The Board

The Swiss Democracy Foundation (and also the European Democracy Foundation) is led by
the founding board of management consisting of four founder-members:

Adrian Schmid, Präsident des Stiftungsrats

Born 1956 in Switzerland

Adrian Schmid is a social
scientist and currently CEO of the Swiss Heritage Society.

He is a former vice-president of the Swiss Green Party and was for almost two decades a member of the Lucerne city parliament, including being for some of that time its presiding officer.

He has been working for 35 years at management level for various non-profit organisations, such as the Lucerne Tenants’ Association and the VCS (Swiss motoring organisation).

As an active citizen Adrian Schmid has a long experience of direct-democratic processes at the local, regional, national and international level.

He was one of the founders of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe and the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

Suzann-Viola Renninger, Stiftungsrätin

Born 1962 in Germany

Suzann-Viola Renninger received her doctorate in Philosophy from LMU (the Ludwig Maxi­milian University of Munich).

Over the course of the following 15 years she launched her own software company, worked in the editorial section of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and later as the publisher and editor of the Schweizer Monatshefte magazine, whilst maintaining an active interest in research and teaching.

She has now returned to university where she is re­­searching the interface between ethics, the philosophy of science and the behavioural sciences at the University of Zürich, where she also lectures on the same subjects.

In addition, she also heads the philosophy department at Zürich’s adult education centre. Suzann-Viola Renninger has been a longtime supporter of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe and the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

Daniel Schily, Stiftungsrat

Born 1967 in Germany

Daniel Schily co-founded the association “More Democracy” (Mehr Demokratie) in Germany in 1988. Today he works as a member of the board of Democracy International.

For decades, Mr Schily has supported projects to promote democracy in Germany and internationally and he was actively involved in those.

He is one of the supporters of the Direct Democracy Navigator at the Research Centre for Citizen Participation at the University of Wuppertal.
Bruno Kaufmann, Stiftungsrat

Born 1965 in Switzerland

Bruno Kaufmann is the Global Democracy Correspondent for "swissinfo", the International service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. He also reports from Northern Europe for the Swiss Radio and TV SRF.

He is the author of numerous publications on the subject of participatory and direct democracy including the Global Passport to Modern Direct Democracy co-published by the SDF. He is the director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe and co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy.

Bruno Kaufmann is a political scientist and is a research fellow at the Centre for Social Cohesion of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

Between 2011 and 2017 he served as member of the city government in Falun, where he was responsible for elections, referendums and democracy issues.