The fourth edition of this collaboration programme between Banco Santander and CIDOB will analyse, among others, the following questions: How can we ensure international cooperation on digital and technology issues to regulate them effectively? What impacts does geopolitical competition between powers have on the global governance of digital matters? What mechanisms exist for international cooperation to address today’s digital challenges?
The Santander–CIDOB Future Leaders Forum is a collaboration programme between Banco Santander and CIDOB that aims to identify and promote dialogue between future global leaders from different social and economic fields that will shape the international agenda.
The programme consists of three complementary activities: the Santander–CIDOB 35 under 35 list; the Santander–CIDOB Future Leaders Forum; and an online space where the talented youth nominated in the Santander-CIDOB 35 under 35 list will be able to share ideas and opinions through short videos that will be made available online. Additionally, the conclusions of the Santander–CIDOB Future Leaders Forum will be published in an open-access CIDOB Briefing.
In the first three editions of the Future Leaders Forum programme, the chosen themes have addressed issues such as the global order and technology, algorithmic governance and artificial intelligence or the strategic digital autonomy of the European Union. This year, the fourth edition focuses on international efforts to build global digital governance and the need to promote effective international cooperation, entitled "Bridging the digital global governance gap: international cooperation and the regulation of emerging technologies".
The emergence of new technologies and the processes of digitalisation have profoundly transformed our societies. However, their rapid development has highlighted the lack of global governance and international cooperation frameworks capable of responding to the challenges arising from these developments.
Current approaches to digital governance are highly fragmented, with contrasting positions on issues such as privacy, data ownership and sovereignty, or the role of the state in regulating them. The debates surrounding these issues have led to an acceleration of competition between different poles - the United States, China, the European Union - to obtain the maximum benefits linked to these new technologies and to establish the definition of standards for the use of these innovations. This situation has led to the rise of regulations at national level, plurilateral agreements or guidelines by private actors in areas as diverse as cross-border data management, artificial intelligence, intellectual property or online content. But effectiveness and progress in international institutions for digital governance remains limited, with multiple areas of global digital governance and the rise of new technologies still unregulated.
This edition of the Future Leaders Forum will explore the challenge of regulation and international cooperation in a context of increasing geopolitical rivalry. It will reflect on the following questions: How can we ensure international cooperation on digital and technology issues to regulate them effectively? What impacts does geopolitical competition between powers have on the global governance of digital matters? What mechanisms exist for international cooperation to address today's digital challenges? Which actors are key in catalysing new impulses for international cooperation on digital and technology issues? In which areas or sectors can we see the most progress and best prospects for global regulation? Which institutions or spaces offer the greatest opportunity to establish new frameworks for digital governance? What are the biggest challenges in ensuring such progress? What issues are not being regulated and should we anticipate?
The members of the Santander–CIDOB 35 under 35 list will participate in the Santander-CIDOB Future Leaders Forum. The list acknowledges the work of 35 young people (35 years old or younger) with the potential to become future leaders in their different areas of expertise and activity (public decision-makers, private sector and media professionals, activists, intellectuals and academics).
Conceived as a space for dialogue between future leaders, the Santander–CIDOB Future Leaders Forum will gather the 35 members of the list in order to debate, exchange ideas and discuss this year’s topic with other social, economic and political actors from Spain and Europe. During the Forum, the members of the Santander–CIDOB 35 under 35 list will be made public.
In 2023, as in previous editions, the Santander–CIDOB Future Leaders Forum will be held online. The event will include a public part, at which the Santander–CIDOB 35 under 35 will be presented, followed by an initial contribution on this year’s topic. The event will continue with the private part of the forum – a networking space for the members of the three editions of the list.
>> The event will be streamed live on CIDOB’s YouTube channel.
Pol Morillas, Director, CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs)
Juan Jiménez, Global Director of Digital Public Policy, Santander Group
Roberto Viola, Director General, DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology), European Commission
Adrià Rodríguez-Pérez, Public Policy Researcher and Data Protection Officer, Business affairs, Scytl Election Technologies, S.L.U.; member of the 2022 Santander-CIDOB 35 under 35 List
Marta Galceran, Research Fellow, Global Cities Programme, CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs)
Between the members of the 2023 Santander–CIDOB 35 under 35 List and participants from previous editions.