First, I would like to wish you a great start into 2018 and much success in achieving your New Year’s resolutions. Maybe some of you made some digital resolutions as well. For example, learning how to code, build a website, but also smaller things such as buying a smartphone or a tablet, buying an online-ticket or using Google Maps to find a location. Or you’re going for a big step in the digital world, like founding a new AI startup or raising money in an ICO.

We Live in a Digital Revolution


As in every revolution, live as we know it will be turned upside down. With digitization, the revolution is fast paced and extremely global, meaning less time to adapt, more chances to grow and become international, but also many more competitors from bigger countries and markets. An easy example of this is the smartphone as we know it today, which only turned ten years old recently. In this short amount of time, it turned whole industries upside down while also creating many new young but already very big companies such as UBER, Whatsapp, or Instagram, to name just a few.

Making Switzerland a Leading Digital Innovation Hub. Worldwide!

Our mission at digitalswitzerland is rather broadly formulated to include the whole spectrum of digitization. We are convinced that there is no aspect of business, politics and society that will remain unaffected by digitization. Hence, only digital innovation in Switzerland can bring us forward.

To be more exact, digitalswitzerland acts as enabler and executioner at the same time. With our many initiatives, we try on the one hand to enable existing activities, bundle them and thus achieve a wider reach (e.g. educationdigital.ch). On the other hand, we execute initiatives such as the Digital Day and many others, where we invite the public together with our members and partners to start the important dialog on opportunities and challenges coming from digitization. Where are we heading? What are the challenges ahead? How can we best prepare to take advantage of the opportunities ahead?

Pushing Ahead in 2018

In 2018 we will use our member base as an additional accelerator for our cause. Meaning, we will push the initiatives we started even further and aim for even more impact.

Political Framework
With the Digital Action Plan, we aim to reach further milestones on the concrete implementation projects defined in 2017. We will use the knowledge gained from this profound work to address challenges and raise our concerns regarding the political framework. With regard to the political sphere, we consider the implementation of a sense of urgency concerning the digital revolution as even more important.

Education & Talent
In order to make Switzerland future ready, we need to give our children the right tools and prepare them now for a digital future. Our education system is definitely top-notch compared to other countries. However, we are convinced that we need to adapt that system or at least part of it. We have to invest our resources towards a modernized education system that is able to keep up with the fast-paced technological developments. Thus, coding and entrepreneurship must become a priority for the future curriculum. Furthermore, we need to invest not only in our children, but in all generations and make lifelong learning a new state of mind in Switzerland.

Startup Enablement
In the last two years, we helped accelerate the Swiss startup system with the Kickstart Accelerator and connected startups with investors and corporates. We learned that there are already many fantastic initiatives for Swiss startups to receive “seed money” (to start off). The gaps we are trying to close in 2018:

  • Linking (international) startups with Swiss corporates to learn and profit from each other.
  • Bringing global investors to Switzerland to help close the gap in growth capital (for scale ups around 3-15 million).
  • Creating a platform and network for all startups from Switzerland (and from abroad) to find the relevant information and get connected with the right people.

Thought Leadership
The digitalswitzerland challenge is one of our main initiatives and involves by far most of our members and partners. 2018 is about pushing the bets and roundtables ahead to more collaboration and ultimately bigger bets, in order to take full effect for all of Switzerland.

Public Dialog
The dialog with the Swiss public was started at last year’s digital day and we will keep it ongoing throughout 2018. We will involve SMEs, startups as well as schools in this dialog and will enable regional initiatives to bring more regions onto our platforms as well.

Internationalization
With all these impactful initiatives, we will invest some of our resources to receive increasing global attention as a digital innovation hub. In concrete terms, the goal is to aim very high with a few Swiss specific projects in order to receive international media coverage for what Switzerland is able to achieve when all relevant players work together towards the same goal.

In Short, This is What Our Masterplan looks like

  • Get all key players (universities, organizations, companies and regions) on board
  • Together with the key players provide an exchange platform…
    • …for political stakeholders to get insights into our digital future and use that knowledge to provide a future ready legal framework.
    • …for education and continuous education in digital skills across all generations.
    • …for startups, investors and corporates to further enhance the startup and scaleup community.
    • …for companies, universities, administrations, SMEs and startups to collaborate on big Swiss digital projects.
    • …for the Swiss public to get involved and prepared to grasp the opportunities presented by digitization.
  • Enable Swiss-wide initiatives to become recognized on an international stage by relevant global players and become a leading digital innovation hub.
  • While doing all of the above, also changing our mindset towards taking more risks, trying and failing, but also learning more and most of all promoting ourselves better.
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About Nicolas Bürer

Managing Director @digitalswitzerland

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