Building the World We Want: Artificial Intelligence and Global Governance

Wed. Sep 20, 2023 7:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
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Acclaimed scholar and writer Alondra Nelson leads a discussion on the transnational impacts of artificial intelligence and the need for global collaboration.


  • Karen Kornbluh, Distinguished Fellow for Technology and Competitiveness, German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and former U.S. Ambassador to the OECD

  • Maria Ressa, CEO and President of Rappler

  • Olatunbosun Tijani, the Honorable Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy for the Republic of Nigeria

  • Tim Wu, Julius Silver Professor of Law, Science and Technology, Columbia University

  • Alondra Nelson, Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve the lives of many people across the world. The breakneck pace of its development has also highlighted its potential for harm—and the urgent need for robust and innovative policy and governance. This panel of experts examines what forms of global collaboration are needed to address issues such as inequality and climate change, privacy protections, and human rights. From shared regulation and alignment of democratic laws, to equitable benefit distribution, to the prevention of dangerous AI proliferation, to the consolidation of power and more, the evolving nature of AI—combined with its global impact—requires the untangling of complex dynamics to provide a clear picture for effective future policymaking and to engender a more just and safer world.

Presented in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Study and the AI Policy and Governance Working Group.

To join the event in person | Doors will open 45 minutes before the program begins. Purchase a drink from the NYPL bar and a snack from Amy's Bread while you mingle before the event! For LIVE from NYPL events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment; we will do our best to accommodate everyone. Booked seats that have not been claimed will be released shortly before start time, and seats may become available then. A standby line will form 45 minutes before the program.

To join the livestream | A livestream of this event will be available on the NYPL event page. To receive an email reminder shortly in advance of the event, please be sure to register! If you encounter any issues, please join us on NYPL's YouTube channel.


Karen Kornbluh headshotAmbassador Karen Kornbluh has helped shape policy as a public servant and diplomat since the early days of the commercial internet. The New York Times called her a "passionate and effective advocate for economic equality," and she was named one of Washingtonian magazine's top influencers. She is currently Distinguished Fellow for Technology and Competitiveness at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. and chairs the boards of both Radio Free Europe and the Open Technology Fund.

Kornbluh was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate to serve as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic multilateral institution based in Paris, where she spearheaded the first global internet policymaking principles, led the effort to provide open access to OECD data, and launched the OECD Gender Initiative.

Kornbluh served as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury Department and director of the Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission, where she negotiated early international and domestic internet policies. She was policy director for Senator Barack Obama and the author of his 2008 platform.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Kornbluh is a recognized thought leader on international technology policy, appearing widely in the media, and publishing broadly, including on The New Foreign Policy of Technology and The Washington Post.

Alondra Nelson headshotAlondra Nelson is the Harold F. Linder Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. A former deputy assistant to President Joe Biden, she served as acting director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. At OSTP, Nelson drove strategy to develop science and technology policy that expands economic opportunity and ensures that innovation works to strengthen democratic values. She led the development of the White House’s “AI Bill of Rights,” which lays the groundwork to safeguard people’s rights and access to opportunities as algorithms and AI reach further into our lives. She was previously president of the Social Science Research Council, and in this role developed a series of initiatives that brought research to bear on the impact of technology platforms on society. An acclaimed researcher, Nelson is the author of several books, including The Social Life of DNA. Her essays, reviews, and commentary have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Wired, and Science. She is a distinguished senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Council of Foreign Relations.

Maria Ressa headshotMaria Ressa co-founded Rappler, the top digital only news site that is leading the fight for press freedom in the Philippines. As Rappler's CEO and president, Maria has endured constant political harassment and arrests by the Duterte government, forced to post bail ten times to stay free. Rappler's battle for truth and democracy is the subject of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival documentary, A Thousand Cuts.

For her courage and journalistic integrity, Maria has received numerous accolades. In October 2021, she was one of two journalists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her "efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace."

In 2022, she was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to the Leadership Panel of the Internet Governance Forum and serves as its Vice-Chair.

She is an inaugural Carnegie Distinguished Fellow at Columbia University’s newly launched Institute of Global Politics, where starting this fall she will lead several projects related to the role of artificial intelligence in democracy. In July 2024, she will join the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs as a professor of professional practice.

Maria authored Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al-Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia and From Bin Laden to Facebook. Her most recent book, How to Stand Up to a Dictator, was released in November 2022 and has been translated into 20 languages with more to come next year.

Maria focuses critical attention on the breakdown of our global information ecosystem and how interconnected communities of action can hold the line to protect democratic values.

Olatunbosun Tijani headshotDr. 'Bosun Tijani is the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He is the co-founder and former CEO of Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB), the leading pan-African technology and innovation center with presence in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Namibia. Under his leadership, CcHUB became a vital catalyst for the African tech ecosystem, promoting collaboration, knowledge sharing and the development of groundbreaking solutions to local and global challenges.

Prior to CcHUB, he led the networking and coordination of innovation agencies across Europe as European Innovation Manager at PERA, and also previously worked at the International Trade Centre, in Geneva Switzerland.

Dr. Tijani holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Jos, a Masters degree in Information Systems and Management from Warwick University and a Doctorate degree in Innovation and Economic Development from the University of Leicester. He is also an adjunct professor at the Wits School of Governance, South Africa, a Desmond Tutu Fellow and fellow of the Centre for Democracy and Rule of Law at the prestigious Stanford University.

Timothy Wu headshotTim Wu is the Silver Professor of Law, Science and Technology at Columbia University Law School. He was previously an official in the Biden White House, where he served as special assistant to the President for Competition and Technology Policy. He is the author of four books, including The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age (2018), The Attention Merchants (2016), and The Master Switch (2010). Named by National Law Journal as one of America's 100 most influential lawyers, he clerked for Justice Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, and lives in New York city with his wife and two daughters.


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In-Person | Assistive listening devices and/or hearing loops are available at the venue. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template. This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs. 

Livestream | Captions and a transcript will be provided. Media used over the course of the conversation will be accompanied by alt text and/or audio description. You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email or use this Gmail template.



For questions and inquiries, please email or use this Gmail template.

Please submit all press inquiries to Sara Beth Joren at least 48 hours before the event: email or use this Gmail template.

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LIVE from NYPL is made possible by the continuing generosity of Celeste Bartos, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos, the Margaret and Herman Sokol Public Education Endowment Fund, and the support of Library patrons and friends.

Courtesy Karen Kornbluh
Alondra Nelson © Dan Komoda
Courtesy Maria Ressa
Courtesy Olatunbosun Tijani
Courtesy Timothy Wu

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Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Celeste Bartos Forum 476 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018