Our Digital Vision | #mediadev - media development insights and analysis | DW | 29.09.2015
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Our Digital Vision

How can we advance freedom of expression in the digital world? For DW Akademie, that's a key question. Our Digital Vision seeks an answer by focusing on people and their fundamental human rights.

It is a vision with ambitious goals to make the world a better place by 2030. A more peaceful world with less poverty and greater freedoms. A world in which all people have the right to freely seek information and express their ideas.

This is the vision of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals with specific targets to realize this global vision.

The digital revolution will play a decisive role in influencing the future of humanity. By 2030, three out of four people will have access to digital information and communication technologies. But what will this digital world of the future look like? Who will have access to these technologies? Who will determine the rules of the Internet?

The ideal future could look like this: People live in a highly interconnected world where the Internet is governed by democratic norms and information is available to everyone; the rules of the Internet are transparent and Internet users play a role in shaping these rules; people are able to express themselves in the digital realm freely and without fear; and privacy is respected.

Of course, the digital world of the future may instead look bleak: While some people enjoy special privileges, others are excluded, muzzled or manipulated; the Internet is fragmented into separate national networks; authorities monitor information and communication technologies and corporations collect, store and utilize people's digital activities for commercial purposes; only the members of a privileged elite can take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies.

This scenario would have disastrous consequences for freedom of expression and access to information around the world.

As Germany's leading international media development organization, DW Akademie is concentrating its efforts on supporting freedom of expression and information around the world. Because digital technologies increasingly form an integral part of people's lives, our work includes strengthening freedom of expression and enhancing active citizen participation in the digital realm. Only when people have access to information and are able to freely express their ideas can they shape their own lives and have a fair chance of development.

Inspired by the idea of an open and inclusive digital realm, we at DW Akademie have developed our own vision for the digital world. This vision will flow into a digital strategy which, when implemented, will integrate digital transformation into every part of our work. Our digital strategy is based on the German government's Digital Agenda as well as the development principles of Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), our primary donor. DW Akademie and our partners are embracing digital transformation and working to fulfill our digital vision.

Read on:

Part 2. What we envisage: Advancing all human rights

DW Akademie puts people and people's fundamental human rights at the center of its activities, with particular emphasis on enabling marginalized groups and communities to claim and exercise their rights.

Part 3. What we do: Skillfully navigate digital transformation

DW Akademie strengthens human rights, fosters a vibrant public sphere and supports participation for all. According to its public service mandate, DW Akademie, together with its partners, supports the development of free and transparent media systems.

Part 4. How we work: joining forces with our partners

Just like our partner organizations, DW Akademie operates in a constantly changing environment, a characteristic of the digital age. Successfully navigating these changes is an integral part of our activities.