We are just beginning to grasp the full extent of digital disruption. As in the financial crisis of 2008, when top financial sector executives revealed they couldn’t really understand the inner workings of financial instruments they had sanctioned, executives of global internet companies are overwriting yesterday’s statements as negative externalities of their businesses surface. From foreign intelligence services leveraging social networks to influence national elections in Western democracies, to digital identity theft, to rising social inequality, a nauseating sense of frustration has emerged.
These issues present challenges well beyond corporate governance, as many of them are rooted in the governance of global digital markets. Digital disruption is here to stay, with data and internet intensive economic activity, currently representing 20% of the global economy, likely to rise significantly. Moreover, 75% of the benefits from information technologies go to non-ICT businesses. But governance systems are ill prepared to respond to the social and economic disruption that follows the expansion of digitisation – so, it’s more important than ever to manage global digital governance challenges.
Developing global digital governance structures that could actually work is the subject of an important book reviewed by RICARDO TAVARES
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