The first generation of those born into the internet age is already joining the workforce and yet the internet still manages to disrupt. The phenomenon of fake news is one of the by-products of digital transformation and it is worth taking a look at what is new, and not so new, and how it fits in to the rest of what some are calling the “post-truth world”.
Digitalisation has already been under way for about half a century, yet it is only now that everyone is talking about a digital revolution. Why? One reason is the spread of faster and better connectivity. In 2013, about 80% of OECD countries had complete broadband coverage, fixed or wireless.
In Henrik Ibsen’s play, An Enemy of the People, a town is divided over whether or not to clean up the municipal baths following a water contamination report. But a doctor’s good intentions to save the town come up against special interests. In the end, the facts are rejected, the truth reshaped and the water is not cleansed. As for the doctor, he is cast out as the enemy.
The truth is that human rights are not sustainable, or in some places even possible, in today’s networked society unless public and private actors take responsibility. Governments and corporations alike must commit to design, manage, and govern technologies in a manner that is consistent with international human rights standards.
Businesses need to step up the adoption of cutting-edge technologies, materials and processes if countries are to reap their full potential in terms of productivity gains, according to a new OECD report.
Recent years have seen a remarkable backlash against globalisation. The costs of increased openness and connectivity – including the consequences of trade and investment liberalisation – are weighted as never before against the benefits, with many voices advocating a slowdown or even a reversal of the global integration that has characterised the past three decades. While there are many economic, social and political reasons for this backlash, there is sufficient evidence showing that globalisation is leaving many people behind, particularly in the lower half of the income distribution, and especially in advanced countries. This backlash suggests that we need to act quickly to fix globalisation and make sure that its benefits are more equally shared. The consequences of a potential reversal of global integration could be dramatic: increased protectionism resulting in a net loss of wealth and opportunities and dangerous inward-looking policies that would put at risk many of the benefits achieved in the past decades.
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We cover a vast range of topics, developing evidence-based policy advice on the contribution of science, technology and innovation to economies and societies. From business dynamics and productivity to GVCs and the evolution of the digital economy, and from innovation for social challenges to alleviating excess capacity in heavy industries, we seek to provide new insights for policymakers. We also "go national" with in-depth reviews.
This page provides a range of broadband-related statistics on OECD countries with data through August 2016.
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This report provides an assessment of G20 economies’ performance with respect to digitalisation and examines some of the most pressing policy challenges in areas spanning from access to digital infrastructures to digital security to legal frameworks. It includes a set of 11 core policy recommendations that could underpin a comprehensive G20 digital agenda.
Browse the last issue of the OECD Observer on Digital economy: Secure the future.