At SI, we envision a world where humanity coordinates effectively so that life can flourish.
We believe in the potential of human ingenuity and technology to create a future where life can thrive. But we worry about escalating harms or large-scale disaster if change is not well-governed. By enhancing multilateral coordination, we hope to contribute to long-term survival and well-being.
SI’s mission is to support multilateral governance actors to think long-term and develop instruments that reduce global catastrophic risks, improve quality of life, and promote agency for present and future generations.
In collaboration with international organizations, governments, think tanks and leading research labs, we translate technical knowledge into actionable policy advice and facilitate decision-making processes with diverse actors, thereby enhancing multilateral governance processes.
From biotechnology to artificial intelligence, humanity is confronting opportunities and challenges of an unprecedented scale. The welfare of both present and future generations depends on our ability to safely introduce and harness powerful technologies, while mitigating extreme risks.
In our increasingly interconnected world, the multilateral system retains a vital role. Yet, to effectively steer the changes shaping humanity’s future, it must evolve, becoming more agile, and enriched with greater technical expertise.
Since our founding in 2021, we’ve contributed to key intergovernmental processes for reducing global risks, hosted numerous workshops with researchers and policymakers to coordinate multilateral action, and delivered the first UN report on existential risk and rapid technological change. You can see here to learn more about our work.
Our focus areas
Humanity is facing challenges that are increasingly global in scale and can only be effectively addressed by countries working together. As an inclusive platform to coordinate international action, the multilateral system is the best available avenue for pursuing shared solutions. SI works with actors across the multilateral system to find synergies, share information, and build capacity.
New technologies hold immense potential and risks. Effective governance is vital, yet the speed of technological change often outpaces policy adjustments. At SI, we support policymakers by translating the latest science on technological risks and opportunities into concrete advice. By collaborating with policymakers to shape governance structures, we aim to enhance global technology governance to be more responsive, agile, and inclusive.
The attention of the multilateral system is consumed by current affairs, leading to a frequent neglect of emerging risks, especially those from complex, new technologies. SI endeavors to shift policy mindsets by providing insight into frontier technologies, raising awareness about the importance of long-term thinking, and advocating for policies that consider future generations.
At SI, we focus on cultivating lasting partnerships and providing timely, practical support. As an independent non-profit, we remain agile, in order to pivot and divert resources towards the most relevant and promising opportunities for lasting impact. Our transparent approach has earned the trust of a diverse range of partners, and solidified our reputation as skilled facilitators capable of catalyzing productive discussions across technology, policy, and academia.
We’re dedicated to bridging the gap between technological innovation and policymaking, with a longstanding focus on technological change and global catastrophic risks, predating the Covid-19 pandemic and the emergence of large language models like ChatGPT. Our focus is strengthened by access to a broad pool of expertise and privileged connections within both the multilateral system and the frontier research community, making us a unique actor in Geneva.
SI is a registered non-profit in Switzerland, operating independently and without affiliation to any political parties. You can view our board of trustees and governance structure here.
Our funding comes from various private and philanthropic donors, all of whom respect our independence in resource allocation. You can refer to our activity reports for further information about our work and funding sources.
Advisers and collaborators
Herbert Simon (1916 - 2001) was an American political scientist, cognitive psychologist, computer scientist, and economist.
He received a Turing Award in 1975, and a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978, and is best known for formalizing the concept of bounded rationality – the idea that rational decision-making is limited by uncertainty and available computational power.
Herbert's contributions to decision-making theory heavily influenced our early research, while his insights into technological development and organizational behavior continue to be of relevance to our work today. We draw particular inspiration from his belief that we should not occupy ourselves with merely predicting the future, but rather work to create the future we want.
We thank Katherine, Barbara, and Peter Simon for having granted us the honor of naming the Institute for Longterm Governance after their father.