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European Public Policy Conference 2019 – The Hertie School of Governance and IE


Syncing Societies: Exploring the Intersections of Tech & Policy

Through March 29-31, 2019, the IE School of Global and Public Affairs hosted the European Public Policy Conference (EPPC) 2019 put on by the Hertie School of Governance. The three-day conference, titled “Syncing Societies”, focused on technology and its governance.


Friday, March 29th, centred on smart cities. A highlight of that day’s events was Dr. Ayona Datta’s talk discussing the ways that technology can liberate. She told the story of one of her projects focusing on how technology empowered young women in India to create a space for themselves.

Saturday, March 30th, featured many high-level speakers, including two IE professors, Idoia Ortiz de Artiñano Goñi and Cristina Mateo. The afternoon portion of the day included a workshop and presentations from various graduate students. Connecting with students on their topics of research was a great way to create camaraderie between Hertie and IE.

The last day of the conference, Sunday, March 31st, brought some realism to the often utopian sentiments of technology discussions. Both talks discussed the perhaps adverse effects of technology on modern society. These sobering presentations helped attendees to remember that technology is only as good as society makes it.

It was a pleasure to host the conference this year and to have so many world changers speak at IE. The IE School of Global and Public Affairs looks forward to being involved in the future. The European Public Policy Conference (EPPC) is a unique initiative that empowers public policy students to take a leading role in shaping the debates on critical European policy issues.

This fully student-run event is sponsored by the IPLI Foundation and organized by the students at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Thanks to a highly interactive format, EPPC provides an unparalleled opportunity for future policy-makers to engage with prominent political leaders and experts to address the pressing challenges that Europe faces in the twenty-first century. Students are responsible for all aspects of the organization of this unique initiative. With each subsequent iteration of EPPC, students organizers are responsible for selecting the conference theme, choosing the speakers and selecting the country where EPPC is held.

About the Author:  Derek Benjamin is a 2018-2019 student of the Masters in International Relations with a background in Southern European politics, especially post-transition Spanish and Portuguese politics. Find him on LinkedIn here.