Technological Revolution

Panel 1: Hidden wealth - Cryptocurrency, Tax Havens and Financial Regulation

It is estimated that roughly 8% of the worlds wealth is held in off-shore accounts. At the same time, cryptocurrencies are growing into a substantial market. These provide growing opportunities for investors to store their money outside of the purview of surveillance by traditional taxation and regulatory authorities. This panel will explore the challenges of fighting banking secrecy and new OECD proposals to curb these practices, as well as the challenges of monitoring and regulating cryptocurrency. The ramifications of secret asset holding for development funds will also be discussed.

Panel 2: Without a Net: How to Bridge the Digital Divide?

Six billion people lack access to high speed internet and four billion still have no internet access at all. With accelerating technological advances in healthcare and education, this difference in access will result in a growing gap between developed and developing countries, and within countries themselves. This panel will debate how development professionals and policy-makers should think about bridging these gaps. Some of the key questions include: how can the spread of mobile technology be accelerated and used to improve access to information, digital literacy, training and markets? What are opportunities for leap-frogging? What are the most effective ways to invest in technology development and adoption in developing economies and health systems?

Panel 3: The Future of employment

Martin Ford has written that “the unfortunate reality is that a great many people will do everything right (…) and yet will still fail to find a solid foothold in the new economy. (…) advancing information technology is pushing us toward a tipping point that is poised to make the entire economy less labor intensive”. With powerful social forces leading to a “perfect storm” of soaring inequality, technological unemployment and climate change leading to a social crisis, how can we prevent this grim future? How can the labor force of the future be prepared for social and economic inclusion?

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