Digital commons: Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue

On 31 January 2023, the NGI Outreach Office hosted the High-Level Expert Webinar, an event which brought into discussion the topic of Digital Commons as the driver of high-tech advancement to the benefit of society. 

Digital commons: the driver of high-tech advancement

The 2-hour webinar was joined by Gemma Carolillo, Deputy Head of Next Generation Internet Unit, European Commission and Nele Leosk, Ambassador-at-Large for Digital Affairs of Estonia, and together with a list of high-level panel speakers, including Paul Keller, Director of Open Future, Kasia Odrozek, Director of Mozilla Foundation, Melanie Dulong de Rosnay, Director of CNRS Center for Internet and Society, and Laureen Van Breen, Director of WikiRate. The event was moderated by Dr Monique Calisti, Director of the NGI Outreach Office and CEO Martel Innovate.

During the webinar, the speakers outline that digital commons isn’t a new hype nor an ancient history, but rather a beneficial technological progression that keeps evolving and continues to bring digital sovereignty to society. Overall, Digital Commons act as a driver of high-tech advancement said the speakers. The participants agreed that Europe must actively develop shared democratic values across governance models and the European market that will drive today’s high-tech advancement.

The panel of experts also discussed that shifting government and industry views to see technology as a public digital infrastructure, where innovation does not need permission, could pave the way for an inclusive, trust-based, society-centred, and sustainable ecosystem with distributed benefits. Digital commons could also answer the need for new governance structures for resources through open source, open data and open code.

Digital commons: the driver of high-tech advancement

The high-level expert webinar was a success, with significant interaction and exchange of ideas between the attendees and the expert speakers. In total, there were over 190 attendees who participated both in Zoom and on LinkedIn live. The NGI Initiative sees that Europe has great potential to position itself at the forefront of an open and democratic digital nation and will continue to fund “commons” and open-source projects at the European and national levels.

For more information about the event and key takeaways, please read our press release.

Check the slides HERE.


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