The digital transformation is one of the most profound societal challenges of the 21st century. Social participation, economic prosperity, and the quality of work increasingly depend on the possibilities offered by new technologies. In this context, cloud computing, cross-border supply chains, as well as the “Internet of Things” and the “sharing economy” are giving rise to new ways of living, working, and communicating together. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated digitalization, enabling new forms of economic and social resilience while also exposing aspects of profound inequality. At the same time, authoritarian regimes are using artificial intelligence, big data, and disinformation campaigns to consolidate their rule at home and undermine democratic institutions and decision-making abroad. Against the backdrop of the interplay of opportunities and challenges posed by digitalization, the Aspen Institute Germany works to address the most pressing questions about new technologies and their impact on digital life in Germany, Europe, and around the world. In doing so, it focuses on five key areas: (1) Digitalization and Democracy, (2) Digitalization and Ethics, (3) Digitalization and European Sovereignty, (4) Digitalization and Transatlantic Relations, and (5) Digitalization and Geopolitics.
Digital Focal Areas
Digital developments increasingly influence the core aspects of democratic life. They can strengthen or undermine democratic processes and social participation. The Digitalization and Democracy focal area explores how democracy changes in digital constellations.
The Digitalization and Ethics focal area accompanies the development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics with discussions and debates to develop groundbreaking answers in the field of tension between ethics and digitalization.
In the area of data protection as well as the regulation of big tech companies, the European Union strives to be a pioneer in setting international norms. The Digitalization and European Sovereignty focal area focuses on European priorities in the global competition for digital standards.
Democracies are coming under increasing pressure in the development and use of new technologies. The Digitalization and Geopolitics focal area addresses the political and societal priorities for promoting democratic values in the digital space.
The Digitalization and Transatlantic Relations focal area promotes exchange on the future of the technology partnership, focusing on topics such as technological standards, export and investment controls, and cybersecurity.
Digitalization changes every part of our society, no matter how small, at all levels and in all disciplines. This enormous impact requires an ongoing debate about the values and principles that should guide our digital society. The Digital Program contributes to this by facilitating an inclusive dialogue on the most pressing issues of digitalization and technology.
In this report, the authors present the key findings and results of the Aspen Berlin AI Conference. The conference focused on the role of artificial intelligence in making societies and economies more resilient.
This action report contains recommendations for influencers, social media platforms and policy-makers regarding the responsible use of social media.
The guide contains background information on media literacy and strategies on how to strengthen it in an informative and concise way summarizing the results of the digital student conference on Media Literacy.