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Preliminary information on our next Forum:


“Are we going to continue on the road and just allow the governments to do more and more and more control - more and more surveillance? Or are we going to set up something like a Magna Carta for the world wide web and say, actually, now it's so important, so much part of our lives, that it becomes on a level with human rights?”

"Unless we have an open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what's happening at the back door, we can't have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It's not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it."

         Tim Berners Lee on BBC Radio, Mar 2014.

The Enlightenment movement of the 18th Century, marked a shift in individual-state-enterprise relationships, today the Digital Enlightenment movement works to better understand the ways in which individuals, governments and enterprises are redefining their relationship through the use of technology.

The theme of this year’s conference is: the individual (in her many societal roles) in relation to the ever increasing dimensions of the technological (digital) environment.  We bring together a range of views: technologists, anthropologists, engineers, social scientists, entrepreneurs, designers, policy makers and leaders of civil society organisations in order to better understand how humans engage with digital life and which options emerge.

Given the rapid pace at which non-anticipated technological innovations develop and swiftly integrate in peoples’ lives, new ways of thinking and talking about the role of ‘the digital’ are required, thus allowing people to have a complete and correct understanding of what their real options are and to help develop meaningful forms of accountability, transparency and regulation of data processing, that can keep pace with the ‘bit per second’ lives of individuals today.

Digital Enlightenment Forum aims, through these new ways of thinking and talking about “The Citizen – Negotiating life in The Digital World” to develop proposals for how best to move forward. The inter-relation between individuals and the technological environment will define the future organization of living, working and citizenship.

After two successful Forums in Luxembourg (2012) and Brussels (2013), we will address in this Forum these inter-relations and their consequences.

The Forum will be held on 25-26 March 2015 in Kilkenny (Ireland).

Digital Enlightenment Forum cordially invites you to the DEF Forum 2015.


Additional Remarks
The conference theme follows on from the papers collected in the Digital Enlightenment Yearbook 2014, in which the issue of how individuals relate to their networks and wider society in a data-driven world, was explored from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including computer science, law, history, information management, information security, sociology and statistics. The papers show that there is scope for both optimism and pessimism.

Event Format
Wednesday afternoon: we start with presentations and discussions on running EC projects that relate to the topics of discussions/debates on Thursday. Of course this may stimulate participants to meet and discuss ideas about future projects.
Thursday: will show a mix of keynote speakers and parallel sessions culminating in conclusions that aim to make a real step forward.


Digital Enlightenment Forum - Policy and Strategy Debates
Security, Trust in Online Services and Data Protection in Europe

Digital Enlightenment Forum VzW (DEF) has started on 21st May 2014 a number of high level policy and strategy debates concerning subjects including: Cyber Security, Trust in Online Services, Protection of European Data. In these debates we bring together thought leaders in technology, science, policy and industry to discuss and help guide the development of European policy and strategy for the digital age, taking into account the global perspectives and the global position of Europe economically and politically. How can Europe develop consistent policy on often seemingly incompatible goals and ensure security and trust of its citizens in a flourishing digital society, whilst playing its role as a reliable partner in an open global economy.

This first debate for a restricted group including DEF members and high level invitees was hosted by Deloitte in Brussels and concerned:

Cyber Security – Risks and Opportunities for Europe’s Economy

The revelations of Snowden have caused worries and strong political debate. Neelie Kroes, vice-president of the European Commission, said at the CeBit Global Conference (according to re/code): Snowden gave us a wake-up call. Let’s not snooze through it. Citizens in the EU are asking how their cyber space can be secured if in the global economy so much data is being managed by non-EU companies, which have to comply with laws and rules of other countries.

Europe is struggling with the rules for an open digital society. We must protect ourselves against the dangers in cyber space, but cannot become protectionists in the economic space.

These dilemmas will be discussed in this first DEF Policy and Strategy Debate within a limited group of invitees representing policy, industry and academia.

DEF has given attention to these dilemmas in its conferences in 2012 and 2013 as well as in the two DEF yearbooks in these years. With this Policy and Strategy Debate we now want to raise the discussion to another level, bringing decision makers together in an effort to develop concrete recommendations on steps forward to assure European Cyber Security in a flourishing global economy.


14.00 – 14.20     Welcome by the host, Erik van Zuuren, Director Deloitte, Brussels
Introduction to the topic by the Chair
, George Metakides, President DEF

Session 1: Introduction to EU Cyber Security Policy

14.20 – 14.40     EU Policy on Cyber Security, dilemmas and progress, Raffaele Di Giovanni Bezzi, EC/CNECT-Trust and Security

14.40 – 15.00     ENISA Policy and Actions, Vangelis Ouzounis, HoU Secure Infrastructure & Services, ENISA

15.00 – 15.15     Q&A

Session 2: Views from practice

15.40 – 16.00     Cyber Security Technology and Innovation Opportunities, Eric Blot-Lefevre, Director of the Board Association Forum ATENA

16.00 – 16.20     EU Cyber Crime Scene, Troels Oerting Joergensen, Head of European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)

16.20 – 16.40     EU security in a global economy, Prof. Gillian Youngs, Digital Economy, Univ Brighton, UK

16.40 – 17.00     Q&A

Session 3: Plenary Debate

17.00 – 17.50     European Cyber Crime Policy: How to make Progress in Europe

17.50 – 18.00     Closing Discussion and wrap up


Besides the speakers given on the agenda above, participants included: Tony Graziano (Huawei), Jacqui Taylor (FlyingBinary), Andra Giurgiu (SnT, Univ Luxembourg), Michel Riguidel (ParisTech), David Luengo (INDRA), Jacques Bus (DEF), David Goodman (EEMA), Yves Lagoude (Thales), Aad van Moorsel (Newcastle Univ), Gerben Klein Baltink (Dutch Security Council).


Malcolm Crompton: Part of the resolution of these issues depends on sound application of the 4As framework:  analysis, authority, accountability, appraisal. 




Welcome to Digital Enlightenment Forum

People should enjoy the kind of autonomy and freedom online that they do offline and therefore we support the position and rights of the individuals in their relation to the new society.

How can digital technology best be used to express and develop our identities in an integrated on/offline world.

Our multi-stakeholder approach seeks to make business, institutions and governments more effective and fit to purpose for digitally empowered citizens and consumers.

A profound dialogue must replace the “truthy” clichés about competing interests that so often are used to justify stagnation and inefficiency.

We bring the Enlightenment metaphor to action in searching game-changing solutions that stimulate innovation and sustainable evolution, and are beneficial to all.

We invite you to become a member
and contribute to the Digital Enlightenment Movement
READ Information on our NEXT Forum 2015 in Kilkenny, Ireland


DEF Session on Personal Data at CPDP
22 - 24
DEF at "Trust in the Digital World"
DEF Debates - Cyber Security for Europe
Digital Enlightenment Forum 2015
25 - 26

DEF Publications

DEF YEARBOOK 2014 - Social Networks and Social Machines, surveillance and Empowerment
To appear in November 2014

The value of personal data has traditionally been understood in ethical terms as a safeguard for personality rights such as human dignity and privacy.

This first Yearbook gives an excellent impression of the broad spectrum DEF covers and a view on its multidisciplinarity.

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