Today we have an opportunity to put in place global strategies for making progress on grand challenges for tech policy. Well-selected grand challenges convey a sense of vision and push a field forward. At the same time, they must be tractable—that is, consist of actual projects of reasonable scale and ambition—for meaningful progress to be made. The goals of our Global Summit research initiative were threefold: (1) to frame an initial set of grand challenges for tech policy for the coming decade; (2) to identify actionable research and policy work to be conducted during the 24-months following the Summit that as a group would make progress on those grand challenges; and (3) to form collaborations and a conduit for continued discussion toward addressing and continually re-evaluating the grand challenges.
In summer 2016, we organized the first Global Summit on Grand Challenges for Tech Policy. We brought together individuals from organizations across Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, for a meeting to bridge disciplines and countries in pursuit of improved technology policy. We expect that as participants continue to meet at regular intervals, in addition to developing shared language, methods, best practices, shared resources, and experiences around tech policy, a natural outcome of the meetings would be trust building among the participants. Such trust, along with shared methods and language, would go a good distance toward positioning even more significant coordination of research and policy efforts among summit participants in the coming decade.