IofC opens Swiss Digital Day in Geneva

3 September 2019

10/09/2019

 

“I am aware of the impact of digital technology on my everyday life.” Do you agree or disagree with that sentence?’ Rainer Gude, Partnerships Manager of Initiatives of Change (IofC) Switzerland, asked the audience. The participants reflected. Then they moved to position themselves on Uni Mail’s wide stairs with most of them standing in the middle, slightly towards the right, showing their agreement with the statement. So began IofC Switzerland’s interactive session for Swiss Digital Day, at Geneva’s Uni Mail on 3 September 2019.

 

Digital Day Switzerland 2019

 

The Geneva festivities, which carried the theme of ‘human beings at the heart of digital transformation’, were co-organized by the University of Geneva, the state of Geneva, the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland and the International Committee of the Red Cross. As a partner of the event, IofC had the honour of launching the event.

During the interactive session, Christophe Barman (co-founder of Loyco) introduced participants to Fabrice, a fictional character who uses many forms of digital technology in his personal, professional and social life. The aim was to create a dialogue between citizens and experts on the impact of digital technologies.

The exchanges started on the individual level, with the ‘smart me’. Fabrice has a digital watch and depends on social media and on smartphone apps. Like him, people rely more and more on artificial intelligence (AI) to make everyday decisions for them. Jean-Henry Morin, Professor at the University of Geneva, highlighted the importance of digital literacy and of educating people ‘to learn to live with digital technology’.

 

Digital Day Switzerland 2019

 

At home, Fabrice is accompanied and aided by his automated personal assistant, Alexa. The ‘smart home’, with this kind of digital device, is a response to our search for comfort, affordable energy and for safety, explained Daniela Sauter from Resideo. This ‘allows one to have more time to be more happy’. The audience expressed worries about data protection and recent scandals linked to such devices. Sauter assured them, that data protection is a priority: ‘Evolution is underway’.

In the fictional Geneva where Fabrice lives, digital methods optimize the management of traffic, lighting, waste and security. The Geneva of tomorrow may resemble it. ‘The smart city knows how to use new technologies to serve the town, the canton, the country of tomorrow,’ explained Patricia Solioz Mathys, Executive Director of Smart City, SIG. Data protections depend on ‘each person supporting the democratic system’, she added.  

Finally, the participants learnt that Fabrice’s role at work will soon be taken over by a chatbot. According to Christophe Barman, 30-40 per cent of jobs at Loyco are at risk of disappearing within the next five years. The team is encouraging employees to think about the potential evolution of their roles in the light of robotization and to start gaining the skills they will need in the future.  

 

Digital Day Switzerland 2019

 

Before proceeding to the next session on the subject of work in the digital era, the participants were asked to position themselves again in response to the same questions as at the beginning of the event. The positions they chose – with most of them standing towards the end of the spectrum –  indicated an evolution in their awareness of the impact new technologies will have on society. 

Once again, IofC demonstrated its experience in creating a space for reflection and discussion on the subject of these new technologies, with thematic input from experts on the subject. ‘It was a fun method of facilitation and I’m going to draw inspiration from it,’ one participant said at the end. ‘It was interesting to note that smart technologies can be important for the control of energy use,’ said a student, Mathieu Ghanipour.

 

 

 

Featured Story
Off

related stories

Nazarene Mannie

My Learning Story: Nazrene Mannie

Nazrene Mannie is the Executive Director of the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN) and talks about her learning experiences. Our interview series 'My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning...

Danièle Castle

My Learning Story: Danièle Castle

Our interview series ‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a b...

Mulham Soufi ELB 2

My Learning Story: Mulham Soufi

Mulham Soufi is a student of computer programming at Ecole 42 in Lyon. This university works differently because the students all learn from each other. What is its strength? Our interview series ‘My ...

Christine Beerlie square big

My Learning Story: Christine Beerli

Discover our interview with Christine Beerli, President of the IofC Switzerland foundation, as part of our series ‘My Learning Story’....

Jowan Oesterlund big

My Learning Story: Jowan Oesterlund

Discover our interview with Jowan Oesterlund, Founder & CEO at Biohax International, as part of our series ‘My Learning Story’....

Bram Jonker long

My Learning Story: Bram Jonker

‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a brighter future. Disco...

Biliana Vassileva

My Learning Story: Biliana Vassileva:

Our new feature ‘My Learning Story’ hopes to become a global learning experience, connecting people around the world as they share their stories of what we all do every day: learning to build a bright...

Rainer Gude

My Learning Story: Rainer Gude

The UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal is about access to quality education and life-long learning – both essential to bringing positive change into the world. Our new feature ‘My Learning Story...

Brian Iselin

Brian Iselin’s fight against modern slavery

The sun is slowly setting but the air is still warm as ten people form a circle to listen to Brian Iselin’s captivating story told during the human library as part of the Ethical Leadership in Busines...

Digital Day

IofC joins third Swiss Digital Day

We are increasingly reliant on smartphones, smart watches and other interconnected devices which influence nearly every aspect of our life: our relationship with ourselves and others, our private, pu...

Bram Jonker

How technology impacts children

Bram Jonker is involved in bringing innovation and technology to the digital transformation within Deloitte Tax & Legal. It may be his first time at the Caux Forum but he is no stranger to the Caux Pa...

ELB 2019 cards

Discovering digital trust at Caux

The Caux Forum 2019 kicked off last week with the Ethical Leadership in Business (ELB) conference which ran in parallel with the Caux Dialogue on Land and Security. The Ethical Leadership in Business ...

ELB, Blockchain challenge

Can you explain Blockchain to us? - Win a free conference pass

The first step to building trust in a digital future starts with understanding it: Stephanie and Rainer want to understand how blockchain works. ...

Digital privacy

Is digital privacy really a private matter?

Despite the data privacy law known as GDPR which empowers online users to protect their private information, I blindy click “I accept” roughly twenty times a day, just to get access to what I want and...