Who we are
Over the next five years the European Commission has ambitions to forge a plan for Europe’s digital transformation, including AI. But without a strong civil society taking part in the debate, Europe—and the world—risk missing opportunities to better society and instead, might choose a path paved with societal harm. This fund aims to strengthen civil society’s capacity to contribute to these tech policy discussions.
This fund aims to strengthen civil society’s ability to take on this crucial role: to be a more visible and more effective voice in public and policy debates about the role, form and shape that Europe’s digital transformation should take. Our goal is to bring in new actors to the debate, especially those that are working on issues affected by AI and Automated Decision Making and who want to build their capacity in this domain.
The fund’s long-term goal is to promote an ecosystem of European public interest and civil society organisations working on policy and technology, based on a diversity of actors and a plurality of goals that represents society as a whole.
About the European AI Fund
The fund is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, King Baudouin Foundation, Luminate, Mozilla, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations and Stiftung Mercator. We are a group of national, regional and international foundations working in Europe that are dedicated to using their resources—financial and otherwise—to strengthen civil society and deepen the pool of experts across Europe who have the tools, capacity and know-how to catalogue and monitor the social and political impact of AI and data driven interventions and hold them to account. The European AI Fund is hosted by the Network of European Foundations.
“In the debate over AI rules, the voice of civil society often gets lost. We believe that the broad interest of the public needs to be part of the European AI debate. Our goal is to give both financial and organizational support to institutions that have traditionally stood up for the public interest — such as consumer rights organisations, racial and economic justice organisations or labour unions — to boost their in-house AI expertise.”
Swee Leng Harris, Principal at Luminate, and Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation – Co-Chairs of the Fund’s board
Network for European Foundations
The European AI Fund is hosted by the Network of European Foundations (NEF). NEF is an association of leading European foundations dedicated to strengthening philanthropic cooperation. NEF works in partnership with foundations, non profit organisations, government institutions, academia and more. We aim at better and more strategic collaboration, and our mission is to realise European solidarity through philanthropy for social inclusion, international development and democracy.