Today, digital technologies are all around us, embedded in our mobile phones, enhancing industrial processes, or powering the growth of economies. We talk about digital economies and societies, digital rights, digital inequalities, and so on. Now, imagine the world 10 or 20 years from now. What would it look like? Will digital technologies help create a better world, or will they exacerbate inequalities? Digital will surely be part of our future, but how do we make sure that this will be an ‘open, free and secure digital future for all’?
This last question is now high on the diplomatic agenda: In 2024, countries are expected to agree on a Global Digital Compact (GDC) outlining principles to guide the development of our digital future. Called for by the UN Secretary-General, the GDC will cover issues such as connecting the unconnected, avoiding fragmentation of the internet, protecting human rights in the digital space, and promoting a trustworthy internet.
Against this backdrop, the workshop will focus on one question: What principles for our digital future do we want the GDC to embed? To set the scene, students will be introduced to the world of digital policy through (a) a brief exploration of the policy implications of digital technologies in areas such as human rights, economy, sustainable development, and safety and security, and (b) an overview of where and how such issues have been addressed (e.g. international organisations and initiatives, existing rules and principles, ongoing processes). Equipped with this information, students will then put themselves in the shoes of diplomats and simulate the development of the GDC. The end goal? To come up with a brief document outlining a shared vision for the digital future.
The workshop will include 20-25 students selected following a call for expressions of interest. Attention will be given to ensuring that the selected participants come from different backgrounds, including (but not limited to) digital humanities, law, political and social sciences, and public administration.
Registrations are open until 29 October 2023.