22 September 2021
7:00 pm
Conference Tech & Society: “The Great Overhaul: Reinventing Politics & Media for the Digital Age”
Auditorio Espacio Fundación Telefónica

Conference Tech & Society: “The Great Overhaul: Reinventing Politics & Media for the Digital Age”


Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica held the past September 22, from 7.00pm to 8.30pm, the second conference of the Tech & Society Program on “The Great Overhaul: Reinventing Politics & Media for the Digital Age” with Nancy Scola, journalist and writer specialized in technology and society and former head of technology at Político magazine, moderated by Jonathan Nelson, Program Manager & Digital Intelligence Specialist at Constella Intelligence. The conference started with a brief presentation by the speaker followed by questions from the moderator and the public.

In the last fifteen years, the tremendous power of digital technologies — chief among them social media — has completely changed how the two core social pillars of politics and media are practiced. Politicians are learning to contend with near constant scrutiny while scrambling to make the most of global distribution channels. Journalists, meanwhile, are attempting to determine how to adapt their field to a world dominated by companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon while trying to figure out how to pull back the curtain on how those organizations work. How, exactly, are those professions adapting? And how should they adapt?


The open conference took place in English with simultaneous translation into Spanish and was interpreted in Spanish Sign Language. The auditorium Espacio Fundación Telefónica has limited places, however, it can be followed in streaming here and in social media with the hashtag #TechSociety. Check out our COVID-19 Health & Safety Advisory to Aspen España Event Attendees and the Covid measures of Espacio Fundación Telefónica.



Nancy Scola is a veteran journalist and magazine writer whose work on the intersections of technology and society is published by the Atlantic, Washingtonian, New York, Reuters, POLITICO Magazine, and many other publications. She has served as both a senior technology reporter at POLITICO and a staffer writer at the Washington Post. Based in Washington, D.C., she is an adjunct professor in journalism and media studies at Georgetown University. Before coming to journalism, Nancy worked in the United States Congress, focused on government oversight. She holds a B.A. in anthropology and Africana studies from the George Washington University, as well as a master’s degree in anthropology from Boston University. She was born and raised in New Jersey.



Jonathan Nelson (M.A., M.Sc) is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar with several years of experience driving multi-sector collaborations at the intersection of emerging digital technologies and their impact on sociopolitical dynamics. Jonathan specializes in Media, Partnerships, and Digital Intelligence at Constella Intelligence (formerly Alto Analytics), where he works towards developing and managing partnerships with some of the world’s largest multilateral, philanthropic, and media organizations. Jonathan collaborates alongside an international team of analysts to lead numerous research projects that help better understand digital information ecosystems within the context of the phenomenon of disinformation and malign influence campaigns, supporting the production and dissemination of unique intelligence to a broad community of stakeholders on issues as varied as public health and vaccines, climate change, education, sociopolitical polarization, and electoral integrity, among others. Before his work in digital intelligence, Jonathan supported the commercial launch and development of several programs at the IE School of Human Sciences and Technology while Associate Director of Admissions at IE University. Jonathan holds a double BA in International Studies and Spanish, and graduate degrees in International Management (MSc) and Visual & Digital Media (MA).


Recommended readings:

Bell Emily. ‘Facebook is eating the world’, Columbia Journalism Review (2016)

Leopore, Jill. ‘Does Journalism Have a Future?’, New Yorker (2019)

Smith Brad, and Browne, Carol Ann. ‘Tech Firms Need More Regulation’, The Atlantic (2019)

Frenkel, Sheera and Kang, Cecilia. ‘Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Partnership Did Not Survive Trump’, New York Times (2021)

Nancy Scola. ‘Twitter Going Full Resistance? Here’s the Woman Driving the Change’ POLITICO Magazine (2020)


V Edition of the Tech & Society Program

Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica launched the V Edition of the Tech & Society ProgramThe Program, in its fifth edition, will once again hold debates, conferences and the Socrates Seminar, which will take place at La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia) and will be sponsored by Google.

Tech & Society Program has become the main forum in Spain for reflection on the major issues raised by advances in digital technologies. The fifth edition will gather different leaders from all sectors of civil society to discuss the new technological challenges and their influence in areas as diverse as human relations, politics, education, culture, economics and medicine.

Leigh Hafrey, Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Sandy Parakilas, Chief Strategy Officer for the Center for Humane Technology, who recently appeared in the Netflix documentary “The Social Media Dilemma”, Cathy O’Neil, author of Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens DemocracyBeth Noveck, director of The Gov Lab and professor in the Technology, Culture, and Society department at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, and who led the Obama Administration’s Open Government Initiative, are some of the speakers who have participated as speakers through the Tech & Society Program throughout its different editions.

You can access former interviews and conferences of the Program on our  YouTube channel.

More information

  • Nancy Scola
  • Jonathan Nelson
Auditorio Espacio Fundación Telefónica
  • Conference