Expert Stakeholders Evaluate the UN Report on Digital Interdependence

Digital technologies are fundamentally changing societies worldwide. This digital transformation offers immense opportunities. However, the accelerating pace of digitalization also creates new challenges, unintended consequences and risks. One current challenge is how to balance the opportunities with the risk which the digital transformation presents.


Partipicants of the KAS UN-workshop KAS USA
Partipicants of the KAS UN-workshop

After the optimism that characterized the advent of the Internet and the beginning of the digital age, downsides have become increasingly clear; and urgent questions of regulation and the active shaping of the digital space and age have arisen. Especially due to the nature of the digital space (cross-border, multi-stakeholder, dynamic disruption), the strong connectivity (digital interdependence) and the resulting complexity, the question today is no longer whether the digital space and the digital age will be actively shaped, but what an adequate regulatory approach can look like. What are the important areas to shape the digital future and what are the central challenges, actors, and political processes to consider in developing smart regulations?

Against this backdrop the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s (KAS) workshop will offer the opportunity to discuss and evaluate with fellow stakeholders the report "The Age of Digital Interdependence" by the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation appointed by the UN Secretary-General.

The report identifies a number of significant effects of digitalization and shows that the complexity and dynamic nature of the digital age require various skills and competences of all actors and thus a new mode of digital cooperation in which multilateral and multi-stakeholder approaches complement each other meaningfully. This approach includes a number of centrally important values, such as inclusiveness, respect, human-centeredness, human flourishing, transparency, collaboration, accessibility and sustainability.

This KAS multi-stakeholder event focused on the recommendations of the UN Commission and examined how realistic the recommendations are, which pre-conditions are necessary in order to implement the recommendations and if certain perspectives are underrepresented. KAS will produce a report on the discussion results.

Participants were able to engage in depth with questions around barriers to access to the digital world and perspectives of digital governance. Participants also had the opportunity to network and develop new or foster existing relationships.

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Dirk Hegen

Dirk Hegen KAS

Project Manager + 1 202 464 5847