FWDThinking Episode 18: Catching up with the Digital Nations

Alistair Croll in conversation with Sam Roberts, Natalia Domagala, and Gosia Loj from the DN.

Published On Sep 29, 2021

All opinions expressed in these episodes are personal and do not reflect the opinions of the organizations for which our guests work.


In 2020, Canada hosted the Digital Nations, a coalition of 10 progressive governments who share best practices and transformation objectives. Canada joined the group in 2018, and has pioneered work on AI governance and other topics within the members since that time.

Given the pandemic, we were thrilled to host the DN alongside FWD50 last year. This year’s gathering is hosted by England. Sam Roberts leads the DN’s Data360 thematic working group; Natalia Domagala leads the Artificial Intelligence thematic working group, and Gosia Loj is the 2021 DN Chair and UK Digital Nations Lead.

We caught up with Sam Roberts, Natalia Domagala, and Gosia Loj from the DN to learn how its organizations have weathered COVID, and what this year’s priorities are. Data science, analytics, and transparency are a major focus this year, particularly around veracity and avoiding marginalization as we move from physical to digital processes, or use digital sources to inform policy and decision-making.

At one point, we talked about the civil rights issues inherent in a digital, algorithmically curated world, which brought back a 2012 post I’d written on the subject.

To learn more about what the DN’s been up to, and the focus of their 2021 event, watch this interview.