Disrupting Democracy Launches in Europe

BERLIN, GERMANY (November 6-9, 2017) In November 2017, the Bertelsmann Foundation launched its latest publication, Disrupting Democracy, with roundtable discussions in Berlin and Bucharest.  This release marked the culmination of a year-long project that explored the impact of technology on politics, economics and society in five countries: India, Israel, Cuba, Germany and the United States.

Joined at these gatherings by dozens of transatlantic and tech experts from political institutions, media, academia and the diplomatic corps, the lead author of the publication, Anthony Silberfeld, facilitated a presentation and discussion that touched on a range of topics including government transparency, digital literacy, demographic shifts, the digital divide and fake news.  While much of the conversation delved deeply into the unique challenges posed by technology, participants also were provided a global view of the most innovative solutions in this space.

The publication is comprised of three main elements.  The first is a piece written by the Bertelsmann Foundation to surface the most critical issues where tech and democracy collide.  The second is authored by a local expert in each of the country case studies.  The final section was prepared by the Romania-based polling firm Questia, that conducted online surveys in four of the five countries to uncover tech usage habits and voter aspirations.  Andreea Nedelcu, Director of Business Development for Questia, presented the quantitative findings of the study at the roundtable.

These roundtables were hosted at the Bertelsmann representational office in Berlin and at the University of Bucharest in Romania.  Disrupting Democracy is part of an ongoing stream of work in the Washington office that looks at the world’s most pressing trends through at digital lens.