A small country with a big impact
Switzerland: As a country, we have fewer inhabitants than the neighboring Lombardy region of Italy, less area than the German state of Bavaria, and we are landlocked. We also have 48 mountains over 4,000 meters tall that complicate transport and offer no natural resources other than water.
Nevertheless, this little country in the heart of Europe has been home to many developments that reach far beyond our borders, first and foremost being the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Founded in 1863 by Henry Dunant, the ICRC is the only organization specifically named in international humanitarian law and designated as a monitoring body. In an interview on the future of humanitarian work, current ICRC President Peter Maurer said: “Governments will never provide enough money to meet all of the humanitarian challenges we face.” And for that reason, the ICRC is increasingly calling on private investors and has begun issuing humanitarian impact bonds (page 18).
In the photo montage (page 6), we present a number of small and large Swiss ideas, including fighting malaria, filtering CO2 from the atmosphere, building bridges, exploring Mars and much more. Georg Heitz, one of the creators of the FC Basel football club’s model for success, explains how a small football club can create an international stir (page 24). Anke Bridge Haux, Credit Suisse’s Head of Digitalization, outlines in an interview the opportunities that a connected, digital world offers Swiss banks (page 26).
We close this issue of Bulletin with a report on the annual Credit Suisse Worry Barometer, which yielded a number of surprises this year (beginning on page 53). Unemployment, which has long topped Swiss voters’ list of worries, has lost much of its fear factor. The Swiss are now more concerned about Old Age and Survivors’ Insurance, health and health insurance and migration. Swiss ambivalence towards the EU has deepened considerably. We cannot live without the EU, but it seems we don’t much enjoy living with it either. Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis comments on the survey results in an interview and says about Switzerland: “We need open markets. We need to expect and promote individual initiative. And we need innovation.”
Happy reading! Your editorial team