ethix derives its existence from a fascination with the rapid changes of our time. The lab for innovation ethics provides a structure that enables a dialog about the opportunities and risks that these changes bring to our society.
Johan is guided by his deep-rooted belief that the right answer is never found by working alone, but always through the exchange of different viewpoints and the interaction of diverse knowledge. When he began his philosophy degree, he did not expect that he would devote his time to jurisprudence as well. Today, he is committed to bringing the two disciplines together, with his particular passion being the search for philosophy within the law. In this context, the question of values and the question ‘why’ crop up again and again, and this impels him to seek debate everywhere and to take ethical topics into the public sphere, in community halls and the meeting rooms of far-flung restaurants. His aim in these engagements is to set up spaces and well-laid tables in readiness for real discussions, in which the arguments of all those who participate are carried forward into a shared debate. In the ethics lab, Johan is concerned with innovation, but he also works energetically on the issues of migration, integration and international politics. Occasionally, he hears his partner and two children say jokingly: “Papa’s job is holding drinks receptions and chatting with people.” And they are not entirely wrong.
Early on in life, Jean-Daniel was transplanted from the edge of the city to the edge of the woods, resulting in a long journey to school that offered him ample opportunity to practice the art of examining ideas thoroughly. Even at that time, however, he was struck by the experience that engaging in this alone is less productive and exciting than doing so together with others. Time and again, his parents had to track him down at friends who lived somewhere along the way. Many years later, working as a bike courier in the city of Geneva, he discovered that contrary to certain fears, analog technology and human strength is not necessarily suppressed by digital technology, and in fact we should aspire to a productive interaction between them. Spurred on by many years of academic discussion on topics of political and medical ethics, and strengthened by several years of work in institutional science policy, the question of the social implications of innovation came up repeatedly. Because one thing’s for sure: innovation is always dealing with the world of tomorrow. And as the father of two daughters who will live out their lives in tomorrow’s world, he wants to play an active role in shaping it. This is why he his heart is not only with his family, but also in the local politics of Zurich – because in many respects cities are laboratories, where innovation find a way to shape how we live together.
Sarah has been interested in the big questions of life since childhood. Already her primary teacher predicted her a future as a thinker - with a pronounced sense of justice. She hasn't lost either of these since then; this now comes into play in ethix’s discussion of ethical aspects of innovation. During her studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Lucerne, she dealt in depth with participatory forms of democracy. It is therefore of great concern to her to conduct the discourse on the social implications of innovation in a participatory and low-threshold way. The topic seems too important to her to leave the word to experts only. As a feminist, it is also close to her heart to diversify the male domain around the topic of social digitalisation and mechanization. In her free time, she tries to calm her critical and erratic thinking machine through yoga and long walks in nature.
As a philosopher, Pascal wants to contribute to the unfinished project of human freedom in the future. He understands freedom as an ethical attitude of continuous questioning of the present. Everything could as well be different. But to conduct this critical dialogue with oneself is only the ticket to a constructive arena of different perspectives. Only in the common exchange does he see the possibility of actually making innovative ideas fruitful for the good of society. There are many ideas - which he witnessed during his studies at the University of St. Gallen -, but just as numerous are the dangers they entail. In his business studies, he would grab any course that had anything to do with philosophy to add a critical stance to his enthusiasm for innovation. The passion with which he finally dedicated himself to his bachelor thesis on current economic trends such as Holacracy or Conscious Capitalism gave him the hoped-for green light to actually take the philosophers' path. With ethix, there could not be a more interesting environment for him to grow personally and commit himself with passion.
ethix aims to encourage active participation from all those who are interested in the ethics of innovation. This is why ethix wants to build up a network of people who work in the field of innovation ethics. In this way, ethix hopes initially to bring together numerous specialists who deal with these questions in Switzerland, to form a unique multidisciplinary network in order that the expertise gathered can be made available to interested groups.
Are you one of these people?
Get in contact!
ethix is an association under Swiss law. ethix has been made possible thanks to support from Engagement Migros, the development fund of the Migros Group.
Furthermore, ethix is financed through collaboration with partners from the private sector, foundations and public institutions.
Interested in collaborating? We look forward to
hearing from you!
What we tell about us
Press release launch ethix (June 7, 2018):
French / German
What others tell about us