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Global Forum on Fundamental Rights in AI & Digital Societies Ends with Call for Urgent Action to build International Legal & Regulatory Frameworks to Protect

Boston-Madrid, September 9, 2021 — This week’s high-level online Policy Lab, sponsored by the Club de Madrid and Boston Global Forum, explored ideas and strategies to arrive at an International Accord on AI and Digital Rights. The forum ended today with an urgent call to action for stakeholders to work toward an Accord that facilitates innovation while protecting rights in AI and Digital Societies.

The three-day CdM-BGF Policy Lab featured vibrant plenary sessions that facilitated discussions about concepts and issues facing policymakers around the globe as they negotiate frameworks for AI and Digital Societies. Many of the discussions highlighted the significant contributions contained in the new book, “Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment” published by the UN Centennial Initiative.

On the final day, the Plenary VI session focused on The Social Contract for the AI Age as the standard for the AI International Accord and Global Alliance for Digital Governance. The session, entitled “Building safer, equitable and trustworthy AI and digital societies: The AI International Accord (AIIA)”, featured speakers including:


William Hoffman, Head of Data-Driven Development, World Economic Forum

Lead Speaker:

Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, Director, MIT Connection Science and Human Dynamics labs, Co-author of the Social Contract for the AI Age


Zlatko Lagumdžija, Member of Club de Madrid, Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001-2002), Distinguished Contributor to the book “Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment”

Esko Aho, Member of Club de Madrid, Prime Minister of Finland (1991-1995)

Karine Caunes, Global Program Director, Center for AI and Digital Policy (CAIDP)

Gregor Strojin, Chair of the Council of Europe’s Committee on Artificial Intelligence (CAHAI)

Closing Remarks:

Nguyen Anh Tuan, CEO of the Boston Global Forum (BGF), Director of the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation

María Elena Agüero, Secretary General of Club de Madrid (CdM)

Speakers agreed that the global community cannot wait for governments or international organizations to act. The Global Alliance for Digital Governance will take action to connect think tanks, influencers, experts, and citizens to contribute to building International Laws, International Accord on AI and Digital, while simultaneously working with governments and international organizations towards this goal.

Remaking the World takes a major step toward creating a “rights-based agenda for the global governance of AI and digital societies,” says Nguyen Anh Tuan, who edited the book and serves as CEO of the Boston Global Forum (BGF). “We’re moving toward a framework, an ecosystem, a social contract for the AI age.” Tuan also directs the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation.

The 256-page book is made up of white papers, speeches, remarks, and other presentations at events held during the pandemic and sponsored or co-sponsored by BGF. Among the contributors are well known policy makers and innovators such as Ursula von de Leyen, President of the European Commission, Ashton Carter, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Vint Cerf, “the father of the Internet” and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google; former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis.

The opening chapter, authored by leading scholars and policy makers affiliated with the Boston-based group, proposes a “social contract,” or an agreement among members of global society to cooperate in the interests of social wellbeing. Just as TCP / IP is the platform for communication among internet users, the Social Contract for AI Age is a platform for connection among governments, stakeholders, and private and public institutions. One of many principles enunciated is that individuals have a right to both privacy and “access and control over their own data.”

Tuan added that Remaking the World, along with the Policy Lab, represents the first time that prominent international leaders are coming together to lay the groundwork for global AI accords. The book is currently in an electronic edition and will be available in print soon.

For more information, or to review video summaries of the Policy Lab, please visit:

About the Boston Global Forum

The Boston Global Forum (BGF), in collaboration with the United Nations Centennial Initiative, released a major work entitled Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment.

More than twenty distinguished leaders, scholars, analysts, and thinkers put forth unprecedented approaches to the challenges before us. These include President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Governor Michael Dukakis, Father of Internet Vint Cerf, Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Harvard University Professors Joseph Nye and Thomas Patterson, MIT Professors Nazli Choucri and Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, and European Parliament Member Eva Kaili.

The BGF introduced core concepts shaping path breaking international initiatives, notably, the Social Contract for the AI Age, an AI International Accord, the Global Alliance for Digital Governance, the AI World Society (AIWS) Ecosystem, and AIWS City.

About the Club de Madrid

Club de Madrid is the world’s largest forum of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, who leverage their individual and collective leadership experience and global reach to strengthen inclusive democratic practice and improve the well-being of people around the world.

As a non-partisan and international non-profit organisation, it counts on the hands-on governance experience of more than 100 Members from over 70 countries, along with a global network of advisers and partners across all sectors of society.

This unique alliance stimulates dialogue, builds bridges and engages in advocacy efforts to strengthen public policies and effective leadership through recommendations that tackle challenges such as, inclusion, sustainable development and peace at the national and multilateral level.

Links and Attachment:

  • Media kit for Policy Lab
  • Registration for Policy Lab
  • About the Boston Global Forum
  • Cover of Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment


Nguyen Anh Tuan: [email protected], 617-286-6589

Jim McManus: j[email protected], 617-413-9232