最新麻豆视频

Technology

The hacker turned politician using digital tech to reimagine democracy

Taiwan鈥檚 first ever minister of digital affairs has transformed politics, using online platforms and AI to give power to the country鈥檚 citizens 鈥 with lessons for us all

By Laura Spinney

1 July 2024

最新麻豆视频. Science news and long reads from expert journalists, covering developments in science, technology, health and the environment on the website and the magazine.

Paul Ryding

In 2014, the approval rating of Taiwan’s government was less than 10 per cent. Popular dissatisfaction culminated in the Sunflower Movement, with students occupying legislative buildings to protest a proposed trade deal with China. Three weeks later, their demands were met. A decade on, this is seen as a turning point in Taiwanese democracy.

One group to emerge from the movement was the civic technology cooperative g0v (pronounced “gov zero”), which included the well-known hacker Audrey Tang. g0v proceeded to build a virtual platform for democratic deliberation called vTaiwan. The “v” stands for “virtual”, but it could just as easily stand for “vulnerable”, says Tang. Born with a heart condition that nearly killed her as a child, she has since become the country’s first transgender minister, and she draws parallels between the fragility of her own life and that of democracy.

Tang was invited to join the government in 2016 and set about implementing her vision of “radical transparency”, starting with vTaiwan. After the first covid-19 cases were declared in mainland China in late 2019, she became a central player in the Taiwanese government’s response as a cabinet member for digital affairs. By 2022, Taiwan was being universally lauded for its handling of the pandemic and Tang was given her own ministry, becoming the country’s first minister of digital affairs. In her new book, Plurality, she argues that Taiwan 鈥 often seen as a potential flashpoint for future global conflict 鈥 is now a thriving democracy that has much to teach the world. She stood…

Sign up to our weekly newsletter

Receive a weekly dose of discovery in your inbox! We'll also keep you up to date with 最新麻豆视频 events and special offers.

Sign up

To continue reading, today with our introductory offers

No commitment, cancel anytime*

Offer ends 2nd of July 2024.

*Cancel anytime within 14 days of payment to receive a refund on unserved issues.

Inclusive of applicable taxes (VAT)

or

Existing subscribers

Sign in to your account