The mission of the Global Digital Policy Incubator at Stanford’s Center for Democracy Development and the Rule of Law is to inspire policy and governance innovations that reinforce democratic values, universal human rights, and the rule of law in the digital realm. Its purpose is to serve as a collaboration hub for the development of norms, guidelines, and laws that enhance freedom, security, and trust in the global digital ecosystem. The bottom line question that guides this initiative: How do we help governments and private sector technology companies establish governance norms, policies, and processes that allow citizens and society to reap the upside benefits of technology for economic development and the exercise of universal human rights, while protecting against the downside risks for personal, national and international security?
While rapid adoption of digital technology has brought many benefits and challenges to society, most legal and governance institutions have not kept pace or adjusted to meet the corresponding changes in society. Democratically oriented governments are struggling to protect citizen’s freedom and security in digitized society, and private sector technology companies are exercising substantial new governance responsibilities. Questions about how to protect democratic values in the globally interconnected digital environment are challenging all governance entities.
The Global Digital Policy Incubator provides a vehicle for global multi-stakeholder collaboration between technologists, governments, private sector companies, diplomats, international organizations, academics, and civil society in a shared purpose: to develop norms and policies that enhance security, promote economic development, and reinforce respect for human rights in or our global trans-border digital ecosystem. We aim to reinforce existing frameworks of international human rights law and international humanitarian law but lead in articulation of HOW to apply these norms and values in a global digital context. Our goal is to facilitate the development of operational policies and processes that meet the societal challenges that arise from digitization and technological innovation.