By Gabriel Bishop, Junior Project Manager for Academic Relations
With the development of new digital technologies inevitably arise new legal challenges that touch on a variety of topics, such as protection from harmful content, ensuring election integrity, personal data protection and data portability. While there appears to be a consensus on the fact that a global framework for these questions is needed, how to shape the new regulations for the digital world remains a real question.
On April 29, swissnex China had the pleasure to welcome Prof. Jacques de Werra, Vice-Rector at the university of Geneva, who gave a lecture addressing the challenges in setting new rules for the internet and the digital world, as well as the role for Switzerland and Geneva in the global digital policy ecosystem.
The field is broad, the issues complex and there is a great diversity of interests involved. Considering this, the professor expressed the idea that governments, companies and citizens can come together in an agreement to shape the framework they want and need. He further suggested that soft laws, if well-drafted, can be a useful tool for this purpose.
Geneva has long been a hub for multilateral discussions, including those in the field of global digital policy making. In the continuity of this tradition, Prof. de Werra highlighted that Switzerland – as an established trusted neutral platform – is a privileged place for the development of global digital policies and that there is a real opportunity to further utilize this potential to foster multilateral agreements.
As a scholar and Vice-Rector of the University of Geneva, he also touched on the role that universities can play in this process: they can not only be a place for education on the legal questions surrounding digital technologies, but also serve as a forum and an instigator for the debate – thus contributing to the shaping of efficient policies.
We were joined that night by a number of Swiss Alumni, namely from the University of Geneva. People from different industries, including the legal field, university professors and students could extend the debate during the networking reception that capped off the night.
We would like to thank again the professor for his valuable insights and for providing such a rich opportunity for University of Geneva Alumni to reconnect in Shanghai.
swissnex China looks forward to seeing you at our future events.