Since September 2017, Casper Klynge has been Denmark’s (and the world’s) first technology ambassador. The decision made by the Danish Government stems from the idea of making technology a foreign policy priority as part of its “TechPlomacy” initiative. From Silicon Valley, Casper has a global mandate with part of his team in Copenhagen and Beijing, thus rethinking the traditional understanding of a diplomatic representation.
Given the influence of large technology companies around the world, it is essential that other regional organizations have representation with tech companies. His biggest challenge is to show how small countries struggle to influence corporations with great power.
In this sense, countries that have common technology policies will have more impact, instead of each country working independently.
His work tries to respond to important international technology trends, trying to transform the power of large companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google into political influence, a role similar to that of the states. Indeed, diplomatic representation is needed to deal with each of these.
According to Klynge, “values, institutions, democracy and human rights are being challenged by the emergence of new technologies” and if not properly acted upon, these companies will challenge governance, so it is of great importance to redefine the relationship between the public and private sector.
Klynge also affirms that issues such as biotechnology and artificial intelligence are existential in nature, and not purely commercial matters.
His efforts lie in making sure that democratic governments set the limits for the tech industry, and not the other way around. Meanwhile, we could ask ourselves: how are nations preparing for a new technology revolution?