During the first dialogue, Dr. Tedros, Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), announced the creation of a panel of economists to help his organization better make the case for investment in health. Data on the long-term economic benefits of a healthy society can play a key role to convince finance ministers to consider seriously a new perspective on the economics of global health. Federal Councillor Alain Berset reminded the audience that Switzerland will hold the 2020 World Data Forum in Bern which will call for more collaboration in this field of data.
How to govern “Digital interdependence”, a term coined by the UN high-level panel on digital cooperation, was at the center of the second session on digitalization. In his opening remarks, Federal Councillor Iganzio Cassis underlined that innovation is a driver of international cooperation. The panelists - which included WEF Vice-President Peter Brabeck, Microsoft President Brad Smith, Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner and Booking.com Chairwoman Gillan Tans - agreed. To build and re-build the necessary trust in the cyberspace, a Swiss label on digital trust was launched by Doris Leuthard, former Federal Councilor and President of the Geneva-based Swiss Digital Initiative. The Label will become a reality in the coming months thanks to the technical expertise of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), represented by its president Martin Vetterli.
The risks and opportunities of rapid digital transformation and its profound effects on the financial sector were the discussion topics of a third high-level conversation which brought together innovators (David Marcus, Libra), regulators (Patrick Njoroge, Kenya Central Bank) and multilateral organizations (Achim Steiner, United Nations). Blockchain and other innovative technologies have a great potential to do good and achieve a more inclusive financial system.
The Day’s closing came as a fireside chat alongside some of Geneva’s leading visionaries, innovators and disruptors, sharing their stories of inspired action and vision for what’s needed to create a sustainable future.