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02: Resilience and Multilateralism: A Pragmatic Approach to Digital Sovereignty

The "Food4Thought" series continues to drive the conversation on digital sovereignty, and the latest discussion has yielded insightful strategies for managing digital transformation while upholding democratic values. The dialogue at the GovTech Campus in Berlin, summarized in an article by Philipp Müller and Sofie Schönborn, focused on balancing resilience and multilateralism as a pragmatic route to digital sovereignty. The roundtable recognized the importance of resilience — the ability to maintain continuity in the face of challenges — alongside multilateral engagement, emphasizing cooperation across borders. Germany and Europe were noted for their unique position to mediate global tech interests, maintaining equitable, resilient tech ecosystems that align with democratic principles.

Key takeaways from the dialogue include:

  1. Trust through Multilateral Engagement: Germany’s established international networks provide a foundation for building trust in the digital era, reinforcing its role as a trusted global actor.
  2. Governmental Leadership for Digital Ecosystems: Public administration must oversee robust digital infrastructures, balancing in-house development with strategic external partnerships for agility and resilience.
  3. Balancing Functionality and Autonomy: Achieving digital sovereignty requires a nuanced approach to digital infrastructure, ensuring security and integrity while also meeting service needs.
  4. Innovation Ecosystem and Skills Development: Germany's digital excellence is likened to its past scientific leadership, emphasizing the need for rigorous education and research to lead in technological innovation.
  5. Creating Tangible Outcomes: Advancing Proof of Concepts (PoCs) is crucial for moving from theoretical discussions to practical applications of digital sovereignty.

The discussionreinforced the importance of resilience and international cooperation in achieving digital sovereignty. It suggests a strategy not of isolation, but of strength through collaboration and innovation. For a detailed dive into these discussions and proposed strategies, read the full article below.

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01: The art of balance: ambidexterity as the key to sovereignty in our digital world

In the face of growing geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainties, the Munich Security Report 2024 emphasizes the critical need for decision-makers to overcome the dichotomy of gain and loss. The report calls for a balance between national resilience and international integration - an ambidexterity that is crucial for securing digital sovereignty and the ability to act in a turbulent world. This balanced approach enables states to effectively address current challenges without sacrificing the benefits of international cooperation.

The five theses on digital sovereignty, developed at our first Digital Sovereignty Talk, reflect this necessity by emphasizing the indispensability of digital sovereignty for the state's ability to act in a world marked by crises. They emphasize the importance of cultivating both technological independence and a willingness to cooperate globally in order to shape our inclusive, resilient digital future.

Decision-makers must therefore master ambidexterity by both investing in national digital infrastructures and competencies and actively participating in international cooperation and standardization processes. This balance is crucial in order to fully leverage the opportunities of digitalization without undermining sovereignty.

The five theses developed as part of the Digital Sovereignty Talk offer direct approaches to avoid the 'lose-lose' scenarios described in the MSC report and show ways to realize digital sovereignty in a networked world. We invite you to join the debate to advance this thinking together.


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The "Food4Thought" series is our contribution to elevating the discourse on digital sovereignty and its associated challenges. This collection of texts is designed to provoke thought, encourage dialogue among decision-makers, and support informed decision-making in an increasingly complex digital world. Our aim is to provide a platform for the exchange of ideas, thereby creating a guide for shaping a sovereign and collaborative digital future.

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