In a digital and interconnected world, recent crisis situations have revealed the key role played by diasporas in supporting a country’s defence and resilience efforts.

In 2022, around 10% of Swiss people were living abroad, many of them with great professional success.

What if this “5th Switzerland” could make its knowledge and skills available to support the country’s resilience?

This is the scenario we have explored through the prototyping of a skills centre called RESINT (Swiss Resilience International Support) and its communications network RESNET.

The aim of this foresight exercise is to:

  1. Stimulate the imagination about access to the know-how of Swiss people abroad made available by emerging technologies and this to support the country’s defence and resilience efforts,
  2. Clarify whether this scenario should be explored further and, if so, how,
  3. Map and define the role of the various players (armed forces, FDFA, etc.) if a more detailed exploration is implemented.

Our prototype RESINT has generated curiosity and interest.

Help us define whether this is a desirable scenario and what it would look like today if a decision were made to go ahead with it.


A contributory context

How can the knowledge and skills of the Swiss nationals abroad be harnessed to support the country’s resilience in the event of a crisis?

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), in 2022, for a country of 8.7 million inhabitants, there would be more than 800,000 Swiss nationals abroad. It is not the number per se that is important, but the order of magnitude and the diversity of expertise available.

If we are talking about an armed force of 100,000 people, it must be possible to envisage a role for this fifth Switzerland in a security context.
If the Swiss armed forces defend, from within, what actions would it be possible to carry out from the outside – from abroad – legally and in peacetime, in order to prepare the country advantageously should a major crisis or conflict arise?

This is the question explored by the project RESINT – Swiss Resilience International Support.

A foresight project

If a similar idea was put forward in 2022 during a forward-looking workshop with an MBA class at emlyon, it was with Fabien Girardin and Nicolas Nova of the company explorare that we decided to bring this theme to life through a work of design fiction in the wake of E-Soldat integrating certain elements of the book ecosystem itself “Soldat du Futur”.

Technologies and uses

Part of the foresight programme of armasuisse Science and Technology, the project’s starting point was therefore unsurprisingly technology.

The latter is ubiquitous, but rather than presenting it in a futuristic and disembodied way, we have preferred to consider it as facilitating tasks and guaranteeing the sustainability of certain strategic capabilities dedicated to resilience (e.g. a resilient communications network, data collection, online collaboration).

It’s more a question here of highlighting the uses and functions of these technologies than anticipating their detailed operation or plausibility.

Original and distinctive images

As this project took place at the height of the explosion in the spread of Generative Artificial Intelligence technologies, all the images on the site were created artificially by combining prompts of different kinds.

As it is generally difficult to take photos in order to represent elements or situations that do not yet exist, our GenAI “stack” was: Midjourney, DALL·E, Adobe Firefly et ChatGPT (to help generate certain prompts, to describe images, to create data and to generate pieces of data visualisation code)!

All the images in this project have been artificially created by combining contemporary photos with prompts describing a possible future.

These same tools enabled us to imagine the diversity of the geographical distribution of the volunteers in the Competence Centre and to produce the source code to create a map of their worldwide distribution.

Welcome to the RESINT Competence Centre

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