Digitalisation is changing how we live together as a society and the way we communicate. This process is bound up with a transformation of the political public sphere. Thanks to the Internet and social media, we can rapidly access information and talk with people from all over the world. Content from countless different sources is available without restriction, just a mouse click away. This content shapes and influences us. It’s become integral to our democratic world and has many benefits. But alongside all the opportunities, digitalisation also brings new risks and challenges with it.
For instance, how can we ensure our data is protected? At the moment, large quantities of our data is in the hands of private companies. On top of that, (political) disinformation campaigns, fake news, hate speech and filter bubbles can be used to manipulate people and elections, and alter the balance of political power – to the detriment of democracy and social cohesion.
How can we futureproof our values and shield them from digital manipulation and interference? How can we use algorithms and AI to strengthen democracy, instead of allowing it to be undermined by bots? How can we protect ourselves from cybercrime? The Alfred Herrhausen Gesellschaft launched the project Digital Europe 2030 to promote a digital transformation guided by principles of democracy, openness and a social market economy. The first phase dealt with the public sphere and digital sovereignty, while the current one is exploring the topic of data and democracy.
The projects in the Digital Europe 2030 series design scenarios for the future and offer answers to the question: what direction could Europe go in the digital era? You can learn more on the project pages below.