The work of RIE can be broadly divided into the effect of technology in the thematic areas of democratic practice, the economic system and global ecology.
A prime example in recent decades has been the arrival of digital technologies. Fundamental conceptions of the limits of space and time changed as it became possible to share ever greater quantities of information to and from anywhere around the globe. The ramifications of these powerful technologies were at first only seen as progress as industry after industry transformed. However, this cataclysmic change is impacting society in myriad ways that are only now beginning to be understood (more detailed analysis can be found in our report on Democracy in a Digital Society). It is important that new digital tools and the growing digital infrastructure are not used to undermine our democratic processes but rather to enhance them.
New technologies are also affecting the world of business and challenging existing fiscal systems more generally. Digitalisation has helped drive increasing automation and financialisation of capital markets, resulting in offshoring of labour and capital and a general trend of growing inequality. There are few topics upon which people disagree more than taxation, but most people would agree that certain trends risk destabilising the socioeconomic fabric of society and that economic reform is needed. A more detailed analysis can be found in our white paper on An Ideal Fiscal System for the 21st Century.
There is arguably no area in more urgent need of reform than the relationship between our use of technology and the natural world. This has been recognised by governments around the world and can be seen in the landmark European Green Deal which includes a pledge for the EU to be climate-neutral by 2050. This will require huge changes in sectors including industry, energy and agriculture. The scale and pace of the transformation called for will naturally lead to disagreements on the most effective use of technology to meet our goals. For this reason, Re-Imagine Europa has undertaken to build a network of stakeholders from across society including policymakers, parliamentarians, academia, CSOs, NGOs and industry to discuss and debate the use of technology in these areas.
Currently, RIE is working on three Task Forces: