The economy of the 21st century is both global and digital. Digital technologies and the Internet itself support cross-border transactions, new business models, connections and unprecedented access to information. This theme will zero in on three pillars of our inter-connected economy: online platforms, cross-border data flows, and digital security. It will examine how they drive growth and prosperity, but also the risks and policy challenges they entail. Given their inherently global nature, these challenges require international collaboration to design holistic, fit-for-purpose global digital policy frameworks.
Digital transformation affects all aspects of society. It holds tremendous promise for social prosperity, new economic opportunities and inclusivity. This theme will look closely at three societal dimensions of digital transformation:
• The policies needed for an inclusive digital transformation, with a particular focus on connectivity divides;
• The synergies between digital transformation and green transition, and how to ensure that digital technologies not only do not adversely affect the environment, but also actively contribute to net zero goals;
• How to better understand, measure and address the diffusion of mis- and dis-information content online, and its impact on public debate and social cohesion.
As a growing part of our personal and professional lives is now conducted online, the digital environment must empower individuals and consumers and support the enjoyment of human rights. This theme will consider both the immense benefits and potential risks that the digital environment may entail for people, focusing on the particular, yet common, circumstances and implications for consumers and for children and young people.
Artificial intelligence is already here – at work, school, social life, manufacturing, or research – boosting productivity and innovation, generating efficiencies, solving big problems in little time. Immersive technologies and environments are emerging from the gaming industry to tele-health. But these new environments create risks, such as to privacy, safety, autonomy and equality. This theme will explore some of these promises and threats, the policies that enable these technologies, and policies and practices from the OECD’s comprehensive body of work on artificial intelligence that are applicable to new technological frontiers.