Digital Revolution: The Aftermath
Being regarded as the 4th Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution is a hot debate topic at most of the international organizations. Recently the subject has been approached at Davos where the following conclusion has been reached, namely that this is a turning point for all humanity. The first Revolution brought forth the mechanical production equipment, whilst the second introduced the concept of labor division and mass production. But beginning with the 3rd Revolution, humanity entered a new era, the electronics era, the moment when the concept of IT was first introduced. Building on this, the 4th Revolution presents itself with the greatest opportunity ever. For the first time in history humanity is truly connected. It is as simple as one touch for somebody in Africa to reach someone in Canada. In order to truly benefit from this evolution, we also have to link our policies, but as time has passed, this seems to have been the hardest step in human evolution. During this panel, the speakers will try to assess the chances of a common policy on the Digital Revolution and the perception of the major players (EU, UN, BRICS, ASEAN, …), as well as its socio-economic impact and feasibility.
Liberty VS. Security: Surveillance, Cybersecurity, Terrorism and Radicalization
One of the 10 Principles of Economy says that “in life we always face tradeoffs” But should this be the case here? Paradoxically the two have stood in constant contradiction throughout history. With the increase of liberty, came social unrest, mainly because the larger the community, the harder it was to reach consensus and backing on the psychological frustration that sprang from the time of domination, people felt the need to manifest violently. Moreover through the process of “democratization” some felt that their culture and beliefs were neglected, so they decided to manifest violently against these “oppressors”. Terrorism was one form of such violent manifestation, which rebels against the core principles of human liberties. The states response is increasing surveillance in order to be able to manage these threats, so that it can maintain its people “safe”. But are we really “safe” or do we need to be worrying about our right to private life?
The Digital Revolution’s Impact on Social Movements
The 21th Century’s society is an intertwined one. Social movements have evolved as time has passed, in the sense that today, everybody has the possibility of becoming an opinion shaper. Because communication (be it short or long-distance) is something ordinary, people have the necessary means to be more socially active and involved. Is this an asset or a liability though? We’ve seen such social manifestations within our own national borders (Piaţa Univeristăţii 2012 and 2015) and also in the international community (Arab Spring - protests in 950 cities in 82 countries). The sheer power of these “modern movements” was so big that it even determined some changes of governance. Was that only the beginning? Are we witnessing the rise of an unofficial control mechanism of the state on Facebook, Twitter and so on or is this the natural flow of democracy?
Coming Together or Coming Apart: Are Societies Becoming More Interconnected or Fragmented?
As the 21st century unfolded, we have been under the constant stream of a plethora of social gimmicks, generally recognized as "social networks". The most famous of those proclaimed "it helps you connect". But to this, we raise a question. Connecting whom with who, exactly? As matters have been taken in larger shares from personal to digital, dangers and illusions arise. We are more, but one may argue we are more alone. Vast majorities of opinions say that the expansion of the digital is the defining element for a world without borders. Such arguments are unquestionable, when seeing how everyone can contact everyone. Much has been written about poster-children of such progresses, companies started in garages or apartment buildings that have since become world leaders in their fields. But have we really taken these borders down? A quarter of a century ago, a wall fell, bringing joys and possibilities ranging towards the infinite. However, our digital borders, one may argue, grow taller by the day, by the like, by the retweet. Do they connect, after all, or do they broaden a horizon of the same ideas, nauseatingly repeated, until creating the illusion of connectedness? Have we come together, in communities, as in squares, or are we drifting apart, with each second, with each block, with each report?
“Us and Them”
Digital Revolution: Theoretical Approaches
While it is clear that the digital revolution has had a significant impact on global politics, its theorization has not yet become an intensely debated topic. In order to fully understand the implications of this change, we need to first answer to a series of questions: What does the digital revolution actually mean? What are the main actors involved in it? How much change does it actually bring? More importantly, what direction should this change take or on what grounds is it actually justified? What are the main philosophical and ideological stances on this issue? Tackling these topics is, in our view, the first step towards not only a deeper understanding of the digital revolution, but also to drafting a coherent formulation of our Young Ambassadors' vision of a better digital world.
Altered Ego: From Cultural Homogenization to Alienation
"A revolution doesn't happen when society adopts new tools, it happens when society adopts new behaviors." - Clay Shirky If the starting point of our conference was about states, international organizations and institutions and the impact that the digital revolution has had on them, we have chosen the individual as the focal point of our last panel. In order to provide a comprehensive approach on the matter, we will explore both the way the individual changes under the pressure of digitization and the way the individual is enabled by it. Moreover, as we cannot dissociate the individual from the concept of culture, we will seek to also explore the cultural implications of the digital revolution and the way the emergence of the digital space is creating new world-changing ideas and meanings, along with new tools and modes of production that might affect the individuals' place in society.