An eleven-member jury formed by Swiss business magazine Bilanz has announced the 100 most important heads of Switzerland who are at the forefront of digitization this year. The list of achievers has been sorted into various categories such as investors, blockchainers, scalers, transformers, administrators, drone acrobats, mentors, and data miners. Among the blockchainers is Professor Bryan Ford, who heads the Decentralized and Distributed Systems Lab (DEDIS) at EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences.

The list of Digitial Shapers assumes great significance because of Switzerland’s push for innovation as a path for progress. The need to keep pace with current technology calls for digital pioneers and visionaries with great potential. The 2019 edition of 100 Digital Shapers aims to highlight and inspire that potential.

With a Doctorate at the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Professor Ford has worked extensively in areas such as secure distributed systems, anonymous communications, system security, and blockchain technology. But his research on blockchain and digital democracy has attracted the most attention in the country. The e-voting system based on blockchain technology and developed by his research group is used internally at EPFL.

Bryan Ford acknowledges the growing interest in his work on digital humanity, which focuses on digital identity. In fact, his approach moves well beyond the digitization of “identity attributes,” such as the age or training of people, and into the area of “fundamental digital rights” for equal rights and freedom in the network. He is one of the first advocates of the concept of delegative democracy, also called liquid democracy.

Professor Ford’s past accolades include the Jay Lepreau Best Paper Award, the NSF Career Award, and the AXA Research Chair.