This article was published by The Future Society in Seminars & Summits, The AI Initiative on October 22, 2019

‘Fundamental Rights in the Digital Era’ WLA-CdM Working Group

Main insight

The Future Society steered the Working Group on Fundamental Rights in the Digital Era, as part of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (WLA-CdM) 2019 Policy Dialogue.

Seminars & SummitsThe AI Initiative
October 22, 2019
2 min read

MADRID, Spain – On October 21st and October 22nd, the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (in partnership with the IE School of Global and Public Affairs and under the patronage of Ms Mariya Gabriel, Member of the European Commission) held its Annual Policy Dialogue on: ‘Digital Transformation and the Future of Democracy: How can Artificial Intelligence drive Democratic Governance?’.

WLA-CdM is a global assembly of over 110 democratic former Heads of State and Government from over 60 countries. This year, they brought together 100 renowned experts, policy makers and industry leaders to have a fruitful conversation on the implications of digital transformation and artificial intelligence for fundamental rights, the future of the social contract in the data economy, and trust and public debate in the face of disinformation.

The Future Society was asked to steer one of three working groups, designed to unpack the topic of ‘Fundamental Rights in the Digital Era.’ In preparation for the event, Niki Iliadis collated the ideas of the working group members and compiled a background paper highlighting the opportunities and challenges of the Digital Era through the lens of fundamental rights. 

At the policy dialogue itself, Nicolas Miailhe led two Action Labs which built on the background paper to further debate how to ensure fundamental rights are safeguarded in light of the socio-technological transformations. A key question that was explored was whether fundamental rights should be revised and adopted for the Digital Era.

The Future Society stressed the need to work towards a shared and inclusive vision of fundamental rights. Given the diversity of cultures and perspectives of people around the world, this is far from an easy task. However, a global civic forum on AI ethics  – bringing together citizens, experts, public officials, industry stakeholders, civil organizations and professional associations – could be a way forward.