The Digital Futures Task Force

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The digital domain has fast emerged as a new landscape of global competition and conflict. The benefits of digitization have been immense, but so have the harms -- rampant disinformation, privacy violations, cyberattacks, and the worsening of inequalities, to name a few. As the Global North races to technological supremacy and the Global South struggles to bridge the digital divide, a lack of consensus about digital harms, much less about the principles for global governance of digital technologies, threatens to further fracture both the digital and physical worlds. Absent global frameworks that ensure digital technology promotes human rights, inclusive sustainable development, and international stability, digitization will continue to drive conflict, worsen inequalities, and divide the world.

Planetary Politics, along with a consortium of university partners, has convened the Digital Futures Task Force to help tackle the challenge of mapping digital harms and finding coalescence around principles and norms for digital governance globally. The Task Force includes researchers, technologists, and experts from around the world, representing six regions (Africa, Latin America, MENA, North America, Europe, and Asia). The Task Force has five working groups, each focused on a different issue area in digital governance. On May 2-3, 2023, the Task Force will gather at New America’s offices in Washington, D.C., during the Digital Futures Symposium with the theme “Mapping Our Global Digital Future: Examining Digital Harms and Pathways to Tech Governance.” The symposium will inform a report summarizing the Task Force's work and detailing recommendations for global digital governance institutions.