Digital Trust 2025 Square

Digital Trust 2025

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Auditorium Ivan Pictet | Maison de La Paix, Graduate Institute Geneva

We are delighted to invite you to the Digital Trust 2025 conference co-hosted by the Graduate Institute's Centre for Trade and Economic Integration (CTEI) and EPFL's Centre for Digital Trust (C4DT) on October 15 2021 at 9:00-17:00 CET.

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*Please note that all participants for this conference will be required to present a COVID certificate, i.e. proof of vaccination, proof of recovery from COVID-19, or a negative test result, in the form of a QR code.

This conference will address a number of key questions. How does a lack of digital trust manifest itself today? Is this justified, based on current privacy and security issues, or is it exaggerated? Understated? What lessons can be learned from other sectors on how to build the trust that will be needed for our digital future. What is possible in the digital future, and what will be lost without digital trust? And finally, how should that digital trust be built? 

about digital trust 2025

The Swiss population recently rejected a proposed digital ID in a referendum, in large part due to privacy concerns based on the involvement of private companies in providing the ID. This follows a notable reluctance to adopt the Swiss COVID contact tracing app, also on privacy grounds. This trend is not limited to Switzerland, and suggests a significant lack of digital trust, with real impacts on our lives.

One common thread is a lack of trust in the companies providing services, and how people’s personal data will be used and whether it is secure. But every day we trust companies with our valuables and our lives, including banks, and health care providers. Without developing a similar level of digital trust, the adoption of new services using artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and others may be limited. The conference will examine the impacts of a lack of digital trust today, what can be learned from other sectors, what the digital future might hold, and how to develop the trust needed to realize this future.



Opening Session - 09:00-09:30 CET

Welcoming remarks | Marie-Laure Salles, Director, Graduate Institute, Geneva
Introduction | Richard Baldwin, Professor of International Economics, Graduate Institute, Geneva
Keynote speaker | Martin Vetterli, President, EPFL

Moderator: Michael Kende, Visiting Professor, Graduate Institute, Geneva


session 1: issues of digital trust - 09:30-10:30 CET

While many polls show a lack of digital trust, there is less day to day evidence with respect to the use of online services, which seem to continually increase. Nonetheless, users are concerned about their privacy, and cybersecurity events continue to arise in the news, including ransomware attacks and data breaches. This panel will highlight the reasons for a lack of trust, whether it is justified, and how that impacts online behavior.

Topics and speakers: 

  • The Roots of Online Trust, Robin Wilton, Senior Advisor for Internet Trust, Internet Society
  • Privacy issues: Vincent Cassard, Deputy Head of Data Protection Office, ICRC
  • Cybersecurity issues: Theodora Dragan, Data Protection Officer & Legal Counsel, CyberPeace Institute

Moderator: Konstantinos Komaitis, Policy fellow, Brave New Software Foundation


session 2: how other sectors have developed trust - 11.00-12:30 CET

Often a lack of digital trust is attributed to private companies providing the services, such as the case of COVID contact tracing apps, and whether people’s data will be secure. But every day we trust private companies with our valuables and our lives. This panel will examine how these sectors were able to build trust over time, based on their practices and government policy.

Topics and speakers: 

Moderator: Öykü Isik, Professor, IMD


session 3: future issues of digital trust - 13:30-15:00 CET

As more economic, social, and public services go online, digital trust will need to be increased to ensure confidence in these new services, and that this confidence is not violated. In addition, the Internet of Things, connecting a wide variety of devices to the Internet, will increase opportunities for hackers to shut down systems and even create incidents that cost lives. This panel will highlight the issues that will arise in the future, and current attempts to address the challenges.

Topics and speakers: 

  • Artificial Intelligence: Anne-Marie Kermarrec, Professor, EPFL
  • Cyberwarfare: Vincent Lenders, Head of Cyber-Defence Campus, armasuisse
  • Internet of Things: Nabil Hamzi, Product Security Architect, Logitech
  • Public Trust and Governance: Pascal Marmier, Secretary General, Economy of Trust Foundation, SICPA

Moderator: Anne-Christine Fornage, Professor, University of Lausanne


high level panel: how to build digital trust going forward - 15:30-17:00 CET

The final high-level panel will build on the topics of the day to discuss how digital trust can develop to meet the needs of existing and new online services. The challenge is multi-stakeholder, as companies, governments, technologists will all have a role to play in designing security, ensuring that it is implemented, and ensuring that organizations and end-users understand and address the challenges to protect themselves and their customers.

Topics and speakers:

Moderator: Jean-Pierre Hubaux, Professor, EPFL


Please sign up early. Due to current restrictions, space is limited!

This event will be Live streamed via YouTube. 



This is a hybrid event. Please register below to attend the event online or in person.