22 June 2023
2:00 pm
Debate Tech & Society: “The Humanized Internet”
Espacio Fundación Telefónica

Debate Tech & Society: “The Humanized Internet: Dignity, Digital Identity and Democracy”


Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica hosted the second session of the VII Edition of the Tech & Society Program debating on “The Humanized Internet: Dignity, Digital Identity and Democracy”, with Monique Morrow, co-founder and chair of The Humanized Internet and former CTO at Cisco, and José M. de Areilza, Secretary General at Aspen Institute España, professor at ESADE Business School and holder of the Jean Monnet Chair at ESADE.


In an age in which the Internet is deeply affecting our experiences, relationships, and democratic processes, it is crucial to re-think questions concerning dignity, digital identity, and democracy. What does dignity in the Digital Age look like? Is privacy dead? What does digital justice look like?

In this public lecture, Monique Morrow used real-world examples to illustrate and explore the concept of ‘dignity in the Digital Age’, focusing on how online experiences can either amplify or erode individuals’ dignity. We must define dignity in the context of the Internet and explore its significance, the importance of privacy, security, and autonomy in preserving digital identities.

New technologies can have a powerful impact on democratic systems. Under democracy, with the use of deep fakes, the polarity exists between digital technologies that could strengthen democracy, enhance civic engagement, or present risks of misinformation therein creating a digital divide. What is truth in a democracy is highly contextual.

Nevertheless, while it is easy to depict a dystopian future, there may yet be positive outcomes here if we could imagine embedding ethics from the very beginning. Given the recent discussions regarding AI (Dr. Geoffrey Hinton) and Chatgpt, (OpenAi) the human must be the center. There is a potential from nation states to weaponize these technologies, this is not about the race to space, Mars, humans could be at stake if we are not careful. Are we too late?


Monique Morrow

Monique Morrow has established a proven track record of success in driving business growth and innovation through emerging technologies. She holds several industry advisory positions and most recently Venture Partner Sparklabs Accelerator for Cybersecurity and Blockchain, Wash D.C. Monique is also an Independent Director on the Hedera Hashgraph Board of Directors where she focuses on articulating Hedera enterprise value for the telecommunications industry. In Monique’s previous role as Senior Distinguished Architect for emerging technologies at Syniverse Technologies, she provided thought leadership and developed the strategic direction and vision for Syniverse’s emerging technologies across the company, partners and industry forum. Monique’s expertise is in cybersecurity, privacy, mobile payments, ethics in extended reality and distributed ledger technologies, for example, blockchain. She has worked across the industry including AMD, Ascom Hasler, Swisscom and Cisco, and has been active in the start-up community. Additionally, Monique is President and Co-Founder of the Humanized Internet a Swiss-based non-profit with a focus on digital identity, and ethics in technology.

Monique’s industry leadership includes the following examples: Monique chairs the IEEE P.7030 Global Extended Reality Working Group, Recommended practice for the assessment of Extended Reality Technologies. She also Chairs IEEE P.7016, “Standard for Ethically Aligned Design and Operation of Metaverse Systems.” Monique was Co-Chair of the GSMA-Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] group and served as Syniverse’s representative in the World Economic Forum [WEF] Data Policy Council and Digital Justice. Monique has contributed to the WEF-Wharton School Paper on the “Decentralized Autonomous Organization Toolkit.” She is active in WEF’s Digital Identity initiative. Monique recently contributed to the GSMA, Vodafone, IBM Chaired white paper entitled, “Post Quantum Telco Network Impact Assessment.”

Monique has been recognized in the industry for her tireless focus on social good. She holds over 17 patents and has co-authored several books. Amongst Monique’s accomplishments include the following: Monique was selected as one of the top Digital Shapers 2018 in Switzerland. Forbes Magazine listed Monique Morrow as one of the top 50 women globally in technology. One World Identity recognized Monique as one of the top 100 influencers in identity for 2019. In May 2019, Monique was recognized by Cybersecurity Ventures as one of the top 100 women in Cybersecurity. In March 2020, Monique was one of several innovators featured in Red Bull Innovator Magazine. In April 2020, Monique was selected as one of the 5 leading figures in Business by the Europa Forum Lucerne [Switzerland] specific to its theme, “Safety and Security in Times of Uncertainty.” Monique is also the 2020 winner of the WomenTech Network Global Technology Leadership award. Monique has been recognized in 2021 as one of the top 100 Women in Cybersecurity in Europe. Monique was named by Chief in Tech as one of the top 100 Women in Tech Leaders to watch in 2022. Monique has an MSc in Digital Currency and Blockchain; an M.S. in Telecommunications and MBA. Monique is also a Doctoral Student in Cyberpsychology at Capitol Technology University.


José M. de Areilza

José M. de Areilza is the Secretary General of Aspen Institute España and Professor and Jean Monnet Chair at ESADE Business School, Barcelona. He has been a Visiting Professor at INSEAD Business School (Fontainebleau) and London Business School. He holds a Doctorate degree from Harvard Law School and has published extensively on European Union Law and Politics and Geopolitics . Between 1996 and 2000 he was European Advisor at the Spanish Prime Minister’s Office. He writes a Sunday column in ABC, a national newspaper. He is Academy Adjunct Faculty at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House, London), Vice President of the US-Spain Council Foundation, Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and Trustee of the Spanish Navy Museum, Ministry of Defence.


VII Edition of the Tech & Society Program

Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica launched the VII Edition of the Tech & Society Program. The VI edition will bring together 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

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

  • Monique Morrow
  • José M. de Areilza
Espacio Fundación Telefónica
  • Debate