While I'm not an expert, I did study political science and am Swiss. I think this post paints an accurate picture of important parts of the Swiss political system. Also, I think (and admire) how it explains very nicely the basic workings of a naturally fairly complicated system.
If people are interested in reading more about Swiss Democracy and its underlying political/institutional culture (which, as pointed out in the post, is pretty informal and shaped by its historic context), I can recommend this book: https://www.amazon.com/Swiss-Democracy-Solutions-Multicultural-Societies-dp-0230231888/dp/0230231888/
It talks about "consensus democracy", Swiss federalism, political power-sharing, the scope and limits of citizen's participation in-direct democracy, and treats Swiss history of being a multicultural, heterogeneous society.
[slight edit to improve framing]
Are there any existing variolation projects that I can join?
FWIW, there is this I know of: https://1daysooner.org/
That said, last time I've got an update from them (~1 month ago), any execution of these trials was still at least a few months away. (You could reach out to them via the website for more up to date information.) Also, there is a limited number of places where the trials can actually take place, so you'd have to check whether there is anything close to where you are.
(Meta: This isn't necessarily an endoresement of your main qusetion.)
That's cool to hear!
We are hoping to write up our current thinking on ICF at some point (although I don't expect it to happened within the next 3 months) and will make sure to share it.
Happy to talk!