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Engaging Silicon Valley on
the Global Governance of
Frontier Technologies

Technology is the big game changer in international relations. Global technology companies have emerged as new non-state actors influencing foreign policy. New frontier technologies change the geopolitical landscape, impact our basic human rights, and challenge cyber security. Policy makers often find it hard to keep up with the unprecedented speed of these changes.


Tech diplomacy is an attempt to initiate a dialogue between nation states and tech companies, including relevant stakeholders from civil society, academia, and the arts, on key technologies based on what citizens rather consumers want.

Open Austria engages in tech diplomacy in Silicon Valley where many of the key technologies originate. In 2020, its co-director Martin Rauchbauer was appointed first Austrian Tech Ambassador. Austria aspires to be a bridge builder between nation states and the global tech industry, often transcending geopolitical fault lines. Open Austria brings to tech diplomacy an unwavering commitment to human rights in the digital age combined with a strong belief in the need for a new digital humanism.

Open Austria spearheaded and co-leads the Playground initiative, bringing together like-minded diplomats based in Silicon Valley to discuss best Tech Diplomacy practices and engaged with the private sector.

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Tech Policy Roundtable with Former Attorney General of California and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra - Sept 21, 2018_@ Copyright_Open Austria

Tech Diplomacy

Open Austria is a member of the Tech Diplomacy Network, which was launched  on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco. The Diplomatic Corps, representatives from civil society, the private sector and academia came together to honor the official launch of the Network.


The Tech Diplomacy Network, a joint initiative of the Berggruen Institute, the World Economic Forum (C4IR) and the DiploFoundation, aims to foster collaboration and dialogue between the diplomatic community, civil society and the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. By sharing best practices and exchanging ideas, covering a broad range of topics such as digital human rights, cyber security, e-governance and others, the Network aims to navigate complex and rapidly-changing technologies in an interconnected world.  


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Multistakeholder panel on Tech Diplomacy and Governance with Austrian Tech Envoy, Isabella Tomás - Feb 23, 2023_ © Copyright_Open Austria

Freedom Online Coalition (FOC)

Protecting Human Rights in the Digital Age

New technologies such as online surveillance tools can severely impact fundamental rights. Open Austria attempts at engaging the private sector in Silicon Valley to educate, advocate, and find common ground for safeguarding human rights both online and offline. Austria is one of the 34 members of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC) who work to support internet freedom worldwide.

Austria spearheaded the FOC Silicon Valley Working Group, bringing members of the FOC together with the private sector and civil society members based on the US West Coast.

Interested in a program?

Let’s chat!

Isabella Tomás

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