Evolving economies mean evolving regulations

A popular subject during SXSW was the discussion around politics and responsibility. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan was one of the proponents of new types of regulations to meet challenges we face in the digital era of today. “Evolving economies must mean evolving regulations” he said. He talked about the importance of handling fake news and protecting people online. Discussions on policymakers and governments’ roles in society, and their need to be more proactive than reactive, was also a clear message from Austin.

America needs to figure out the principles that we need to operate under. Other countries already have

- Mark Zuckerberg – Founder of Facebook

Tech to create benefits for all people

The ongoing technology development is beneficial of everyone and we are experiencing a historical change and uncertainty. For example the speed of change, especially change driven by technology is affecting our economies and the society. Technology is disrupting and shifting the way we do everything, our economy, the jobs available, the way we travel, the way we read news, how we communicate and interact with each other. It strikes across so many layers of modern citizens. But how do we utilize technology to better for everyone in the society? Khan argues that the public also have a right to be heard, and that this is something he believe has been absent in recent years.


The impact of social media

Social media is an enormous driver to share information. The largest digital players have brought huge value to the society, such as an easier access to people we love. However, there are growing concerns about how the biggest companies on our planet are impacting our lives. Khan means that the impact is profound and should worry democracies around the world. Religious hatred, fake news, algorithms blinking us to different point of views – putting us to extreme, terrorists using social media to mobilise and radicalise others.


The responsibility of social media giants

Mayor Khan read out loud some of the tweets that has been directed to him. “I don’t read this out to be portrayed as a victim or someone looking for sympathy. But rather to raise the question – what happens when people see these things in their timelines, or experience it themselves? Or becoming politicians themselves in the end?” His point of view is that we simply must do more to protect people online. Social media platforms have legal obligation to look for people that break the law, and this is happening quickly. The German government has changed the law so that social media companies get heavy fines if they do not report and remove this kind of content quickly enough.


Proactively shape the future of tech

Our economies have always needed new regulations when the environment changes. Evolving economies must be equal to evolving regulations. Rather than blaming companies for being too innovative, focus should be on proactively change regulations. Khan argues that it is our generation’s turn to match the scale of challenges today. We need to make sure to embrace the enhancement of tech and proactively shape the future of it and how it can help us create a better society. We are just at the beginning of this journey – companies, and politicians and tech can work together. “I’m optimistic – that we will be able to create a better, more inclusive future for us all.”

Evolving economies must mean evolving regulations. Rather than blaming companies of being more innovative than regulation, politics should keep up with regulation

- Sadiq Khan – Mayor of London

Rules for everyone

There are rules that should be obeyed by everyone. Stand up for yourself and stand up for the regulations. How is it that rules apply differently to small and big companies? Individuals always pay taxes whereas big companies do everything they can to find loop holes.


Governments should be more digital

In a discussion with James Barbour, spokesperson and Head of Press Diplomacy at the EU Delegation to the US and Shawn Powers, Executive Director at US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, among others – they talked about artificial intelligence inside the US government, that the focus of AI is always negative – the “dark side”. They requested more discussions on productive ways of using these tools and the power of these technologies. For example how to interact with the public and communicate the information about policies in a better way? A digital ID can get a refugee the ability to vote. Estonia is an example of a country that has come a long way when it comes to digitalization of government practices, for example with Digital passports.


Proactive governments

Governments are being reactive to the challenges of today. So how can we become more proactive? When issuing visas and passports – we are spending a lot of human resources to answer questions – we could instead use a sophisticated chatbot for this. We also need to initiate conversations between governments and the private sector. If they will bridge the gap between each other, it will be easier to be more proactive, both when it comes to legislation but also when it comes to new technology and the development of society.


Verification will become important

We need to be able to own our truth. Therefore, it will become increasingly important with verification of news and other communication, to make it trustworthy and eliminate fake news. “This is a verified message from the EU or the US” that will be standard in the near future. Today you can put anyone’s face out and say anything. Museums and library’s content is the most trustworthy source of information.




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SXSW is one of the biggest digital conferences in the world, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives. The event takes place during during 10 days each year and this year Cartina had the chance to be part of it.

This series consists of 8 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Austin. If you want to read the full report, click the button above and we will email it to you.


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