On the occasion of International Day for Democracy, the International Observatory on Information and Democracy (OID) has unveiled its newly appointed Steering Committee, comprised of 19 distinguished leaders from various domains, including policy, academia, and research. Our Director, Professor Pier Luigi Parcu, has been appointed to this dynamic group of experts who represent diverse geographies and disciplines, encompassing fields as wide-ranging as political science, ethics, journalism, engineering, anthropology, economics and data science.
The Steering Committee will oversee the process of completing an authoritative report evaluating and synthesising scientific contributions related to the challenges we face in the information ecosystem. This includes selecting initial priority themes for the first cycle of thematic evaluation reports, guiding relevant working groups and ensuring rigorous scientific standards.
Following a global call for nominations that returned over 100 applications from all over the world, 19 policy and academic experts have been selected by the Observatory’s prefiguration group, co-chaired by Shoshana Zuboff, Emeritus Professor at the Harvard Business School, and Angel Gurría, former Secretary General of the Organisation for Cooperation and Development (OECD). The Steering Committee composition has been validated by the Board of the Forum on Information and Democracy which oversees the Observatory’s work.
Commenting on his appointment, Professor Parcu said that “in this era of rapid technological advancement, understanding the intricate information ecosystem and its interplay with democracy is paramount. I look forward to contributing my expertise to the Steering Committee of the International Observatory on Information and Democracy, working alongside distinguished scholars to inform evidence-based policy decisions that may contribute to shape our democratic future.”
Previous to this appointment, Professor Parcu had also joined the Working Group on Pluralism of Information in Curation and Indexation Algorithms as Chair of the steering committee. The Working Group has published a series of recommendations on the pluralism of curation and indexing algorithms.
The Observatory’s work on information and democracy is equivalent to the IPCC for climate change, and just as urgent – as underscored by the generous commitment from this globally eminent group of thought leaders. Their work as Steering Committee members will be critical in establishing a robust, scientific foundation for understanding the impact of new technologies and behaviours on democratic governance and institutions.
The Steering Committee’s first report is set to be published within the next twelve months.
For more information about the International Observatory on Information and Democracy and its Steering Committee, please visit their website.