ISTF 2021

Each year, the ISTF Committee chooses an annual topic from the realms of management, science, politics and society. Our aim is to capture and condense the most relevant debates currently shaping the world around us and bring them front and center at the ISTF in Switzerland.


The theme of our 10th ISTF is:



At a time when instant communication and technology provide easy access to information, we are faced with a challenging contention: how to maintain privacy amid the massive information flows of a data-hungry world? The sheer scale of mass surveillance has long been perceived as a threat to the values and morals of our democratic society. Some people fear that through surveillance, power structures become ubiquitous, embedded within the systems, and interests they represent.

But instead of thinking about surveillance as an all-knowing oppressive force, it can also be viewed as something which confers safety, access, entitlement, and benefit. For example, public health measures have always depended on surveillance, and this has been especially true in the context of the current global pandemic.

Surveillance systems that can map out the movements of entire populations have extraordinary potential – they can help societies recover from Covid-19. What is your opinion on the benefits and disadvantages of surveillance? Join us to explore the future of this highly topical and exciting theme – we look forward to welcoming you to ISTF 2021!


“I’ve never met so many awesome friends in such a short space of time. I was up every day from 6:30am to 2am and I didn’t even feel tired because there was always another interesting conversation with another interesting person on the horizon. I had one of the best times of my life.” Ali, UK


Schedule ISTF 2021

Wednesday, 07. July – Saturday, 10. July 2021 

Hotel Sempachersee
Kantonsstrasse 46
CH – 6207 Nottwil

70 highly motivated young adults aged 18 to 23 years. Please note that participation is possible on grounds of invitation only (see details in the application section).

Official language


Flyer ISTF21, click to download 


A detailed programme will be available on this page in late 2020