Audrey Tang

Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s 1st Digital Minister (2016-2024), is celebrated for her pioneering efforts in digital democracy. Named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in AI” in 2023, Tang was instrumental in shaping Taiwan’s internationally acclaimed COVID-19 response and in safeguarding the 2024 presidential and legislative elections from foreign cyber interference.
 
Tang is now focused on broadening her vision of Plurality — technology for collaborative diversity — to inspire global audiences.
 
Audrey Tang

As the first nonbinary cabinet member globally, Tang identifies as “post-gender” and is comfortable with any pronouns. She is a respected community leader and a founding contributor to g0v, an initiative promoting transparency by making information about Taiwan’s economy, history, politics, and culture accessible.

Tang has been key in developing participation platforms such as Join.gov.tw, leading to practical improvements like enhanced access to tax software and revised cancer treatment regulations. A “conservative anarchist,” Tang is dedicated to boosting digital competence and safeguarding information integrity online through collective intelligence.

A child prodigy, Tang excelled in advanced mathematics by age six and computer programming by age eight. By 19, she had held significant positions in software companies and worked as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Growing up in a large, pro-democracy family, Tang embraced pluralism and the internet’s potential to connect people based on shared interests rather than geography, fueling her drive for global impact.

In Taiwan, Tang’s generation has always intertwined politics with the internet, striving for a more transparent and inclusive society. Despite Taiwan’s martial law history, Tang and her fellow civic technologists have achieved internationally acclaimed progress toward greater governmental transparency.

During the 2014 Sunflower Movement, Tang played a crucial role in livestreaming protests against a trade agreement with Beijing, facilitating real-time communication that led to more peaceful negotiations and the movement’s success.

“Democracy can evolve.” Tang says. “We can create innovative policies by simply asking the people, ‘What should we do together?’”

There is also promising news behind Tang’s grand plan: more than half the world’s population – over 4 billion people – are holding elections in 2024. That’s over 70 countries.

Says Tang, “I want to be a good enough ancestor for future generations.”

Find out more about how you can invite Audrey Tang to your next event. Click here.

⿻ 數位 Plurality: The Future of Collaborative Technology and Democracy

 

Digital technology has catalyzed polarization, inequality, loneliness and fear.

Plurality details how Digital Minister Audrey Tang and her collaborators – architects of Taiwan’s internationally acclaimed digital democracy – achieved inclusive, technology-fueled growth that harnesses digital tools to strengthen both social unity and diversity.

From intimate digitally empowered telepathy to global trade running on social networks rather than money, Plurality offers tools to radically enrich relationships while making sure we leave no one behind.

The ideas promise to transform every sector from health care to media, as illustrated by the way it has been written: as a chorus of open, self-governing collaboration of voices from around the globe.

Watch the trailer for Audrey’s upcoming documentary, Good Enough Ancestor

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Sample Talks

Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s pioneering Digital Minister, will take you on a journey through the transformative power of AI in enhancing democratic processes.

1. The Evolution of Digital Democracy: How Taiwan has leveraged AI and digital platforms to increase transparency, citizen participation, and mutual trust.
2. Safeguarding Elections: Strategies employed to protect the 2024 presidential and legislative elections from foreign cyber interference.
3. Plurality: How technology can be harnessed to promote cooperative diversity and inclusive governance, with real-world examples that have led to significant policy changes and improved public services.

Join Tang to understand how AI can be a force for good in democracies worldwide and learn how these innovations can be applied in your own country.

In this compelling presentation, Audrey Tang will delve into the importance of collective intelligence in today’s digital age. Key points include:

1. Harnessing Public Input: How open source platforms can empower citizens to contribute democratically, in order to overcome polarization and manipulation.
2. Transparency and Trust: The role of open data and transparent governance in building trust between the government and the public.
3. Real-Time Collaboration: Lessons from the Sunflower Movement and how real-time digital communication can facilitate peaceful and productive political negotiations.
4. Global Impact: Examples from Taiwan’s successful COVID-19 response and election safeguarding efforts that demonstrate the power of collective intelligence on a global scale.

Tang will illustrate how leveraging the wisdom of the crowd can lead to innovative solutions and a more resilient society.

Audrey Tang, a renowned digital pioneer, will share insights on building a resilient digital society. The talk will cover:

1. Digital Competence: Strategies for safeguarding online information integrity and enhance resilience for all in today’s interconnected world.
2. Technological Pluralism: How embracing diverse technological solutions can strengthen societal resilience.
3. Inclusive Innovation: Tang’s approach to creating policies that are not only innovative but also inclusive and participatory, ensuring that all voices are heard.

Through real-world examples and forward-thinking strategies, Tang will inspire you to build a digital society that is both innovative and resilient, capable of facing the challenges of the future

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Audrey's take on Plurality

Audrey Tang’s philosophy on plurality is centered on the idea of using technology to enhance democratic engagement and collaboration. This approach emphasizes the importance of diversity and inclusion in the digital age. Tang advocates for leveraging digital tools to foster a participatory form of governance where citizens are actively involved in decision-making processes.

Key aspects of Tang’s philosophy include:

  1. Digital Democracy: Tang believes in creating a digital democracy where technology is used to enhance transparency, inclusiveness, and public participation. This includes using online platforms for civic engagement and crowdsourcing ideas from citizens to address public issues.

  2. Collaborative Governance: Tang emphasizes the importance of collaborative governance, where diverse groups of people can come together to solve problems and make decisions collectively. This approach seeks to harness the collective intelligence of the community to improve policy-making and public services.

  3. Open Source and Open Data: Tang supports the use of open-source software and open data to ensure transparency and foster innovation. By making data and tools accessible to the public, she aims to empower individuals and communities to participate more fully in the democratic process.

  4. Plurality and Diversity: Tang’s philosophy underscores the value of plurality and diversity. She argues that by embracing different perspectives and fostering inclusive dialogue, societies can create more robust and resilient solutions to complex problems.

  5. Technological Innovation for Social Good: Tang advocates for using technological innovation to address social challenges and promote the common good. This includes using technology to enhance public health, education, and environmental sustainability.

  6. Decentralized and Distributed Systems: Tang supports decentralized systems that distribute power and control, reducing the risk of centralization and promoting fairness. This aligns with her broader vision of a more equitable and democratic digital society.

Tang’s work, particularly in Taiwan, showcases how these principles can be implemented in practice. Through initiatives like vTaiwan and the public digital innovation space, she has demonstrated how digital tools can be used to engage citizens in meaningful ways, creating a more inclusive and participatory form of democracy​.

Praise for ⿻ 數位 Plurality

In the vast, boundless expanse of Plurality, each life is a unique and precious existence…Regardless of how perilous external circumstances may be…(l)et us take positive action to allow the seeds of shared goodness to break through the earth and blossom into flower of empathy, joy and harmony.
– His Holiness the Dalai Lama XIV of Tibet

Democracy has been a confrontation between opposing values. In Taiwan, however, it has become a conversation among a diversity of values. Audrey Tang has shown us how to create a “digital democracy” that transcends the constraints of ideology — that is the major contribution of this book.
Tsai Ing-wen, President of the ROC (Taiwan)

Plurality unveils the powerful blueprint of Taiwan’s resilient digital transformation…provides valuable insight for concerned citizens everywhere and…can help preserve democracy amidst…a precarious moment in history for liberty and open societies around the world.
– Frank McCourt, Founder of McCourt Global and Project Liberty and co-author of Our Biggest Fight

With wit, erudition and optimism, Audrey Tang and her collaborators argue that we can harness digital technology to confront authoritarianism, and that we can do so by leaning into, rather than shying away from, the principles of an open society.
– Anne Applebaum, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Plurality is a…truly fascinating… potential global accelerator…of collaboration that is African in perspective…a must-read and a must-co-create for African thought leaders…who have embraced the challenge of making the 21st century the African century.
– Oby Ezekwesili, co-founder of Transparency International and #BringBackOurGirls

In a technologically advanced, politically challenging, and rapidly evolving 21st century, what does a free and open future look like? Glen, Audrey and their coauthors offer a compelling view of a way forward.
-Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum

In an era of anxiety and division, Glen Weyl and Audrey Tang provide a rare, grounded vision for how technology and democracy can harmonize, and propel us to a better future.
– Tristan Harris, Co-Founder of the Center for Humane Technology and star of The Social Dilemma

Plurality reads like optimistic sci-fi, already happening in real life! Can democracies around the world follow in Taiwan’s footsteps to upgrade free society for the digital age? Fingers crossed for a happy ending.
– Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emmy-winning artist and founder of HITRECORD

At once optimistic and pragmatic, Plurality offers a roadmap to reforge democracy for the AI era…we need not limit ourselves to the libertarian or authoritarian visions…a third way…leans into openness, plurality and the human spirit. So worth reading!
– Mark Surman, President and Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation