09 June 2021
4:00 pm
Tech&Society: «Technological Sovereignty: Can Europe Cope With the Challenge?»
Auditorio Espacio Fundación Telefónica

Tech&Society: «Technological Sovereignty: Can Europe Cope With the Challenge?»


Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica hosted the first session of the 2021 edition of the Tech & Society Program last Wednesday, 9th of June with a debate on “Technological Sovereignty: Can Europe Cope with the Challenge?” with Evgeny Morozov, writer and researcher specialized in the political and social implications of technology. The session was moderated by Fiona Maharg, journalist and corporate communication expert.

In the past few years, Europe’s lack of autonomous capacity in latest technologies – be that cloud computing, 5G, artificial intelligence, or semi-conductors – has become painfully obvious. While the United States and China are racing ahead in all of these fields, Europe still remains very much behind. This has led many European policymakers to invoke the importance of “technological sovereignty” as a policy priority for the contintent. Yet, how exactly to transform this vision into reality? Would it be compatible with other policy priorities of the European Commission, such as restrictions on state aid and tough policing of market competition? And could the efforts to regain “technological sovereignty” be reconciled with the need to democratize access to core technologies such as artificial intelligence, for example, so that they do not remain only in the hands of the powerful few?



Evgeny Morozov is the author of The Net Delusion (2011) and To Save Everything, Click Here (2013). He is also the founder and the publisher of The Syllabus, a knowledge curation initiative. He holds a PhD in History of Science from Harvard University. He has been a visiting scholar at Stanford and Georgetown and has published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Financial Times, and many other publications. His upcoming book is Freedom as a Service (2022). 



Fiona Maharg Bravo began her career in London, where she worked for JP Morgan and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. In 2002, she received the Nico Colchester Fellowship awarded by the Financial Times / Economist in 2002, where she spent three months as part of the fellowship. After working at the FT, she joined Breakingviews, the financial commentary service acquired by Reuters, where she covered media, transportation, oil and gas (energy), and Spain. In 2007 she moved to Madrid as a columnist for Breakingviews and was also a regular contributor to The Economist on Spanish companies for more than 8 years. In January 2017, she joined Telefónica as Director of International and Financial Communication until October 2020. Fiona holds a BA/MA in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Chicago and a diploma in Economics from the University of Cambridge. She is part of the Chicago alumni board in Spain. 


Recommended readings:

Morozov, Evgeny. ‘The Huawei War’, Le Monde diplomatique (2020)

Madiega, Tambiana. ‘Digital sovereignty for Europe’, European Parliamentary Research Service (2020)


V Edition of the Tech & Society Program


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 Democracy, Beth 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

  • Evgeny Morozov
  • Fiona Maharg Bravo
Auditorio Espacio Fundación Telefónica
  • Debate