20 February 2020 - 22 February 2020

Technology, society and the state: how do we remain competitive, and true to our values, as the technological revolution unfolds and accelerates?

Chair: Ms Julie Brill

View the event album here

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Context and why this was important

The internet, smartphone, social media, search platforms and finance and trading platforms not only create the potential for the globalisation of knowledge but also set the stage for further rapid innovation in machine learning, genetic engineering, empirical computation, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, robotics and fintech, amongst other technologies. Such fundamental innovation poses challenges for mature industrial democracies in managing economies so transformed. Equally, the full impact on civil society, the media, ethics and morality, as well as for systems of education, is not yet fully understood. How can governments support further innovation and adaptation in their societies, enhancing democratic practices whilst mitigating the negative effects on the workings of democracy? How can they steer innovation toward critical challenges of climate change, human survival and prosperity? What are the responsibilities of companies, especially those with greatest influence? How do citizens need to adapt to navigate the technological revolution and to be able to give and withhold consent in a meaningful way?

People

Chaired by Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Corporation, this conference uniquely convened senior leaders from the major tech companies and technology investors, entrepreneurs, senior policy makers, Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, experts in human rights, data science and data ethics, University Principals from the UK and Canada as well as representatives from a climate emergency campaign and Trade Union rights.

Analysis

It was commented that this was perhaps one of the last conferences on technology that had some recourse to experience of a pre-digital world. Did this mean a last chance to think about fundamental values to protect as the technological revolution accelerates? Or, was it better to understand that our values are shaped by context and have never been and never can be pure, universal, abstract or held apart? We cannot separate out technology and values, but we should try to understand how each shape the other.

Two key trends were noted:

The power of openness: the transformational changes achieved as a consequence of the move from closed to open systems, for example apps for iPhones or Microsoft and Github and the sharing of insights were considered significant. Open source software and open source science are emerging as a primary innovation, and as economic engines.

The scientific method is undergoing potentially profound change: the shift in science from the use of hypothesis and test to the use of algorithms to search for solutions direct from data, as in some areas of computational biology, was potentially profound, albeit at an early stage. Comment: a report on a discussion that took place at Ditchley on empirical computation (an alternative term for computational biology) accompanies this Note (link below).

Ideas, not consensus

  • A constitutional convention. It was observed that the discussion felt like a constitutional convention, setting out the rules for a new world with the very human hope that we could do a better job of enshrining our values than others had done in the past. Perhaps, we reflected, a sort of constitutional convention is what is required to reflect on our institutional framework and principles of governance? The difficulty would be determining who would be the delegates that could gain consensus from the public.
  • Clarify definitions of terms currently used in these debates. The terminology used in debates about technology can be very imprecise, leading to confusion and cross purposes. An agreed glossary of terms would help sort out the conflation of issues.
  • Revive multinational institutions. These institutions face existential pressures. But we shouldn’t give up on them for all their faults.
  • Build cyber deterrence. There is an urgent need for transatlantic work on cyber deterrence.
  • Education and lifelong learning. Education is central to the adaptive challenge to make the most of technology.
  • Re-examine the balance of benefit between the right to identity and the right to anonymity. Should we look again at individual identification systems as the means to ensure fairness – before systems come in by default?
  • A national strategy for AI in education is badly needed.
  • National and transparent strategies for management of public and government data are badly needed.
  • Climate change is bigger than all of this. We have to recognise the limits of national resources and change our way of living.

FULL REPORT

Context and why this was important

It was commented that this was perhaps one of the last conferences on technology that had some recourse to experience of a pre-digital world. Did this mean a last chance to think about fundamental values to protect as the technological revolution accelerates? Or was it better to understand that our values are shaped by context and have never been and never can be pure, universal, abstract or held apart? Similarly, although technology evolves according to a logic, it is not a pure technological or economic logic but one shaped by context and by society. Current industry practices were described, not as inevitable, but the result of an absence of rules and as products very much of their time and place – fundamentally the US around the turn of the millennium and China after 2008. We cannot separate out technology and values, but we should try to understand how each shape the other.

The internet, smartphone, social media, search platforms, and finance and trading platforms not only create the potential for the globalisation of knowledge but also set the stage for further rapid innovation in machine learning, genetic engineering, empirical computation, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles, robotics and fintech amongst other technologies. Such fundamental innovation poses challenges for mature industrial democracies in managing economies altered by the application of technologies and to understand impacts on civil society and the media, on ethics and morality as well as on systems of education. How can governments support further innovation and adaptation in their societies including in democratic processes whilst mitigating negative and damaging effects on the workings of democracy? How can they steer innovation toward critical challenges of climate change, human survival and prosperity? What are the responsibilities of companies, especially those with greatest influence? How do citizens need to adapt to navigate and to be able to give and withhold consent in a meaningful way?

The framing of this discussion was necessarily multi-dimensional, putting national competition in tension with shared global interests. Along with huge global benefits brought about by tech, we’re also witnessing the dominance of the most successful technology companies. Their success cleaves to wealth and power, widening inequalities and threatening unprecedented levels of technologically-led social control.

Governments are regulators, contributors to global standard-setting and determine tax landscapes and IP regimes. But perhaps more strategically, governments can aid access to capital, protect fledgling companies and support the adoption of technologies. Responsibilities for defence and security also provide opportunities for technological innovation and for strengthening competitiveness. Government can nurture research, define education systems for pipelines of talent and plan social infrastructure to support communities and societal adaptation. This discussion reflected some of the tension between tech companies and government. Each look to the other, but partnership is required.

The conference was partly about the power that governments have, defining the primary problems they can help to solve, and for whom. There are a billion people on WeChat as well as a billion and a half on Facebook, and different standards and norms are already being set through practice. Governments will have to find new partnerships with private sector companies to preserve, restore and advance the interests that democratic societies want to defend. How will government harness technology within a political economy that delivers for ecology, cuts CO2 emissions and reduces pollution? What about the tech companies – what actions are they taking to demonstrate responsibility? The public expect technology to be managed and controlled. Are governments using the regulatory power they have? What is holding governments back? Pragmatic partnership between corporations and government is needed and must be formed in ways that publics can trust.

The technological revolution was taken to refer to digital rather than, for example, to heavy engineering or other kinds of technology. And the discussion was tempered by warnings of the impact of climate change and the risk of complacency over technological resilience: the security of basic energy supply and the longevity of data and software are not guaranteed. Electricity supplies are vulnerable and digital content can disappear. Whatever we find on the web may not be there forever (except for the stuff we wish would disappear of course).

People

Chaired by Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Privacy at Microsoft Corporation and a former US trade commissioner, this conference uniquely convened senior leaders, chief technology officers, internet evangelists from the major tech companies; investors and entrepreneurs in finance, computational biology, medical imaging, pharma and food, together with senior policy makers, Members of Parliament and the House of Lords, experts in human rights, data science and data ethics, along with representatives from a climate emergency campaign and Trade Union rights, and University Principals from the UK and Canada.

Analysis

We are celebrating 30 years of the World Wide Web and can now see that the digital revolution will transform most areas of human activity. Aspirations are high for transformative benefits in healthcare, disease eradication, sustainable food production, action on climate change and many other means to enhance human prosperity and to preserve nature. Conversely, dystopian risks associated with surveillance, social control, the manipulation of human DNA and uncontrolled impacts from AI and automation stoke genuine fear. As ever, technology remains a neutral (dual-use) tool that can be harnessed for good or ill.

There is a lack of confidence in the ability of governments to lead and manage the technological revolution effectively. Understanding the power and capacity of government is necessary for action. Meanwhile, companies are coming under increasing criticism and calls for government action are growing. We asked at what scale could and should government leadership operate? In the face of perceived weakening of multinational institutions, national government action was seen in most areas to be the most effective and often only tier for government action. There was a clear tension with the global impact of the Internet and technology more broadly

National competitiveness in a global revolution. Since the 1990s the concentration of money and power within the four largest tech companies (Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft, worth $4 trillion combined) has been remarkable. The UK was described, controversially, as like an agrarian economy commenting on the industrial revolution in another country. Despite the UK being third in the world in terms of technology (after the USA and China), it cannot claim a single large digital tech company on Silicon Valley’s scale. The gap between the influence of the top two nations on technology and the rest is enormous.

The case was made for national action: in order to have a stake and to help determine the values underpinning technology, a country such as the UK had to develop a yet much stronger technology sector. It should aim to be a landlord not a tenant; a rule-maker not a rule-taker, a technology-maker not a technology taker. Otherwise, the UK would be reduced to the role of lobbyist to other countries to try to shape its local as well as international environment and to control the deep impact on its society.

Technology was argued to be the centre of modern power, residing in a few global companies and the people who control them. We could not hope to have decisive influence on the ethics and conduct of technology without influence through major companies. The agenda for government at a national level should therefore be clear: build on strengths such as AI and neuroscience; nurture specialisms; retain the companies built from UK research and innovation; protect against the pressures of early buyouts; create hubs, scale sectors to grow, and radically overhaul the education system to deliver the right talent, addressing for example, the shortfall in British computer science expertise.

The connectivity revolution challenges concepts of borders and the future of nations but for contemporary politicians, realpolitik dictates the primacy of the nation-state. Publics in developed countries are demanding protection from globalisation and the technology that drives it. Reimagining national economies to provide that protection is now seen as a political necessity.

The national view was weighed against global responsibility. Shouldn’t the ambition be to agree global (or at least regional) norms on which to develop the future of technology and to conserve common standards? To do otherwise risked walled gardens of technology with limited flow between them which would reduce global prosperity and fall short on the potential of technology overall. National competition was not a strategy well-suited to the collective human challenges that we all face, including health, economic inequalities and slowing the rate of climate change. These were the real metrics by which we should assess the success of the introduction of AI. Rather than competing with each other, it was argued that we should acknowledge the limitations of global resources and work cooperatively to use them responsibly. Liberal economic values were accused by some of being a front for an unsustainable economic system that is killing the planet.  

Government How should governments proceed to apply democratic values such as rule of law, freedom of expression and right to privacy in a context of profound uncertainty? There was agreement that governments cannot and should not attempt to keep pace with the rate of change in technology. The speed of ubiquitous data collection and the speed of government and politics are two very different time cycles. Public policy will always play catch-up and there are constant risks of unintended consequences of decision-making. The task for governments is to formulate policy frameworks that are responsive with flexible rules for general rather than specific application.

Important though regulation is, the policy landscape is broader. Small companies can be part of digital ecosystems. The canvass for government policies include tax, IP, policies to support innovation, co-creation and the benefits that can be drawn from security and defence. A government agenda developed with private companies could cover investment in research, innovation and the adoption of technologies. A lack of clarity of national leadership was said to be having a chilling effect on R&D. National strategies were called for in areas such as how AI plays out in education, the management of data and for the regulation of markets (fintech0).

It was argued that regulation could support innovation by providing clarity. Good regulation could be an accelerant rather than a limiting factor – creating certainty both for consumers and for business (even if the rules were not perfect). Good regulation focuses on internalising the costs, correcting market failures and protecting fragile ecosystems and vulnerable people. Good regulation could also be exportable and could be adopted elsewhere. The Financial Conduct Authority and The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority were offered as models, along with the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, a mechanism that has helped achieve standards of interoperability.

Policy associated with technology requires governments to understand technology at a deep level and the technical knowledge gap in government was considered a major obstacle to getting regulation right. Laws of general application were invented to run alongside the development of intellectual property in 19th-century publishing. What are the general-purpose rules now for the digital economy? Can we look to the past with confidence that the regulation, for example, over child labour can be reproduced in a modern context, or are we facing an altogether different challenge?

Values What are the institutions that will shape the future? The model of the UN was questioned. But, although current multilateral institutions are struggling, the power of governance should not be undervalued: can we say that it was technology that helped to lift millions out of poverty in China and other parts of the world, or was it the power of the state in application of technology that achieved the change? Liberal democracies in the West depend upon public understanding. But an emphasis on values is not enough. Values need to be embedded in governance to shape our technological direction.

Data is essential to innovation and application. An absence of rules and regulation for data is holding back its exploitation. Public trust in the regulation of data use and in the role of regulators, governments and private companies is critical. The potential value of aggregated NHS data was frequently referenced. Debates about data must move beyond just issues of privacy and a better public understanding of the potential benefits of aggregated data is needed. There are clear risks to mitigate through rules and guardrails, for example the expansion of surveillance and the power of inference from aggregated data making the concept of personal data meaningless. It is difficult, if not impossible, for individuals to opt out of data collection processes. Who owns data is a central issue. More control can be given to citizens with the aim of increasing trust. We need the digital sphere to be more “forgiving”: not every aspect of people’s lives and choices that are captured should be forever held in databases beyond reach, with implications for access to finance, insurance and other services. To allow us to realise the value of data we perhaps need a new social contract between citizen and state that makes individuals partners in the use of their data, balancing risks against benefits.

Environments for tech – a role for government Tech company growth depends on talent and capital. And talent wants to be where the environment is good. There is huge scope for nurturing technology companies in many different sorts of places. With leadership, industrial policy, regional policy and educational policy – it is feasible to build up new tech hubs to nurture tech companies in different locations. Recursion, for example (using AI for drug discovery) is based in Salt Lake City. Manchester has one of the largest tech hubs in the UK. The adoption of technology (in health, social care, autonomous vehicles or fintech) requires taking calculated risks. But it was noted that the risk-taking in California was underpinned by the federal government and that government support was integral to Silicon Valley’s development.

Public private partnership We need a radical agenda for public and private partnerships, even if this will be controversial. There isn’t the capacity in the public sector to leverage data assets. Trust and capacity within government to work with the private sector has to be developed. Both have to convince the public of this change. This phase of the technological revolution has seen a shift in the locus of power from government to corporate leaders and from publicly held companies to privately held companies. Public and private partnerships need to show how they will deliver public accountability.

Innovation What should guide approaches to innovation and funding beyond the market? There was a reluctance in many parts of government, based on past failures, to pick winners. Increasingly though there was a tension between the parts of the state that wanted to let the market do its work (as had become Treasury dogma in the UK), and the national security establishment who were identifying multiple technologies that underpinned relative state power and that they wanted to see remain in national ownership.

Innovation is uneven. Areas of rapid delivery encounter potential breaks on progress. There are problems associated with ingesting and sharing data on a database structure that is 30 years old: ‘Companies are shackled and trapped in this old infrastructure’. The quality of data and facilities to share data are often unsurmountable limitations.

Biology is coming to the fore in ways that connect with the current grand challenges such as climate change, food security and areas of medicine – should innovation be focussed here? Will computational biology, for example, be a platform on which new applications can be built. What about general-purpose tech, such as LED lighting on which vertical farming depends?

It was acknowledged that it is genuinely hard to set agendas – the internet was designed without a clear purpose; Galileo was invested in as a response to the possibility that the EU might lose access to GPS. There had to remain space for apparently aimless innovation and experimentation for us to get to the good stuff.

Two key trends were noted:

The power of openness: the transformational changes achieved as a consequence of the move from closed to open systems, for example apps for iPhones or Microsoft and GitHub, and the sharing of insights were considered significant. Open source software and open source science are emerging as a primary innovation, and as economic engines.

The scientific method is undergoing potentially profound change: the shift in science from the use of hypothesis and test to the use of algorithms to search for solutions direct from data, as in some areas of computational biology, was potentially profound, albeit at an early stage. Comment: this is covered in full in Ditchley’s parallel report by Kenneth Cukier on empirical computation (an alternative term for computational biology).

Adaptation How can government speed up the rate of adoption of new technologies and adaptation to them? Increasing connectivity is one example: a link between (lack of) connectivity and social and economic disadvantage is clear. The damage caused by lack of connectivity has been significant in some areas, exacerbating spatial divisions made all the more stark by post-18 education that encourages younger people towards urban centres and away from the smaller communities they grew up in. Investment in education can also be investment in place.

Generational differences are relevant to the adaptation of technologies. Older people may be more vulnerable to job losses. Lifelong learning has received general affirmation for the last 30 years but has not been effectively delivered in practice. A radical approach to re-training is an obvious win. This remains difficult to deliver but we must try harder.

Could identification systems work to achieve greater social inclusion and fairness? Have the relative benefits of identity and anonymity shifted? An identity card system failed to be adopted over a decade ago in the UK (partly as a result of public loss of trust in government ability to protect data) but the question was raised again as to how identity recognition might support citizenship. How should governments and citizens respond to the likelihood that forms of universal identification will be perfected at some point and in many senses are already here?

Conservation Can we think about conservation of values in terms of the ‘social contract’? What for example, do we fundamentally want to conserve in the way children learn? How can children best be equipped to operate in a world of constant manipulation online and the need for ever more sophisticated personal cybersecurity? This is not just a question of technological literacy but more fundamentally relates to understanding of power, history and values. An end-to-end review of education was called for to include questions of how to adapt and re-educate adults at the same time as rethinking how to educate the young.

Public consent over data and public trust in the use of data present substantial challenges. The consent for clinical trials for example has become overcomplicated and is about risk aversion (by companies) rather than public understanding. It is often not really possible for consumers to provide informed consent. How can we do better on consent?

Online manipulation has raised grave concerns over interference in the ‘freedom of thought’ necessary for freedom of expression, freedom of speech and for individual agency and autonomy. ‘Freedom of thought’ has emerged in legal discussion to define the line between legitimate persuasion and attempts at bypassing conscious thought. The problem here is where to draw the line. All modern advertising to a degree attempts to bypass rationality.

Can we conserve values to help control the risk that money buys power? Technology has become synonymous with wealth and therefore power. Is it regulation of technology that is needed or controls over the concentration of wealth and the forces leading to ecological disaster? The role of technology in relation to inequality is ambiguous. We might see significant social disruption before a new equilibrium is found.

Ideas but not consensus

  • A constitutional convention. It was commented that the discussion felt as though we were in the early days of a constitutional convention, setting out the rules for a new world with the very human hope that we could do a better job of enshrining our values than others had done in the past. Perhaps, we reflected, a sort of constitutional convention is what is required to reflect on our institutional framework and principles of governance? The difficulty would be determining who would be the delegates that could gain consensus from the public.
  • Clarify definitions of terms currently used in these debates. The terminology used in debates about technology can be very imprecise leading to confusion and cross purposes. There are different concerns bound up in uses of ‘privacy’, ‘wealth’ and ‘tax’. A glossary of terms would help sort out the conflation of issues.
  • Revive multinational institutions. International cooperation is needed but these institutions face existential pressures. But we shouldn’t give up on them for all their faults.
  • Build cyber deterrence. Deterring cyber warfare is much more complex than deterring use of nuclear weapons but cyber could increasingly cause large scale damage to countries’ infrastructure and systems and war could escalate unexpectedly as a result. There is an urgent need for transatlantic work on cyber deterrence.
  • Education and lifelong learning are core to adaptation and to resilience to cope with the impact of technologies. The West did not do a good job of reskilling following the crash. Education is central to the adaptive challenge.
  • Re-examine the balance of benefit between the right to identity and the right to anonymity. Should we look again at individual identification systems as the means to ensure fairness – before systems come in by default?
  • A national strategy for AI in education is badly needed.
  • National and transparent strategies for management of public and government data are badly needed.
  • Climate change is bigger than all of this. We have to recognise the limits of national resources and change our way of living.

 

This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.

 

CHAIR:  Ms Julie Brill

Corporate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer for Global Privacy and Regulatory Affairs, Microsoft Corporation (2017-). Formerly: Partner & co-Director, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Hogan Lovells US LLP, Washington, DC (2016-17); Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission (2010-16); Senior Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Consumer Protection and Antitrust, North Carolina Department of Justice; Lecturer in Law, Columbia University School of Law; Assistant Attorney General for Consumer Protection and Antitrust, State of Vermont; Associate, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York.

AUSTRALIA/UK

Sir Michael Hintze AM GCSG 

Founder (1999), Group Executive Chairman and Senior Investment Officer, CQS, London; Senior Portfolio Manager; Member of the Board of Superintendence, IOR (the Vatican Bank); Audit Committee, Duchy of Cornwall; board, The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation; Trustee, Institute of Economic Affairs; Senior Vice Patron and Special Friend of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth; Patron of the Arts, Vatican Museums. Formerly: senior roles at CSFB and Goldman Sachs; Salomon Brothers, New York; Electrical Design Engineer; Captain, Australian army.

CANADA

Mr Andy Cheema 

Consultant, Mattamy Asset Management, Toronto.

Ms Rebecca Finlay 

Vice‑President, Engagement and Public Policy, CIFAR – Canadian Institute of Advanced Research; Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science. Formerly: Group Director, Public Affairs and Cancer Control, Canadian Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute of Canada; First Vice President, Financial Institution and Partnership Marketing, Bank One International; Vice President, Member Business Management, MasterCard International. A member of the Canadian Ditchley Foundation Advisory Committee.

Mr Simon Kennedy 

Deputy Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (2019‑). Formerly: Deputy Minister of Health Canada (2015‑19); Deputy Minister of International Trade Canada (2012‑14); G20 Sherpa for Canada (2012‑14); Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Industry Canada (2010‑12); Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Plans), Privy Council Office, Canada (2009‑10); Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Operations), Privy Council Office, Canada (2007‑09).

Dr Mohamed Lachemi PEng., FCAE, FCSCE 

Ryerson University: President and Vice Chancellor (2016‑). Formerly: Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science; Provost and Vice‑President, Academic. Fellow, Canadian Society for Civil Engineering; Fellow, Canadian Academy of Engineering; Board member, National Research Council Canada and Trillium Health Partners.

NETHERLANDS

Miss Catherine Vollgraff Heidweiller 

Head of Quantum Computing Partnerships (UK), Google, London.

ROMANIA/UK

Dr Mihaela Popa‑Wyatt 

Marie Curie Fellow, Leibniz‑Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft (Leibniz Linguistics Centre), Berlin (2019‑21). Formerly: Research Fellow and lecturer in political philosophy, University of Birmingham (2017‑18); Beatriu de Pinos Fellow, Universitat Barcelona (2014‑16); Leverhulme Research Fellow (2010‑14), University of Birmingham.

SWEDEN/USA

Dr Lina Nilsson

Senior Director of Data Science Product, Recursion, Salt Lake City. Formerly: COO, Enlitic; Innovation Director, University of California, Berkeley; MIT Technology Review's "TR35" annual list of the world's top innovators for her work in open science.

UNITED KINGDOM

The Lord Aldington 

Chairman, MachEMC2 Ltd; Trustee Emeritus, Royal Academy Trust (2003‑). Formerly: Chairman, Deutsche Bank London (2002‑09); Chairman, Stramongate Ltd (2007‑11). A Governor and Member of the Council of Management and Business Committee and Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee of The Ditchley Foundation.

Ms Susie Alegre 

International human rights barrister, Doughty Street Chambers, London; Adjunct Assistant Professor, Trinity College Dublin; Research Fellow, Roehampton University; Interception of Communications Commissioner (Isle of Man); adviser on law and policy to European Parliament, Council of Europe, UN Institutions, governmental institutions and CSOs. Formerly: Financial Ombudsman Service, EU Delegation to Uganda, OSCE, ODIHR, Amnesty International.

Mr George Barda 

Social and Environmental Justice campaigner; Director, Compassionate Revolution (XR); Co‑ordinator, Climate & Ecological Emergency working group, Extinction Rebellion.

Miss Kate Bell 

Head of Rights, International, Social & Economics, Trades Union Congress, London; member, Low Pay Commission. Formerly: worked at a local authority, for the Labour Party, and for the charities Child Poverty Action Group and Gingerbread.

Dr James Field 

Chief Executive Officer and Founder, LabGenius Ltd, London; Forbes' 30 Under 30 for Science & Healthcare (2018); Fellow, Synthetic Biology Leadership Excellence Accelerator Program. Formerly: BBSRC Innovator of the Year (2017).

Dr Vishal Gulati 

Venture capital investor focusing on investments that lie at the convergence of healthcare with internet, data science, AI and engineering; investor/board member, Draper Esprit.

Mr Will Hutton 

Principal, Hertford College, University of Oxford (2011‑); co‑Chair and Steering Group Member, The Purposeful Company; Non‑Executive Director, Satellite Applications Catapult; Columnist, The Observer. Formerly: Chief Executive, The Work Foundation (2000‑08); Editor‑in‑Chief, The Observer (1996‑2000); Producer and Reporter, BBC TV. An Honorary Governor of the Ditchley Foundation.

Dr Annalisa Jenkins MBBS, FRCP 

A biopharma thought leader with over 25 years of industry experience, including in building and financing biotech companies; advocate for diversity and inclusion, particularly for women in science. Formerly: President and CEO, Dimension Therapeutics (subsequently sold to Ultragenyx); Head of Global Research and Development and Executive Vice President, Global Development and Medical, Merck Serono; senior positions at Bristol Myers‑Squibb over 15 years, including as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs; medical officer, British Royal Navy during the Gulf Conflict, achieving rank of Surgeon Lieutenant Commander. Acting Chair, Sensyne Health; Non-Executive Chair, Cocoon Biotech Inc.; Non-Executive Chair, Cellmedica; Executive Chair, Vium, Inc.; committee member, Science Board to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; board member, Faster Cures, a center of The Milken Institute; Chair of The Court, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Mr James Lloyd‑Jones 

Managing Director, Jones Food Company (high‑tech vertical farm start‑up).

The Rt Hon The Lord Mandelson 

Life Peer, House of Lords; Chairman, Global Counsel LLP, London; Chair, board of trustees, Design Museum (2017‑); Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University (2016‑). Formerly: First Secretary of State, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Lord President of the Council (2009‑10); Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (2008‑09); Commissioner for Trade, European Commission, Brussels (2004‑08); Member of Parliament (Labour) for Hartlepool (1992‑2004); Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1999‑2001); Secretary of State for Trade & Industry (1998); Minister without Portfolio, Cabinet Office (1997‑98). A Member of the Council of Management and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Rajay Naik 

Chief Commercial Officer, Study Group (2019‑); Chairman, Independent Commission on Lifelong Learning; board member, UBS Foundation. Formerly: CEO (Europe), Keypath Education (2015‑18); Director, The Open University (2010‑15); UK Digital Skills Commission; Education Technology Action Group, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills; Chairman, Big Lottery Fund (2009‑15); Commissioner, Department of Health; panel member, Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance (2009‑10); Chairman, British Youth Council (2007‑10); Council Member, Learning and Skills Council (2005‑08). A Governor and member of the Programme Committee of The Ditchley Foundation.

Mr Charles Songhurst 

Founding Partner, Katana Capital, Mountain View, CA; Director, Songhurst Group. Formerly: Microsoft Inc. (ran Corporate Strategy, focussing on partnering and M&A); analyst, McKinsey & Co., London.

Mr Roger Taylor 

Chair, Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation; Chair, Ofqual; member, advisory panel to Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Probation; author, 'God Bless the NHS' (Faber & Faber, 2014) and 'Transparency and the Open Society' (Policy Press, 2016). Formerly: co‑founder, Dr Foster (pioneered the use of public data to provide independent ratings of healthcare); correspondent, Financial Times, UK and USA; researcher, Consumers' Association.

Mr Matt Warman MP 

Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Boston and Skegness (2015‑); Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Digital and Broadband), Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (2019‑). Formerly: Assistant Government Whip (2019); Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (2018‑19); member, Science and Technology Select Committee; co‑Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Broadband and Digital Communication and Pictfor (The Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum); Technology correspondent, Daily Telegraph (1999‑2015).

Mr Andrew Whitehouse 

Founder (2017‑) and Managing Partner, Copperfield Advisory LLC, New York; Adjunct Professor, Columbia University. Formerly: Chief Communications Officer, IBM; Global Director of Marketing, Communications, Willis Towers Watson; Global Director of Communications, McKinsey & Company; Prime Minister's Social Exclusion Unit; Department of Health; Ministry of Defence.

The Rt Hon. Lord Willetts FRS 

President, Resolution Foundation (2015‑); Chancellor, University of Leicester (2018‑); board member, UK Research and Innovation (2017‑); Visiting Professor, King's College London (2015‑); Honorary Fellow, Nuffield College, Oxford; board member, Surrey Satellites; board member, Biotech Growth Trust; author, 'A University Education'; 'The Pinch ‑ How the baby boomers took their children's future and why they should give it back'. Formerly: Chair, Sanger Institute (2017‑19); Member of Parliament (Conservative) for Havant (1992‑2015); Minister for Universities and Science, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2010‑14); Chair, British Science Association; member, Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. An Honorary Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.

Professor Jeremy Wyatt 

Senior Manager, Applied Science, Amazon (2018‑); Honorary Professor, University of Birmingham (2018‑). Formerly: Professor of Robotics & Artificial Intelligence, University of Birmingham (2013‑18); co‑Director, Centre for Computational Neuroscience & Cognitive Robotics, University of Birmingham (2010‑16); Leverhulme Fellow (2006‑08).

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Ms Simone Askew 

Rhodes Scholar; First African American Female First Captain, United States Military Academy; Engineer Officer, U.S. Army.

Mr Eric Braverman 

CEO, Schmidt Futures; member, New York State Bar. Formerly: Director, Schmidt family office; CEO, Rex Group (2015‑17); CEO, Clinton Foundation (2013‑15); McKinsey & Company (1997‑2013): partner and co‑founder, government practice.

Dr Vinton G. Cerf ForMemRS, BCS, IEEE, ACM, NAE 

Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; co‑designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet; serves in advisory capacities at NIST and NASA; member, Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Worshipful Company of Stationers. Formerly: executive positions at: ICANN, the Internet Society, MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; member, U.S. National Science Board; President, Association for Computing Machinery. Awards: U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, U.S. National Medal of Technology, Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Prince of Asturias Award, Tunisian National Medal of Science, Japan Prize, Charles Stark Draper award, ACM Turing Award, Légion d'Honneur, Franklin Medal; foreign member, The British Royal Society and Swedish Academy of Engineering; holder of 29 honorary degrees.

Dr Nikita Chiu FRSA 

Ad Astra Distinguished Fellow in Robotic and Outer Space Governance, Space Engineering Research Center.

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry 

Ambassador and Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Retired; Trustee, National Committee on American Foreign Policy. Formerly Director, U.S.‑Asia Security Initiative and Professor‑of‑Practice, Stanford University; U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan; Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee; Commander, U.S‑led Coalition in Afghanistan; Defense Attaché, U.S. Embassy, Beijing.

Ms Patricia Livingston 

CEO, Infinite Acres, Delft, The Netherlands (joint venture, backed by Ocado); Co‑Founder and President, 80 Acres Farms, Ohio (2015‑). Formerly: Chief Operating Officer and Vice President, Supply Chain and Productivity, Sager Vegetable Company, Del Monte Foods, Inc. (2014‑15).

Mr John Michaelson MStJ 

Managing Partner, Michaelson Capital Partners, LLC, New York; Chief Investment Officer, MCP's managed funds; career helping to build highly disruptive technology companies; current boards include: ESS Technology, Inc. (semiconductors); ProTom International (proton beam systems for radiation treatment of cancer); Co‑CEO, Pictos Technologies (inventor and developer of the ubiquitous CMOS camera). Formerly: President and CEO, Needham Asset Management; Morgan Grenfell & Co. Ltd, London. Hon Gp Capt, 601 Sqn, RAuxAF. Trustee, RAF Central Fund.

Mr Will Shao 

Undergraduate student (Classics, International Relations, Modern Languages), Stanford University; Researcher, Ditchley Foundation (including on the implications of the global spread of 5G infrastructure, issues around facial recognition technology and the technological presence within education policy).

Dr Alfred Z. Spector 

Chief Technology Officer, Two Sigma Investments LP, New York; Council, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; member, National Academy of Engineering. Formerly: Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives, Google, Inc. (2008‑15); Vice President of Strategy and Technology, IBM's Software Business; Vice President of Services and Software Research, IBM; Founder and CEO, Transarc Corporation.