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Centre for Geopolitics

Providing historically-grounded approaches to enduring geopolitical problems.
Technology and Democracy: A Nightmare?

The Forum on Geopolitics was pleased to host a Nightmare Lecture focusing on technology and democracy in Magdalene College with the generous support of Absolute Strategy Research.

On 22nd January the Forum on Geopolitics (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge hosted ‘A Nightmare Scenario: Technology and Democracy’, a lecture that addressed the effects technology could have on the functioning of contemporary democracy with the generous support of Absolute Strategy Research. Each of the speakers shared with the public their own nightmares – dystopian scenarios that democratic societies may face – as technologies play an ever-central role in every aspect of our lives.

The Lecture was chaired by Charles Arthur, a freelance Tech Journalist and former technology editor at The Guardian. The panel’s speakers included: Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch; John Naughton, Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University and Director of the Press Fellowship Programme at Wolfson College; and the technology columnist of The Observer, David Runciman, Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies and Dr. Nóra Ni Loideain, Director of the Information Law and Policy Centre (ILPC) at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.

As per tradition in the Forum on Geopolitics' Nightmare Series, the panelists all addressed their personal 'nightmare' scenarios regarding technology and democracy, which included a second Brexit referendum, the continued growth of data protection policies driven by a profit focused culture, and more. 

Those interested can read a summary of Dr. Nóra Ni Loideain's remarks on the ILPC website here