Don Tapscott is the original Digital Economy guru, literally writing the book.
Fast forward twenty five years and Don is still charting the future, a path that could lead Canada to becoming the world’s leading digital nation.
In 2016 Don published the Blockchain Revolution, describing how this technology innovation represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society.
Being a visionary obviously runs in the family, as son Alex is equally capable in proffering a powerful roadmap for how Canada should be at the forefront of this revolution, such as issuing their own digital currency.
Becoming the first G20 country to launch a truly native digital currency would also mean setting the standard for others to follow, giving Canada a competitive edge in the emerging fintech sector.
Self-Sovereign Digital Identity
In his latest article, published to Quartz, Don defines the next major evolutionary leap for the Internet, and how it could entirely transform business models and society.
Describing the current Internet model, where the big platforms own and control our data, as ‘digital feudalism’, Don suggests this inequity will act as the catalyst for a wholesale evolution and revolution of the Internet.
What we need is a wholesale shift in how we define and assign ownership of data assets and how we establish, manage, and protect our identities in a digital world. Change those rules, and we end up changing everything. It is a revolution to be sure. We’ve called it the blockchain revolution.
Don proposes that the technology trend of ‘Self-Sovereign Identity’ is central to this revolution. When we shift from being dependent on governments to issue our unique digital identifiers, to being able to self-provision and own them directly ourselves, the foundations for the revolution will have been established. From this we’ll take control of our personal data and how it is used and monetized.
He highlights the ventures pioneering this trend, such as Blockstack, Civic, Veres One, uPort and Sovrin, and with Canada already a world leader in this field, such as how the public sector can utilize them for next generation Digital Government practices, the potential for Canada to emerge as the global leader in the field is visibly within reach.
As a Platform for Digital Democracy
The impact of this transformation will reach far further than simply technological change; it offers the potential to entirely modernize the very foundations of our societies – How our democracies work.
Writing on Forbes Alex describes “Blockchain Democracy”, how the technology will not only better secure digital voting but provide the foundations for new, 21st century models for truly participative democracy.
Using the Internet, citizens became more involved, learned from one another. With the blockchain, the system can cost-effectively engage all citizens and provide equal access to public services (e.g., health care, transportation, education) and social security.
Technology is a powerful tool but it alone cannot achieve the change we need. In the spirit of the saying “The future is not something to be predicted, it’s something to be achieved,” let’s reinvent government for a new era of legitimacy and trust. It’s time to stop the tinkering.