Aspen Cybersecurity & Technology Program Mission Statement

Cybersecurity, it turns out, is modern life. It’s the way we bank, shop, learn. And, increasingly, it’s the way we drive, heat our homes, and even vote. Protecting our digital lives is no longer just about ensuring we don’t lose our family pictures—it’s about protecting our values, our health, our culture, and our democracy. The attacks of the last decade by nation-states, organized crime groups, and even individual hackers threaten to undermine trust in not just our institutions but also in the very information that powers our society, from financial and medical records to the news that informs our society.

Figuring out how to manage these risks is critical as we stand on the cusp of another societal transformation—the move to the so-called “Internet of things” where connected devices include everything from our cars, drones in the sky and even to pacemakers embedded in our hearts.

The goal of the Aspen Institute’s Cybersecurity & Technology Program will be to offer educational resources and share knowledge across industries and sectors, as well as to convene and cajole both government and private sector leaders to discuss these challenges and to offer policy solutions to help shape and create a safe and secure online environment.

Our goal with this new program is to recognize that while the world is a better place because of the rapid pace of technology innovation, we need stronger—and faster—solutions to keep pace with the ever-evolving digital threat landscape. What has enriched our economy and quality of life for the past several decades may start to hurt us more than help us—unless we confront its cybersecurity challenges.

Through both public events and a closed-door, invitation-only strategy group that brings together serious thinkers from Washington, Silicon Valley, academia, journalism, and the private sector, the Aspen Institute’s Cyber & Technology Program will help shape the future of our nation’s security online and ensure that the Internet remains a key driver of American innovation.

Through traditional policy papers and innovative new-media offerings, the program will encourage knowledge sharing and help shape the future of Internet governance through the creation of a consistent legal regime and through the establishment of cross-sector industry standards and international norms of cyber behavior.