Upcoming Program


Technological innovation is fundamentally disrupting society, commercial sectors, and traditional spheres of governance. While these changes provide ample and exciting opportunities, they also create new fields and grey areas that have unmoored policy, law, and regulation. Can diverse stakeholders find common ground that will open incentives for wider cooperation on specific norms and best practices?

The 2020 program of the Salzburg Global Law and Technology Forum will bring together high-level representatives from technology, business, law, policy, academia, and civil society to address recent cybersecurity challenges, consider a broad, holistic approach to global cybersecurity, and reexamine options to establish practical, clear, enforceable behavioral norms to reduce threats. Forthcoming recommendations will be concrete, practical, and implementable.

Pressure is growing in many countries to more strictly regulate technology companies (and companies adopting new advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence). This is particularly the case when they act in legal grey areas to strengthen data protection, personal privacy, individual access to data, data portability, and opening access to source code.  Further, the national security threat landscape is evolving in such a way that regulators are reconsidering both the social responsibility of businesses such as online social platforms as well as the risks to governance posed by misinformation.  Regulators will need to coordinate across borders to address asymmetries, to consider these trends in an integrated way, and to find more internationally-workable balances between privacy and security, taking into account ethical frameworks from different societies. Differences in cultural norms make consensus in the cyber realm particularly difficult, and have exacerbated the lack of international norms for cybersecurity, particularly regarding the actions of nation states.

Many relevant laws and standard operating procedures do exist including the widely-adopted Budapest Convention (on cybercrime) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Despite divergent national security interests, law enforcement agencies often engage in cross-border coordination, sharing, and data transfer to help address cybercrime and cybersecurity threats. Though these mechanisms may need to be improved, the existence of norms in this area can be leveraged to drive progress, cooperation, and trust among countries more broadly.  The Tallinn Manual provides non-binding rules and principles, but leaves many legal questions unanswered or addressed and therefore open to many possible interpretations, particularly considering the pace of change.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) and, perhaps more importantly, the data conveyed across worldwide ICT systems are growing in importance to global and regional economies, national and local governments, and citizen and business activities. Devices from bedroom light switches to the electric grid, and from private automobiles to entire logistics systems are functional only because of the secure flow of data across networks not bound by national borders.  An ever-deepening expansion of in the use of technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and big data analytics threatens a crisis in trust and security that places a new urgency on revisiting the idea of international guidelines on behavioral norms for cybersecurity.

Meeting these challenges requires a multilateral approach, with the establishment of new norms through engagement with adversarial as well as allied governments, as well as leaders from transnational corporations, from civil society, and from high-profile networked groups of actors working to defend cyberspace. Microsoft’s President, Brad Smith, has proposed creating a “Digital Geneva Convention.” Two industry-led initiatives – the Microsoft-led Cybersecurity Tech Accord and the Siemens-led Charter of Trust – have garnered the support of numerous companies. In December 2018, over 60 national governments signed on to a high-level Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, which has been supported by hundreds of companies and civil society organizations.


This program will encourage participants to advance a transparent, multi-stakeholder process to develop a practical, enforceable, and implementable multilateral framework with provisions for behavioral norms for both state and non-state actors. Key questions will include:

  • What is the best vehicle to obtain participation from the broadest range of actors?
  • What can we do to achieve results considering past efforts by others?
  • How do we address resistance by some key national governments to participation in a multilateral framework?
  • How can a particular norm be enforced (e.g., concrete examples from other fields, state practice, other new initiatives and useful analogies)?
  • How can we ensure compliance? Should there be rewards for compliance?
  • How can we overcome obstacles such as secrecy and competition?
  • Is regulation always the best approach? What are alternative solutions?


The Salzburg Global Law and Technology Forum is creating a high-level cross-sectoral leadership network, connecting technology, business, law, policy, academia, and civil society.  It will equip judges, regulators, policymakers, and the legal profession to understand new technology; and help align law and ethics with technological progress. The Forum has two concrete goals:

  1. Facilitate peer-to-peer dialogue across sectors within an atmosphere of trust, to share perspectives and insights on critical challenges and emerging trends; and
  2. Enhance opportunities for cross-border regulatory frameworks, accords, and protocols, to clarify applicable rules and avoid conflicts of law or legal gaps.


Program Info
Participant Profile

The program will bring together a small (30-40 people) intergenerational group of peers, representing multiple sectors and countries. This diverse mix will enable participants to foster meaningful and ongoing relationships with stakeholders who may have different perceptions of technology and its role in the world. It will include leaders from:

  • Technology companies, including multinational technology giants (from the US, Europe, and China), telecoms companies, and device manufacturers;
  • Law firms operating across jurisdictions;
  • Jurists, regulators, and policymakers as well as their clerks or senior advisors;
  • Thought-leaders from academia or think tanks, and emerging talent from law schools;
  • Civil society activists representing a variety of viewpoints (for example on freedom of speech or digital privacy); and
  • New players and up-and-coming disruptors.

Consistent with Salzburg Global Seminar’s track record, and given the current under-representation of women in leadership roles in the technology sector, the program will ensure high diversity and inclusion among participants.

Program Format

The highly-interactive discussion-based program will take place in both plenary and breakout sessions. Participants from radically different legal perspectives, technological settings, and cultural backgrounds, will come together on equal terms to learn and reflect across divides, focusing on barriers and synergies. Strict adherence to the Chatham House Rule ensures a completely open and free exchange.


Salzburg Global Seminar is an international not-for profit institutions with offices and activities in multiple countries. A US 501(c)(3) institution, Salzburg Global Seminar's annual budget is set US Dollars and program fees are calculated on $5150 per person basis for 4-5 day programs and $3600 per person for 2-3 day programs. Annual exchange rate calculations for program fees in EUR are calculated using an average of previous years.

For this meeting, we offer an introductory fee of $2,200.

This fee covers the cost of the program, program materials, accommodation and meals. The fee does not cover travel costs to Salzburg.

Scholarships and Discounts: In order to gather individuals from a wide variety of sectors and countries, where funding allows, Salzburg Global may be able to offer a limited number of scholarships and discounts to participants and Fellows from universities, research institutes, think-tanks, non-governmental organizations, and public officials from developing (non-OECD) countries. If you would like to apply for a scholarship or discount, please send your CV or brief bio and personal statement to

After your registration for a session is accepted, payment is due within five (5) business days after receipt of the confirmation. Payment can be made via credit card (Mastercard or Visa) or by bank transfer.

Cancellation Fees: In case of cancellation, a participant may transfer registration to another member of the participant's organization (city, department, firm, etc.) upon mutual agreement. Alternatively:

  • Cancellation more than 60 days before the program: 100% refund
  • Cancellation less than 60 days and more than 30 days before the event: 50% refund
  • Cancellation less than 30 days, but more than 14 days: 25% refund
  • Cancellation less than 14 days: no refund