The Swiss Digital Initiative is a long-term, sustainable process to safeguard ethical standards in the digital world. It seeks to strengthen trust in digital technologies and in the actors involved in ongoing digital transformation.

The Swiss Global Digital Summit

On 2 September 2019, the Swiss Global Digital Summit provided a platform to promote constructive and substantial discussions on the topic of “Ethics and Fairness in the Age of Digital Transformation”.

At the first Swiss Global Digital Summit, top representatives from globally active companies and Switzerland’s scientific community launched the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) under the patronage of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer. The SDI was initiated by digitalswitzerland.

The summit also represented the starting point for the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI), in preparation of its formal launch event at WEF 2020 in Davos.

The Swiss Digital Initiative

The SDI builds on the numerous digital declarations, value charters, and principle statements elaborated by state and non-state actors around the globe. Practices and tools elaborated under the SDI umbrella will be publicly shared to contribute to a global dialogue on the ethics of digitalisation.

Switzerland is an excellent place to host this initiative, with its longstanding humanitarian tradition, diplomatic good offices, neutrality, and outstanding resources in education and the private sector.

The Swiss Digital Initiative will be sponsored and administered by the Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation, to be established in Geneva. The Foundation will seek synergies with the “Genève Internationale.“ Although aimed particularly – but not exclusively – at companies and industry, science and politics will be integral to the initiative.

Commitment to Put Into Practice Ethical Standards for the Digital Age

The basis of the SDI builds on the statement for a “Commitment to Put Into Practice Ethical Standards for the Digital Age“, which lays out the general objective of the SDI as well as the principles that will guide the collaborative process. The document was circulated among Summit participants in the summer of 2019. It was prepared based on advice and input from renowned academic experts in Switzerland.

The Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation

Members of the Foundation Board of the newly founded Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation in Geneva:

Chair: Doris Leuthard, former Swiss Federal Councillor
Representatives of science: Yves Flückiger (Rector University of Geneva), Joël Mesot (President ETH Zurich)
Representatives of digitalswitzerland: Marc Walder (Founder digitalswitzerland), Ivo Furrer (President digitalswitzerland)
Walter Thurnherr, Swiss Federal Chancellor (ad personam)

Managing Director: Niniane Paeffgen