Global Digital Policy Incubator

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Global Digital Policy Incubator

Enhancing Freedom, Security & Trust in the Global Digital Ecosystem

Featured Policy Proposals

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The Digital Technology Agenda at the Summit for Democracy

Digital technology must be a focal point of President Biden's proposed Summit for Democracy. To combat the digital authoritarian threat, democracies must be rallied around a shared values-based vision of digital society and a joint strategic technology agenda. Read Eileen Donahoe's newest piece on Just Security.
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Technology Policy Priorities for the New Administration: Rally the world around a democratic vision of digital society

The incoming Biden-Harris administration will face many urgent and competing priorities as it seeks to signal a distinct shift from the Trump presidency. In the technology policy realm alone, there are many challenges to confront. Chief among them is the urgent need to solidify international support for a values-based vision of “the internet” and a compelling democratic approach to governance of digital society.
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A Rights-Respecting Digital Policy Agenda for the New Administration

In the months leading up to the U.S. presidential election, the Global Digital Policy Incubator undertook a discovery project to illuminate potential opportunities in the new administration to advance a rights-respecting digital policy agenda. This project was motivated principally by awareness that the rights community is often underrepresented within formal government planning processes.
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A Transatlantic Effort to Take on China Starts with Technology

Technology is the epicenter of geopolitics. To keep their competitive edge, democracies must develop a shared strategic approach that reflects values of openness, drives innovation, and establishes a framework for digital governance. The transatlantic alliance should be the driver of such a 21st-century democratic digital agenda. Read “A Transatlantic Effort to Take on China Starts with Technology,” a joint paper by Alina Polyakova and Ambassador Eileen Donahoe.

Task Force on US Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism

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Reversing the Tide: Towards a New US Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism

The rise of authoritarianism, coupled with the erosion of democracy, threatens global stability, America’s economic and security alliances, and respect for human dignity. This alarming confluence requires an urgent, bold, generational response that places support for democracy and countering authoritarianism at the heart of our foreign policy and national security strategy. Eileen Donahoe, GDPi Executive Director, is a part of the Task Force on US Strategy to Support Democracy and Counter Authoritarianism.

Putting Technology in the Service of Democracy

Watch Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator in conversation with Vera Zakem, Senior Technology and Policy Advisor, Institute for Security and Technology, and moderated by Adrian Shahbaz, Director for Technology and Democracy, Freedom House. Panelists discuss how the US should lead in developing a strategic digital technology policy agenda for the democratic world.
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Artificial Intelligence and Human Rights Forum

Internet Governance and AI: Ensuring Space for Human Rights with Eileen Donahoe, Carly Kind, Philip Dawson, and Vilas Dhar at The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies.

State of the World 2021 Conference: Struggle for Democracy

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Larry Diamond on Challenges at Home: Polarization and Forces Pulling Us Apart

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Eileen Donahoe on Social Media and Disinformation

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A Transatlantic Effort to Take on China Starts with Technology

Politico’s Ryan Heath moderates a conversation between Eileen Donahoe, GDPi Executive Director, and Alina Polyakova, CEPA President and CEO, on the new era of emerging technology and geostrategic competition.

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The Social Media Dilemma - who is in control and who is to blame?

The Alliance of Democracies Foundation and the US Embassy in Copenhagen partnered to host the #DefendDemocracy​ virtual series discussion.

Research and Publications

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Heal the Transatlantic Technology Policy Rift to Combat China's Digital Authoritarian Model

Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of the Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPi), and Alina Polyakova, President and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), make the case for a Transatlantic effort and call on EU partners to resist the impulse to digital sovereignty.
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National AI Strategies and Human Rights: A Review

Stanford’s Global Digital Policy Incubator and Global Partners Digital have published an updated edition of their landmark 2020 report examining National Artificial Intelligence Strategies (NASs) from a human rights perspective. The report makes a series of recommendations to policymakers looking to develop or revise AI strategies in the future and explores regional developments and trends in AI governance.
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Conference Report: Social Media Councils, from Concept to Reality

Stanford’s Global Digital Policy Incubator (GDPi), ARTICLE 19, and David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, convened an international working meeting in early 2019 to discuss the creation of multistakeholder social media councils (SMCs).
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Internet platforms should exercise their own free expression to protect democracy

Should internet companies have the power, or even the responsibility, to prohibit or demote political disinformation to protect the integrity of our elections?
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The Rights and Responsibilities of Internet Platforms

What does it mean when private-sector platforms commit themselves to protect free expression? Whose speech interests are they protecting?
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The COVID-19 Test of Democratic Governance

How has COVID-19 seeded new doubts about the efficacy of democratic, human rights-based governance and provided authoritarians with an opportunity to challenge this model in the global arena?



Explore GPDi’s new policy snapshot examining opportunities for policymakers to incorporate human rights principles into National AI Strategies. This is part of a new series of policy explainers providing human rights analysis of important digital policy issues.


Every two weeks, our team at GDPi will provide you with an overview of some of the key recent developments in the digital policy and human rights space, plus context and analysis to help you better understand the events of the day.

The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism Conference: China, AI and Human Rights

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Fall 2020 - Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, the Hoover Institution, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and the Human Rights Foundation jointly produced a four-day conference to understand the following questions: the extent to which artificial intelligence (AI) is used inside China today; how the Chinese government and big tech are shaping the global market; how surveillance technology is exported around the world; and what can be done to meet this rising challenge; and ultimately, what are the ethical responsibilities inherent in developing these technologies? View the conference program and watch the video recordings below.


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The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism: Opening Remarks by Condoleezza Rice

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Day 1 | How AI is Powering China’s Domestic Surveillance State - September 29, 2020

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Day 2 | The Ethics of Doing Business with China and Chinese Companies - October 1, 2020

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Day 3 | China as an Emerging AI Global Superpower - October 6, 2020

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Day 4 | How Democracies Should Respond to China’s Emergence as an AI Superpower - October 9, 2020

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The Rise of Digital Authoritarianism: Fei-Fei Li Keynote & Closing Remarks

GDPI: What we do

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Identify and incubate high potential digital policies and technologies.

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Generate implementation & advocacy strategies for security & rights enhancing governance.

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Convene global multi-stakeholder thought leaders & governance actors.


GDPi Launch Conference Report

Three Panels, Seventeen Panelists, over six hundred participants, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Read about the conference that Launched the Global Digital Policy Incubator on October 6, 2017.


Panel | Rebuilding Trust in Digital Information


Panel | What is Human-Centered Design of AI?


Panel | Trust and Human-Centered Technology

Video | Human-Centered AI 2018

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Welcoming Remarks| Eileen Donahoe & Amir Banifatemi


AI & Human Rights| A Conversation with Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein & Sam Altman

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Keynote| The Future of Human Work with AI | Tim O'Reilly