Discussion Paper

No. 2018-72 | October 09, 2018
Harnessing the opportunities of inclusive technologies in a global economy
(Submitted as Global Solutions Paper)


In this paper the authors propose that G20 countries endorse and facilitate the creation of a T20 digital platform for “Accelerating the Jobs of the Future”. In a world driven by a new wave of technological change, the platform would revalue the role of think tanks, research institutions and knowledge hubs to move the global agenda in an issue of central importance for the future of society: the creation of the jobs of the future. Building on and complementing existing experiences, the T20 platform would be a digital hub for producing knowledge, informing policies and connecting potential partners to accelerate the jobs of the future, within the context of an increasing integrated global economy. It would also contribute to the development of consensual views among the research community, allowing to discard extreme visions about the jobs of the future, dispelling both overly optimistic visions with no evidence base and unwarranted fears.

JEL Classification:

J01, E24, F66, O30


  • Downloads: 598


Cite As

Gustavo Beliz, Ana Inés Basco, and Belisario de Azevedo (2018). Harnessing the opportunities of inclusive technologies in a global economy. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2018-72, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2018-72

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Referee report
November 06, 2018 - 09:36

This “Global Solutions” discussion paper offers a comprehensive yet condensed overview on the challenges that the new industrialization, including automation, digitalization and connectivity, may bring about. The paper recognizes both the opportunities for future growth and prosperity and the concerns for changes on jobs and social cohesion related to this ...[more]

... expected huge transition. On this behalf, it surveys a considerable number of recent contributions in the literature. No doubt that this subject of the paper is of extremely high relevance for policy needs.

The authors also list a few ideas for policy actions that have already been suggested in preparing the people and the societies for the transition, such as the formation of STEM skills and skills for self-organization, management and communication, as well as developing a new social contract to adapt social security systems. They show, however, that in spite of the already huge amount of literature research into the underlying problems and reflection on appropriate solutions has only just begun and that a large number of questions still remain unsolved.

Accordingly, in their own suggestion, the authors do not focus on any single solution idea in response to the challenges of the new technology but rather propose a new platform within the T20 framework, a platform as a “digital place for research collaboration and multi-stakeholder engagement”. In particular, the authors expect such a platform to contribute to consensus-building within the research community – in a manner similar to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). And the authors hope that the suggested platform would have a similarly large influence on the public and on policy makers as the IPCC reports.

There are hardly any severe objections to be raised against such a suggestion. Indeed, there is a veritable flood of research work and intellectual reflections on the subject, which can hardly be grasped any more - some organized and structured overview would be quite helpful. But: there already exists a considerable number of initiatives and platforms - the authors themselves name some of them, among them one even in the G20/T20 framework: the T20 Platform “Accelerating the Jobs of the Future”, the EU “Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition”, an UNCTAD platform on e-commerce, the IDB digital initiative “ConnectAmericas”. One could add others: The World Economic Forum initiative “Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and Society”, the OECD platform “Digital economy”, the Global Solutions Initiative’s support for the G20 theme “The Future of Work and Education for the Digital Age and Gender Equality”, and so on and on. They have so far not provided for clarity; rather, the multitude of platforms with their multitude of reports and publications themselves contributes to further confusion. I find it therefore difficult to believe that the proposed new platform will really be able to bring more overview into research and more structure into the discussion of solutions.

Gustavo Beliz, Ana Inés Basco, and Belisario de Azevedo - Response to report
November 09, 2018 - 11:44

I want to thank you for your comments and thoughtful revision. I would like to clarify that the T20 Platform “Accelerating the Jobs of the Future” is not an existing platform, it is precisely our suggestion to create such a platform. That being said, I completely agree that there already ...[more]

... exists a considerable number of initiatives and platforms out there, and I think this is actually part of the problem. Our recommendation is for the G20, as the leading forum of the world’s major economies, to sponsor this new platform as a way to develop consensual views and cooperation among existing initiatives from UNCTAD, OECD, EU and other organizations, which is what appears to be lacking. Rather than issuing a set of new reports and publications, it would act as a conduit for consensus building among members of the T20, international organizations and countries, and as an engine for joint actions that enable to make the best of ongoing but often uncoordinated efforts.