The Policy Initiative on Digital Economy was launched at the EPF Think Week 2016 and deals with questions such as whether the digital economy creates more overall prosperity, what its respective societal challenges are, and how environmental and climate-related aspects of the digital economy can be factored in.
The evolving digital economy will directly impact the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. With digitalisation being high on the G20 agenda, at the Hangzhou Summit as well as during the G20 German Presidency, EPF and its members aim at gaining insights and developing policy recommendations on how to use the digital economy as a positive force for a sustainable and inclusive development.
During the German G20 presidency EPF facilitated the work of the G20 engagement groups on digitalisation through joint workshops. In this context a joint study with the Women20 (W20) engagement group on “The Effects of Digitalisation on Gender Equality in the G20 Economies” was published. The study by the Institute for the World Economy Kiel (IfW Kiel) investigates how digitalisation will affect womens’ labour market and financial inclusion in G20 countries, in what ways the G20 governments currently foster gender equality, and which additional policies they should adopt to foster gender equality more effectively in the digital age.
As a result of the joint work of EPF members from South Africa, India and China, three policy papers have been fed into the G20 in May 2017:
- Bridging the Digital Divide: Measuring Digital Literacy (HSRC, Zhejiang University | poster presentation at the T20 summit)
- Bridging the Digital Divide: Skills for the New Age (HSRC, ORF | poster presentation at the T20 summit)
- Digital infrastructure: Overcoming Digital Divide in Emerging Economies (CEPS, Zhejiang University | poster presentation at the T20 summit).
Two of these policy briefs also feature in the “20 Solution Proposals for the G20“, the outcome document of the T20, which was handed over to Minister Peter Altmaier, Chief of Staff of the German Chancellery, on the occasion of the T20 Summit in Berlin, May 29-30.
Given the importance of the topic, the T20 Summit featured a vast variety of inputs on digitalisation, such as the panels on “Digitalisation: Enabler of Inclusive Global Growth and Development” and “Dealing with Labour Market Challenges in the Digital Economy”. This was complemented by an EPF back-to-back roundtable on “T20 Germany and beyond: digital economy”, which brought together a selected group of international experts and representatives of the T20 Task Force on Digital Economy.
During the T20 Summit, Argentina’s G20 Sherpa, acknowledged digitalisation as a very relevant topic, especially with regards to effects on the labour force. EPF and its member think tanks will continue to work on the topic within the G20 and beyond, and will aim to feed in relevant policy recommendations in international processes to reflect sustainability and emerging countries’ perspectives.
- Launch of Policy Initiative
Policy initiative launched at the EPF Think Week 2016 in Beijing on ‘The Digital Economy – Pathways for the Global Sustainability Agenda’.
- Preliminary discussions of findings
At a joint meeting of G20 engagement groups, positions and findings on digitalisation have been discussed.
- Presentation and review of pre-final policy papers
Preliminary versions of three policy papers on digital economy were submitted to the T20 process and final results presented at a Webinar hosted by HSRC.
Preliminary findings of the W20 study “The Effects of Digitalisation on Gender Equality in the G20 Economies” were discussed at the W20 Outreach Event in Argentina.
- Release of final policy papers
- Integration into international processes