It has been 20 years since the founding of swissnex in Cambridge, USA. Driving this adventure was a vision for the future of Switzerland and its formidable innovation potential. Today, swissnex represents an unparalleled platform for connecting tomorrow: a global network which, through the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and talent, is dedicated to unlock the imagination needed to create a different world.
For its 20th anniversary, the swissnex Network engages researchers, entrepreneurs, and visionary leaders to imagine the role of Switzerland on the global stage in 2040. Called nex20, the core of the program consists of various activities in different formats across five themes:
What vision of Switzerland can propel the next 20 years of swissnex? Science calls for action: the human and planetary challenges ahead of us will require a burst of creativity and innovation. More than ever, our future depends on our capacity to connect through inspiring each other beyond traditional boundaries and collectively forge new paths. Swiss education, research, and innovation must step up to the mark.
There is little doubt that the way we work is about to change dramatically. The driver behind the 4th Industrial Revolution, a term coined by the founder of the WEF, Klaus Schwab, are technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence and automation. All of these breakthroughs are expected to bring about significant economic benefits like higher productivity and efficiency, a rising GDP and greater wealth overall. However, the 4th industrial revolution will require people to achieve the transition into both new and altered job roles.
Learning to work amidst this new context will be essential.
Rising urbanisation, scarcer resources and climate change are some of the challenges mankind will be facing in the near future. To respond to this, innovative solutions are being designed and implemented as we speak: Artificial intelligence improves our commute, renewable energy makes our travels greener, new materials keep our houses warmer and robotisation enhances our harvests. Education, research and innovation are pivotal in defining how we will be living tomorrow.
In a globalised world such as ours, a prosperous future is dependent on global governance. Switzerland, hosting International Geneva and its numerous NGOs & international organisations, will continue to be a key platform in defining solutions to current issues, such as climate change, but also emerging ones, such as data protection.
Swiss Education, Research and Innovation has a big interest in continuing its deep collaboration with global governance, and so does the swissnex Network, offering efficient frameworks for this collaboration to keep thriving.
#Meeting Tomorrow also refers to the current post-pandemic situation, where our social interactions have changed. This is obviously the case for our day to day lives but also for the encounters of decision makers. Can digital solutions fully replace physical exchanges?
Continuous learning is at the core of our lives since the very beginning. Learning has taken place, for instance, in our schools, at our work places, by going abroad discovering new cultures, or in specialised settings such as sports clubs or music schools.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, those learning spaces were radically disrupted and, in many cases, been replaced by virtual learning worlds. Almost overnight, educators, students, professionals, and leaders had to learn how to continue learning, teaching and engaging in a digital world.
Learning tomorrow is about how innovative solutions can address the current and also future issues related to education.
The swissnex Network is an initiative of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and is part of the Confederation’s network abroad managed by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. The activities of the swissnex Network are based on a collaborative approach, relying on public and private partnerships and funding.