MatchPoints Conference: Democracy and Culture in the Digital Age

MatchPoints 2021 brings together internationally acclaimed researchers, journalists, politicians, and business leaders to explore a rapidly changing world, where digital technologies, social media, and the internet play an ever-bigger role.

Dato & tidspunkt


Aarhus University


The internet brought hopes of a broader and better democratic culture, where everyone could participate directly in public debate. Reality turned out to be more complicated. Hate speech, nameless trolls and a fractured public sphere are just some of the challenges brought on by digitalization. Still, digital technologies continue to carry great promise and spearhead innovation. Challenges like climate change and the Covid-19 crisis may well be unsolvable without the internet’s infrastructure. But how was that infrastructure built, and who profits from it?

MatchPoints 2021 explores the hopes and fears of an age where digitization is both ubiquitous and more ambiguous than ever. With democracy, the economy, a worldwide pandemic, the fabric of culture and even the fate of the planet at stake, there has never been a better time to consider the relation between digitalization and society. The conference features international keynote speakers and panels organized by Aarhus University researchers. MatchPoints 2021 has a hybrid format, meaning that you can participate either in person, choosing between four thematic tracks, or virtually in the main track.

Aarhus University, May 27–29
Read more and register

MatchPoints 2021 consists of four parallel tracks:

  • Democracy in the Digital Age focuses on the effects of digitalization and social media on democratic politics, journalism, and the economy.
  • Communication and Education explores the nature of digital communication: between scientists and citizens, teachers and students, politicians and voters.
  • Building a Digital Society dives into the digital infrastructures that underpin our world, tracing their effects on culture, privacy, leadership, and sustainable growth.
  • Grand Challenges! Digital Solutions? tackles some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as the health crisis, climate change, and the future of humanity


SELECT PANELS – find the full program and register for the conference at

  • Leadership in the Digital Age, Saturday, May 29
    How can leaders take advantage of the new tools at their disposal, and prepare their businesses for a better, healthier, digital age?
    With: Lars Frelle-Petersen (Secretary of State), Søren Ilsøe (Deloitte), Lotte Bøgh Andersen (Aarhus University), Davor Meersman (Open & Agile Smart Cities), and more.
  • New Digital Economy and Cybersecurity, Friday, May 28
    What possibilities do new technologies like blockchain offer, and where are netbanking and etrading headed? What challenges do they pose for privacy and cybersecurity?
    With: Lars Seier Christensen (founder of Saxo Bank), Thomas Lund-Sørensen (Center for Cybersecurity), Rikke Zeberg (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen), DreamPlan, Danske Commodities, and more.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality, Saturday, May 29
    Leading researchers gather to discuss the future of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. What lies ahead for these game-changing technologies?
    With: Sune Wolff (Unity Studios), Ken Perlin (New York University), Stephen Alstrup (SupWiz), Christel Schaldemose (European Parliament), and more.
  • Climate Change and the IT sector, Friday, May 28
    The problems of climate change cannot be solved without digital technologies. How can the IT sector contribute to solving the greatest challenge of our time?
    With: Steen Hildebrandt (Aarhus University), Torsten Bondo (DHI), Tage Duer (Klimarådet), Per Tejs Knudsen (cBrain), Natasha Friis Saxberg (IT-Branchen) and more.
  • Health Tech, Science, and Social Trust, Thursday, May 27
    In the wake of Covid-19, health tech is more important than ever. But how can the data doctors collect be handled responsibly, and how can we ensure social trust in the medical sciences?
    With: Morten Sodemann (University of Southern Denmark), Hanne Marie Motzfeldt (University of Copenhagen), Bogi Eliasen (Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies) and more