Centre for Internet & Society

Sunil Abraham participated in this event organized by the World Economic Forum on July 19, 2016 at Taj Mahal Hotel in Bangalore.

The digital revolution is transforming all the aspects of business and society. The internet has been a principal contributor to evolution and growth in the global economy over the past decades. Modern technologies are dramatically altering today’s industries.  It continues to have the potential to propel societies and economies by enabling government and business leaders to develop innovative solutions, platforms, and models.

This session will focus on how Governments are designing, implementing, governing, and monitoring their digital strategies particularly as it pertains to growing the digital economy.  The focus of the workshop will be to learn and understand how the Government’s in South Asia have and are currently developing digital agendas to support innovation, entrepreneurship, commerce, and economic growth.  Further, the hope is to examine the parameters, mechanisms, and governance structures in the region. This working session will explore the specific opportunities and digital development barriers presented to governments. As well as discuss potential approaches or solutions to these barriers.


(25 min) Opening, digital champions from the private sector and civil society will present on the key issues of policy and governance as it pertains to growing the digital economy.  There will be four discussion leaders and each leader will be given 5-7 minutes to make their remarks

(15 min) The opening remarks will be followed by a moderated discussion and Q&A led by Alan Marcus from the World Economic Forum. Government leaders will have the opportunity to react to the discussion leader’s comments and answer any additional questions. Potential leaders to call on include:

(5min)  The next portion of the session will involve breakouts directly related to the Digital Policy work at the WEF. Alan Marcus will describe the Digital Government/ Economy project that is being done at the WEF and how the outcomes from the breakouts will feed the ongoing work.

(45min) Following the moderated discussion, the group will split into four breakouts.  Each breakout group will have a Table Leader and Firestarter. The role of the Table  Leader is manage the flow of the discussion such that it addresses the three key questions below. The Firstarter will have prepared initial comments to commence the discussion.

1)     What are the key policy issues that are critical to driving the digital economy?  What hurdles, if any, are associated with governing these policies?

2)     What mechanisms are currently being used to determine policy issues?

  • Many of the issues and needed digital policies straddle various government ministries/ agencies ?
  • What mechanisms determine policy at the national vs transnational level?

3)     How can multistakeholder collaboration enhance and support respective government’s digital agendas?

(15 min) After the breakout groups have finished, each discussion leader will present the key and differentiating results of their table discussion to the plenary group. A moderator from the World Economic Forum will then lead invite comments on the outcomes, and discuss the next steps that could be taken to promote digital government in the region.

(15 min) Closing remarks will be made by Mr Ravi Shanker Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, India.

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