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Event Recap September 16, 2020

Event recap | Western society at the crossroads, part II: Smart partnerships in a changing world

By GeoTech Center

Find the full GeoTech Hour Series here.

Event description

AI is rapidly becoming the next playing field for great power competition between the United States and China. Worried about losing out, countries and state conglomerates around the world have begun pursuing their own policy regimes and strive for digital sovereignty, but many express hesitancy to pick sides and fear of a confrontation that only knows losers. It seems as though the political winds have changed so dramatically that America’s win-win approach towards China and international cooperation has turned into a lose-lose situation, involving the slow reversal of globalization. At the same time, opportunities for improved data and technology collaborations exist, both between India and the United States, as well as potentially other friendly nations such as the UAE, Israel, Canada, the, UK, Australia, Europe, and more.

With optimism prevailing in many places, there remains universal agreement that technologies are critical to social progress and global development. While advanced economies may have seen the greatest gains so far, enabling poorer societies to use emerging technologies and leapfrog into much more advanced stages of development is crucial. At the same time, within societies, no ethnic, racial, or other minority group should remain disadvantaged while technology exists to help reduce class divisions. Necessary to pave the way for such an uplifting process is cooperation within and among countries at a global, national, and sub-national level. Yet, despite allegedly shared goals, global cooperation remains an uphill battle, not the least because of Sino-US tensions and an international system in chaos. 

Over the course of one year, experts from the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center organized meetings in Paris, Brussels, and Berlin, traveled to Beijing and Shanghai, and held virtual conferences with India and Africa, all the while trying to answer two questions: What are the geopolitical implications of emerging technologies and how can countries build smart partnerships amid the widening gyre? Listen in, as they discuss key takeaways with high level participants from India and Germany, evaluate collaboration opportunities between the United States and its partners, and give a glimpse on how data and tech might impact geopolitics in the years ahead?


Mathew BurrowsPhD
DirectorForesightStrategyand Risks Initiative
Atlantic Council

Asha Jadeja MotwaniPhD
Motwani Jadeja Foundation

Julian Mueller-Kaler
Resident FellowGeoTech Center & Foresight, Strategy, and Risks Initiative
Atlantic Council

Ambassador Michael Schaefer
Chairman of the Board
BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt
Former Ambassador of Germany to the People’s Republic of China

Hosted by

David BrayPhDDirectorGeoTech Center, Atlantic Council

Previous episode

Event Recap

Sep 9, 2020

Event recap | Western society at the crossroads, part I: Data, people, and tech

By GeoTech Center

On Wednesday, September 9 from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. EDT, the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center hosted an engaging expert panel discussion about the geopolitical ramifications of both new data capabilities and new technologies as well as the challenges they pose to defense and national security in Western governments and open societies.

Cybersecurity Digital Policy

The GeoTech Center champions positive paths forward that societies can pursue to ensure new technologies and data empower people, prosperity, and peace.

Related Experts: David Bray, Mathew Burrows, and Julian Mueller-Kaler