Is digital technology damaging our social contract? Clearly, there are all sorts of risks coming from new technology; from the impact of automation and Artificial Intelligence on wages and job security, to the alienating and polarising effects of social media, to the “digital divide” in terms of skills and connectivity. However, could technology be deployed differently to support a new social contract?

What should be the role of digital in the new social contract? How we tax big tech and automation will clearly be a key consideration (e.g. should we tax robots?). Beyond that, however, digital technology can play a role in supporting education, connecting people, building digital skills, fostering creativity and innovation, and supporting democracy and citizen engagement. Who should be responsible, in our new social contract, for closing the digital divide and ensuring technology delivers on the promise of connectivity for all?

Debating Europe convened our own citizens’ panel, with a mix of citizens and civil society representatives, to discuss digitalisation and the social contract. You can watch the panel in the video above. Taking part were:

  • Sophie
  • Milan
  • Fotios
  • Gea

Will digitalisation support or erode Europe’s social contract? Or will it support creativity, connectivity, and innovation across society? Who should be responsible for closing the digital divide and promoting digital skills and infrastructure so they benefit all of society? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash
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2 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive

    Old fashioned ethics- neither digital nor analogue technology will do the trick!

    Please remember- Governments of any UN recognised state- still in possession of their “undisputed sovereignty” (=188) can only exercise those powers which have been expressly conferred on them by their laws- which need to be Constitutional compliant.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states#:~:text=The%20208%20listed%20states%20can,states%2C%20and%2013%20other%20states.

    Frankly speaking, this disqualifies the supranational EU27 veiled (enlargement) attempts by their organs to become one sovereign state (USE) one day. Regardless whatsoever sounds more digestible to its 27 Members’ society- be it called capturing, uniting, combining, swallowing, harmonising, or whatever.

    Each single 27 Member still possesses the UN’s “undisputed & recognised UN sovereignty! That does not preclude a Member to enter into international agreements or contracts- as long as they are compliant with their law & its own Constitution.

    Arguments, like advancements in technology, connectivity for all, digital divide …….etc. etc. are only useful tools & are not the issue. It only contributes to diversions & more confusion.

    Any friendship, employment or marriage etc. should/is similarly based on ethics, like integrity, sincerity, loyalty, honesty, skills, rules & trust- & is a personal social contract- entered on a free-will basis.

    Digital marriage? Sorry, no digital technology will save a de-railed marriage…….!

    The basis for a modern, just and fair “new political” social contract is a right and entitlement, vested in & to be strived for by any of the 188 undisputed sovereigns & UN recognised states in general, and in any of the single EU27 Member countries in particular- like it or not.

    This is the Holy Grail of all State laws- a comprehensive “Constitution”, protected by an independent judiciary.

    Let the EU27 not hide behind a “Europe47”, but honestly attempt to solve its shipwrecked Constitutional model- State by State first.

    Is that undesired & a problem?

  2. avatar
    JT HK

    All new technology can be good for human society. It depends on how the technology is used for good or evil purpose.

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