In recent years, debates between Germany and the US have heated up in the digital realm. Initially, surveillance was at the center. Since then, more facets have been added such as discussions over transatlantic data transfers, the regulation of US technology companies and the deployment of 5G technology, among others.

Still, countries on both sides of the Atlantic face similar challenges as they deal with the impact of increasing digitization: the rapid transformation of the global economy as a result of, for example, artificial intelligence, automation and digital commerce; influence operations and the increasing efforts of authoritarian countries to steer global internet, technology and data governance policies; as well as the rise of online platform services and resulting concerns with respect to data protection, disinformation, targeted digital advertising, and corporate power.

For the next generation of leaders from both sides of the Atlantic, it is crucial to develop an understanding of commonalities and differences on these issues, discover new viewpoints, explore shared approaches, and develop a compelling democratic vision for our increasingly digitalized future.

The Transatlantic Digital Debates program brings together 18 German and American young professionals from government, business, civil society, academia, and the media. The participants will meet for week-long sessions to engage in problem-oriented dialogue on key issues related to the online platform regulation, data protection, disinformation, targeted digital advertising, antitrust concerns, data governance, innovation policy, and more.