The keynote theme for DigitalCanada.io is most powerfully conveyed through this Star article by Alex Benay – The Blueprint for Canada’s Digital Economy.
Alex stipulates five digitally driven assets that Canada needs in order to fully compete, protect, and thrive in this century — a blueprint for a Canadian digital economy:
- A National Digital Identity Program: Appoint a minister who is held accountable to deliver on a national digital identity program.
- Digital Rights for the Digital Age: Privacy and copyright laws should be re-examined, and basic internet access needs to be equally available throughout Canada.
- Basic Connectivity for Canadians: Invest an equivalent amount in basic internet connectivity for all Canadians for every dollar we invest in roads or bridges.
- Machine-Enabled Infrastructure: To increase economic productivity, Canada needs a national digital exchange platform in order to move data securely and swiftly across and between sectors.
- Increased Computing-Power: Increase investments in 5G, in supercomputing and other upcoming computing infrastructures. If we don’t, we risk putting our global competitiveness on the line.
A New Social Contract
Also writing for the Star digital economy luminary Don Tapscott suggests the broader social transformation such a strategy would catalyze.
He describes how the early excitement of the potential for the Internet to change the world took a wrong turn and instead concentrated many ills rather than addressing them, such as the hording of vast wealth, and our personal data, by the new tech giants.
Through harnessing technologies like the Blockchain Don proposes that Canada modernizes itself root to branch, not just in IT terms, but a wholesale transformation of all the policies and institutions that govern how society works, engendering an entirely new model for social democracy.
It’s also time for business leaders to participate responsibly — for their own long-term survival and the health of the economy overall. Even — or especially — in a time of exploding information online, we need scientists, researchers and a professional Fourth Estate of journalists to seek the truth, examine options and inform the ongoing public discourse. We each have new responsibilities to inform ourselves in a world where the old ways are failing.