Technology has become invisible, growing beyond our screens to an ambient layer of data, connecting our devices and silently shaping our daily lives. From mass manipulation to privacy breaches, we have witnessed transformations that challenge deeply held norms and values. Yet, is there any way technology could scale under a new kind of growth, one that is not only financial, but puts human values and rights front and center?
To mark the closing of swissnex Salon, swissnex San Francisco invites you to discuss new approaches to ethical innovation among startups, the public sector, and humanitarian organizations—less “move fast and break things” and more “do no harm.” The event explores new frameworks to consider the implications of science and technology in the public sphere, including the Institute for the Future’s Ethical OS toolkit, Switzerland’s ethix lab (via videoconference), and the first-ever Humanitarian Innovation Guide.
This program is made possible thanks to the support of Engagement Migros, the development fund of the Migros Group, and the other partners of swissnex Salon.
7:00pm — doors open
7:30pm — presentations + participatory workshop
9:00pm — networking
10:00pm — doors close
Alenka Bonnard (via video) is Director and co-founder of staatslabor. A lawyer by training, specialized in the evaluation of public policy, Alenka carried out her studies in Lausanne, Geneva, Berlin, and Paris. She benefits from many years of experience in strategy and innovation consulting for large companies, foundations, and various public entities. She supervises all the activities and partnerships of the staatslabor and is responsible for strategy and development. Alenka is particularly interested in issues of citizen participation, innovation culture, and service, and public policy design.
Joseph Guay is Director of Research at The Do No Digital Harm initiative, where he leads a multi-sector, international portfolio of work to support humanitarian agencies, NGOs, vulnerable civil society groups, and social entrepreneurs tackle issues pertaining to risk management, data protection, ethical design, and digital security in humanitarian emergency contexts where innovative technologies are deployed. As Visiting Researcher at the Human Rights Center (HRC) at UC Berkeley, Joe is supporting the Open Source Investigations Lab in investigating matters of surveillance and information warfare. Joe has supported the development of technology solutions for mass atrocity prevention work in South Sudan (at Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Satellite Sentinel Project in 2011), the Ebola pandemic and Nepal earthquake responses, and on mixed-migration and human trafficking in the Horn of Africa. He has developed innovation strategies and programs for the Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation (GAHI), World Vision’s Nepal Innovation Lab (NLab), the Global Protection Cluster at UNHCR, and the inter-agency Response Innovation Lab (RIL), and is co-author of the Humanitarian Innovation Fund's Innovation Field Guide (2018).
Katie Joseff is the research manager of the Digital Intelligence (DigIntel) Lab at Institute for the Future. She works with Sam Woolley researching both the negative and positive impacts of technology on the information sphere. A focus of their work is computational propaganda-- the use of algorithms, automated accounts, and data to manipulate public opinion.
Dr. Jovan Kurbalija (via videoconference) is the Executive Director and Co-Lead of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation. He was Founding Director of DiploFoundation and the Head of the Geneva Internet Platform. A former diplomat, Dr. Kurblaija has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. Dr. Kurbalija was a member of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). Since 1997, Dr. Kurbalija’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 10 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).
AJung Moon is Co-Founder, CEO, and Technology Analyst of Generation R Consulting Inc., a company that assists organizations in making informed design and policy decisions to innovate with advanced technologies without compromising the organization’s values. She is also currently serving as Senior Advisor for the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation. She became a Vanier Scholar in 2013 and received her doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia with a specialization in the design of human-inspired interactive robot behaviours. As a roboticist with experience in both roboethics and human-robot interaction, Dr. Moon has been heavily involved in national and international discussions on artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. She is a founder and Director of Open Roboethics Institute – a Canadian think tank specializing in roboethics issues – and serves on the Board of Advisor for Ada-AI, and the Executive Committee of the IEEE Global Initiative for Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems.
Johan Rochel (via videoconference) is a PhD in law and a philosopher and researcher in innovation law and ethics. Associate member of the Centre for Ethics at the University of Zurich and author at the foreign policy think tank foraus, he works on the ethics of innovation, migration policy and the European Union. He co-founded “ethix - lab for innovation ethics” in 2018.
Maximilian Stern (via video) is Vice-President and co-founder of staatslabor. A political scientist specialized in economics and European law, Maximilian co-founded and directed several think tanks and organizations which are part of today's Swiss national political landscape. Currently based in Zurich, he offers counsel on their innovation strategy to a variety of clients in Switzerland and abroad, while also participating in numerous non-profit projects. At staatslabor, he is in charge of various key projects and deals with strategic issues. Maximilian is particularly interested in the digitalization of democratic processes.
Jean-Daniel Strub (via videoconference) is a PhD in theological ethics. Prior to co-founding “ethix - lab for innovation ethics” in 2018, he worked as science policy advisor at the ETH Board and as the General Secretary of the Swiss National Advisory Committee on Biomedical Ethics, among other positions. He is also the co-founder of “Brauer & Strub | Medizin Ethik Politik,” an independent ethics advisory organization based at Zurich, Switzerland.
The swissnex Salon is a new model for dialogue on how the future of our society is shaped: a platform that includes multiple perspectives and provides a critical lens on possible emergent futures. Taking inspiration from the values articulated within the Preamble of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, we examine the role of technology in shaping, distorting, and expanding societal foundations.