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Swedish national summit on AI and democracy in Gothenburg, 20-21 October

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Future of Democracy Summit is a new, national initiative in Sweden that focuses on the question of how digitalisation and AI can be used in a democratically sustainable way.

On October 20-21, decision-makers and experts from various disciplines across society will gather at Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, to discuss how development and competitiveness can be ensured, while at the same time protecting citizens' privacy and participation


Karin Hübinette, project manager for the Future of Democracy Summit says, "For far too long, digitalisation has been seen as an IT issue, delegated to people with technical competence. In fact, digitalisation and the application of AI cuts right through society and impacts everything from jobs to education to welfare. How the new technology is used determines the society we get. With the Future of Democracy Summit, we want to get leaders from authorities, companies and interest groups to take responsibility for digital development and the future of our society,” says 

Among the participants are well-known profiles and leaders including Dr. Mouna Esmaeilzadeh, Carl Bildt, Maria Mindhammar (Director General of the Swedish Public Employment Service), Archbishop Antje Jackelén and Microsoft Sweden's CEO, Helene Barnekow. In total, about a hundred decision-makers from business, academia, the public sector and civil society will participate in the talks on October 20-21.

Hélène Barnekow, CEO Microsoft Sweden, says, “Today, digital development is absolutely crucial for the development of society. For me, it is all about the interplay between people, technology and policy development. Sweden has been early in adopting new technologies and we have made a name for ourselves as an innovative country, for example when it comes to rolling out broadband and the investments made in the Swedish startup scene. However, we can’t rely on our past merits. Instead, we have to constantly look and move forward. Digital development doesn’t wait for anyone. At the Future of Democracy Summit, I’m looking forward to exciting talks and developing concrete plans on how we ensure digitalisation and harness  innovative technology to contribute to building a sustainable and competitive Sweden. A strong democracy for our time.”

Archbishop Antje Jackélen says, “Sweden is celebrating 100 years of democracy and we like to see ourselves as role models in many ways. However, we are also credulous when it comes to democracy. We assume that it is rock solid. But it must be conquered again and again and, at the same time, constantly fed with values ​​- some of which will always be rooted in religious traditions. Democracy is ephemeral. I look forward to discussing this at the Future of Democracy Summit.”

The initiators of Future of Democracy are Media & Democracy and AI Sweden. The project has been developed in collaboration with the Committee for a Strong Democracy, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, International Youth Think Tank, Swedish Agency for Digital Government, Lindholmen Science Park, University of Gothenburg, Region Västra Götaland, Malmö University and Telenor.

Here, you can read more about the Future of Democracy Summit in Gothenburg on October 20-21.

Please contact Carl-Martin Vikingsson if you have questions, or want to get in touch with any of the participants.