2018 is already history… and what a year it has been! Let me take a step back to reflect on last year’s achievements and give you a glimpse of what we plan for 2019.

This was 2018

Many highlights have marked the digitalswitzerland year 2018, so I would like to pick out just a few.

Starting with the most crucial one: Our members. More than 30 new members have joined us from various sectors, regions and organisations. I’d like to emphasize that it is our valued members, who move forward, create and shape innovation through specific projects and initiatives by way of cross-sector collaboration. They bring in their expertise and knowledge. They are ambitious and, more importantly, hungry for a bold vision of a Switzerland that embraces the opportunities for digital transformation and that develops solutions for its challenges.

Dear members, thank you for your commitment and contributions.

Also, I very vividly remember the second Swiss Digital Day. It was great to see how hundreds of thousands of people engaged in the topic of digitalisation and took time to explore more by visiting one of our 12 locations and hubs all over the country. Our goal was to create a dialogue on opportunities and challenges arising from and related to digital transformation: e.g., to talk about what this transformation entails for the future of jobs, and about how we communicate and travel… in short, how we live with the new technological means.

We don’t know what our tomorrows will look like. But, we know for sure that digital transformation is no fiction! Therefore, the more every individual acknowledges this reality and is able to form her/his own opinion, the better we will be prepared as a society to tackle challenges and embrace opportunities.

It is my pleasure to announce we will organize Digital Day once again. Save the date: 3 September 2019 is going to be the day! This time, even more inclusive and even more regional. Are you interested to become a partner and do something for Switzerland and the Swiss population? Do not hesitate to contact us!

We were busy shaping Digital Switzerland and here is a summary of some of the many projects and initiatives we launched, enabled and/or developed:

  • We hosted a WEF Breakfast with Federal President Alain Berset and Alexander Karp
  • The digitalswitzerland challenge went into its second round. And the winner was Riva Digital
  • We successfully organised the Startup Bootcamps and partnered with the biggest Startup event in Switzerland, the Startup DAYs
  • Together with IMD Lausanne we launched the IMD Digital Competitiveness Report
  • We held our annual Power Dinner with our members and our General Assembly elected Ivo Furrer as a new President
  • Together with Bilanz, Le Temps and Handelszeitung we presented the 100 Digital Shapers of Switzerland
  • 250’000 people were part of our second Digital Day. The next one will take place on 3rd of September – Save the Date!
  • We launched the public-private partnership initiative on computational thinking, where we will equip schools with a learning robot called Thymio
  • We held for the first time a Digital Gipfel, a new platform for exchange between companies, research institutions and politicians.
  • We launched our Verticals and Matterhorn-Programme, projects with a long-term impact and value for Switzerland
  • Within the Digital Action Plan for Switzerland, we focused on the topics Blockchain, Cybersecurity and eHealth

Getting to the next level in 2019!

Full of energy and enthusiasm, we start the new year as strategic partners of the SWISS Pavilion at the CES Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer electronics show. We showcase Switzerland as a leading innovation and technology hub alongside our partners Presence Switzerland, Switzerland Global Enterprise, Innosuisse and swissnex.

Furthermore, we will, once again, be hosting a breakfast meetup on opportunities and challenges of cryptocurrencies during the WEF in Davos (members only).

In 2019, we want to get to the next level with our 6 project pillars and our newly-established 4 industry verticals. These industry-focus areas aim to identify new flagship projects called the Matterhorns, and further develop existing ones within industries, that highlight Switzerland’s leading role in technology and innovation.

Finally, we not only changed the structure of our organisation; we also got some new captain on board: Ivo Furrer, former CEO of Swiss Life Switzerland, was elected as our new President and took over his mandate at the beginning of the year. We also welcomed some new members on our Steering Committee and as Vertical Leaders.

Our wishes for 2019

In a decentralized political system such as Switzerland, advantages and disadvantages of new laws and legislative amendments are thoroughly debated. Results are very often in the interest of the common good. However, things move slower every now and then, and waiting to see what others will do might not always be the best strategy. For the new year, we envision a Switzerland that is bold and innovative… a Switzerland that is the role-model when it comes to public dialogue on the many facets of digital innovation. It goes without saying that Switzerland has a high potential to be a digital and technology leader; and we want to do our part! This is why we work together with all relevant stakeholders, from sciences, start-ups and corporates to the government. We aim to make our mission a reality: Switzerland, the leading digital innovation hub!

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Author Nicolas Bürer, Managing Director digitalswitzerland

Managing Director

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