20 May 2019
7:00 pm
Tech&Society: “The future of Internet: a social contract for the Web”
Debate, Conference
Espacio Fundación Telefónica

Tech&Society: “The future of Internet: a social contract for the Web”


Aspen Institute España and Fundación Telefónica held a new session of the Tech&Society Program 2019 on The future of Internet: a social contract for the web with José Manuel Alonso, Director of Strategy and Alliances at Web Foundation. Marta Peirano, is a writer, a journalist and the Deputy Director of the digital newspaper eldiario.es, will moderate the conference.

Descentralization, non-discrimination, collaborative design, or the universal service are some of the concepts over which the web was founded. They had a very clear objective: to make knowledge available to the whole society. Currently, while half of the world population do not have access to Internet, the other half put their privacy, security and fundamental rights at risk.



Within this session we debated about the continuity of the values that underpinned the Web originally, what the Web is like nowadays and how to redesign it in the future. Could a social contract palliate the risks we are exposed to at the Web?


José Manuel (@josemalonso) serves as Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the Web Foundation, the organization established by World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee to advance the open web as a public good and a basic right. In providing strategic direction for the Foundation, he benefits from his deep knowledge of the Web and of the organization itself, as its longest-serving team member. He joined in 2011 to lead the Open Data program, later becoming the Director of the Digital Citizenship program. José has extensive experience in the fields of Open Data, eGovernment and Web standards. He has held a number of leadership and advisory roles, working on projects at the local, regional, national and global levels, including the Open Government Partnership, the International Open Data Charter, Open Ownership, Open Contracting, the Open Data Research Network, and the Open Data Initiative in Spain. He has served on United Nations and European Commission expert panels as well as on the Nominating Committee at ICANN, the organisation dedicated to preserving the operational security and stability of the Internet. Prior to joining the Foundation, José held several positions at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Web standards-setting organisation, where he established and led the eGovernment Activity. He also launched the Spain country office. Originally a software engineer, José has worked as IT analyst, consultant and trainer, and even founded his own web startup back in 1997.


Marta Peirano (@minipetite) is a writer and journalist and a long time advocate for citizen privacy, government transparency, digital security and community based infrastructure. She has been a member of multidisciplinar collective Elástico, codirector of COPYFIGHT festival and cofounder of CryptoParty Berlín, among others. She works as deputy director at Spanish national daily eldiario.es. Her most recent book is The Little Red Book of Online Activism, an essay about the impact of digital surveillance, with a foreword by Edward Snowden. Her TED talk about digital surveillance has been watched more than 2 million times. She is working on a book about digital feudalism and political manipulation online.


Recommended Links

Sarpong, Eleanor, “Half of the world’s people are still offline. How do we connect them as quickly as possible?”, Alliance for Affordable Internet, February 5, 2019

Mattey, Carol, “Next Generation Digital Infrastructure: Promoting Investment, Competition and Consumer Protection”, Chapter 1 Fractured responsibility in a digital age, p 1-5

“Building a Contract for the Web — Next Steps”, Web Foundation, January 30, 2019

Harrison, Dominique, “Civil Rights Violations in the Face of Technological Change”, Aspen Institute EEUU April 22, 2019

“New Technologies and the Global Goals”, Web Foundation, January 10, 2019


More information

  • Marta Peirano
Espacio Fundación Telefónica
  • Debate
  • Conference