In partnership with Bilanz, Handelszeitung and Le Temps, digitialswitzerland is once again embarking on the exciting quest to identify and celebrate the 100 people advancing Switzerland on its journey to become a leading global digital hub of innovation. The new edition of 100 Digital Shapers 2020 will be published at the end of September.

The future is now

In line with the resilience, adaptability and forward-thinking needed to face the challenges of Covid-19, it’s with this same spirit that our Digital Shapers work. We’re proud to shine a spotlight on the advances that push Switzerland forward as a leading global digital innovation hub.

What’s new for 2020?

We received a total of 550 nominations representing digital pioneers, data enthusiasts and digital visionaries, covering everything from support ecosystems for startups, innovative solutions in healthcare, to digital tools that advance education, manufacturing and technology. What unites these doers and thinkers? A shared motivation to make a positive impact, not only on Switzerland, but on the world. We are also excited that our Hall of Fame continues for the second year and is made up of exceptional shapers who have been elected for the third time. 

Open and active participation

We have also added four exciting new categories to attract a diverse range of applications. We sent out a public call on social media for those who identify themselves as “The Infrastructure-Builders”, “The FinTechers”, “The Sustainers” and “The Creatives”. Here is the list of all ten categories:

  • The Transformers: employ the skills needed to transform a physical business into a successful digital entity 
  • The Scalers: nurture relatively young but successful international businesses in the digital field
  • The Investors: create a successful breeding ground for digital ideas through investment
  • The Thinkers: researchers, think tankers, authors and bloggers who contribute to positive digital change
  • The Mentors: educators who enable, spread ideas and share knowledge
  • The Infrastructure-Builders: people, politicians and administration who contribute to a solid digital infrastructure to facilitate digital change.
  • The Fintechers: encourage advancements and offer support within the Swiss Fintech sector
  • The Sustainers: support a sustainable Switzerland by developing or using digital technology
  • The Creatives: employing digital transformation to further develop art, gaming and culture
  • The Corporates: the driving force in corporations that ensure visionary digital practices

A jury hard at work

It’s no mean feat whittling down 420 submissions to 100 finalists. Let us now introduce the diverse jury members with the experience and expert knowledge needed to appoint the next Digital Shapers!

Marc Kowalsky, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Bilanz

Writing about new technologies for over 30 years, Mark Kowalsky is responsible for startups and digitalisation coverage at Bilanz magazine. With in-depth knowledge of the very latest developments in the Swiss economy, we value his sense for fresh ideas and the next big players in the future of digital.

Nicolas Bürer, Managing Director digitalswitzerland

Our Managing Director Nicolas Bürer brings his entrepreneurial and innovation spirit and experience to the decision-making process. With his extensive network in the Swiss startup ecosystem and the realm of digitalisation, as well as first-hand experience of founding a startup, Nicolas has an eye for the next big talent and digital transformation.

Sébastien Kulling, Deputy MD, Head Suisse Romande digitalswitzerland

Sébastien Kulling is a sustainability champion and believes consumption habits should reflect and integrate the environmental cost of our natural resources. A certified business coach and entrepreneur, he shares his leadership skills to develop individuals, teams and startups. 

Stéphane Benoit-Godet, Editor-in-Chief LeTemps

Stéphane Benoit-Godet is editor-in-chief of the Swiss daily newspaper Le Temps. With a profound knowledge about the Suisse Romandie ecosystem, Stéphane is always at the edge of new trends and technologies He has previously held various positions in the French-speaking Swiss press, including editor-in-chief of the magazine Bilan.

Michael Hengartner, President ETH Rat

Michael Hengartner is President of the ETH Board and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the ETH Domain. Michael founded and has also been a part of the board of a number of start-ups, including the biotech company Devgen and the scientific consultancy company Evaluescience.  

Susanne Schumacher, ZHdK Chairwoman of the Digital Council 

Susanne Schumacher is committed to actively shaping our contemporary culture of digitality. She brings experience of digital information and media technologies in the arts, design and architecture. At the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), she is chairman of the Digital Council of the ZHdK and heads the Digital Knowledge program. 

Anja Wyden, CEO & Founder, civicLab

Anja Wyden brings a wealth of diverse experience to our jury. Alongside her work at civicLab, she was State Chancellor for the State of Geneva for eight years. She teaches innovation and design thinking at University of Lausanne, University of Geneva and Applied University Geneva and is chairwoman and member of boards of corporate companies and foundations. 

Cornelia Gut-Villa, Managing Director Foundation Startfeld, St. Gallen

Previously shortlisted on our 2019 Digital Shapers 100 list, Cornelia knows what it takes to be a shaper. Owner of Gutvilla Consulting AG, Managing Director of the Startfeld Foundation and Co-Managing Director of the Startfeld Innovation Center Association, she also contributes learnings from her time in the banking industry and her role as a management consultant. 

Melanie Kovacs, Founder Master21 Academy

Melanie is a creative entrepreneur, business coach and podcast host of Joyful Learning. Named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list 2018, she supports aspiring entrepreneurs to turn business ideas into profitable businesses. Melanie serves on the board of the Impact Hub Association and is a judge at the Swiss Economic Award.

Nicoletta Casanova, Founder, CEO and President of SMARTEC SA

With a passion for innovation, Nicoletta is a serial entrepreneur on the lookout for new challenges. As Founder, CEO and President of SMARTEC SA, Innovation Counselor at the Swiss Innovation Agency Innosuisse and Chair of BRIDGE steering committee, her diverse skills greatly enrich our appointment process. 

Tea Ganser, Head of DigitalBasel

Tea brings invaluable knowledge of  successful Swiss digital transformation. Added to this she has rich knowledge of marketing, communication and operations for startups, as well as medium-sized and large companies. A deep understanding of modern business practices combined with entrepreneurial thinking will bolster the jury panel.  

Manuel Brun, CEO Belbo Business Solutions

Manuel is a Lucerne & Berlin-based entrepreneur and CEO at Belbo Business Solutions. Bringing experience of ICT and innovation-management, Manuel co-founded the innovation consultancy and coworking community Hirschengraben Coworking + Innovation. As a freelance consultant at 21-21, Manuel advises companies on how to master digital transformation.

Explore previous editions of the 100 Digital Shapers and take a look at the nominees of 2018 and the 2019 edition of Bilanz. 

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Emily Livingston

Author Emily Livingston

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