Denmark, the oldest Nordic countries and home to 5.7 million very tall people, appointed the first-ever Tech Ambassador in 2017 to protect her interest against The Gang of Four. Casper Klynge, who is a home-raised diplomat with extensive experience at the war zones, took office with a determination to form good working relations with tech companies.
Acting upon the information that “the annual turnover of Apple is the same as Denmark’s GDP,” Danish diplomat wants to have the upper hand in dealing with technologies challenges for the governance as we know it. Looking back at the last two years of Mr. Klynge, one can observe the following conclusions:
- The states do not have the power to regulate technology companies due to the abundance of data and the pace of change. It is now clear that tech will not self-regulate as well. Private and public sector should be able to work together to observe the best interest of the tech consumers, citizens; ordinary people.
- Tech companies can help with many diplomatic concerns from cybersecurity to online terrorism. The most important thing is to be aware of their business model and impact on peoples perceptions of reality. When one says, “Youtube is the reason why Amazons are on fire,” we should stop and think, and find a person and support attempts to ask for accountability. Mr. Kylnge is doing just that.
- Tech can help solve deadlocks. Blockchain has the power to end corruption and save billions of dollars poured into dealing with the informal economy. Big data can help international institutions to cope better with migration flows, which we know is going to be a harsh reality in the future. Remaining in close contact with tech companies would help with socioeconomic problems in a more cost-efficient and high-intensity way.
- Top companies in the tech World carry more weight on the global stage than most of the nations. This is not an argument but a fact. This power has direct political influence as well as economic impact and social change. Diplomatic representation is crucial to achieving a balance of power.
Mr. Klynge is based in Silicon Valley but travels continuously. He sounds like a good old Scandi gentleman who believes “European values should be represented in the tech world.” He also created a hype that pushed UAE to establish a Ministry of AI and Happiness in 2018. France’s 41-year-old President Macron appointed David Martinon to Ambassador of Digital Affairs 5 months after Mr. Klynge named the first-ever “tech ambassador.” Mr. Klynge’s office pushes progressive nations to create unique tech ambassadors to meet national interests and represent the country in virtual diplomacy.