TF3: Digital Revolution

​​Achieving Universal Connectivity and Smarter Communities

Digital Revolution is a dialogue aimed at (1) enhancing our understanding of the science and technology behind achieving universal connectivity of people, organizations, machines, businesses, devices, data and processes, (2) examining the future opportunities and challenges that can arise from the interaction of people with the Internet, mobile technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) and (3) formulating policies that deliver the benefits of, but at the same time protect people from, the developments and perils of the emerging virtual infrastructure that connects the global human race. One challenge facing the world today and likely in the foreseeable future will be digital innovations that will be required to adapt to a “post-COVID19” world. This discussion carries forward past G20 declarations adjusted to the circumstances of our time. The G20 Germany, 2017 called for bridging the digital divide along income, age, geography and gender; the development of digital standards for openness, transparency and consensus; and harnessing digital opportunities for creating new and better jobs. Argentina, 2018 highlighted the importance of girls’ education in foundation digital skills and to attract more private capital to infrastructure investment. Japan, 2019 aimed to promote international policy discussion to harness the full potential of data, to promote security in the digital economy, and to commit to a human-centered approach to AI.

The digital revolution brings with it a plethora of technological advances that have made enormous contributions to society. The expected outcomes of the Digital Revolution Task Force are the identification of technology opportunities and challenges that are ripe for global collaboration and the highlighting of promising policies that must guide the evolution of digital economies and smart urbanization. Our discourse will answer the following questions: What is our plan for connecting the unconnected? How well prepared are we to manage the course of discovery so that societies are in control of the outcome? How can we ensure that everyone benefits from the digital economy? How do we share the wealth that is created as a result of innovations? What are the best policies to mitigate risks surrounding data privacy, security, transparency and the resulting taxation of the digital economy? Finally, the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, while highlighting the enormous contributions of connectivity and digital technology to the functioning of our globalized society, also poses additional challenges.  What can digital innovation contribute to improve our post-COVID-19 world? The lockdowns of critical economic and societal infrastructure specifically beg the question of how digital technology and communication alleviate the disruption caused by the emergence (and future resurgence) of infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics?