Skip to content

Tech for Democracy 2021

Digital technology holds great potential for strengthening democracy and citizens’ engagement

New forms of mass movements and digital mobilization are invigorating democratic values at global scale. At the same time, digital technology also weakens core aspects of democracy and civic freedoms. We believe that states, multilateral organizations, and companies have a joint responsibility for using and regulating technology to the benefit of democracy and public interest. Civil society is vital to building a momentum for the change needed.

Denmark welcomes the increased international focus on challenges in the intersection of tech, democracy and human rights

The COVID-19 pandemic and 20 years of democratic backsliding call for strong political support for democracy and civic freedoms in the digital age. If we, who live by and of democracy and freedom do not come together to protect these common goods, we risk losing them. 

The Danish Government will host an international conference - Copenhagen: Tech for Democracy 2021 - on November 18 2021. We want to bring states, tech sector representatives, media, academia and civil society around the same table to focus on concrete ways to make technology support – and not undermine - democracy and civil society.

We will build on the international community’s efforts in this area, and bring industry, civil society and governments together to build a momentum for action. We will build on our tech diplomacy’s dialogue with the tech sector in Silicon Valley, China and globally, and our position as a highly digitalized democracy with a strong civil society engagement at home and abroad. 

To get moving, we propose to:

  1. Develop a Call to Action. It should bring states, tech sector and civil society together to safeguard democratic space in the digital age, and stand up for democracy defenders under digital attack. It should promote responsible digital behavior among states and the tech sector including a free and open Internet, responsible use of social media and proactive use of technology to promote virtual inclusion of citizens. From the local to the global.
  2. Deliver public-private partnerships to harness tech for democracy. There is a lot to build on. We will reach out to like-minded countries, tech companies, multilateral organizations, civil society actors, and academia to identify concrete actions and mobilize support for new public-private partnerships aimed at delivering solutions to advanced technology for democracy globally.
  3. Empower civil society, media and democracy defenders. We will call for (and contribute) additional funding to ensure safety of activists under digital attack and to support the democratic use and development of technology among civil society, movements, and media organizations. We will assess the need for new funding instruments to achieve this goal. 

The Call to Action will be further developed in the coming months. More information will be available soon.