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Niejelow Rodin Global Digital Futures Policy Forum

Over the last seven years, the Digital Futures Policy Forum has convened multi-sector experts from around the world to explore policy responses to the emerging challenges of digital transformation. Digital dependence helped protect the global economy from the disruptive force of the COVID-19 pandemic even as it multiplied the risks posed by domestic and international threats. “Survive or Thrive?”, the question posed by the Initiative’s 2019 Forum, is even more pressing as the world grapples with the unfolding and unprecedented challenges brought by the global pandemic and increased digital dependence.

The theme of this year’s Forum is Saving Cyberspace. Spread through Spring and held virtually over three panel discussions, the Forum will address the future outlook of global technological usage and tackles the disruptive potential of accelerated digital transformation to identify possible responses to better inform the Biden administration in the United States and other partners and governments. The Forum will consider:

  • The evolving cyber threat landscape and the need for improved operational collaboration to save cyberspace
  • The impact and implications of U.S.-China disengagement on the Internet’s future
  • The current and future policy strategies under newly formed U.S and Japanese administrations to address the evolving digital technology and cybersecurity landscapes
     

This year's forum will feature the launch of the second report by Columbia SIPA’s New York Cyber Task Force on Operational Collaboration in February, and will welcome Brad Smith, President of Microsoft in March for a fireside chat on his recent book, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital AgeWe remain deeply grateful to the Niejelow/Rodin family for their generous support.

You can learn more about panels, participants, and register below

February | Pragmatic Solutions to Operational Collaboration

February 26 2021:  12:00 – 1:30 PM ET

Operational collaboration is a key component for public- and private-sector defenders to enhance readiness to defend the nation when responding to disruptive cyberattacks. Over the past year, SIPA’s New York Cyber Task Force (NYCTF) developed recommendations for pragmatic approaches to operational collaboration through workshops exploring plausible scenarios of escalating attacks. The findings from these workshops have been distilled and compiled in a comprehensive report to be launched at this event. Members of the NYCTF will be on hand to discuss the report’s key findings, the scenarios the report was based on, and how the report can inform the Biden administration’s new direction and emphasis on preventing cyberattacks.

  • Opening Remarks by Admiral Dennis Blair, Former US Director of National Intelligence

 

  • Moderated by Dean Merit E. Janow, Columbia SIPA 
  • Greg Rattray, Senior Research Scholar, Columbia SIPA
  • Michael Daniel, President & CEO, Cyber Threat Alliance
  • Erica Borghard, Resident Senior Fellow, New American Engagement Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
  • Saleela Salahuddin, Cybersecurity Policy Lead, Facebook
     

Watch the event (Zoom recording)

March | the Future of the Internet

March 31 2021: 1:00 - 3:00 PM ET

Fireside Chat with Brad Smith, President at Microsoft, on his latest book Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age 
Moderated by Dean Merit E. Janow, Columbia SIPA

Followed by The Impact of US-China Disengagement on the Future of the Internet

As the effects of the eroding relationship between the United States and China expand to spill across technological development, supply chains, and cyberspace, the U.S. and its like-minded allies must now reconsider whether they wish to push for an Internet that is open, secure, and global. Critical introspection may result in a realization that only two of the three aspects will be achievable, in which case, which one will be discarded? Experts will discuss the survival of the vision of the Internet, while weighing the current challenges that face the new administration as it works to maintain and secure the future of the Internet.

  • Moderated by Gordon Goldstein, Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Amb. David A. Gross, Partner, Wiley Rein LLC
  • Rob Knake, Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Ronaldo Lemos, Edward Larocque Tinker Visiting Professor, Columbia SIPA
  • Samm Sacks, Cybersecurity Policy and China Digital Economy Fellow, New America
  • Zeynep Tufekci, associate professor, University of North Carolina


Register for the event

April | Japan-U.S. Cyber Collaboration: 2021 and Beyond

APRIL 19, 2021:  7:00 – 9:00 PM ET | APRIL 20, 2021: 8:00 – 10:00 AM JST

In 2020, we were confronted with an unprecedented year of challenges that brought new considerations and change to the future outlook of global technological usage. This panel will consider the current and future policy strategies under the newly formed U.S. and Japanese administrations to address the evolving digital technology and cybersecurity landscapes. 
As the U.S. transitions to a new Biden Administration and Japan enters 2021 under the recently-elected Suga Administration, ample opportunity exists for increased collaboration between the two nations on cybersecurity and cyber policy issues. Cooperation between Japan and the U.S. will have to consider shared adversaries’ goals in cyberspace as well as broader East Asia security issues. A group of panelists will project what are likely to be some of the changes in Japan-U.S. cyber collaboration under the countries’ new administrations, and the significance of such changes for 2021 and beyond.

  • Opening Remarks by Greg Rattray, Senior Research Professor, Columbia SIPA

 

  • Moderated by Greg Rattray, Senior Research Professor, Columbia SIPA
  • Jun Murai, Co-Director, Keio University Cyber Civilization Research Center 
  • Admiral Dennis Blair, Former US Director of National Intelligence
  • Ambassador Marc Grossman, Former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs

 

  • Closing Remarks by  David Farber, Co-Director, Keio University CCRC and Greg Rattray, Senior Research Professor, Columbia SIPA


Register for the event

Organizers

SIPA's Tech and Policy Initiative:

SIPA Tech and Policy Initiative fuses public policy, engineering, data science and entrepreneurship through a variety of activities, including new courses on data analytics and visualization; a Challenge Grant that invites graduate students to combine ICT and data to solve urban challenges globally; participation with Columbia Entrepreneurship in a start-up lab in lower NYC; and interdisciplinary research around internet policy issues including internet governance, cyber security and the digital economy. This new research is aimed at deepening collaboration at Columbia University across disciplines as well as convening interdisciplinary expert groups, such as at this Conference. By equipping the next generation of public policy students and scholars with a deeper understanding of new technology, nurturing organizations that are building novel tech-based solutions to pressing public policy problems, and supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, SIPA is stimulating a host of creative endeavors at the intersection of technology and public policy.

The Keio CCRC-Columbia SIPA Cyber Dialogue:

The Keio CCRC-Columbia SIPA Cyber Dialogue, jointly initiated by Keio University’s Cyber Civilization Research Center and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs entered 2021 with a new communications outreach and branding strategy, centered around the production of “bite-sized” media outputs such as joint blog postings, videos and podcasts. Throughout the year, the Dialogue will use these outputs to push forward its goal of discussing the future path for improving US-Japan cyber cooperation and understanding the potential digital and cyber challenges that both countries face. In reaching these goals, the Dialogue will bring together US and Japanese policy, business, and academic leaders to share perspectives, discuss, and address challenges. Short form outputs will cover the four core subjects that the Dialogue focuses on: Establishing Cyber Norms, Digital Free Trade with Trust, Fostering Digital Tech Innovation, and the Human Element of Cyber Crisis Management.

The New York Cyber Task Force:

The New York Cyber Task Force drives forth hypotheses on how the US government and private sector can effectively approach operational collaboration with the goal of protecting the nation. The group brings together industry experts from the private sector, government, and academia to synthesize thought around joint operations and identify areas of complimentary synergies In 2020, the Task Force worked towards creating pragmatic approaches to collaboration through the development of scenarios in which adversaries plan on challenging the US in cyberspace. By identifying the drivers of these scenarios and the intentions of adversaries, the group produced realistic areas where collaboration can occur to best defend the US in cyberspace. The Task Force's goal was to identify these challenges, deduce the best ways that each sector can help each other through collaboration, and drive the conversation forward on how we can work together to ensure that the United States is safe in cyber space through revised complimentary policies on operational collaboration. In late February 2021, look for the Task Force's findings from these scenarios to be distilled into a comprehensive report highlighting key findings and recommendations.

Sponsors

This conference was hosted by:

Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs

For more than 70 years, SIPA has been equipping future leaders with the skills, knowledge and intellectual curiosity to solve the world’s most critical public policy challenges. Through a rigorous and multidisciplinary curriculum, practical capstone projects and field work that engage real world issues, and connections to world-renowned scholars and practitioners, SIPA students learn to make a positive difference in the world, whether in the public, private, or nonprofit sector. At home in Columbia’s university community and the global City of New York, SIPA is a uniquely diverse, international and entrepreneurial community that brings together world leaders of diverse backgrounds, skills, and perspectives.

SIPA Tech and Policy Initiative fuses public policy, engineering, data science and entrepreneurship through a variety of activities, including new courses on data analytics and visualization; a Challenge Grant that invites graduate students to combine ICT and data to solve urban challenges globally; participation with Columbia Entrepreneurship in a start-up lab in lower NYC; and interdisciplinary research around internet policy issues including internet governance, cyber security and the digital economy. This new research is aimed at deepening collaboration at Columbia University across disciplines as well as convening interdisciplinary expert groups, such as at this Conference. By equipping the next generation of public policy students and scholars with a deeper understanding of new technology, nurturing organizations that are building novel tech-based solutions to pressing public policy problems, and supporting cutting-edge interdisciplinary research, SIPA is stimulating a host of creative endeavors at the intersection of technology and public policy.

With support from:

We also are deeply grateful to the Niejelow/Rodin family for their generous support.