December 2023 TechCast | Bytes and Borders: Navigating AI, Cybersecurity, Quantum Computing & Global Trade

In this thought-provoking episode, we'll dive into the dynamic intersection of AI, cybersecurity, quantum computing, and international trade. Joining us are esteemed guests Ciprian Ciucu, Mayor of District 6 of Bucharest, and Cristian Băcanu, a member of the Romanian Parliament, both offering un...

December 2023 TechCast | Bytes and Borders: Navigating AI, Cybersecurity, Quantum Computing & Global Trade

Episode Overview

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In this episode of AZTechCast, hosts Karen Nowicki and Steve Zylstra lead an insightful conversation featuring guests Ciprian Ciucu, mayor of District 6 of Bucharest, and Cristian Bacanu, a member of the Romanian Parliament, along with Arizona District 7 Representative David Cook. The dialogue spans the realms of AI, cybersecurity, quantum computing, and international trade. Representative Cook commends Arizona’s tech prowess and underscores the importance of global relationships, particularly in defense contracting. Christian expresses admiration for Arizona’s flourishing economy, discussing potential collaborations and the establishment of a trade office in Romania. The episode lays the groundwork for a comprehensive exploration of technology and its impact on international trade.

Mayor Ciucu takes the spotlight in the next segment, shedding light on Bucharest’s dynamic environment and urging Americans to explore Romania as an appealing destination. The discussion pivots to economic partnerships between Romania and Arizona, emphasizing collaboration in both trade and academia. Ciucu envisions a lasting partnership, particularly in AI and cybersecurity. The conversation delves into global cyber warfare threats, with Christian Bacanu emphasizing the need for awareness, cooperation, and technological advancements to counter cyber threats. The mayor shares Bucharest’s experience with a ransomware attack, highlighting the broader implications for public trust in digital services. The final segment, led by David Cook, explores the intersection of AI and international trade. Cook emphasizes the global sharing of technology for advancements in healthcare and research. Christian Bacanu underscores AI opportunities, particularly in transportation and healthcare, while Ciucu stresses the importance of collaboration between industry and regulators.

The conversation touches on the EU’s AI regulation efforts and the challenges posed by the rapid development of quantum AI. The speakers advocate for a global dialogue to navigate the complex landscape of AI development and regulation, concluding an episode rich in insights on the critical nexus of technology and international trade.

Ciprian Ciucu is the mayor of District 6 of Bucharest, situated in the West part of the city. The District has a population of approximatively 400.000 inhabitants. Ciprian is the only mayor of Bucharest, member of PNL, affiliated to EPP. He was elected in 2020. Prior to being elected as mayor, he was the head of the Civil Service Agency in Romania (2019 – 2020). His professional background includes civil society engagement, international public management consultancy as well as academic. Ciprian Ciucu co-founded and acted as the Programs Director for the Romanian Center for European Policies, one of the renowned think-tanks of Romania (2009 – 2015). He also established the Center for Urban and Territorial Development (2014 – 2019). As a consultant, he has over 10 years of experience working in different public administration reform projects funded by a wide range of donors including the European Commission, World Bank or UK Aid. He was active in several countries in Eastern Europe (Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine) and Western Balkans (Kosovo). Between 2007 and 2013 he was an invited professor at the University of Bucharest, teaching project management.

Cristian Băcanu is a member of the Romanian Parliament, representing the Bucharest constituency. He is a member of the Legal Committee and of the parliamentary friendship group with the USA (PRO-America group). Previously, he was Secretary of State in the Ministry of Justice. A lawyer by profession, partner in the law firm MDM Legal, he is also a candidate for a Master’s degree in public administration at the prestigious Hertie School in Berlin. He was a fellow of the Christian Democratic Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Representative David Cook has been a member of the Arizona State Legislature since 2017. Originally from Ponca City, Oklahoma, he moved to Arizona in 1985 and graduated from Miami High School. David has attended several community colleges here in Arizona but is most proud to be a graduate of Arizona State University’s certified public manager program. In 2000, he and his wife started their own ranching company called DC Cattle Company, located in his hometown of Globe, AZ. Prior to starting his own ranching company, David has also served as a Sergeant in the Department of Corrections. David has served on many different associations as a board member and past president and is still involved in them to this day. He is a strong advocate for the availability of dual enrollment programs for all rural students and on many other issues affecting rural Arizona.

Ciprian Ciucu
Bucharest District 6

Cristian Băcanu
Romanian Parliament
Chamber of Deputies

Representative, Arizona House of Representatives



About AZTechCast
The official podcast of the Arizona Technology Council, AZTechCast is dedicated to covering innovation and technology in Arizona and beyond. Through the art of the connected conversation, AZ TechCast’s hosts and guests share success stories, tech news and analysis about the region’s leading startups, companies and emerging technologies, as well as the latest industry trends and critical issues propelling Arizona’s growing technology ecosystem. Visit to learn more or to listen to recent episodes.

About Phoenix Business RadioX
Karen Nowicki is the owner and president of Phoenix Business RadioX. Amplifying the voice of business, Phoenix Business RadioX helps local businesses and professional associations get the word out about the important work they’re doing to serve their market, profession and community. A successful author, speaker and the creator of Deep Impact Leadership™ and SoulMarks Coaching™, Nowicki is a two-time recipient of the prestigious national Choice Award® for her book and personal development retreat. In addition, Nowicki has been an expert guest on regional TV and radio shows, including Fox Phoenix Morning Show, Sonoran Living, Good Morning Arizona, The Chat Room and Mid-Day Arizona. Recognized for her leadership and business acumen, she has been a regular contributor to many print and online magazines – publishing articles and blogs for business and education.


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