Courses for Decision Makers

Organized by the Academy and delivered by accomplished EPFL professors and seasoned industry professionals. These courses are designed for those who want to better understand ICT and Digital Trust topics.

Foundations of ICT and Digital Trust

To be able to understand fundamental data protection challenges, interpret the technical implications of privacy, understand current digital trends such as artificial intelligence and blockchains, and communicate properly with technical experts who develop and maintain digital systems, it is crucial for professionals to have a core understanding of notions and concepts from computer science and information security.

Intended for professionals who see information and communication technologies (ICT) as an opportunity to better engage with beneficiaries and clients, this 5-day course will give you and your organization the ability to take more leadership responsibilities in digital innovation, instead of merely moderating between IT stakeholders.

New digital technologies have tremendous potential and are evolving fantastically fast. For NGO’s of all sizes, whether they work on a local or an international level, it is essential to be aware of the fundamentals in order to embrace present and future challenges.

The «Fundamentals of ICT» course, organized by the Center for Digital Trust in partnership with Fondation Lombard Odier, offers first class insights in this field. During a week of intensive training orchestrated by highly qualified researchers, focused on the technical as well as the ethical dimension, participants will dive deep into IT opportunities and security issues.

Carine Fluckiger, Communications manager, Centre social protestant Geneva

I can wholeheartedly recommend the “Foundation of ICT  for Decision-makers” course of EPFL’ Center for Digital Trust (C4DT). In order for organisations to remain relevant and make the right strategic decisions, today’s senior managers must develop a sound understanding of the fast evolving digital technologies that shape the world. The power of these technologies represent a huge potential but also pitfalls that are not always sufficiently understood by the “business” managers.

The one week course provides a fascinating insight into the relevant areas of ICT  including machine learning, cybersecurity, data privacy and blockchain. A diverse group of professors and senior researchers, all passionate by their respective field,  excel at sharing their knowledge in a way that is accessible to professionals from other domains. They raise the tough questions we must all ask ourselves when moving forward. The course is a must for senior leaders who want to shape not be shaped by the technologies their organisations use.

Balthasar Staehelin, Director of Digital Transformation and Data, ICRC

I had the opportunity to participate in the first edition of the course Foundation of ICT for Decisions Makers co-organized by FLO and C4DT. It was a fantastic experience!

The course provided me with tools and knowledge that would facilitate making informed decisions when it comes to ICT. The level of the presenters and the material were excellent. The format, content and flow of the course is well thought. The right balance between presentations, theory and practical examples. By the end of the course I took with me invaluable learnings that will add value to my job. A course to not be missed. Fully recommended!

Maria Barbara Leon, Chief Operating Officer, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

The FICT course offered a concentrated and tailored window into the world of blockchain, machine learning, AI and beyond, and most importantly, how these interact with the world of philanthropy and communications.

If you or your organisation are discussing these topics and how they could be useful, this course is a great starting point. It exposed me to new and already existing ideas from the fast moving technology world, and provided the open space to reflect, debate and learn.

Thomas Marsden, Donor Communications, WWF International

I found the FICT very engaging with some great speakers who were very open and eager to share their knowledge. Despite it being online only, I found the course very engaging, as there was a good balance between theory and practical exercises, as well as a wide spectrum of subjects; from the basics of computing and networks to deep dives into Machine Learning and cybersecurity.

Whilst some of these subjects were familiar to me, the course added extra layers of knowledge and depth, as well as filling in knowledge gaps for new subjects. In general, the course was an eye-opener in many ways, reminding us that we often don’t spend enough time assessing the powerful platforms and tools we use in our daily work, which if we are not careful, can also be important vulnerabilities that we need to be aware of. Therefore, continuous education and awareness of the incredible opportunities, challenges and vulnerabilities of ICT is paramount.

Charles Andrew Revkin, Senior Digital Strategy Manager, Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

Advanced Courses

The advanced courses elaborate over the modules and topics included in the Foundations of ICT course and provide a deeper and richer dive into each of those topics.

The first advanced course is currently under development and more information will be available soon. Stay tuned!

Related news

Apr 22, 2021Press reviews
The certificate linked to the virus will not be available before June in Switzerland. Until then, here are twelve answers linked to questions of security, data and accessibility concerning what some call the "Immunity Passport". In particular, Jean-Pierre Hubaux, C4DT Academic Director, provides insights on the questions linked to data.

Apr 12, 2021Press reviews
RTS Debate between Anne-Marie Kermarrec, computer scientist and C4DT affiliated professor at EPFL, author of "Numérique, compte avec les femmes" (Odile Jacob, 2021), Isabelle Collet, professor of education at the University of Geneva, author of "Les Oubliés du numérique" (Le Passeur, 2019), Brigitte Manz-Brunner, responsible for the French-speaking part of Switzerland for the campaign "Tout feu tout flamme - Pour plus de femmes dans l’informatique", and Marina Pantazis, developer at Calitho SA.

Mar 25, 2021Press reviews
Digital activities represent around 4-5% of CO2 emissions, estimate several studies. And cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, are amongst the most energy consuming activities: far ahead of streaming and email exchanges. The podcast "Le Point J" tries to understand why.

Mar 21, 2021Press reviews
Take a look at the RTS documentary on the impacts of deepfakes featuring an interview from C4DT affiliated professor Touradj Ebrahimi.

Mar 15, 2021News
The ease of creating fake virtual identities plays an important role in shaping the way information—and misinformation—circulates online. Social media platforms are increasingly prominent in shaping public debates, and the tension between online anonymity and accountability is a source of growing societal risks. This article outlines one approach to resolving this tension, with “pseudonym parties” that focus on proof of personhood rather than identity. Pseudonym parties are a low-tech approach to important digital challenges, linking online activity to anonymous digital tokens that are obtained by being physically present at an appointed time and place.

Next courses

Jun 7, 2021 → Jun 11, 2021C4DT courses
Current digital trends and innovation, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data privacy, blockchain and digital trust, are rapidly changing and disrupting the way donors, employees, and beneficiaries interact with each other. Technology can be a powerful tool for philanthropic and non-profit organizations, accelerating their digital transformation through automating and streamlining business processes, using digital platforms, and leveraging data and analytics in new ways that enhance their efficiency and social impact.

No upcoming courses