On September 15, the Berggruen Institute launched the Democracy for the Digital Society project in a meeting that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The launch took place in the context of the Global Progress Summit being held by Canada 2020 in Montreal, Canada.
The launch involved key members of the project’s Patrons group including Eric Schmidt, Reid Hoffman, Ben Rattray, Alec Ross and the President Toomas Ilves, former president of Estonia who will head the commission for the project. The group discussed how digital technology produces both opportunities and consequences for democracies and how governments might manage them. Of key concern is the level of misinformation and the tone of the political dialogue in contemporary politics.
The meeting was an important moment marking the starting point of a two year effort to develop a tool kit for managing democracy in the digital age. The project team, which includes Dawn Nakagawa, Matt Browne, Ariel Ratner and Ola Tjornbo, will study political innovations that are working to deepen citizen engagement and restore trust and develop tools through pilot projects in various contexts. Current plans are underway to develop pilot projects in Italy, Canada and the City of London.