The Technology & Democracy Project provides expert analysis and commentary on technology and public policy issues, and seeks to influence decision-makers and opinion leaders by generating public support for our ideas and by serving as a resource for media and legislators at the local, state and national levels.

The work of the Technology & Democracy Project complements the overall mission of Discovery Institute.  Our efforts to “advance a culture of purpose, creativity and innovation” are greatly enhanced by our work related to the technology sector, which has led (and continues to lead) much of the creativity and innovation witnessed throughout the economy over the past two decades.  Promoting sensible policies that encourage economic growth and innovation is crucial to the long term health of the United States.

Our Mission

The mission of Discovery Institute’s Technology & Democracy Project is to advocate free market-oriented public policies for promoting investment and innovation in the information economy.

What We Do

Our research and advocacy — including written reports, newspaper articles, radio and television interviews and op-eds, combined with speeches, conferences, lectures and public testimony — help promote governmental attitudes that are pro-technology and pro-free enterprise.

We have been a leader in advocating against “network neutrality” regulation for many years. This issue is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is considering whether, in an age of media abundance, the First Amendment protects broadband service providers, and whether net neutrality amounts to a taking without just compensation according to the Fifth Amendment.

We have also been a leader in charting a course for regulatory reform as single-purpose communications networks become multiple purpose broadband platforms capable of delivering voice, video and data services.

Our Team

George Gilder

Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of Discovery Institute
George Gilder is Chairman of Gilder Publishing LLC, located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A co-founder of Discovery Institute, Mr. Gilder is a Senior Fellow of the Center on Wealth & Poverty, and also directs Discovery's Technology and Democracy Project. His latest book, Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy (2018), Gilder waves goodbye to today's Internet.  In a rocketing journey into the very near-future, he argues that Silicon Valley, long dominated by a few giants, faces a “great unbundling,” which will disperse computer power and commerce and transform the economy and the Internet.

John Wohlstetter

Senior Fellow, Discovery Institute
John C. Wohlstetter is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute (beg. 2001) and the Gold Institute for International Strategy (beg. 2021). His primary areas of expertise are national security and foreign policy, and the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. He is author of Sleepwalking With The Bomb (2nd ed. 2014), and The Long War Ahead and The Short War Upon Us (2008). He was founder and editor of the issues blog Letter From The Capitol (2005-2015). His articles have been published by The American Spectator, National Review Online, Wall Street Journal, Human Events, Daily Caller, PJ Media, Washington Times and others. He is an amateur concert pianist, residing in Charleston, South Carolina.

Erik J. Larson

Fellow, Technology and Democracy Project
Erik J. Larson is a Fellow of the Technology & Democracy Project at Discovery Institute and author of The Myth of Artificial Intelligence (Harvard University Press, 2021). The book is a finalist for the Media Ecology Association Awards and has been nominated for the Robert K. Merton Book Award. He works on issues in computational technology and intelligence (AI). He is presently writing a book critiquing the overselling of AI. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin in 2009. His dissertation was a hybrid that combined work in analytic philosophy, computer science, and linguistics and included faculty from all three departments. Larson writes for the Substack Colligo.

About Us

The Project is a program of Discovery Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit and non-partisan educational and research organization based in Seattle, and with a presence in Washington, D.C. We are supported entirely by the generosity of private foundations as well as individual and corporate donors committed to technological innovation and economic growth.