Trade and Globalisation
Influence in a diffuse digital world
This event was organised by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Fast-paced advances in technology are creating diffuse and volatile conditions in which international actors operate. Disruptive innovations such as machine learning and big data analytics are changing governments, NGOs, the media, businesses, and in some cases entire industries.
New and unexpected players entering the field are putting pressure on the traditional division of roles between government, business, journalism and civil society. And this is just the beginning: technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain are only just starting to have an impact. This poses a challenge not just for governments but for every actor in the international public space. We find ourselves at a turning point that calls for new alliances between actors capable not only of responding to these challenges, but capable of anticipating and embracing them.
To explore these issues, this event was organised in the format of an unconference: a mostly unscheduled conference where participants decided the agenda. Participants were invited to discuss consequences of digitalisation for international affairs, to share practical tools and design solutions for the future.
One of the pre-planned sessions entitled “What is Really Going on Out There?” What a Digital Index of Global Influence (DiGi) could contribute to mapping patterns of influence in the digital world was moderated by Stuart MacDonald (SYM Consulting) and Jan Melissen (Clingendael).