Over the past 16 years, the World Economic Forum, INSEAD, and, more recently, Cornell University have partnered on publishing The Global Information Technology Report (GITR), which examines the increasing proliferation of technology and its effects on advancing global prosperity. Today we have come to a critical tipping point, where the ICT-fueled digital economy is taking off in an exponential way. We have also come to recognize the beginning of a Fourth Industrial Revolution, which will fundamentally change the way we live, work, and relate to one another. This transformation is not defined by any particular set of technologies, but rather by a transition to new ecosystems built on the infrastructure of the digital revolution. The World Economic Forum is seeking to shape and design these new systems by emphasizing and scaling cross-sector and cross-geographic collaborations. The key findings of this Report over the years led to and informed a broad range of discussions around the Forum’s Future of Digital Economy and Society system, such as digital inclusion and access, cybercrime and cybersecurity, data privacy and usage, digital transformation of business, digital governance, and trade across borders.
Under the theme “Innovating in the Digital Economy,” this year’s Report looks into how digital technologies are changing the nature of innovation in various ways. The Report examines the exponential shift brought about by digital technologies, the way we measure the impact of innovation, the continuous pressure for both tech and non-tech sectors to boost innovation through digital means, and the need for agile governance and regulation systems to adapt to the speed and scale of changes while mitigating ethical, legal, and regulatory risks.
Each year, the ICT Industries and the Global Competitiveness and Risks Teams at the World Economic Forum collaborate on the annual production of the GITR; the Report has evolved to become one of the most respected publications of its kind. As we shift toward a systems approach to solve the most challenging issues stemming from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, this Report will continue its evolution to capture milestones in unleashing the full potential of the digital economy led by ICTs, and to inform decision-making processes for policymakers and organizations across sectors and regions.
We would like to acknowledge the editors of the Report, Silja Baller at the World Economic Forum; Professor Soumitra Dutta, Dean of the College of Business at Cornell University; and Bruno Lanvin at INSEAD. The World Economic Forum and INSEAD and, more recently, Cornell University have been publishing the GITR since 2001; through this longstanding partnership, the three institutions have developed and evolved the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) to reflect the growing importance of technology and innovation across the world.
A special thanks also goes out to our Report partner, Cisco, for its continuous support and engagement in this year’s edition. We also wish to convey our gratitude to Robert Pepper, John Garrity, and Connie LaSalle at Cisco Systems for their unique contributions, built upon the insights generated by the NRI; their enhancement of its thematic elements; and their contributions to the overall distinctiveness of the Report.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Professor Klaus Schwab, Chairman of the World Economic Forum for his leadership. Appreciation goes to the core project team: Silja Baller, Oliver Cann, Attilio Di Battista, Danil Kerimi, and Roger Yong Zhang. We also wish to acknowledge the leadership of Richard Samans, Member of the Managing Board, as well as Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist, and the contributions of members of the Global Competitiveness and Risks Team: Ciara Browne, Roberto Crotti, Gaëlle Marti, Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, Caroline Galvan, Daniel Gomez Gaviria, Thierry Geiger, and Stéphanie Verin. Appreciation also goes to the members of the Information and Communication Technology Industries Team, under the leadership of Cheryl Martin, Head of Centre for Global Industries, and Murat Sönmez, Chief Business Officer: David Connolly, Aurelie Corre, Daniel Dobrygowski, Mara Kelly, Peter Lyons, Isabelle Mauro, Derek O’Halloran, and Adam Sherman.
Last but not least, we would like to express our gratitude to our 160 Partner Institutes around the world and to all the business executives who completed our Executive Opinion Survey.
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