The Swiss Digital Initiative is a long-term and sustainable process for safeguarding ethical standards in the digital world. In particular, it seeks to strengthen trust in digital technologies as well as in the actors involved in ongoing digital transformation.

The Swiss Global Digital Summit

On 2 September, the Swiss Global Digital Summit 2019 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 field launched the Swiss Digital Initiative (SDI) under the patronage of Ueli Maurer, the President of the Swiss Confederation. It is a prestigious gathering organised by digitalswitzerland.

The Summit also represented the starting point of the “Swiss Digital Initiative” (SDI), in preparation of its formal launch event on the occasion of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos 2020.

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 umbrella of the SDI 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 business sector.

The Swiss Digital Initiative will be sponsored and administered by the Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation, to be established in Geneva. The Foundation aims to 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

A 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, was circulated among Summit participants during Summer 2019. It was prepared based on advice from renowned academic experts in Switzerland who independently integrated much of the valuable feedback from the consultation in the document.

The Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation

The SDI will be supported by the Swiss Digital Initiative Foundation that will be newly established in Geneva.

Designated members of the Foundation Board are:

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)

Designated Managing Director: Niniane Paeffgen