Research sprint examines “digital self-determination” in increasingly interconnected world
Students from around the globe consider digital self-determination and its meaning and impact on individuals, peoples, cultures, and countries
The Digital Asia Hub and Berkman Klein Center are launching a Spring 2021 “Research Sprint” this week with a global cohort of 25 students participating from 21 different countries spread over 6 continents, in collaboration with the Global Network of Internet & Society Centers (NoC). It brings together collaborators from the two co-hosting organizations and their global partners to explore the evolving normative concept of digital self-determination as an enabler of—or at least contributor—to the exercise of autonomy and agency in the face of shrinking choices in a world that is increasingly constructed, mediated and at times even dominated by digital technologies and digital media, including the underlying infrastructures, questions of control, power and equity become more critical.
The Research Sprint will examine how the notion of digital self-determination is invoked as a term to describe the possibility and realization of human flourishing as it relates to the use of digital technologies and their affordances. While questions of control over personal data will be a cross-cutting theme throughout the Sprint, other important dimensions of self-determination in the digitally networked will be examined as well, for instance with regard to self-expression and participation in civic life and the digital economy, or relationship-building and well-being, to name just a few application areas.
Participants will work collaboratively with peers and experts from around the globe to produce a living repository that highlights the personal, social, cultural, and technical contexts that includes readings, case studies, examples, and narratives that together provide a thick description of the evolving notion of digital self-determination and its normative context. The outputs will be open access and also serve as a resource for an emerging thematic network on digital self-determination led by the Directorate of International Law at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Office for Communications of the Swiss Federal Department of Environment Transport, Energy and Communications.
The Sprint follows earlier efforts, including BKC’s Fall 2020 Sprint on COVID-19 and Access to Education and Learning Spaces, and contributes to the NoC’s Ethics of Digitalisation initiative under the patronage of the German Federal President and with support by Stiftung Mercator. The Research Sprint is one program out of many that the Berkman Klein Center hosts to engage and train students as co-designers and leaders exploring the impact of digital technologies. Other programs at the Center that also embody our interdisciplinary educational efforts include Assembly, Summer Institute, and the Youth and Media Project.
BKC is proud to announce our 25 graduate student participants from over twenty countries.
Karolina Alama-Maruta Discipline: Privacy and Data Protection Law
Kawsar Ali Discipline: Cultural Studies (Critical Race and Digital Studies)
Rachid Benharrousse Discipline: Cultural Studies
Hei Yin Chan Discipline: Political Science
Ana Margarida Coelho Discipline: Communication Sciences
Leonid Demidov Discipline: Digital Communications
Maria Francesca De Tullio Discipline: Constitutional Law
Alexandra Giannopoulou Discipline: Law
Tomás Guarna Discipline: Comparative Media Studies
Martyna Kalvaitytė Discipline: Digital Public Policy
İdil Kula Discipline: IT Law
Zachary Marcone Discipline: Law and China Studies
Derguene Mbaye Discipline: Computer Science / Natural Language Processing
Hillary McLauchlin Discipline: Social Science of the Internet