5 Questions for Nanna-Louise Wildfang Linde – Microsoft’s newly appointed Vice President of European Authorities Affairs
Nanna-Louise, you have got not too long ago taken the helm of Microsoft’s authorities affairs and public coverage work within the EU. Are you able to share with us your skilled journey up to now?
My first function was in a serious legislation agency in Denmark, the place I used to be a business legal professional specializing in antitrust legislation. I used to be energetic within the skilled group, giving lectures and publishing articles – and that’s how Microsoft turned conscious of me.
I started as the corporate’s authorized director for Denmark and Norway again in 2005. Over the next years, I’d be charged with overseeing totally different territories throughout Europe. In 2012, I assumed the function of Assistant Normal Counsel, main the Western European North and Central group accountable for company, exterior and authorized affairs, together with authorities relations. Most not too long ago, I oversaw authorized issues and authorities relations in 32 international locations in Central and Japanese Europe.
Taking up exterior affairs – accountable for participating with governments in addition to regulators – marked an essential shift in my profession. I’m passionate in regards to the legislation and I additionally get a lot vitality from connecting with folks and constructing partnerships. So, having the ability to leverage my legislation background mixed with my ardour for creating dialogue with folks and constructing belief was, and nonetheless is, extremely fulfilling.
What influence would you prefer to have in your new place?
It’s a really fascinating time to tackle this function. Europe is going through a confluence of outstanding challenges. We’re rising from the throes of the pandemic. There are the broad ramifications surrounding the battle in Ukraine. We’re in a race to avert a local weather tipping level.
Digital know-how has by no means performed an even bigger function in our day by day lives, and we imagine that tech innovation has a vital function to play in serving to society handle these points. For that to occur, there must be extra collaboration and debate amongst policymakers, companies and civil society. These points are far too large and complicated to be addressed in silos.
On the similar time, it’s essential to notice that individuals won’t totally avail themselves of know-how they don’t belief. For that, we want regulation that places guardrails in place to guard peoples’ rights and ensures companies are working in a good, open market the place they will thrive and innovate.
It’s equally essential to acknowledge that the tempo of innovation continues to develop exponentially. This makes it difficult to craft laws that’s each efficient and “future proofed”. For instance, during the last a number of years I’ve labored with governments in Central and Japanese Europe across the difficulty of accountable AI. We share a deep perception that this know-how should be designed and carried out in a means that’s inclusive, accountable, dependable and honest. In different phrases, the know-how ought to profit all folks.
Whereas that’s easy sufficient to say, it’s not so easy to do. It requires totally different factors of view and totally different areas of experience in the event you’re going to get it proper for the long run. Coverage influencers, tech leaders, NGOs and teachers all want a voice.
The problem of strategic autonomy has been receiving better consideration in latest occasions – what’s your perspective as a European working for a serious U.S. know-how firm?
The discussions in Europe about strategic autonomy have been ongoing for a lot of years. There are a lot of causes for this: The considerably difficult transatlantic relationship in the course of the earlier U.S. administration, the pandemic in addition to the battle in Ukraine and subsequent vitality disaster. These discussions in fact embody the digital sphere. There’s elevated scrutiny across the extent to which European companies and governmental our bodies are counting on the know-how supplied by U.S. firms. That’s legitimate and one more reason why it’s so essential for us to earn and preserve the belief of our clients.
European governments and companies ought to by no means compromise on their capability for self-determination as they appear to digitize and grow to be knowledge led. Approaches round how one can finest shield sovereignty range, nevertheless. Someday the one technique to preserve it’s by working with others, together with trusted cloud suppliers who’ve the power to disburse and distribute digital operations and knowledge belongings throughout borders.
For instance, in the course of the earlier phases of the battle in opposition to Ukraine, Russia focused the governmental knowledge heart with cruise missiles and cyberattacks. The Ukraine authorities was capable of efficiently preserve its civil and navy operations by pre-emptively transferring its digital infrastructure in a foreign country and to the general public cloud. Important authorities knowledge is now hosted in knowledge facilities throughout Europe, and we’re proud to have supported the federal government in reaching better cyber-resiliency and digital sovereignty on this means.
Your first few weeks within the function took you to New York to take part in discussions on the margins of the UN Normal Meeting and also you additionally attended the Athens Democracy Discussion board the place most of the points you simply talked about have been addressed. What new views have you ever introduced again with you?
We’ve a big world group that’s deeply vested in defending democracy. The battle in Ukraine exhibits how excessive the stakes are. I had many discussions about how know-how might help strengthen a nation’s safety in opposition to cyber threats, shield the integrity of elections and mitigate the specter of misinformation campaigns. There was an actual sense that we have to act now as a collective. We owe this to future generations.
The conversations I’ve been having over the previous a number of weeks – on the UN Normal Meeting and elsewhere – have been a well timed reminder for me that the successful technique for shielding democratic societies is working in partnership. Closing ourselves off and pulling away from the worldwide stage is just not an choice. We want one another. The challenges we face collectively are too large – and the stakes are too excessive – for any of us to go it alone.
One final query: what excites you about this new alternative?
At a basic stage, I’m excited to play an element in guaranteeing know-how actively advances the core values of the EU – freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of legislation. Having labored with groups throughout Europe for a few years I’ve a nice appreciation of the EU not simply as an financial and political union, however as a group united by democratic ideas and values.
One other essential motive to be enthusiastic about this function is my group. I have to say I couldn’t be working with a extra gifted, devoted group of people with extremely assorted backgrounds. And it’s clear to me we share a standard mission: to be a constructive, useful voice on tech regulation within the EU, whereas supporting the success of our clients within the area. The underside line: If any group is able to sort out the challenges, I talked about simply now, it’s this one.