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2018 Tech Ambassador for One Day

In September 2018, The Office of Denmark’s Tech Ambassador in close cooperation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) launched an essay competition among university students from across the US. Students were encouraged to share their visions and innovative answers to some of the most pressing questions in the cross-section between technology and governance in the 21st Century.


 

Three big questions were put forward: 1) How should societies react to the growing power and influence of tech companies? 2) How should governments meet the challenges and opportunities technology bring about for human rights? 3) How do we make sure all countries and individuals reap the benefits of technological advancement?

 

The objective was to get a fresh take on some of the tough technology-related questions facing societies and citizens around the globe, while also enhancing youth interest in modern diplomacy and foreign policy. The winner would be invited to Silicon Valley to take over Casper Klynge’s position as the world’s first Tech Ambassador for one full day. A day where both tech ambassadors would learn something from each other.

 

As part of the initiative, CSIS and the Office of the Tech Ambassador co-organized a youth conference in Washington DC on October 31, 2018. Through a number of workshops, lectures and interactive discussions, more than 30 bright students from 9 different universities developed ambitious policy recommendations for governments, industry and other decision makers to take forward. Many of the recommendations are reflected in this essay compilation.

 

The deadline for submissions was November 11 and around 30 students contributed their own thoughts and ideas. The evaluation process was then carried out by staff at the Tech Ambassador’s Office based on a number of criteria: Overall quality of the essay, ability to describe both opportunities and challenges of digitalization, understanding of global trends and societal impacts, creative thinking, as well as level of policy recommendations. A shortlist of three outstanding essays was presented to the Tech Ambassador for final selection.

 

Giving the very high quality of submissions, however, singling out one winner proved a difficult process. Therefore, in addition to identifying the winning essay, the decision was made to gather all essays in one compilation in order for others to be inspired. Among other things it will be handed over to the UN’s Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation Full credit and acknowledgement goes to all of the bright students who invested their personal time and energy into this exercise.

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