Marietje Schaake is ‘very concerned about the future of democracy’

Scott Bade


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Scott Bade is a former speechwriter for Mike Bloomberg and co-author of “More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First.”

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In the ten years she spent as a member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake became one of Brussels’ guiding expressions on technology policy issues.

A Dutch politician from the centrist-liberal Democrat 66 gathering, Schaake has been called “Europe’s most wired” politician. Since stepping down at the last European Parliament elections in 2019, she has doubled down with her work on cyber policy, becoming president of the CyberPeace Institute in Geneva and moving to the heart of Silicon Valley, where she has joined Stanford University as both the International Director of Policy at Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center, as well as an International Policy Fellow at its Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence.

I spoke with her about her top cyber policy concerns, the prospects of greater U.S.-EU cooperation on engineering and much more.

Can you tell me about your excursion from MEP in Brussels to think tank in academia?

There were a variety of reasons why I remembered a third expression was not the best thing for me to do. I started thinking about what would be a good way to continue, focusing on the fight for justice, for universal human rights and increasingly for the legal rules. A number of academic institutions, particularly in the U.S. reached out, and we started a conversation about what the options might be, what I thought would be worthwhile.[ My aim] was to understand where tech is going and what does it mean for society, for democracy, for human rights and the legal rules? But likewise how do the politics of Silicon Valley make?

I feel like there’s a huge opportunity, if not to say gap, on the West Coast when it comes to a program patronize — both to scrutinize policy that the companies are making and to look at what government is doing because Sacramento is super interesting.

So from a programme attitude, what areas of tech are you thinking about most?

I’m very concerned about the future of democracy in the broadest sense of the word. I feel like we need to understand better how the building of information flows and how it impacts our offline democratic life. The more people get steered in a certain direction, the more the foundations of actual liberalism and radical democracy are challenged. And I feel like we just don’t look at that enough.

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