Advice for the Federal Government: former Secretary of State Suder becomes chair of the Digital Council

The Federal Government wants to be asked by a new digital council "uncomfortable questions". The ten experts will meet for the first time.

The new Digital Council of the Federal Government will meet officially on Wednesday for the first time. The task of the Council, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU), is to spur on the Federal Government and to ask "uncomfortable questions".

The panel brings together ten experts from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the USA. It is headed by former State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, Katrin Suder.

Former business consultant Suder was already working on her post at the Department of Defense on digitization and was responsible until May for eliminating the chaos surrounding arms projects. At her own request, she left the Ministry, where she enjoyed high esteem, in March. Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) thus lost a close confidante.

In her new role, Suder now wants to identify with the independent experts in the Digital Council the greatest challenges for Germany in the field, develop solutions and advise the Federal Government.

Other members of the panel, consisting of four women and six men, are:

  • Stephanie Kaiser, Managing Director Heartbeat Labs
  • Urs Gasser (Switzerland), Berkman Small Center for Internet & Society at Harvard
  • Ada Pellert (Austria), Rector Fernuni Hagen
  • Andreas Weigend, former Chief Scientist of Amazon
  • Peter Parycek, Head of Competence Center Public IT Fraunhofer FOKUS
  • Viktor Mayer-Schönberger (Austria), Oxford Internet Institute
  • Beth Simone Noveck (USA), Law Professor, Director of the White House Open Government Initiative 2009 - 2011
  • Hans-Christian Boos, founder and CEO of arago (research and commercialization of AI)
  • Ijad Madisch, head of the science start-up ResearchGate

How can Germany shape digitization?

"The impact of digitization on the economy, on the workplace, on society, is already significant," Suder said Tuesday. This development will continue. For the 46-year-old there are on the one hand "inevitable changes" that need to be controlled in the interests of the people. On the other hand, there are areas in which we can still be very active and also have the opportunity to do so.

For both areas, solutions must be found that "secure our very specific social order in the midst of all these technological developments in the future," said Suder. The question must be answered: "What does our way in Germany, in Europe?" - in contrast to the developments in the US or China.

Merkel had announced the calling of the Expert Council on the weekend and expressed the hope that many new ideas would emerge from his work "which we as a government can put into action". In her podcast, she continued, "I am convinced that overall, we can only compete in our governance, if we are always looking for outside advice." In the future, among other things, the digital council is to deliver this.

The Chancellor named four fields in which the government wanted to make progress. These are the expansion of the infrastructure for broadband and mobile communications, more digital learning content under the digital pact school and that the citizens "gradually have to carry out fewer official channels themselves, but have digital access to the state". Finally, the government wants to develop "an artificial intelligence strategy".

ref: spiegel