A small coun­try with a big im­pact

Bulletin - - Editorial -

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

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