Alain Dubois is the Head of State Archives of the canton of Valais, and founder of the Sion Time Machine project. Dr. Johann Roduit is the founder of Conexkt – Innovation Studio. Together they present the Sion Time Machine project: an initiative that aims to create a digital twin of the city of Sion, in Switzerland, in the same vein as the Venice Time Machine.
«Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.» Applied to our digital societies, this famous quote from George Orwell’s novel 1984 implies that whoever controls our collective memory, i.e. the cultural heritage left to us by past generations, controls our societies’ future.
The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which the personal data of several million Facebook users was misused without their knowledge, seems to be one example of Orwell's science fiction coming true. Regaining control of our individual and collective data, both past and present, is therefore a major and fundamental challenge for the proper functioning of our democracies.