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(REF AC17) How Data and Tech can Feed the World and Strengthen Critical Infrastructure . Convened by the Atlantic Council and the SDGs Dr. David Bray

September 16, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm PDT

Join us on Friday, 17 September for a live discussion of how advances in data and technology can help achieve UN Sustainability Goals #2 and #9, specifically:

#2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
#9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Such goals are important to the future of our plan and humanity globally. Achieving occurs amid a background of the advancing speed, scale, and sophistication of new technologies and data capabilities that aid or disrupt our interconnected world is unprecedented.

While generations have relied consistently on technologies and tools to improve societies, we now are in an era where new technologies and data reshape societies and geopolitics in novel and even unanticipated ways. As a result, governments, industries, and other stakeholders must work together to remain economically competitive, sustain social welfare and public safety, protect human rights and democratic processes, and preserve global peace and stability.

Emerging technologies also promise new abilities to make our increasingly fragile global society more resilient. To sustain this progress, nations must invest in research, expand their digital infrastructures, and increase digital literacy so that their people can compete and flourish in this new era. Yet, at the same time, no nation or international organization is able to keep pace with the appropriate governance structures needed to grapple with the complex and destabilizing dynamics of these emerging technologies. Governments, especially democratic governments, must work to build and sustain trust in the algorithms, infrastructures, and systems that could underpin society. The world must now start to understand how technology and data interact with society and how to implement solutions that address these challenges and grasp these opportunities. Maintaining both economic and national security and resiliency requires new ways to develop and deploy critical and emerging technologies, cultivate the needed human capital, build trust in the digital fabric with which our world will be woven, and establish norms for international cooperation.

Data capabilities and new technologies increasingly exacerbate social inequality and impact geopolitics, global competition, and global opportunities for collaboration. The coming decade—the “GeoTech Decade”—must address the sophisticated but potentially fragile systems that now connect people and nations, and incorporate resiliency as a necessary foundational pillar of modern life. Additionally, the rapidity of machines to make sense of large datasets and the speed of worldwide communications networks means that any event can escalate and cascade quickly across regions and borders—with the potential to further entrench economic inequities, widen disparities in access to adequate healthcare, as well as to hasten increased exploitation of the natural environment.

The coming years also will present new avenues for criminals and terrorists to do harm; authoritarian nations to monitor, control, and oppress their people; and diplomatic disputes to escalate to armed conflict not just on land, sea, and in the air, but also in space and cyberspace.

Join us on Friday, 17 September for this live discussion as part of UNGA 76, co-hosted alongside the Atlantic Council’s GeoTech Center


September 16, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm PDT
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