• Digital Europe 2030

    Data & Democracy

What is Digital Europe 2030: Data & Democracy?

The future of democracy in the European Union will largely be shaped by the way we embed digital technologies in our societies, economies, and political systems. To successfully shape the digital transformation on the basis of democratic values within the EU, it is crucial that we develop a shared vision of how to deal with data in the future.

Under the title "Digital Europe 2030: Data & Democracy," the Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft has convened an interdisciplinary working group to explore the question of how the collection, analysis, and utilization of data can proceed to the benefit of our democratic societies in the future. Using various tools of strategic foresight, 13 experts from politics, business, academia, and civil society will design scenarios, formulate goals, develop roadmaps, and draft concrete ideas for policy options that will eventually be presented at the level of the European institutions.

The project constitutes the second iteration of the series “Digital Europe 2030” and builds on the results of our previous project on the topic “The Public Sphere and Digital Sovereignty”.

Why Digital Europe 2030: Data & Democracy?

Innovative digital products and services are often based on the analysis of large data sets. One example of business models based on this is “microtargeting” by (political) advertising. This can have extensive consequences for society such as the polarization of the public sphere or the targeted spread of disinformation, which sometimes goes so far as to undermine the integrity of elections. Open democratic societies are particularly vulnerable to these phenomena. Based on the constitutive importance of individual rights and personal action for pluralistic democracies, it is therefore necessary to examine how data can be collected, analysed, and utilized for the benefit of democratic societies. The focus here is on the work of the European Union as a community of states: Will the 27 member states succeed in "riding the wave" of digitalisation together or will they be buried by it?

How does Digital Europe 2030: Data & Democracy work?

Digital Europe 2030: Data & Democracy will start in November 2021 with an online kick-off for the working group. Two-day in-person workshops are planned for both December and January. In December, the agenda will include identifying key factors that determine the future of digital democracy in Europe and highlighting possible developments. On this basis, raw scenarios will be designed. In January, the scenarios will be finalized and differentiated, and finally, in a "backcasting" process, possible paths toward a positive vision of the future will be developed. Afterwards, the results will be processed in various formats and publications as well as presented and further developed at the level of the European institutions.

The scenario process will take place under the methodological direction of Dr. Johannes Gabriel (Foresight Intelligence). The project will furthermore be accompanied by a Sounding Board.

For further information please contact Samuel Walker.