Brad Smith on the Role of Digital Technology in Politics

February 25, 2021

“We have to step up and accept our responsibility for all of the implications that technology has created.”

Brad Smith, President of Microsoft and author of the book Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age (2019), makes an argument for the political and moral accountability of big tech companies. Smith discusses “the role of digital technology in the world of politics” with our host Tom Zoellner and co-host Aida Baghernejad, and draws attention to how and why “technology inequality” has become a source of social injustice. He underlines the importance of strong partnerships between the private and public sectors to protect civilians and democracies in the digital realm.


Tom Zoellner (host) is the New York Times bestselling author of eight nonfiction books, including Island on Fire, Uranium Train, and The Heartless Stone. He teaches at Chapman University and Dartmouth College. A former reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, he is the politics editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Aida Baghernejad (co-host) is a (pop) culture and food journalist based in Berlin. Her work has appeared in a number of regional, national and international media outlets, among them the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the San Francisco Chronicle, tipBerlinIntro MagazineSpex and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She has previously taught at King’s College London and the Humboldt Universität Berlin.