Technology Diplomacy in the Digital Age

The panel discusses the geopolitical implications of emerging technology-focused, digital or cyber diplomacy initiatives.

Members event, Panel Recording
11 December 2019 — 1:00PM TO 2:00PM
Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE

In less than a decade, the influence of tech companies has expanded to match, or even surpass, that of many nation states. Technological disruptions are creating opportunities and challenges within and between societies, but governments are struggling to balance the advance of technology with economic fairness and societal cohesion.

In 2017, in response to these challenges, Denmark became the first country in the world to appoint a dedicated tech ambassador. While ‘techplomacy’ offers an opportunity for creating a transnational understanding of the way technology will impact – and should be incorporated into – forms of governance, policymaking and policy implementation, the integration of modern innovations into the traditional apparatus of diplomacy is not without its problems.

  • What capital do smaller nations like Denmark have to encourage the spread of this initiative among the world’s most technologically advanced nations?

  • What are tech companies doing to engage with policymakers and regulators?

  • How can such innovations in diplomacy facilitate a more global and inclusive discussion on setting common tech standards and supporting transparent and accountable digital progress in developing countries?

  • And could the entrenching of tech companies in policymaking processes lead to the institutionalized exclusion of underdeveloped nations that lack the infrastructure to accommodate technology stakeholders in political circles?

This event has been organized as part of The World Today’s collaboration with the Office of Denmark’s tech ambassador on the ‘Tech Ambassador for a Day’ competition.

This event is part of Chatham House’s Digital Society Initiative (DSI) which brings together policy and technology communities to help forge a common understanding and jointly address the challenges that rapid advances in technology are causing domestic and international politics. The initiative’s mission is to maximize the full potential of this century’s most influential technological developments through solution-driven policy recommendations for a sustainably secure, prosperous and just world.


HE Ms Tiina Intelmann, Ambassador of Estonia to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Ashish Jaiman, Director, Technology and Operations, Defending Democracy Program, Microsoft

Casper Klynge, Tech Ambassador, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark

Dr Liane Saunders, Strategy Director and Strategic Programmes Coordinator, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Chair: Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House

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A member takes the opportunity to ask the panel a question at our event on the digital revolution.
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