Delegation of the European Union to the

UN and other international organisations in Geneva

‘From Geneva: Reflections on a Digital Future’ – new event series launched

22/09/2021 - 17:45
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Together with the Permanent Missions of Switzerland and Slovenia as well as the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP), the EU launched the new digital series “From Geneva: Reflections on a Digital Future“ on Wednesday, 22 September.

Event Series DigitalFuture


Under the headline “Data economy: human-centric approach at the forefront” over 70 participants followed the first of four hybrid events, discussing how we can shape our digital future along Human Rights.

The event was moderated by Tereza Horejsova (Diplo - Diplomacy at the Digital Age).

Speakers included:

  • Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (Co-Chair of the Data Governance Working Group, Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence and Head of the Intellectual Property Institute, Slovenia)
  • Lene Wendland (Chief, Business & Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)
  • Ambassador Thomas Schneider (Head of International Relations at the Federal Office for Communications of Switzerland (OFCOM) & Co-Lead Swiss Network Digital Self-Determination)
  • Paul-Olivier Dehaye ( & & Hestia.AI)
  • Pascal Marmier (Secretary General, Economy of Trust Foundation, SICPA)

Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (right) joined the round of experts in the Geneva Studio (left) online from Slovenia.

Dr Maja Bogataj Jančič (right) joined the round of experts in the Geneva Studio (left) online from Slovenia.

    The discussion focussed on human rights and data, possible shifts in data governance as well as on data trust and transparency among others.

    A digital future including a Human Rights approach and a multi-stakeholder governance: How can we shape this perspective? Next to a multi-level approach, including local, national and international stakeholders, education plays a crucial role. It is very important that governments provide quality education on data for everyone while all parties concerned are included in the discussion: communities as well as the data holders themselves.


    Good education leading to digital competence brings us closer to the necessary transparency on data usage. The discussion showed, that there is a lack of data trust in our societies as it is generally difficult to understand, where your personal data actually goes. Transparency is a key aspect to create a rather techno optimistic view and close this lack of trust.


    Harnessing AI’s power for health

    In the light of the digital series “From Geneva: Reflections on a Digital Future“, the panelists discussed the use of new technologies in the transformation of the healthcare system and the future of health on November 3. By using AI, both diagnostics and drug development are accelerated through the use of robotics, machine-learning techniques, and sophisticated tools. Meanwhile, intellectual property (IP) laws will have to adapt in order to enable innovation and protect future developments and investments.

    The event was moderated by Tereza Horejsova (Diplo - Diplomacy at the Digital Age).

    Speakers included:

    • Mr Amandeep Singh Gill (CEO, International Digital Health & AI Research Collaborative)
    • Dr Vida Groznik (Researcher, University of Ljubljana; CEO, NEUS Diagnostics)
    • Ms Catherine Holloway (Professor and Academic Director, Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub), UCL; PC Chair, IRCAI)
    • Dr Andreas Alois Reis (Co-Lead, Global Health Ethics Team, Division of Chief Scientist, WHO)
    • Ms Ulrike Till, Director (IP and Frontier Technologies Division, WIPO)




    Digitalisation powering environmental protection

    Another part of the series on Digitalisation powering environmental protection took place on October 14, discussing how new technologies create opportunities for climate action and environmental protection. The panelists discussed how AI can strengthen climate predictions, enable smarter decision-making for decarbonising industries, and anticipate the effects of extreme weather events.



    Speakers included:

    • Ilias Iakovidis (Advisor, Green digital transformation, DG CONNECT, European Commission)
    • David Jensen (Coordinator of the Digital Transformation Task Force at the UNEP)
    • Mitja Jermol (Program Committee Chair in AI and Circular Economy, International Research Centre for AI)
    • Reyna Ubeda (Project Officer, International Telecomunication Union)
    • Flurina Wäspi (Independent Consultant to the IGF Policy Network on Environment and Digitalisation 2021)​


    Upcoming events in the series:

    • Technology for Development – date TBC
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