We look forward to our session “Are we shaping the digital market to all citizens?” during the IGF – Internet Governance Forum 2021 on Monday, 6th December, 2021 (14:45 UTC) – (16:20 UTC)
Learn more about our session here
The European vision for 2030 is a digital society where no-one is left behind. This is the cornerstone of the Digital Compass 2030, recently launched by EC President von der Leyen, when she announced Europe should secure digital sovereignty with a common vision of the EU in 2030. The Berlin Declaration (2020) also brought a set of actionable measures for the implementation of the digital society, reminding the societal priorities: social participation and digital inclusion, empowerment and digital literacy, trust, and human-centred systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the critical role of digital technologies in how we work, learn and live and pushed towards a drastic acceleration in the digital transformation pace. At the same time, it also illuminated an emerging issue: digital tools are becoming increasingly important for accessing public services, health information, shopping, and staying connected to family and friends. In some cases, services, activities and information moved exclusively online, or offline alternatives have been limited or restricted due to the measures put in place to contain the virus spread.
Furthermore, shifting to digital services assumes people have the ability to access, understand and use them. The COVID-19 crisis has been a global wake-up call reminding stakeholders around the world of the fundamental need to design, develop, and deliver accessible ICTs to everyone. It is especially important to increase digital literacy and digital access of older adults, persons with disabilities, and unprivileged groups, as the digital divide leads to the spread of disinformation, uneven access to public services and to participatory democracy processes.
This is what will be explored by the panel, linking the discussion to the IGF Policy Area “Economic and social inclusion and human rights”, especially to the sub-areas “Inclusion, rights and stakeholder roles and responsibilities” and “Promoting equitable development and preventing harm”. The focus is on Europe, which is closely observed by the decision makers and civil society representatives from the other parts of the world, given the attention raised around the European Data Strategy and other policy developments. We welcome the comments from the participants from other parts of the world to enrich the European perspective and inspire the global dialogue on the sustainable digital society.