Mr. Sebastian Lévy, Vice President of the Global Forum, welcomed everyone to the Global Forum 2014 «A CONNECTED AGE OPPORTUNITIES & DISRUPTION IN A TIME OF TRANSFORMATION». Stating the obvious that change is inevitable, and that we need to be prepared for it, Mr. Lévy reminded everyone that this is exactly what the Global Forum is all about – discussing our opportunities for the future.

Right after him, Ms. Anna Wyden Guelpa, State Chancellor of Geneva, welcomed everyone to the city of Geneva. In her words, the Global Forum is about three key aspects that equally apply to Geneva and Switzerland, as well:

  • Interdependence;
  • International;
  • Neutrality.

Governments are challenged by the fast-pace change that takes place in the world, but they are also embracing the ways new technologies help strengthen democracy – she used the example of the e-voting system in Geneva. Now the technology is here, and works perfectly fine but it is not the final goal, it’s not the end – it’s the beginning. «Technology is not enough to make the change» she said. «You need to inform people, and educate them to use the new system. You can have a beautiful website and a wonderful iPhone app but you need the citizens to communicate with one another, otherwise the whole concept will fail. »

In the video presentation delivered at the Global Forum, Dr. Hamadou Touré talked about the new connected age and how the future was all digital. «People are now more connected than ever». We’ve seen the modification in the ways we communicate, and how we do business. Mr. Touré also mentioned the pressing need to tackle one of the biggest challenges of the digital world – cybersecurity.

After a lot of thanks for coming to each attendee and presenter at the Global Forum, the welcome addresses is ending, and the Global Forum 2014 can really begin.