The third Venture Day of IE University’s global initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of State took place in Silicon Valley on November 29, in collaboration with Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator.
On November 29, 2022, North America’s Tech4Democracy Challenge, co-organized by the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University and Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, was held at Stanford University in Silicon Valley. USAID Administrator Samantha Power delivered a keynote speech in which she highlighted that “when we implement technologies that respect rights, we can make a more democratic world”.
The Venture Day brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers, experts and investors to select the best North American tech startups that are contributing to advance democratic values. It was opened by Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, who stated that Tech4Democracy’s purpose is “to showcase the beneficial applications of tech, and to spur innovation and investment in technologies that support democracy.”
Tech4Democracy is a global initiative that aims to identify and encourage entrepreneurs developing democracy-affirming technologies. It is led by IE University in partnership with the U.S. Department of State and with the strategic support of Microsoft, and it is coordinated by the Center for the Governance of Change. The Center’s Director, Irene Blázquez, stressed: “If we want democracy to succeed in continuing to deliver global public goods, we must align technology with the best interests of humankind.”
Lila Tretikov, Deputy CTO of Microsoft, presented the company’s work to advance democratic values, noting: “We at Microsoft seek to safeguard open and secure democratic processes and promote a healthy information ecosystem”. The U.S. Department of State was represented by Scott Busby, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
The competition was guided by a distinguished and diverse jury panel with leading members of the investor community in Silicon Valley, top academics, diplomats and executives. Atlos, an organization that develops technology that is purpose-built for collaborative cataloguing and geolocation of human rights violations, received the award for the best democracy-affirming tech startup in North America.
IE University will hold new editions of Tech4Democracy in Asia and Africa, to select the startups with the greatest potential in the development of technologies that consolidate democracy in each continent, followed by a global final competition with the winners of each continental challenge.