Chief Research Officer David Wright is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws

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Trilateral Research |

Date: 18 July 2023

On Tuesday, 18 July, David Wright, Trilateral’s founder and Chief Research Officer, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD) from the University of Coventry, “in recognition of significant contribution to prestigious and cutting-edge research projects on ethics, law and societal security”. Since the early 2000s, David has been a leading voice in the field of technology and responsibility within the EU and beyond, co-authoring four books and publishing more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.  

“I am deeply honoured by this recognition. I have been fortunate to have worked with many excellent partners since I began pursuing EU projects. I especially tip my hat to Prof Turksen as well as my colleagues at Trilateral. I look forward to more such collaboration in the future, including with our many friends in Europe who have contributed to our successes.” Dr David Wright 

David was nominated for this Honorary Doctorate by Prof Dr Umut Turksen, following their collaborative work on projects PROTAX and TRACE projects and, more recently, on the SPECTRA proposal on political corruption. 

“May you all have the good fortune to know someone like David who will give you the motivation and generosity of sharing their vast experience in tackling some of the most pressing issues that our society faces today. Over the last two decades, David has been an inspiration to many people. He has been offering opportunities for and giving direction to many early career researchers around the world, many of whom have become well known leaders in their respective subject areas. David’s work ethic and hunger for new knowledge as well as his approach to responsible innovation have certainly inspired me and my colleagues! He thoroughly deserves this award!” Prof Dr Umut Turksen 

David graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Montreal and a Master’s degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Following his studies, David became a speech writer for ministers in the Department of Communications in Ottawa, where he developed a keen interest in policy issues.  

In the early 2000s, David initiated his first consortium of stakeholders to provide deeper research and policy advice on ambient intelligence and risk communications, with projects SWAMI and STARC. These both led to his founding of Trilateral Research in 2004. As Trilateral’s Chief Research Officer, he has focused on areas such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data protection, ethics, the environment, inequalities and democracy, and socio-economic impact assessments. 

David is a prolific writer, continually expanding Trilateral’s areas of research through his work and thought leadership. He has been the principal author for many of Trilateral’s winning proposals such as PRESCIENT (data protection and foresight), PROTAX (money laundering and financial crime), IRISS (surveillance in Europe), SATORI (ethics in Europe), SIENNA (stakeholder engagement), SHERPA (ethics of smart information systems), PIAF (privacy impact assessment), REAL_DEAL (European Green Deal), COPKIT (fighting crime and terrorism), CYBERSPACE (cybersecurity), PACE (populism in Europe), PHAEDRA (data protection), SAPIENT (fundamental rights). He mostly recently coordinated the EU-funded CC-DRIVER project on the human and technical drivers of cybercrime. 

 He has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Communications of the ACM, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, The Information Society, European Law Enforcement Research Bulletin, IEEE Security & Privacy, Computer Law & Security Review, Science and Public Policy, IEEE Technology & Society, Ethics and Information Technology, Futures, Foresight, Telematics and Informatics, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, Journal of Information, Communications and Ethics in Society, The Journal of Contemporary European Research. 

He has co-edited and co-authored four books, including Privacy Impact Assessment (Springer, 2012) and Surveillance in Europe (Routledge, 2015). He coined the term and published the first article on ethical impact assessment. The ISO standard on privacy impact assessment (ISO 29134) was based on his PIA methodology. Similarly, the European Standardisation Committee Workshop Agreement (CEN CWA) on ethical impact assessment is based on his EIA methodology. He has participated in several foresight expert groups, including four ENISA expert groups and a DG Research Trust-at-Risk foresight group. He has developed several scenario construction methodologies, including policy scenarios for the EU-funded SHERPA project as well as “dark scenarios”, a term he coined in the SWAMI project.  

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