Policy Lab: Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance – A New Social Contract on Artificial Intelligence

The Policy Lab ‘Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance’ focused on the need to create a new social contract on digital technologies an Artificial Intelligence (AI) and offered policy recommendations for a better global governance in the digital area. Check below the final report including these proposals:


Final Report

Main Conclusions

1.The document defines an international TCP/IP (the platform for communication among internet users), that is, a set of norms, values and standards specifically designed as connections among governments for enabling and supporting international relations – including between governments, between companies, between companies and governments.

2.It defines anchored principles of justice and equity, recognizing that communities must have control over their data, given that data literacy at all levels of society is the basis for an intelligent, thoughtful society.

3.It calls all governments to promote the Democratic Alliance for Digital Governance.

Access the programme and all video sessions of ‘Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance’



Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance – Day 1

Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance – Day 2

Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance – Day 3


Digital technologies and artificial intelligence are transforming our societies at a pace and scale never seen before. On top of that, the spread of COVID-19 has only intensified such transformation and served as a ‘reality check’ for us to realise the extent to which we depend on these technologies in a multitude of areas: remote work, financial services, medical devices and a long etcetera.  

Technology is an ally rather than a foe in solving much of the challenges we face as a society; among them curbing the global spread of coronavirus. Hospitals are using robots to disinfect hospitals, increasingly offer remote treatment with the help of chatbot helpers and have built complex databases that help in tracking new cases. With digital technologies, engineers have managed to mass track new cases of the outbreak using our mobile phones. 

But technology also grants a great deal of power to those who control it. In the latter example above, the technology used to track citizens’ movements massively and the big data collected might pose a violation of privacy if misused or at the hands of non-democratic governments. 

In another example, digital markets are at the hands of a small number of companies, which gives them unprecedented leverage over public policymaking on digital technologies both nationally and internationally. All in all, the rapid rollout of digital technologies and artificial intelligence beyond the control of states in today’s hyperconnected world has posed us with a significant global challenge. 

We should not set global, regional and national standards of digital governance without including a wide range of societal actors and, hence, including also tech giants. But governments and international organisations alike are puzzled over how to redesign policymaking processes for digital governance with the constructive help of tech companies and making sure that these are grounded in democratic values.  

By contrasting North American and European, Club de Madrid and the Boston Global Forum formulated policy recommendations, best practices and innovative ideas to build a new social contract on artificial intelligence and digital governance. Both organisations identified ways of engaging technological companies in public policymaking while protecting the democratic mandate, which guarantees policies that serve the general interest, rather than that of few actors. 

The recommendations will also serve as input to a new social contract for artificial intelligence and digital governance and the role of the multilateral system in digital governance. 

Live Sessions leading up to this Policy Lab

The Policy Lab on ‘Transatlantic Approaches on Digital Governance: A New Social Contract on Artificial Intelligence’ is just another step of the way, yet a major one, in a long-lasting collaboration between Club de Madrid and the Boston Global Forum. Leading up to the Policy Lab, both organisations have been organising Live Sessions on different aspects of digital governance. Fin them below:  

Live Session: Digital Technologies, Elections and Democracy in times of COVID-19

Live Session: A New Social Contract in the Age of AI. Protection of Privacy Rights in the Times of COVID-19