Digital Council: Angela Merkel & # 39; s experts in the field of digitization

Kriterium "uncomfortable": in the Digitalrat of the federal government, the Federal Chancellery has appointed ten experts "who drive us, who ask us uncomfortable questions". That said, at least Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU).

Six men, four women, including three Austrians, one Swiss, one American. Some migration background, some rainbow, all highly qualified. The mixture is proud of the chancellery. On Wednesday, the members meet each other after their performance in the cabinet for the first meeting in Berlin. "I am convinced that, in general, we can only keep track of our government action if we constantly seek external advice", Merkel describes the group's idea.

Even the previous federal government promised digitization. She was oversleeping and must now be attacked with fervor, largely by the same politicians, starting with the head of the government. A new addition was Dorothee Bär (CSU) as state secretary for digitization at the chancellery (which the Gamescom Gamescom opened in Cologne during a press conference on the Digital Council) and CDU chancellery minister Helge Braun (who is still on holiday) who is charged with bundling all digital activities of the federal government).

There is even a newly established department 6 in the Federal Chancellor office "for the bundling and coordination of questions related to digitization" under the leadership of Merkel's conscientious objector, Eva Christiansen, who is currently in Berlin. Even a digital cabinet & # 39; exists, interested department heads could sign it and because no one wanted to be absent, the digital case is identical to the analog case.

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Familiar with the Chancellery: Angela Merkel and Eva Chrsitiansen for one of the coalition negotiation rounds in October

Given the now presented, but already decided in the coalition agreement, the malice of the working group, if you do not know further & # 39; and about the 'bewilderment best concealed by a council & # 39; to.

For example, the political AfD spokesperson Uwe Kamann criticized the digital board as a "further step in a non-result-oriented patchwork strategy". And chairman Frank Sitta of the FDP called for a digital ministry with clear, far-reaching powers & # 39; instead of the panel, which was only a placebo.

On the other hand, the federal government knows that development is fast. Other countries are so far beyond the dreamy Germany in this sector, whose school children may be partially happy if they can use computers from the 90s with floppy disks. That is why the ambitions are now being increased. Last month, the federal government published a key article on artificial intelligence (AI), stating that "AI made in Germany" should become a "globally recognized seal of approval".

Who are the members?

And now the digital board: it is led by Katrin Suder, a doctor in physics, former McKinsey manager and official secretary of state at the Ministry of Defense until her departure on her own request in March. Suder speaks of "challenge, joy and honor", which means working for her in the digital council. And then she says things that can be heard at the moment or something like that: "The impact of digitization on the economy, on the world of work, on society is already considerable, and that will continue." In order to manage and design this development, Digital Council wants to deliver its contribution.

Corresponding conditions are certainly shared by the members of the Digital Council. There is the lawyer Urs Gasser from the Swiss Solothurn, who works at the Harvard Law School as a director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. Beth Simone Noveck from New Jersey studied politics and German studies, was a professor of law at the New York Law School and, under Barack Obama, director of the White House Open Government Initiative. Chris Boos from Konstanz is the founder and CEO of Arago, a platform for research into and commercialization of artificial intelligence.

The Austrian Ada Pellert worked in Beijing for many years and is now rector of the Fernuniversität Hagen and chairman of the cooperation platform "Digitale Hochschule NRW". Her compatriot Peter Parycek is an expert in electronic governance and advised the government of Vienna. The Freiburg Andreas Weigend lives according to his own words in San Francisco, Shanghai and Bangkok "and on" and was among other things head of Amazon.

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Stephanie Kaiser from Rostock is the founder and managing director of Heartbeat Labs and supports startups from health care. IJad Madisch from Wolfsburg is a doctor, PhD virologist and founder and head of ResearchGate, a kind of Facebook for scientists. If Madisch, born in 1980, says he wants to win the Nobel Prize from an early age, it does not have to be a joke.

Whether the digital council meets now or twenty times a year can be subordinate to digital forums, videoconferences and other communication platforms. Crucially, it is probable whether the ten members understand themselves rather as high-ranking parliament or actually want to provide uncomfortable demands for speed (and can) on the previously considered safe, steep road from Germany to a digital leading force. Where, among others, Singapore, Sweden, of course the USA, but also Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands or Hong Kong romp.

Germany has so far made it too easy between copper cables and slow internet. But now, yes, now it comes uncomfortable.

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