The pace of digital transformation and innovation taking place globally is far outpacing the ability of governments and international institutions to prepare, adapt and plan ahead for the situations that will face our societies. This transformation is also raising questions about ethics; how to regulate to protect the rights of people whilst not damaging innovation and growth; about the future of work – the future of skills that will be required to adapt to a digital society; it is also changing consumption habits which are shifting business models, supply chains and distribution infrastructure; and the ways in which people are conducting their lives.
Whilst the pace of technological change can be a force for good, it also has the potential to reinforce and widen inequalities and reduce the social ability of those who are furthest from the job market and most disadvantaged in our societies.
At a macro level, the revolution precipitated by digital has an impact on current and future models of economics and the traditional relationships between supply and demand, as capital flows, services, goods and wider industries transition towards a digital operational and societal environment. Friends of Europe helps think through the implications of these changes, taking the widest possible stakeholder and community perspectives and experiences to bear upon the policy thinking and developments that will be required. Our focus is to link the policy implications for skills development and preparedness, the role of education and digital literacy and inequalities. We work across policy areas taking a whole society, whole economy approach – to enable policy thinking and developments to be fit for a digital 21st century.