The potential of technology to radically transform how we live, work and socialize has become increasingly clear in recent years, and no more so than in 2020. Amid the greatest healthcare crisis in a century, technology has kept us connected. Students turned online to keep learning, researchers crunched data to stay abreast of COVID-19’s spread, and governments and businesses of all kinds were able to keep providing vital services from the other side of a computer screen. But for all the positive opportunities offered by digital transformation, there are also undeniable concerns about what a future shaped by technology will and should look like. It’s vital that we address these head-on.
Policymakers and societies are currently confronted with a widening gap between the rapid pace of technological development and existing regulatory boundaries. But Brussels is often ahead of the curve when it comes to closing that gap. The EU is in many ways an epicenter for worldwide regulation, not least for all things digital. Europe’s efforts to set new rules for emerging technologies have implications far beyond our continent’s borders. Nowadays, what happens in Brussels doesn’t stay in Brussels.
That’s why we’re launching a new forum for discussion right here in Brussels: the Tech Fit 4 Europe podcast. Hosted by Casper Klynge, Microsoft’s Vice President of European Government Affairs (EGA), and prepared and produced by our awesome EGA-team, the podcast will dive into the big policy questions behind today’s technologies and the people who shape them. We will welcome influential figures from government, academia, the private sector, and civil society, who will share their views on some of the most pressing digital policy issues of our time, affecting us here in Europe and beyond.
Tech Fit 4 Europe is our response to the EU’s vision for a ‘Europe Fit for the Digital Age’. And this podcast will bring it to life through timely, relevant conversations about where and how to set the boundaries for technology, as well as how the technology industry can responsibly contribute to solving societal challenges. In short: how we can make Europe fit for the Digital Age, by making Tech Fit for Europe.
The podcast will address a range of topics, including questions about how to approach the calls for digital sovereignty and strategic autonomy, how technology can help tackle climate change, how to protect democratic values in an era of digital disruption, what responsibility tech companies should take for how their solutions are used, or even what role they need to play in supporting economic recovery following COVID-19. Encouraging dialogue on these and other issues is part of our wider commitment to making Tech Fit for Europe and helping Europe realize its ambitions for a digital, green and inclusive future.
Our first episode, which will go live on October 19, will welcome French MEP Pascal Canfin, Chair of the European Parliament’s environment committee, to discuss Europe’s green transition and the European Green Deal, just in time for EU Green Week 2020. So tune in on your preferred podcast platform.
Future guests will include Anu Bradford, Professor at Columbia Law School and author of “The Brussels Effect”, as well as Colin H. Kahl, co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University and former Deputy Assistant to President Obama and National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden.
We all deserve a say on how we can make #TechFit4Europe, so share your views on social media, tagging @MicrosoftEU and @KlyngeC. Casper and the entire team behind the podcast look forward to kicking off the conversation with you!
This article was first published on 14 October by Microsoft.