Last August, Denmark appointed Casper Klynge as the world’s first ever Tech Ambassador. According to the Danish government, a formal diplomatic platform is needed for dialogue and collaboration on wide-ranging topics with the tech industry. Although based in California’s Palo Alto and supported by a team spanning three continents, Klynge, 44, travels between Silicon Valley and Copenhagen and the seats of tech giants all over the world. His mission is to establish diplomatic ties à la 4.0 and ultimately build strategic partnerships and engage directly with tech-hubs, governments, international organizations, civil society, cities, regions, world-class universities and other stakeholders. Klynge’s role has been created amid the growing influence of Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook, whose revenue now exceeds some nations’ gross domestic products.
“Two strong partners, one competitive region”
The Dane is among keynote speakers at the upcoming 3rd Hamburg Copenhagen Business Forum on February 28, 2018 in the Chamber of Commerce under the theme “Two strong partners, one competitive region“. This year, emphasis is on e-health, intelligent energy solutions, modern transport and digital transformation in the property sector. Other keynote speakers include Olaf Scholz, Mayor of Hamburg, Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, and Lene Espersen, former Foreign Minister of Denmark. Initiated by the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg and the German-Danish Chamber of Commerce, the forum has alternated between Copenhagen and Hamburg since 2014.
Establishing a new diplomatic language
Klynge will outline his pioneering role as a tech and digital diplomat, in short TechPlomacy, which acknowledges the key role of technology now and in the future for individuals and societies alike. At stake is both the global and social responsibility of companies. Klynge is bent on encouraging their acknowledgement thereof and believes: “We need a new diplomatic language that stresses both the risks and opportunities of digitalisation honestly.” And the latest development holds diverse opportunities. He added: “I truly believe that technology can solve many big challenges of our times. Big data, for instance, could be used astutely to revolutionise the fight against cancer. Generally speaking, digitalisation holds multifaceted opportunities for the health sector – both in prevention and therapy.” Such innovative, digital health concepts from Denmark and Hamburg will top the agenda at the HCBF and be presented for discussion.
Reorganised society and companies needed
Commenting on the risks of digital transformation, Klynge noted: “Forecasts about the future are difficult. We will see several waves of disruption that require a reorganised society and companies. We note the advantages of technology. Yet, we also want to ensure that data protection, ethical limits of bio-technology or artificial intelligence are not forgotten.” However, no country alone can solve the present big changes, Klynge believes. “We must work together and Europe must spearhead this movement.” At present, Klynge is tryng to sound out how this movement might develop. “I am trying to generate knowledge and to keep an eye on trends to prepare the population. A diplomat’s classic role is to observe what’s happening in the world and to bring the information home.”