McCourt Institute Inaugural Event: The Future of Tech Governance

mars 10, 2022
14:30-18:30 CET
Livestream
Sciences Po, Paris

This event will be live streamed on this page starting at 2:30 pm CET.

The internet of today hardly resembles the ideals on which the World Wide Web was founded. Power has been stripped from individual users and consolidated in corporate giants; trust is diminished by the spread of misinformation, heavy polarization, and rising in equity. As we are witnessing right now, some of the world’s biggest tech companies are being put to the test as their platforms have turned into battlefields of an information war between Moscow, Kyiv, and the West.

That’s partly because the applications and algorithms that shape our economies, democracies, and public discourse were developed with few legal restrictions or commonly held ethical standards. Instead of exploring ways to repair a broken model, many people are now focused on developing a new internet architecture built on a more equitable foundation, focusing on users, optimizing for access and equity, and building for the common good.

On March 10, the McCourt Institute is hosting an inaugural event dedicated to the opportunities and challenges of the development of new Web3 technologies and their related governance structures.

Founded in partnership with Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and Sciences Po in Paris, the McCourt Institute was established to ensure that digital governance is prioritized and embedded into and in the development of new technology. The Institute supports the goals of Project Liberty, a visionary initiative to transform how the internet works, create a more equitable digital economy, and develop a new civic architecture for the digital world. The March 10 event will gather technologists, social scientists, ethicists, public policy and governance experts, and leaders from the public and private sectors to advance the discussion on a new decentralized web paradigm. It will explore what’s at stake for society through panel discussions, inspirational interviews and keynote speeches as well as impactful networking sessions.

Speakers

Featured

Program

Part 1: From Web2 to Web3

2:00pm – 2:30pm CET
Registration and welcome coffee
2:30pm – 2:35pm CET
Welcome remarks

Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, Inaugural Executive Director, McCourt Institute; event’s master of ceremony

2:35pm – 2:55pm CET
Introductory conversation - McCourt Institute: Advancing technology for the common good

Despite the internet’s many benefits, the past couple of decades have shown that its current model is fuelling inequity, eroding trust, and threatening democracies worldwide. How did we get here, and how do we chart a better path forward?

Frank McCourt, Chairman & CEO, McCourt Global; founder of Project Liberty; founder of the McCourt Institute

Mathias Vicherat, President, Sciences Po

In conversation with Shéhérazade Semsar-de Boisséson, Inaugural Executive Director, McCourt Institute; event’s master of ceremony

2:55pm – 3:20pm CET
Interview – How does Europe fit into the future of tech governance? 

Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Government of Portugal

Moderator: Jacques-Henri Eyraud, Professor, Center for Entrepreneurship, Sciences Po; President Europe, McCourt

3:20pm – 3:40pm CET
Keynote – Web3, from blockchain to NFTs and DAOs: What does it all mean?

A lexicon for so-called Web3 technologies and possible application: developing a Decentralized Social Networking Protocol (DSNP).

Braxton Woodham, President, Unfinished Labs

3:40pm - 4:10pm CET

Networking break

Part 2: A better web is possible, how do we make it happen? The path towards a new internet infrastructure

4:10pm – 4:45pm CET
Spotlight – The role of research in enhancing digital governance in the development of new technology

Comprehensive and collaborative solutions are needed to positively shape tomorrow’s tech infrastructure. This session will put a light on the international and interdisciplinary research supported by the McCourt Institute and how it aims to enhance digital governance.

Michael Bailey, Walsh Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy and Department of Government, Georgetown University

Maria Cancian, Dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University

Dominique Cardon, Professor of sociology and Director of the Medialab, Sciences Po

Guillaume Plantin, Dean Research and Faculty, Sciences Po

Moderator: Shéhérazade Semsarde Boisséson, Inaugural Executive Director, McCourt Institute; event’s master of ceremony

4:45pm – 5:30pm CET
Panel discussion – Is it all bright? Addressing Web3 opportunities and challenges

How could Web3, an internet based on blockchain technology and where users control their own data, positively shift the dynamics of our socio-economic systems? And is it all bright? Is Web3 that decentralized? Why and how should ground rules, safeguards, and shared standards be integrated into the technology-development process? How to build trust in a “trustless” world? How do we govern when no one entity holds all the power? Could Web3 actually build equity in the tech sector? How to minimize the environmental harm of the technology while maintaining its advantages?

Amen Ra Mashariki, Fellow, Massive Data Institute at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy; Fellow, Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation; Principal scientist, NVIDIA

Bertrand Perez, Chief Operations Officer, Web3 Foundation

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at the Cyber Policy Center and International    Policy Fellow at the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Stanford University

Moderator: Dominique Cardon, Professor of sociology and Director of the Medialab, Sciences Po

5:30pm – 6:15pm CET
Panel discussion – NIS, GDPR, DSA, DMA, Data Act, AI Act: Are they all futureproof for Web3? Building a policy agenda for the third generation of the internet

Pursuing more ethical and inclusive ways to build technology is a collective effort. How can policymakers help creating a framework for online activity and growth that supports innovation and focuses on technology for the common good?

Marie-Laure Denis, President, French data protection authority (CNIL)

Claire Fernandez, Executive director, European Digital Rights (EDRi)

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at the Cyber Policy Center and International    Policy Fellow at the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Stanford University

Andreas Schwab, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, German)

Moderator: Nicholas Vinocur, Tech Editor, POLITICO Europe

6:15pm – 6:20pm CET
Closing remarks

Shéhérazade Semsarde Boisséson, Inaugural Executive Director, McCourt Institute; event’s master of ceremony

6:20pm – 7:30pm CET

Networking drinks

Media Partners

Location

Sciences Po, 13, rue de l’Université, 75007 Paris

About the McCourt Institute

Launched in early 2022 with founding partners Sciences Po in Paris and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., the McCourt Institute aims to ensure that digital governance is prioritized in the development of new technology and embedded in the next generation of the web. It supports the goals of Project Liberty, a visionary initiative launched by civic entrepreneur, business leader, and philanthropist Frank McCourt in 2021 to transform how the internet works, create a more equitable digital economy, and develop a new civic architecture for the digital world.

Founding partners