McCourt Institute launches in Paris with a public half-day event on the future of tech governance

PARIS, March 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Despite the internet’s many benefits, our current tech structure is enabling platforms and business practices that erode trust, fuel misinformation and polarization, and exacerbate economic inequity. As we are witnessing right now, some of the world’s biggest tech companies are being put to the test as their platforms have turned into battlefields of an information war between Moscow, Kyiv, and the West. In part, this is because today’s web was designed and has grown without clear standards or governance principles that support the common good.

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To address the civic challenges caused by our current tech structure and lay the foundation for a healthier digital future, the McCourt Institute is gathering experts and innovators from a broad range of backgrounds and communities for an inaugural event at the McCourt Institute’s Sciences Po campus location in Paris, France.

The McCourt Institute Inaugural Event: The Future of Tech Governance will take place on Thursday, March 10, 2022 from 2:30 until 6:30 pm CET at Sciences Po, 13, rue de l’Université in Paris.

Additionally, at the opening session of this event will be announced the McCourt Institute’s 2022 grants. Through the McCourt Institute, Sciences Po and Georgetown University will each receive grants of $25 million over 10 years to support the development of new scientific work and to advance research on technology for the common good, conducted by their community of researchers. Funded projects are selected and administered directly by Georgetown University and Sciences Po Steering Committees, and retain full academic freedom.

Frank McCourt, founder of the McCourt Institute, founder of Project Liberty, and chairman and CEO of McCourt Global stated:

“It’s time to reset how technology is designed, developed, and leveraged – not as a vehicle to benefit a select few, but as a tool for the common good. Through this Institute, we have a critical opportunity to research and redefine the standards for creating technology that better serves society.”

The event will include an impressive line-up of experts on the topic of tech governance, ranging from government leaders, academics, CEOs, journalists, and others, including:

  • Marie-Laure Denis, President of the French data protection authority (CNIL)
  • Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Government of Portugal
  • Frank McCourt, Chairman & CEO, McCourt Global and Founder of the Institute
  • Bertrand Perez, Chief Operations Officer of the Web3 Foundation
  • Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at the Cyber Policy Center and International and Policy Fellow at the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence of Stanford University
  • Andreas Schwab, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, German), DMA Rapporteur
  • And others – full list here

This inaugural half-day event promises to be full of insightful presentations and thought-provoking debates exploring the development of Web3 technologies and their related governance structures. This event will convene technologists, social scientists, ethicists, public policy and governance experts, and leaders from the public and private sectors to advance discussion on a new decentralized web paradigm and explore what’s at stake for society. 

Mathias Vicherat, president of Sciences Po noted:

I am convinced that the study of the impacts of the use of digital technologies and the issues related to digital sovereignty will provide a lasting structure to the work of our academic researchers. Beyond understanding the mechanisms, our academic communities are also committed to producing solutions for the common good. This is a fundamental challenge for our democracies in the years to come.

The partnership with the McCourt Institute is therefore directly in line with our institutional strategy and I am delighted that it will enable us to accelerate our developments. In this context, I welcome the prospects of collaboration with Georgetown University with great impatience and I am very proud that Sciences Po is one of the pillars of this ambitious initiative.

The McCourt Institute’s inaugural Executive Director Shéhérazade Semsarde Boisséson affirmed:

“The McCourt Institute aims to be a transatlantic convening power when it comes to the future of tech governance and developing solutions for a better digital future. This inaugural event will contribute important ideas and diverse voices to this debateand importantly, it will be forward-looking and solutions oriented.”

The full agenda and list of speakers, along with details including time and location, may be found on the event page here. The event will be on the record and open to the public. Anyone may register here.


The McCourt Institute

Established in 2021 with founding partners Sciences Po in Paris and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., the McCourt Institute aims to ensure that digital governance is prioritized in the development of new technology and embedded in the next generation of the web. It supports the goals of Project Liberty, a visionary initiative launched by civic entrepreneur, business leader, and philanthropist Frank McCourt in 2021 to transform how the internet works, create a more equitable digital economy, and develop a new civic architecture for the digital world.

Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt is a civic entrepreneur, founder of Project Liberty, founder of the McCourt Institute, and chairman and CEO of McCourt Global.



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