this purpose the federal government should provide two billion Swiss francs to ETH Zurich and EPF Lausanne for the next ten years.
New ideas must not be taxed before they make profits. Founders, investors and employees who take a holding in a startup may not be disadvantaged against a classic investment on the capital market.
A private funded future-fund will enable sufficient capital and expert knowledge to be made available to the young companies.
Digital business models are international. Corporate strategies that stop at the national border have hardly any prospect.
The state must be a partner in digital change – analogous to the Scandinavian and Baltic states, where the digital exchange between citizens and administration has advanced. Major established companies have the task of cannibalizing their business models in the digital environment and supporting and promoting cooperation with startups.
Jobs and Wealth
The state must make labor markets more flexible in terms of working time and working models. The previous distinction between self-employed and not-self-employed workers must be dispensed in the future.
Switzerland is dependent on the best talents in the world, since the Swiss economy and science are highly specialized and schools and universities can not fully meet the needs.
If the stated requirements are met and implemented, Switzerland will be the number 1 in Europe in digital transformation.
Bern, November 22nd 2016