The Minister for Digital Policy, Jordi Puigneró, met today with Vinton Cerf, hours before Cerf was presented with the Catalonia International Prize. At the meeting, the minister gave Cerf a T-shirt bearing the slogan of a government campaign launched at this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress: “Catalonia, Land of Digital Revolutionaries”.
The minister said he was pleased that for the first time the jury had chosen a technologist and one of the fathers of the internet. “Today, Catalonia is recognising the first digital revolutionary in history,” Puigneró said.
Cerf expressed an interest in the role Catalonia is playing in this digital revolution. Google’s global vice president said: “I'm very excited about meeting with the minister because it’s an opportunity to learn more about what’s happening in Catalonia when it comes to digital technologies. You are intrepid digital revolutionaries. […] We’re all going to have to learn new jobs – learn new skills – to take advantage of that technology. And so, I’m looking forward to seeing that future unfold right here in Barcelona.”
According to Puigneró, they discussed where the digital revolution is going and what the critical advanced digital technologies will be in the coming years (including 5G, blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and supercomputing). “All these technologies will change us and are changing our world – society, industry and services – and they’re bound to change the way we understand the governance of democracy,” said the minister.
The meeting was held at the Museum of the History of Catalonia so that Cerf’s hosts could show him how Catalonia has played a leading role in various revolutions over the years (the Industrial Revolution, Modernisme, etc.). Now, Minister Puigneró said: “We have the right conditions to lead the revolution of the 21st century: the digital revolution.”
The minister stressed the Catalan government’s commitment to recognising the impact of technology through the award of prizes and accolades. In 2018, the Creu de Sant Jordi (Catalonia’s highest civil distinction) was awarded to Fundació Punt.CAT, the private not-for-profit organisation that owns the .cat domain. And now the jury for the Catalonia International Prize has decided to recognise the first technologist and one of the fathers of the internet.