Digital Democracy: How Social Data is Transforming Politics
As more stories break about organizations like Cambridge Analytica illegally gathering, analyzing, and selling our data to influence elections across the globe, public unease has grown, and social scientists are deliberating on the drastic shifts occurring in the democratic process. The digital revolution is creating new challenges and questions around data, trust, and control in respect to democracies. The decision-making process for voters is muddied by algorithms, data profiling, and targeted messaging, often from AI bots posing as real people online.
At the same time, the digital revolution allows for increased involvement in the democratic process, with everyone having access to immediate and unfiltered information. People can easily share and spread their opinions, bringing previously unheard ideas into mainstream discourse. This intelligent exchange of information acts as a global forum, allowing us to optimize the way we gauge public opinion and implement social policies.
Join us for a keynote and panel discussion led by Professor Fabrizio Gilardi, founder of the Digital Democracy Lab in Switzerland, newly established under the University of Zurich’s Digital Society Initiative. He’ll present some initial insights gathered by the lab along with his analysis of how these shifts are changing the landscape of democracy. Following, he’ll lead a panel discussion with local panelists representing both American and European perspectives, followed by an open Q&A with the audience.
The event will conclude with a networking reception, including light refreshments.
6.00pm Doors open
6.30pm Keynote on Digital Democracy by Fabrizio Gilardi
6.50pm Panel discussion and Q&A, followed by networking reception
Fabrizio Gilardi is Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science of the University of Zurich and a field editor of the Journal of Public Policy. His work on regulatory institutions, policy diffusion, and women’s representation has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the British Journal Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies, among others. He is currently working on establishing a Digital Democracy Lab within the context of the University of Zurich’s Digital Society Initiative. More information on his website.
María Ramírez is a Spanish reporter and entrepreneur who works in New York and Madrid, and has co-founded two news startups: Politibot and El Español (which broke the world record for crowdfunding in journalism in 2015). She is currently a Nieman fellow at Harvard, focusing on how to regain trust in the media in the age of populism and fake news. She has worked for 20 years as a reporter, mainly as a correspondent from New York and Brussels for the daily newspaper El Mundo and then for Univision. She published three books on US Politics and one on Brexit, and she has covered four Presidential campaigns in the US, including 2016.
Matthew Karolian is 2018 Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard University. In June he will be returning to his roll as Director of Audience Engagement at The Boston Globe, where he oversees the development and execution of strategies to bring the newsroom’s journalism closer to readers.During his tenure, the Globe’s social audiences have grown to more than 2 million followers and its reporting has expanded to new platforms such as Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News.
More panelists to be announced.