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“The Atlantic Dialogues” in Marrakesh: The Digital Age and the Modern Social Contract

The participants in a plenary session held on Friday in Marrakech, as part of the 7th edition of the International Conference “The Atlantic Dialogues”, were unanimous in emphasizing that the introduction of a new social contract has become an imperative in the face of new Technological and digital evolutions that characterize the companies, asserting that the success of this contract is dependent on the trust that must reign between the various stakeholders.

During this session initiated under the theme “The digital age and the modern social contract”, speakers said that without the establishment of this trust between states, businesses and citizens, this new social contract will never succeed.

In this sense, Sunjoy Joshi, President of the Observer Research Foundation (India), Enrique Mendizabal, Founder and Director of “On Think Tanks” (Peru), and Lex Paulson, lawyer and professor at Sciences-Po in Paris, as well as Jamira Burley, Head of Youth Engagement and Skills, who facilitated the meeting, noted that trust between people and decision-makers has been broken, partly because of technological and digital development.

They also noted that the social contract technically induces stakeholders and commitments of everyone, stating that it must be established between the citizens themselves and not between citizens and decision-makers.

In this regard, they pointed out that social networks have now become a window of exchange and a forum for free expression, arguing that they are not an alternative to real democracy.

Stakeholders explained that people in Africa and generally in developing countries risk being overwhelmed and marginalized by technological developments that are not inclusive.

Thus, they insisted that access to the Internet is no longer “a privilege” but it has become rather “a right” of the most basic.

Panellists also said that control and exploitation of the data has become the new battle on a global scale, indicating that China is best placed to win this battle.

In this context, they affirmed that governments must guarantee the respect of the privacy of all citizens in the face of all these technological evolutions and this new digital era which characterize societies in the four corners of the planet.

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