01 February 2022
7:30 pm
Public Lecture Tech & Society with Diego Hidalgo Demeusois
Auditorio Espacio Fundación Telefónica

Public Lecture Tech & Society: «Anaesthetised. Humanity Under the Empire of Technology»


Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica hosted a public lecture of the V Edition of the Tech & Society 2021 Program, with Diego Hidalgo Demeusois, author of Anaesthetised. Humanity Under the Empire of Technology (Libros de la Catarata, 2021), moderated by Salomé Santos Lorenzo, Agriculture Director of Azucarera and Aspen España Fellow.

This event took place in Spanish and was interpreted into Spanish Sign Language (LSE). It was followed in social media with the hashtag #TechSociety.


In the past two decades, digital technologies have profoundly modified human beings —the way they think, they take decisions, and they relate to each other. While technology becomes increasingly invasive and autonomous, many challenges to our freedom arise, and the perimeter that we would consider to be exclusive to human beings seems to be shrinking. Although the benefits of such technologies are obvious, the costs and risks of our hyper connected lives are still largely misunderstood and observed in a fragmented way. Is such a trend unavoidable or are there ways for humans to retake control? What do we really expect from technology and which technology could best serve humanity?



Diego Hidalgo Demeusois, born in Paris in 1983, studied philosophy, politics and economics and obtained a Master’s degree in International Relations from Sciences Po (Institut d’études politiques de Paris) and a Master’s degree in Sociology from Cambridge University. He also studied at the University College London (UCL) and at the University of Bologna. After working at the Clinton Foundation in New York, he founded several companies in Spain, among them, Amovens (the first car-sharing platform in the country which today has nearly 2 million users and was acquired by GoMore in 2015), Pontejos (dedicated to the restoration of old buildings) and Ballensworth (fund that invests in social enterprises). He was one of the founding trustees of the United Way Spain Foundation and collaborates with several NGOs.  Diego Hidalgo has been awarded the ”Young Social Entrepreneurs” 2012  prize and named ”Young European Leader”. He has written several articles and participates in conferences about the impact of technology in society and on entrepreneurship. He currently lives in Rabat where he was appointed Counsellor at the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Morocco. He is the author of .Anaesthetised. Humanity Under the Empire of Technology (Libros de la Catarata, 2021). 



Salomé Santos Lorenzo is a lawyer specialized in European and Competition Law. She has a Law Degree with Economics from the University of Deusto, an Erasmus scholarship from the University of Leuven in Belgium and a Master Degree on European Law from the College of Europe in Bruges (Belgium). She worked for 13 years as a lawyer in the Law Firm Martínez Lage & Asociados and later in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, providing legal advice to different national and multinational companies. In 2010 she joined the British multinational Associated British Foods as head of legal in Iberia and Continental Europe. She has been Secretary of the Board of Primark Tiendas, S.A. and AB Mauri Foods, S.A. Since September 2015 she is the Director of the Agricultural Area and a member of the Board of Directors of AB Azucarera Iberia, a company belonging to Associated British Foods.  As Director of the Agricultural Area of AB Azucarera Iberia, she currently leads a team of more than 70 people whose mission is to develop and implement a strategy of transformation and modernization of the relationship with farmers and farmers´ organizations, incorporating new technologies such as agriculture of precision and big data, in order to increase competitiveness and guarantee the sustainability of the sector in the current market environment. Salomé also develops an academic activity giving lessons in ESADE, the IE Business School and the University Carlos III. She is Aspen España Fellow.



Additional readings

  • Lee, Kai-Fu, AI Superpowers. Silicon Valley, and the New World Order, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. Versión castellana: Superpotencias de la inteligencia artificial. China, Silicon Valley y el nuevo orden mundial, Deusto, Barcelona, 2020.
  • Zuboff, Shoshana. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Profile Books Ltd, 2019.


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 took place at La Granja de San Ildefonso (Segovia) and was 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

  • Diego Hidalgo Demeusois
  • Salomé Santos
Auditorio Espacio Fundación Telefónica
  • Conference