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New generation of changemakers: Technology Cohort of U.S. Summit for Democracy launches

The Technology for Democracy Cohort of the U.S. Summit for Democracy (S4D), co-led by Access Now, the UK, and Estonia, officially launched today, Monday, October 10, at the Tallinn Digital Summit. The international multi-stakeholder Cohort is composed of governments, civil society actors, and the private sector. The overarching goal of the Cohort, across three strands of work, is to enhance connectivity and democratic safeguards around the world.

“Access Now, along with the UK and Estonia, is incredibly proud to be spearheading the Technology for Democracy Cohort of the U.S. Summit for Democracy,” said Jennifer Brody, U.S. Policy and Advocacy Manager at Access Now. “We are committed to defending and extending human rights in the digital age, and will work diligently to convene civil society from around the world to bring about real change, from combating internet shutdowns to advancing algorithmic transparency. Our priority is centering the lived experience of marginalized groups and ensuring civil society voices are meaningfully incorporated, especially from the global majority.”

The three strands of work of the Technology for Democracy Cohort are:

  • Technology to support open and secure access to the internet; 
  • Harnessing the potential of technology for the benefit of open, democratic societies; and
  • Technology for good governance.

As the importance of digital spaces as arenas for people across the globe to exercise their rights — from freedom of expression, to access to information — grows, the more opportunities emerge to empower people and society. Yet, at the same time, this also presents complex challenges that require a multi-stakeholder approach and greater international co-operation including between states, civil society, individuals, and the private sector.

2022 is the Summit for Democracy Year of Action, after the initiative first kicked off in December 2021. The Summit for Democracy Year of Action will conclude in the first half of 2023.