World Economic Forum: Positive Tech Solutions Will Forge the Recovery

World Economic Forum: Positive Tech Solutions Will Forge the Recovery

Tokyo, Japan, April 16, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Global leaders back the need for more technology governance to tackle the most pressing global problems at the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Global Technology Governance Summit.

The summit, hosted by the Government of Japan, was opened by Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide with a welcome address in which he emphasized the timeliness of discussions among leaders on the implementation of digital technologies in the post-COVD era. Suga also reaffirmed his commitment to accelerating reforms to create the world’s most advanced digital society.

More than 2,000 leaders gathered virtually to address the adoption of technology to improve lives and respond to global challenges. The World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR) Network will develop this work throughout 2021 and beyond.

An interactive experience was designed for the participants, embedding technology into the summit. Registered participants were invited to learn about non-fungible tokens (NFTs) by collecting fragments – called “shards” – of “Voice Gems” designed by artist Harry Yeff (Reeps 100). Over 250 shards were minted on the first day.

Among the summits, outcomes and commitments include:

  • Two new regional networks of cities were launched in Latin America and South Asia as part of the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance. The city networks, modelled after the C4IR Japan’s successful Japan Smart City Alliance, aim to bolster small and medium-sized cities’ capacity to realize the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s benefits and safeguard against governance challenges.
  • The C4IR Network will support Agile Nations, a global initiative to enable government, business, and civil society to share evidence and insights into innovative governance. The Network re-committed its support for the Agile50 initiative at the summit, recognizing the role of experts and business leaders in driving agility in governments worldwide.
  • To address pressing challenges and opportunities relating to the rise of new digital currency, central bank digital currency, and so-called “stablecoins,” the Digital Currency Governance Consortium (DCGC) is convening more than 80 organizations representing numerous sectors and geographies.
  • The Forum established the Future of the Connected World initiative with five priority areas for collective action in 2021-2022. Building on the pilot project’s success for Accelerating the Impact of Industrial IoT for SMEs in São Paolo, Brazil, the C4IR Network will expand projects in Colombia, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey.
  • Executive leaders from the public and private sector, representing more than 12 countries on five continents, released a new roadmap for building a connected future that benefits all. The roadmap and global action plan seek to rally and mobilize the international community on a set of five actions and 37 initiatives to advance the governance of the internet of things and related technologies.
  • The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) will adopt the framework and pilot it as part of its World Challenge for Self-Driving Transport, trialling autonomous delivery vehicles and using the framework to test a series of performance-based regulations. The impact of this is a framework developed by a Forum project sponsored by the Global Autonomous Vehicle Council (GAVC), which is being used as an incremental part of Dubai’s roadmap to make 25% of its travel driverless by 2030.

The following reports and white papers were published:

  • The Rebuilding Trust and Governance: Towards Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) white paper gives a bird’s-eye view of global data governance issues, including privacy, fair competition, cybersecurity and transparency to strengthen trust-governance mechanisms.
  • The Medicine from the Sky: Opportunities and Lessons from Drones in Africa report provides a framework for evaluating where these technologies can be best applied to improve healthcare.
  • A new resource, Global Governance Toolkit for Digital Mental Health, provides help for governments, regulators and independent assurance bodies to address growing ethical concerns over the use of technology in mental and behavioural health.
  • The Technology Futures report outlines new ways for leaders to predict future trends. It provides a framework for leaders to assign probability to trends and forecast risks and uses speculative fiction to bring these to life.
  • A new white paper, Co-designing Digital Interventions and Technology Projects with Civil Society outlines how policy-makers and business leaders can collaborate with civil society to address power imbalances. It explores how each sector can co-design tech and bring equitable access.
  • Transforming Rural Mobility with MaaS explores mobility as a service (MaaS), which will be at the forefront of a new generation of mobility services. It focuses on examples from Japan and examines the common challenges and success factors for MaaS to support local government and related enterprises to transform mobility.

The C4IR Network Affiliate Centres made the following commitments:

  • C4IR Brazil will launch a data governance prototype for noncommunicable disease (NCD) patients to facilitate remote monitoring and public-private sharing of patients’ data in the health system.
  • C4IR Colombia will publish a regulatory framework for data exchange with the Data for Common Purpose Initiative.
  • C4IR India initiated the Artificial intelligence for Agriculture Innovation (AI4AI) project to explore the use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies throughout the food chain, from seed to fork. The project, supported by more than 60 industry, government and start-up partners, is currently piloted in Telangana, India. C4IR India has also launched Fourth Industrial Revolution for Sustainable Transformation of Health (FIRST Health). The project explores the role of the Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in 18 areas of health, including preventive, curative and governance.
  • C4IR Israel is committed to enabling the future of mobility by taking the existing pilot programmes and creating a scalable commercial business model that is safe, sustainable and ethical.
  • C4IR Japan has developed an approach called Authorized Public Purpose Access (APPA), which seeks to use data for the public good while balancing all stakeholders’ rights and interests.
  • The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Ocean will lead the Action Coalition on Ocean Data together with Microsoft. The coalition strives to deliver open, transparent and easily accessible universal data to comprehensively understand “life below water” for better policies and decision-making. The coalition will be open and inclusive to all actors seeking to liberate ocean data; the Ocean Data Platform will be at the heart of solutions to unlock this data.
  • C4IR Rwanda’s most recent work on pending data protection legislation will serve as a foundation in helping to achieve Rwanda’s ambitions of becoming a proof-of-concept hub for technology innovation and regulation.
  • C4IR Saudi Arabia will hold its official launch event, along with projects designed to advance multistakeholder collaboration on agile governance frameworks and AI, IoT and blockchain. The centre will develop frameworks that usher in advanced autonomous mobility through heavy-lift drones and accelerate the advent of autonomous trucks and vessels, thereby expanding mobility opportunities for air, land, and sea.
  • C4IR South Africa will address the needs of small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) by launching a series of projects to develop policy protocols for accelerating the adoption of emerging technologies by SMMEs and mitigating associated risks.
  • C4IR Turkey will address the need for human-centric technology using governance models designed by the collective rationality that has emerged from the rapid spread of IoT, AI, and other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
  • C4IR UAE is launching a report focused on developing a precision medicine programme locally, highlighting the critical process areas, including the infrastructure and regulatory environment. It aims to further the growth of the healthcare industry in the UAE and exchange healthcare data globally. C4IR UAE will also lead multiple tokenization pilots to test blockchain technology to modernize the financial system and improve access to capital and liquidity to further economic diversification and digital growth in the UAE.

About the Global Governance Summit 2021
The World Economic Forum’s inaugural Global Technology Governance Summit on 6-7 April 2021 convened leaders from more than 50 governments and 600 companies worldwide. The Summit enabled participants to share perspectives on our ability to harness and disseminate the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s (4IR) new technologies. These technologies will play a key role in ensuring our recovery from the pandemic and avoiding future crises. The Government of Japan hosted the Summit and leveraged the Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network.

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