We are delighted to once again launch into the exciting quest to find and celebrate this year’s 100 Digital Shapers. This would not be possible without our strong partnership with Bilanz, Handelszeitung and PME. The 2022 edition of 100 Digital Shapers will be published in late August. In the meantime, our jury members have been busy assessing more than 270 applications.
2022 is a particularly interesting year for our 12-strong jury to assess and narrow down hopeful nominations. Innovative minds, deep thinkers and action-oriented digital enthusiasts have been busy pushing boundaries. These are the people that our jury will take pleasure in identifying. Without their thoughts and actions, Switzerland would not stay on course for digital success Since these individual powerhouses make rapid advancements possible. We look forward to shining a light on the many digital strides and achievements that have taken place over the last 12 months.
And now it’s time to meet our esteemed jury members, who with their unique skills, extensive knowledge and finger on the pulse of digital change, can appoint our winners.
Marc Kowalsky has been Deputy Editor-in-Chief at BILANZ, Switzerland’s biggest business magazine, for 14 years. His journalistic focus includes digitalisation, IT and telecoms as well as the start-up scene. He has interviewed personalities such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and Eric Schmidt. In the course of his career, he has written for Fortune Magazine, SPIEGEL and SPIEGEL Online, BILANZ Deutschland, Die Welt, Facts and Weltwoche, among others.
Stefan Metzger is the Managing Director of digitalswitzerland. Until 2021, Stefan was the Country Managing Director of Cognizant Technology Solutions, responsible for the company’s business in Switzerland as well as the Market Leader for the Insurance Vertical across Continental Europe. Stefan has worked in the ICT Industry for more than 30 years, with focused experience in Insurance, Technology and Consulting. Prior to his current position, Stefan held various sales management and consulting roles at IBM Corporation across different countries, including Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Central Europe.
Thierry Vial has been editor-in-chief of the French-language business magazine PME for seven years. He studied political sciences at the University of Lausanne before working in asset management (BCV), then as an economic journalist for Bilan. He then managed Inédit Publications SA, an SME active in custom publishing, which belonged to the Gassmann group before joining PME.
Caroline Widmer is the Director of -Pulse Incubateur HES, an incubator for talents coming from the six Universities of Applied Sciences of HES-SO Geneva. She previously held strategic positions in the public administration, in the areas of Security and Economic Development. She has conducted major digital transitions while also participating in the elaboration of the State of Geneva’s digital and innovation Policy.
Andri Silberschmidt is an FDP National Councillor, Vice-President of the FDP.Die Liberalen Schweiz and gastro-entrepreneur from Zurich. Today, Andri Silberschmidt works as an assistant to the management of Planzer Transport AG. Furthermore, Andri is co-founder and chairman of the board of kaisin. – a catering company with branches in the cities of Zurich, Basel and Zug, a member of the board of directors of Jucker Farm AG and president of FH SCHWEIZ, the umbrella organisation for graduates of universities of applied sciences.
Luciana Vaccaro is an Italian-Swiss physicist and Rector of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland (HES-SO) since 1 October 2013. The HES-SO comprises 28 institutions of higher education spread across seven cantons, with more than 22,000 students. She is also vice-president of Innosuisse and president of the chamber of HES of swissuniversities.
As the founder and managing partner of DART Labs | Ventures, Arijana accelerates and invests in early-stage startup founders using deep-tech solutions with a positive impact on people and planet. In addition, she is the Director of Studies at Zurich’s HWZ, leading the Disruptive Technology program and is engaged as a Board Member at the Swiss Startup Association and at Somniacs AG.
Eric Saracchi is the Chief Digital & Information Officer at Firmenich, the largest privately owned Perfumes & Flavors house globally. With an innovative and strategic mindset, Eric transforms businesses by converging purpose, people and technologies together. Eric was awarded “Swiss CIO of the Year (2018)”, “Digital Shapers of Switzerland (2020)”, and received the “Digital Innovation of the Year (Digital Economy Award 2021)”.
Domenico Scala has served as President of Basel Area Business & Innovation since 1 January 2016. He has been Chairman of the Board of Directors of Basilea Pharmaceutica AG since April 2016, Chairman of the Board of Directors of BAK Economics AG since May 2014, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oettinger Davidoff AG since August 2017. He is also a member of the Bank Council of the Basler Kantonalbank. In addition, Domenico Scala is a member of the Healthcare Advisory Board of an equity investment and M&A company and a board member of two private US biotech companies.
Roland Siegwart is professor for autonomous mobile robots at ETH Zurich, founding co-director of the Wyss Zurich and board member of multiple high-tech companies. He was professor at EPFL and Vice President of ETH Zurich. He is among the most cited scientist in robots worldwide, co-founder of more than half a dozen spin-off companies and a strong promoter of innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland.
Aleksandra Laska started her career on the Goldman Sachs trading floor in London. She went on to co-found a mobile payments platform, followed by a stint in VC and as an angel investor. She has built the enterprise division for Improbable, supporting the business in its $600m fundraise and hyper growth from 20 to 400 employees. Before joining Redalpine, Aleksandra set up US operations for a Swiss multi-million dollar robotics software company. She sits on the boards of Razor Group, Portify, Beams and 9fin.
Jelena Tasic Pizzolato is Managing Director at the LifestyleTech Competence Center. Jelena is a digital leader, specialised in corporate and science-based innovation. Actively collaborating with corporates, start-ups and researchers internationally, her sectors of expertise include digital & e-commerce, ICT, fashion, retail, lifestyle and finance. She has 15+ years of international business experience across several European markets, including UK, Italy, and Switzerland.
In 2022, we again have 10 categories that Digital Shapers can be nominated for. As digitalisation continues to evolve and change the way we live, so do our categories. This year we have six new categories including; The Connectors, The Unicorn Breeders, The Digital Manufacturers, The Avatars, The AI Masters and The Foodies. Along with our partners, we sent out a public call on social media for those who identify themselves as Digital Shapers. The big question is: Which digital leaders will make it into the top 100? Only time will tell…
1. The Infrastructure Builders
People who contribute to a solid digital infrastructure in order to allow digital change. Includes politicians & administration.
2. The Connectors
People who build ecosystems, connect actors and bridge regional gaps for collaborative projects in the digital sphere.
3. The Unicorn Breeders
People who are about to build or are of critical importance to build a startup company, which is now valued at over US$1 billion.
4. The Digital Manufacturers
Leaders of digital manufacturing companies or technology solution providers and subject-matter experts who are an inspiration for the future of Swiss digital manufacturing.
5. The Avatars
People who create or make use of new realities (Augmented, Virtual, Mixed) to enable great things.
6. The AI Masters
Masterminds who are revolutionising Artificial Intelligence.
7. The eMedics
People who use digital transformation to enhance different aspects of wellbeing, health and medicine.
8. The Foodies
People who use digital transformation to reshape our current nutrition towards healthier and more sustainable solutions.
9. The Nature Techies
People who use digital transformation for the sake of protecting, monitoring or enhancing nature.
10. The Cybersecurity Guards
People who, with protective solutions, regulations, awareness-raising and innovations in cyber space, enable us to move safely and not be victims of cyberattacks.
The deserving winners will be celebrated in a dedicated Bilanz publication on 26 August, in PME on 31 August and Handelszeitung on 1 September.