#EIFasks Casper Klynge, Denmark’s Tech Ambassador

#EIFasks Casper Klynge, Denmark’s Tech Ambassador


– Well my name is Casper Klynge. I’m the Danish Tech Ambassador, which is a relatively new invention. It’s something that the
Danish Foreign Ministry decided to do a little
more than a year ago. And it’s basically treating technology and the technology industry
in a way which is similar to how we treat our bilateral
relations all over the world. So I’m not an ambassador to a country, but I’m an ambassador to
an industry and of course, also to try and get technology more firmly on the international agenda. And one of the reasons why
we think that’s important is that technology is not
a vertical topic anymore. It’s a horizontal topic. It’s going to influence
everything we do both locally, regionally, and also internationally, and we think we need to look at technology as a cross coding issue
that transcends everything, all aspects of foreign
policy, developing policy, security policy, I will even
say the balance of power at the geo-political level, and we’re trying to do that
by creating a global embassy with a presence both in
Silicon Valley, in Europe, and also in Beijing in China,
and very soon also in Africa. So it’s a little way
of disrupting diplomacy as it used to be, and certainly also the
Foreign Ministry of Denmark. One of the reasons I’m here
in Brussels is to participate in the ESPAS Conference, so the think tank of the European Commission. I had what I thought was, a
very interesting discussion on basically the future of
global trends towards 2030. And I think it’s fair, I’m not completely objective on this one, but I think it’s fair to
say that the technology, and digitalization was
left, right, and centre in all of the discussions. Big discussions on the
shift or the transformation of power from the west towards the east, what artificial
intelligence is going to do to China and for China, and not least, what Europe is going to do,
how Europe is going to react. If you look at where the
Unicorns are being built, Europe is not really firmly on the map. I think we are very much on the map when it comes to regulations, not least the General Data
Protection Regulation, but the question is, of
course, is there a third way between the wild west of Silicon Valley, and the wild east of Shenzhen,
and Shanghai, and Guangzhou, and that’s what we’ve been discussing, and also something that I’ve
spent quite a lot of time on. And to fast forward to the conclusion, it goes without saying
that I think Europe has an incredibly important role to play when you look at the global
ecosystem of technology. We need values. We need a human sensitive
approach to technology. We need to protect our
governance structures, and our institutions, our
democracy, our human rights. And I don’t see any other
actor on the global level stepping up to the plate,
except the European Union. Those are the discussions we’re having, including with the different parts of the European family here in Brussels. We’ve also used the opportunity to speak to Members of the European Parliament. I think we also have a
joint effort in trying to put what I would say, almost
sort of a vision for Europe on the technology side more firmly on the agenda here in Europe. I think that’s going to be important. We need much more investments
in artificial intelligence. We need much more focus
on how we get it right on the technology front and
the European Parliament, the European Commission,
the European Council, the External Actions
Service, all the parts of the European family have
an important role to play. But what is also part of my mandate, and what I think is a critical point is, that it is not only a
question of relations between countries anymore, we
need to bring in the industry. We need to have need to have the industry take responsibility, and that’s
also what we’re trying to do by establishing this techplomacy
initiative in Denmark.

Danny Hutson

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