"Against the background of the excitement and challenges caused by digitalisation, we must not forget our fundamental democratic values,” said Jenny Wiik, the project leader.
The initiative will have a broad impact and a very specific task: to raise awareness of issues relating to digitalisation and democracy from the perspective of citizens and to take these issues forwards. The first public activity will be a national cross-sectoral conference which is planned for the second half of the autumn of 2021. This is seen as a collective starting point for future activities which coincides with the official 100th anniversary of democracy in Sweden.
The purpose of the initiative is to increase cooperation between the sectors to speed up the digitalisation of society with the aim of improving citizens’ quality of life, creating an effective public sector with a clear legal framework and promoting a competitive business climate. The idea is also to uphold and strengthen democratic values at the same time.
These are the interfaces where Medier & demokrati and AI Sweden, two national cooperation platforms led by Lindholmen Science Park, have a unique opportunity to bring together the relevant players for discussions that will have a cross-fertilising effect. This will increase understanding and knowledge sharing while also allowing opportunities and risks to be identified.
Fundamentally the initiative is all about introducing new perspectives and encouraging cooperation across different sectors and industries for the benefit of citizens. The main target groups for the conference are the business world, the public sector, elected representatives, academic institutions and civil society.
“We have had positive responses from everyone we spoke to during the preliminary work for the project. There seems to be a significant need to bring issues relating to democratic values into the highly effective development activities that are taking place in the private and public sectors,” explained Jenny Wiik.
The conference will be organised by a group of players from the sectors referred to above. Meetings will be held during the next six months with the aim of establishing a core consortium and creating a sustainable model that will enable the initiative to continue after the autumn of 2021. In addition to the input from Medier & demokrati and AI Sweden, external funding for the project in the phase which runs until February 2021 will be provided by the Culture Committee and Regional Development Committee of Region Västra Götaland.
The ABC of AI Sweden
- Sweden's national centre for applied AI innovation.
- AI Sweden is supported by the Swedish government. Around 80 businesses, universities and public sector bodies are partners of the organisation.
- It has offices in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Lund and Örebro. It will soon have a presence in Luleå, Sundsvall, Skellefteå, Linköping and Karlskrona.
- Website: ai.se