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Cookie Conversation with Renske Leijten

IMPAKT Festival 2023: Our Terms, Our Conditions

The IMPAKT Festival 2023 is just around the corner! To dive deeper into the terms and conditions of the festival, we present the Cookie Conversations: a series of interviews with artists and speakers from the programme. Our first guest is Renske Leijten. Leijten is a former Member of Parliament for the Socialist Party, and will be part of the panel discussions Fair Tech Futures and Entangled Networks 3: Data Points.

IMPAKT spoke with you before in the context of CODE, a project started in 2021 as a response to growing concerns that we are losing control of the digital tools and platforms we use every day. At that time we talked, among other things, about policies around the use of AI, which is currently developing at a tremendous rate. There are many concerns about the harmful effects it could have, but in what ways do you think AI could have a positive impact?

There are many ways for AI to have a positive effect. For instance, we can find or research matters much faster. Using AI to come up with solutions that otherwise might remain hidden is also a great opportunity. But it’s important that we stay aware of how it’s helping and supporting us.

How does your political career relate to this year’s theme: Our Terms, Our Conditions?

As a representative of the people, I have always looked for the conditions necessary for people to participate in society, and for opportunities to give the people as much agency as possible. Why are decisions made based on profiles, without any conversation? Why do we require bureaucratic indication (and thus permission from higher up), rather than trusting people who need or provide care?

I’ve never understood that technocrats would know better what is needed than involved users or makers. I’ve never wanted to accept that the advice of consultants and economists weighed more heavily than knowledge of and from practice.

What event or programme of the IMPAKT Festival are you looking forward to most?

The discussion of Data Points: learning from practice to improve practice!

In the theme of the festival, this year we created a series of Fortune Cookies with wishes for the future of technology and privacy. Which fortune cookie wish would you hope to find?

Be your own algorithm.


Our other Cookie Conversation guests are Lotje Beek, Julia Janssen, Dasha Ilina, Caroline Sinders, Guillaume Slizewicz, Jeroen van Loon, Roel Heremans, Leon van Oldenborgh and Tomo Kihara.


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