IGF 2021 HIGH LEVEL PLENARY: Investing in digital growth and enabling capacities – transnational and transcontinental synergies

Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 (11:20 UTC) - Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 (12:20 UTC)
Plenary Room

Digital transformation is a complex process that carries enormous potential for human development and economic growth but is not free of challenges. A combination of factors includes but is not limited to: Micro Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) funding possibilities and adequate regulatory frameworks, digitalisation of business and industrial processes, efficient and affordable infrastructure availability, inclusive digital literacy, continuous perfecting of digital skills, and user-centric e-services governance.  

The discussion will focus on ways to nurture synergy-driven digital cooperation and growth. Analysis of large volumes of data, including big data – generated from myriad transactions, production and communication processes – is accelerating knowledge and value creation across society to unforeseen levels. Data-driven innovation (DDI) refers to significant improvement of existing products, processes, organisational methods and markets emerging from this phenomenon, or the development of new ones. At the same time, we should also be aware of the need to cooperate to avoid risks arising from lack of governance mechanisms, and to ensure a use of DDI that is human-centric and respects human rights.

Emphasis will also be given to start-ups, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as they play an extremely important role in digital transformation. One of the crucial issues is funding: high-tech start-ups find it difficult to scale up capital to fully capture the growing demand for their products and services. To tackle this, the discussion should explore co-investment models that involve cooperation between domestic and foreign venture capital sponsors that support those values. This allows risk mitigation for negative impacts on users’ rights, portfolio diversification in investments across jurisdictions, and fostering of new innovative business models better aligned with the exercise of users’ rights as well as access to smart-funding opportunities.