Institute of Future and Innovation Studies


Data Ethics AI Forum 2020, Rome, May 29-30 (postponed)

NOTICE! Due to CodVid-19, the Data Ethics Forum 2020 is postponed. Based on the development of the situation, we will decide on a new date for the forum. Please check back on this site for information about the new date. For inquiries, please contact the organizers at [email protected].

The forum organized in collaboration by the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies and will be hosted at John Cabot University in Rome.

The Data Ethics AI Forum will shed light on the current status of the global AI ecosystem and the emerging paradigms that are governing its evolution. Speakers at the forum are key experts and global leading actors in the field, including representatives of business, government, and academia.

At the two-day forum, we will create a map of best practices and initiatives around the world, and outline the European model of AI governance with its possible political, economic, and social implications. AI decision-making systems based on complex data collection and analytics are increasingly shaping the opportunities of citizens and transforming their relations with companies, governments, and public authorities. Today we have the choice to govern and direct AI's development with technology design, education, policy, and investment strategies. With the EU strategy on AI adopted in 2020, a general governance process was initiated in Europe, and a "Trustworthy AI" human-centric approach to AI-based on a European fundamental rights and values framework has been put forward as Europe's answer to the consolidation of AI in the global arena.

The forum organized in collaboration by the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies and will be hosted at John Cabot University in Rome.


1. Mapping the global AI ecosystem

2. Best practices and engineering standards

3. The European AI Agenda

Constructive insights from experts, policymakers, industry on best practices in AI public procurement, Trustworthy AI engineering practices, European and global AI strategies.

Confirmed Speakers:

Damian Okaibedi Eke
Alessandra Pierucci
Barry O' Sullivan
Clara Neppel
Ellis Parry
Fredrik Heintz
Fosca Giannotti
Inese Podgaiska
Kai Härmand
Fr. Philip Larrey
Mark Surman
Paul Nemitz
Raja Chatilla
Gry Hasselbalch
Sabine T. Koeszegi
Stefano Quintarelli
Sylvie Delacroix
Francesco Lapenta

Speaker bios:

Barry O'SullivanBarry O'Sullivan. Barry holds the Chair in Constraint Programming at University College Cork in Ireland. He is the founding Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at UCC, Principal Investigator at the Confirm Centre for Smart Manufacturing, and Director of the Science Foundation Ireland's Centre for Research Training in AI. He is an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, Australia. Professor O'Sullivan is vice-chair of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group on AI and a scientific advisor to AI Watch, an initiative of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre tasked with monitoring the uptake of AI in Europe. He is an award-winning academic working in the fields of artificial intelligence, constraint programming, and operations research. He also works in AI and data ethics, as well as public policy-making related to AI. He has a keen interest in the commercialization of AI and is involved in a number of startup companies. Professor O'Sullivan is a Fellow and current President of the European AI Association, Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Irish Computer Society, and Member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Damian Okaibedi EkeDamian Okaibedi Eke. Damian is a Data Governance Expert, for the Ethics Support Subproject of the EU FET Flagship Human Brain Project (HBP). He is also a Research Fellow at the Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University, Leicester, United Kingdom. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Ethics from the same university. Damian has a Philosophy background with a specialization in Critical research in Computing and Social Responsibility. His research includes work on Responsible international neurodata governance, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Technology Ethics, Data ethics, Neuroethics, Ethics of AI systems, and ICT4D.

Sabine T. KoeszegiSabine T. Koeszegi. Sabine is Full Professor of Labor Science and Organization at the TU Wien and Academic Director of the MBA Program Entrepreneurship and Innovation. She received her Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the University of Vienna. Her research focus is in the intersection of work, technology, and organization. Sabine Koeszegi is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. Since 2017 she is chair of the Austrian Council on Robotics and Artificial Intelligence. She is a member of the EU High-level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence.

Sylvie DelacroixSylvie Delacroix. Professor Delacroix focuses on the intersection between law and ethics, with a particular interest in data and machine Ethics. Her current research focuses on the design of computer systems meant for morally-loaded contexts. She is also considering the potential inherent in 'bottom-up' Data Trusts as a mechanism to address power imbalances between data-subjects and data-controllers. She has recently served on the Public Policy Commission on the use of algorithms in the justice system (Law Society of England and Wales). She is also a Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute.

Ellis ParryEllis Parry. Ellis is the Data Ethics Adviser, on Technology and Innovation for the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). As its first "Data Ethics Adviser". Ellis' remit is to articulate the interplay between the data protection principles over which the ICO has regulatory oversight and the emerging field of data ethics with a particular focus and interest in the ethical and societal implications of big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning and their intersection with the GDPR. Parry left BP in May 2019 where he had been the Global Lead for Data Privacy for over eight years to join the ICO. And before that he worked for AstraZeneca where for eight years he was Global Privacy Counsel, advising on the relationship between data protection laws and bioethics and the operationalization of these issues throughout business processes. Ellis is a solicitor with 19 years' PQE, an MBA, and is a contributing author to Sweet & Maxwell's "Data Protection Law & Practice" 4th and 5th editions and its standalone guide to the GDPR.

Paul NemitzPaul Nemitz. Paul is Principal Advisor in the EU Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers. He was appointed by the European Commission on 12. April 2017, following a 6-year appointment as Director for Fundamental Rights and Citizen's Rights in the same Directorate-General. As Director, Nemitz led the reform of Data Protection legislation in the EU, the negotiations of the EU – US Privacy Shield, and the negotiations with major US Internet Companies of the EU Code of Conduct against incitement to violence and hate speech on the Internet. He has represented the European Commission in numerous cases before the European Court of Justice and has published widely on EU law.

Clara NeppelClara Neppel. Clara is the Senior Director of the IEEE European office in Vienna, where she is responsible for the growth of IEEE's operations and presence in Europe, focusing on the needs of industry, academia, and government. Clara serves as a point of contact for initiatives with regard to technology, engineering, and related public policy issues that help to implement IEEE's continued global commitment to fostering technological innovation for the benefit of humanity. Clara joined IEEE after many years with the European Patent Office where she was involved in various aspects relating to innovation, intellectual property, and public policy in the field of information and communication technologies. She co-authored publications both in the field of patentability of computer-implemented inventions as well as possible future scenarios of the intellectual property system. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich and a Master in Intellectual Property Law and Management from the University of Strasbourg.

Fredrik HeintzFredrik Heintz. Fredrik is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Linköping University, Sweden. He leads the Stream Reasoning group within the Division of Artificial Intelligence and Integrated Systems (AIICS) in the Department of Computer Science. His research focus is artificial intelligence especially autonomous systems, stream reasoning, and the intersection between knowledge representation and machine learning. He is the Director of the Graduate School for the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program (WASP), the President of the Swedish AI Society, a researcher at the AI Sustainability Center, and a member of the European Commission High-Level Expert Group on AI. He is also very active in educational activities both at the university level and in promoting AI, computer science, and computational thinking in primary, secondary, and professional education. Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

Alessandra PierucciAlessandra Pierucci. Allessandra is a lawyer and has been working for several years at the Italian Data Protection Authority. She has been actively involved in data protection at the EU, OECD, and Council of Europe level. She has long been a member of the Consultative Committee of Convention 108, of which she became Chair in 2016. She worked for the Council of Europe dealing with human rights in the Information Society. As part of her research activity, she has published several papers concerning fundamental rights and data protection issues on juridical journals and books. She has taught data protection in postgraduate courses in some European universities.

Fr. Phillip LarreyFr. Philip Larrey. Fr. Larrey is a Catholic priest and the chairman of "Humanity 2.0", a human accelerator supported by the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He is also the Chair of Logic and Epistemology at the Pontifical Lateran University in the Vatican. His publications deal with the philosophy of knowledge and critical thinking. For years he has been following the philosophical implications of the rapid development of artificial intelligence. With candor, he challenges industry leaders he comes into contact with at the Vatican to discuss how technology is shaping the fabric of our society. His new book, Artificial Humanity, delves into a more philosophical discussion of what AI research means for all of humanity. He has published several books concerning the effects of the new digital era on society. Two of his recent works highlight this theme: Futuro Ignoto and Connected World.

Fosca GiannottiFosca Giannotti. Fosca is the director of research of computer science at the Information Science and Technology Institute "A. Faedo" of the National Research Council, Pisa, Italy. She also leads the Pisa KDD Lab - Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining Laboratory, a joint research initiative of the University of Pisa and ISTI-CNR, founded in 1994 as one of the earliest research labs on data mining. Recently she became the recipient of a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant entitled XAI – Science and technology for the explanation of AI decision making. Fosca's research focus is on social mining from big data: smart cities, human dynamics, social and economic networks, ethics and trust, diffusion of innovations. She is a prominent author with countless publications in her field and the coordinator of several European projects and many industrial collaborations. Fosca is also the coordinator of SoBigData, the European research infrastructure on Big Data Analytics and Social Mining, an ecosystem of ten cutting edge European research centers providing an open platform for interdisciplinary data science and data-driven innovation.

Mark SurmanMark Surman. Mark serves as Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation, a global community that does everything from making Firefox to taking stands on issues like online privacy. Mark's biggest focus is building the movement side of Mozilla: rallying the citizens of the web, building alliances with likeminded organizations and leaders, and growing the open internet movement. Before Mozilla, Mark was the Managing Director of and president of boutique consulting firm Commons Group. In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Shuttleworth Foundation fellowship, where he explored how to apply open-source approaches to philanthropy.

Inese PodgaiskaInese Podgaiska. Inese is the Secretary-General of the Association of Nordic Engineers, a position she has held since 2016. Prior to that, Podgaiska held leadership positions at The European Environment Agency (EEA) from 2010 to 2016, after serving as Head of Energy Policy at Baltic Development Forum from 2008 to 2010. She also served as a Latvian diplomat at the Permanent Representation of Latvia to the EU from 2001 to 2007. Over her career, Podgaiska has mobilized partners from countries, international organizations and business community in the cross-border cooperation as well as raising awareness of the activities in countries of the Mediterranean, Central Europe, and Caucasus regions. She holds an MA in Diplomacy from Paris XI University. Received the 2019 Women Economic Forum Award Women of the Decade in Science Leadership. Included in the 2019 International open directory of Brilliant Women Working on AI and ethics. Mentor for students on the online platform Job Glasses.

Stefano QuintarelliStefano Quintarelli. Stefano is Chairman of the Steering Committee at the Agency for Digital Italy and a member of the leadership council of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. As a serial entrepreneur and former Professor of Information systems, Network services, and security, he has played a pivotal role in the development of the Italian internet ecosystem. He has been awarded the Computer Scientist of the year award in 2009 by the Italian Computer scientists association and has been recognized by Corriere della Sera as one the 30 most innovative Italian entrepreneurs. He was a member of the Italian Parliament, a member of the Commission of Internet rights of the Chamber of Deputies, and leader of the Parliamentary intergroup for Technological Innovation. Stefano is a member of the EU High-Level group on AI.

Raja ChatillaRaja Chatilla. Raja, IEEE Fellow, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Ethics at Sorbonne Université, Paris, is director of the SMART Laboratory of Excellence on Human-Machine Interactions and former director of the Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics. He contributes in several areas of Artificial Intelligence and autonomous and interactive Robotics and author of about 160 publications. He is chair of the IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems and a member of the High-Level Expert Group on AI with the European Commission.

Kai HarmandKai Härmand. Kai has worked at the court of first instance as a civil judge, specializing in intellectual property rights and obligation law in Estonia. She currently is the Deputy Secretary-General and and Head of the Legislative Policy Department at the Estonian Ministry of Justice. She has been a member of the codification working groups of various legal draft acts for example the draft act of the Civil Procedure Code, the draft act of the copyright law, and intellectual property rights. She has participated many times in European Patent Judges Symposium and in European Trademark and Design Judges Symposium. She is the Estonian representative in CDCJ in the Council of Europe and a member of the Estonian Judges Association. As a judge, she has been a member of the Drafting Committee of Estonian Copyright Act and Civil Procedure Act.

Gry HasselbalchGry Hasselbalch. Gry is co-founder of the thinkdotank She is an independent advisor and expert shaping policy and the public debate in media and in venues worldwide on issues related to the governance and ethics of emerging data technologies. Gry is a member of the European Commission's High-Level Group on AI; vice-chair of the P7006 standard within the IEEE's Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in AI and Autonomous Systems; and was a member of the Danish Expert Group on Data Ethics that was appointed to provide the Danish government with recommendations on data ethics issues in 2018. She has authored several studies, reports, and articles and co-authored the influential book Data Ethics – The New Competitive Advantage (2016) together with co-founder of Pernille Tranberg. Gry is included on the 2019 open directory list with Brilliant Women Working on AI and ethics.

Francesco Lapenta, Founding Director of JCU Future and Innovation StudiesFrancesco Lapenta. Francesco is the Founding Director of the John Cabot University Institute of Future and Innovation Studies. He has recently become a Mozilla-Ford Research Fellow. Currently, he is also the Technical Editor of the IEEE P7006 standard on Personal Data Artificial Intelligence Agents. He has worked as Associate Professor at the Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies at CbIT RUC University, Denmark (2009-2019). His work and publications focus on emerging technologies, innovation, technologies' governance, and standardization processes, ethics and impact assessment, and future scenario analysis. He has organized many international conferences in the United States, Latin America, and Europe influencing the debate on emerging technologies.