Welcome Note to the Swiss IGF by Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard
The internet is now an established feature of everyday life for most Swiss citizens. Practically all sectors of the economy and the world of work are experiencing pronounced changes, and the rapid development of the information age means that policy is required at various levels.
Topics such as blocking of networks and the availability of content, data protection and Big Data, industry 4.0, network neutrality or the market power of American corporations are ever-present and are becoming increasingly relevant for many people. In order to better understand these challenges and the different opinions, the Swiss Internet Governance Forum, Swiss IGF, will be held once again, in May 2016.
Since 2013, the Swiss IGF has provided an inclusive discussion platform on internet-related topics. Experts from the worlds of politics, business, civil society and the academic and technical communities are brought together to facilitate partnerships through informal dialogue in order to help overcome interdisciplinary barriers.
Last year’s Swiss IGF in Berne proved to be a first-stage success. This makes me confident that we can solve many open questions and upcoming challenges in the tried-and-tested Swiss tradition – through joint open debates, though without resorting to activism or over-regulation. We are ready to continue our support for this process and to promote dialogue between national stakeholders in order to gain better understanding of all these fascinating yet complex topics.
I cordially invite you to actively participate in this year’s Swiss IGF, to communicate all your concerns and help shape the ongoing development of the Swiss IGF.
Head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications