Transatlantic Approaches on
Digital Governance

A New Social Contract
in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

16-18 September


Club de Madrid, in partnership with the Boston Global Forum, and with the generous support of Tram Huong Khanh Hoa Company (ATC), presents a Policy Lab that will be analysing challenges to digital and AI governance from a transatlantic perspective and offer actionable policy solutions as we consider the need to build a new social contract that will adequately tackle these challenges. 

Digital technologies and artificial intelligence are transforming our societies at a pace and scale never seen before. The spread of COVID-19 has only intensified this transformation, forcing us to work remotely or quickly design apps that can track the spread of the virus. Technology is rather an ally than a foe in the current situation, but has policy caught up with the technological transformation? 

Technology grants a great deal of power to those who control it. Digital markets are in the hands of a small number of companies, giving them unprecedented leverage over policymaking, both nationally and internationally. Moreover, some of these technologies, such as the smartphone tracking apps, raise privacy concerns.  We cannot aim to set global, regional and national digital governance standards without including a wide range of societal actors. So how do we constructively engage technological companies and ground policymaking to democratic governance and the general interest?  

By contrasting North American and European best practices and perspectives, Club de Madrid and the Boston Global Forum aim to delve into innovative ideas and formulate actionable policy recommendations and consider the need to build a new social contract that will adequately tackle the challenges raised by artificial intelligence and digital governance. Both organisations will look to identify ways of engaging technological companies in public policy making while protecting the democratic mandate, which guarantees policies that serve the general interest, rather than that of fewer actors. 

Club de Madrid

World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) is the largest worldwide assembly of political leaders working to strengthen democratic values, good governance and the well-being of citizens across the globe.

As a non-profit, non-partisan, international organisation, its network is composed of more than 100 democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers from over 70 countries, together with a global body of advisors and expert practitioners, who offer their voice and agency on a pro bono basis, to today’s political, civil society leaders and policymakers. WLA-CdM responds to a growing demand for trusted advice in addressing the challenges involved in achieving democracy that delivers, building bridges, bringing down silos and promoting dialogue for the design of better policies for all.

This alliance, providing the experience, access and convening power of its Members, represents an independent effort towards sustainable development, inclusion and peace, not bound by the interest or pressures of institutions and governments.

Boston Global Forum

Boston Global Forum (BGF), based in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded to bring together thought leaders and experts from around the globe to participate in open public forums to discuss and illuminate the most critical issues affecting the world at large. BGF’s principal mission is to provide an interactive and collaborative world forum for identifying and developing action-based solutions to our most profound problems. BGF’s method is to host gatherings of thought leaders and experts to identify and dissect the most pressing societal concerns, and then to propose creative and practical solutions.