F9: World Economic Forum—Future of the digital economy and society

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Session Teaser

The world is at the beginning of an exponential shift brought about by the digital transformation of all industries and the 20th century governance systems - generating both value and volatility; potentially driving concentration of power as well as increased transparency and inclusion. The current dialogue is increasingly characterized by uncertainty, fragmentation and a lack of trust. The World Economic Forum's Digital Economy and Society initiative is meant to help businesses, governments, and society navigate the technological shift by providing an open, global, and trusted platform where all stakeholders can collaborate and form community networks to:

  • Understand the shift
Outcome: actionable knowledge
  • Collectively solve new issues
Outcome: governance mechanisms & policy models
  • Partner to rapidly scale successes
Outcome: readiness programs

Session Description

System Initiatives The Forum is undertaking a couple of key shifts in the evolution of its strategy to fulfill its mission. The Forum as a whole is shifting its substantive work to focus on multistakeholder initiatives, using a systems lens. This will create more opportunities for cross-sectoral collaboration. Within these broad systemic issue spaces, we will shift to 'opening up our APIs' - to provide a platform to catalyze networks of external stakeholders to work on specific opportunities within this broader space. The shift to system initiatives has resulted in substantive work being carried out through a number of projects that are discussed below.

Example of Projects:

Digital Transformation of Government

The goal of the Forum's Digital Government project is to provide governments with the resources to enable internal digital transformations as well as external initiatives to drive a national digitalization agenda. Despite the wide array of opportunities that digitalization provides in terms of value and efficiency, implementing new services, innovations or initiatives can be a source of major risk and uncertainty. This project hopes to support government leaders who are grappling with the strategic implications of these transformations.


Through effective corporate engagement with law enforcement and through enhanced cooperation between law enforcement authorities, develop tools/techniques which allow for better assessment of the threat of cybercrime and in order to reduce its damages, implement common measures in the fields of (i) identification/detection (ii) protection (iii) response and (iv) recovery.

Advancing Cyber Resilience

The overall ambition of the Forum's Cyber Resilience work is to normalize cyber risk. In 2016, this translates to supporting companies' ability to create value through digitization by strengthening the capabilities of boards and executive teams to identify and manage business risks emanating from cyber threats. A secondary objective is to lay the foundation for more informed and focused private-public policy dialogue through the development of improved, broadly recognized practices for identifying and managing business risks.

Internet for All

Building on the report "Internet for All - A Framework for Accelerating Internet Access and Adoption" launched in May 2016, the two overall objectives for 2016 are: First, to develop new scalable and replicable on-the-ground models of public-private collaboration, in partnership with governments, that accelerate the achievement of the broader social and economic priorities of the country/region in the context of accelerating internet access and adoption. Programmes will be launched in initially up to three countries/regions, with the Northern Corridor in East Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia) confirmed as the first program. Second, to develop a physical and digital platform that results in increased coordination and collaboration among the multiple private, bilateral/multilateral, country level.

Digital Transformation of Industries

The goal of the Forum's Digital Transformation Initiative (DTI) serves as the focal point of the Forum's focus on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and examines new opportunities arising from the latest trends in the digitalization of business and society. DTI is one of the largest multi-year initiatives launched by the World Economic Forum and provides industry leaders with unparalleled opportunities for helping our partner organizations better understand the opportunities and risks of digitization in their industries and across industries.


Open Government, Internet Governance, partnerships, technology, public-private sectors, accessibility, access to information, citizens, governments, co-creation, action plans, cybercrime, digital transformation


The session will be a presentation followed by Q&A


Fadi Chehadé, World Economic Forum, United States

Session twitter hashtag

Hashtag: #eurodig16 #TheFutureofDES