TIGTech | Earning Trust in Technology Governance

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 13 January 2020



From 01/11/2019 to present


Benefits, risks and public trust in technology innovations are usually the focus of political and societal attention. Almost entirely overlooked is the need for the governance of these technologies, in its own right, to be trustworthy and to earn trust.

The TIGTech initiative seeks to understand how governance may differ, and in what ways, if the trustworthiness of governance and the earning of societal trust is considered and systematically incorporated into governance design.

But trust is ultimately a feeling.  One which is multi-faceted and often based on a complex mix of logic, perception, emotion and action.  And while lawmakers have consciously considered issues such as ‘consumer confidence’ when designing governance in the past, these approaches rarely took into consideration the underlying sociological or psychological dimensions of trust.  Embedding the latest understanding of the drivers of trust and distrust into the design of tech governance is a critical and distinctive aspect of our approach. 


Our initial focus will be to understand the overarching drivers which underpin the trustworthiness of governance and ultimately its ability to earn societal trust. We will explore when and how these drivers manifest themselves in the governance design process and develop observations and practical recommendations to support governance designers as well as those executing governance across technology domains and geographies. These will then be piloted and validated with governance professionals and other key stakeholders, including citizens. 

It is important to state that TIGTech is technology neutral and outcome agnostic. It is fundamentally not about inhibiting or facilitating the introduction of technologies into the market. TIGTech is about enabling the design of good governance that increases the chance of earning political and societal trust in that governance - regardless of whether, for example, risk management decisions under this governance result in unrestricted market access, market restrictions, or even prohibitions of a technology or its respective products.


Phase 1 of the TIGTech initiative will use as its starting point an understanding and definition of what the most critical elements are of today’s state of the art in trustworthy technology governance. 

This Phase will also explore critical drivers of trust and distrust in governance, incorporating thinking from multiple fields, including sociology, psychology, social sciences, behavioural science and cognition. The Initiative will develop practical guidance to support those involved in the design of governance. The intended outcome is to help ensure that rules, procedures, decisions and institutions have an increased chance of not only being trustworthy, but of actually then earning political and societal trust. 

The project team comprises the TIGTech directors and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at Fraunhofer ISI, led by Prof. Jakob Edler.  In addition we will be inviting contributions from a ‘trust expert group’ representing multiple fields, and an extended stakeholder network of professionals involved in tech governance internationally.

An External Advisory Panel is being convened to support the successful progression and substantive validity of TIGTech by providing intellectual challenge and input, strategic direction and ethical oversight of the initiative.

Further phases of the TIGTech Initiative will include:

  • In-depth exploration of key drivers of trust, such as Participation, Transparency, Fairness.
  • Piloting the TIGTech guidance with real world governance instruments, both statutory and voluntary, be they in operation or in the lawmaking process, followed by further guidance revision and communication of findings.
  • Public dialogue exploring the importance of governance and the potential for governance developed using the TIGTech Principles to be considered trustworthy and trusted. Accessible communication of public views and project findings will be a critical part of this initiative. Elected officials will be part of this effort.
  • A broader consultation internationally around the Principles and Guidance, and a comparative analysis of findings.
  • The Exec Team will undertake strategic advisory and knowledge sharing engagements. 








With support from the World Economic Forum

Financial support from Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest applied sciences organisation  

Project co-delivery with Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research - ISI 

To know more, or if you are interesting in piloting the TIGTech Principles in a governance initiative please contact Conrad von Kameke on or Hilary Sutcliffe on

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