Professor Viktor Mayer-Schönberger is holding the opening impulse at our upcoming Young Professional Seminar on “Governing the Internet and Opening the Data: What is Europe’s digital future?” which starts online on Friday, 26th June in the afternoon.
Mayer-Schönberger is Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute / Oxford University. He is a sought-after expert for print and broadcast media worldwide.
After early successes in the International Physics Olympics and the Austrian Young Programmers Contest, Mayer-Schönberger studied in Salzburg, Harvard and at the London School of Economics. In 1986 he founded Ikarus Software, a company focusing on data security and developed the Virus Utilities, which became the best-selling Austrian software product. He was voted Top-5 Software Entrepreneur in Austria in 1991 and Person of the Year for the State of Salzburg in 2000. He has chaired the Rueschlikon Conference on Information Policy in the New Economy, bringing together leading strategists and decision-makers of the new economy. He also is a fomer faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
The application process is still open until 19th June. Here are the details:
Access to information and Internet freedom are more important than ever in times of lockdown and the post-pandemic world.
We see a rapid transformation in the way people work as millions switch to remote jobs and digital teams. Coronavirus makes people rely on Internet more as they use it to connect with their colleagues, monitor news, order food, and even voice their citizen dissatisfaction. We have had online rallies and political meetings, and we see how citizens emerge and gather digitally to discuss the government’s handling of the crisis.
With an open Internet and more government data online, it is relatively easy to access information and monitor public spending. Yet, what happens when the digital freedoms are taken away from the citizens? Who governs the Internet in the first place, and who is responsible for opening up government data for citizens to check?
Last year, the EU passed a controversial copyright directive which many criticized for limiting online freedom of expression. This year, as a result of the pandemic, tracking apps were introduced to collect citizens’ data and monitor how people were moving and self-isolating during the quarantine. While these developments have been advertised as tools to protect the people, they also raise some red flags about digital freedom and the government’s role in guaranteeing it.
Currently, most European countries enjoy a relatively high level of Internet freedom combined with high Internet penetration. In addition, many European governments have committed to opening more public data and creating platforms for citizens to monitor public spending. However, challenges remain as shown with mismanagement of finances during the pandemic or new digital regulations which were put in place because of the coronavirus crisis.
In times like these, it is crucial to understand the rights and freedoms of the citizens when it comes to digital space as well as public and personal data. Therefore, United Europe is organizing a Young Professional Seminar which focuses on the crucial issues related to Internet governance and open government in Europe. The event, which consists of two online meetups, aims to shed light on the most important digital developments in Europe and the role of citizens in the Internet-oriented reality.
In our Young Professional Seminar, the following questions will be discussed:
– How does Internet Governance take place in the EU and neighboring European countries?
– How does it reflect current governing mechanisms?
– What are the Internet Governance implications for other governance areas?
– Who are the main stakeholders, and how do they cooperate?
– Open government in Europe and beyond: What is it and how to use it?
– How can citizens access public data?
– Who and how can investigate government information?
– How do we make sure that all are involved (people with disabilities, for example?)
– How do we implement e-governance initiatives and educate the public?
– What are the implications for struggling democracies?
The seminar is led by Anna Romandash, an award-winning journalist from Ukraine and Young Professional Advisor of United Europe.
The seminar language will be English.
As a prework, applicants are required to write a short text (1 – 2 DIN A4 pages/6.500 characters max) about one of the mentioned questions above.
You are welcome to create the essay from your personal view and considering the specific situation of your country.
Applications must include this very text, a brief cover letter indicating interest and motivation (1 page, including the question, what you expect from this seminar), together with a CV (incl. a photo and the date of birth, max. 2 pages). All documents must be submitted electronically in PDF format in English language and should not exceed 2 GB. We can only consider complete applications.
Please send your application in one document until 19th June to firstname.lastname@example.org.