about us

the board

Born 1956 in Switzerland


The former Vice-President of the Swiss Green Party was a member of the Lucerne city parliament for almost two decades, which he presided over in 1999.

For about 40 years, he has worked at the executive level for various non-profit organisations, such as the Tenants' Association of Lucerne, the VCS (a national Transport & Environment NGO) and the Swiss Heritage Association. He has many years of experience with direct democratic processes at local, regional, national and international level.

The social scientist Adrian Schmid is one of the co-founders of the "Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy" and is Secretary General of the "Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe".

Learn more about Adrian Schmid's motivation to develop and defend democracy here (in German).

Born 1980 in Germany (GDR)


Nancy Eckert has been working at the interface between politics, the public and business in public institutions for over 12 years. She is currently head of the office of the sponsors' conference and the university council of the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland.

As a dual citizen of Germany and Switzerland and as an educationalist and political scientist, she is very familiar with different political and social systems. With her specific profile in education and higher education, she is politically active in Switzerland at national and cantonal level.

With her commitment, she would like to make a significant contribution to strengthening the political education of children, adolescents and young adults.

Born 1965 in Switzerland


Bruno Kaufmann is global democracy correspondent for SWI swissinfo.ch, the ten-language international service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. He has been reporting as Northern Europe correspondent for Swiss Radio and Television SRF since 1990.

He is co-founder of the Initiative and Referendum Institute Europe and co-president of the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy. As a political scientist, he is the author of numerous publications on the subject of participatory and direct democracy, including the "European Democracy Passport" published by the European Union (available in 23 languages), the "Global Passport to Modern Direct Democracy" (International IDEA) and the "Swiss Democracy Passport" (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs).

The former member of the municipal government of Falun/Sweden now lives in Arboga/Sweden.

Here you can learn more about Bruno Kaufmann's motivation to democratise democracy worldwide (in German).

Born 1967 in Germany


Daniel Schily co-founded the association "Mehr Demokratie" in Germany in 1988 and serves on the board of "Democracy International".

For decades, Daniel Schily has accompanied and supported democracy projects in Germany and worldwide, such as the "Direct Democracy Navigator", the "European Public Sphere" and the "Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy".

Schily, natural scientist and teacher, is co-owner of the technology group Voith, headquartered in Heidenheim an der Brenz. He is engaged in the agricultural and social enterprises of the Rengoldhausen farm on Lake Constance.

Daniel Schily lives in Bonn/Germany.

Learn more about Daniel Schily's motivation for promoting democracy worldwide and helping young people learn about democratic rights here (in German).

Born 1955 in Switzerland


Andreas Zivy was the CEO of the family company Ameropa until 2019 and has been on the board of the Ameropa Foundation, which focuses on development projects in third world countries. Since 2020 he is the chairman of the Ameropa Group.

A political scientist by education, Andreas Zivy has maintained a keen interest in political theory and practice and has been active both in a political party as well as grassroot movements in the past.

His primary motivation to join the Swiss Democracy Foundation were concerns on the worldwide democratic backsliding observed over the last decade.

Here you can learn more about Andreas Zivy's conviction that only democracy can bring peace, freedom and prosperity (in German).