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ICTC’s policy contribution to the Davos 2021 discussions

(Ottawa January 27, 2021) Coinciding with the Davos 2021 international meeting, ICTC released a policy response titled Shaping the Next Normal, outlining the tenets of an environmentally sustainable and digitally-led economic recovery.

Despite a tumultuous 2020 and a future that continues to be fraught with uncertainties, cautious optimism reigns around the world. The global macroeconomic reality nevertheless is in a state of flux, with many industry verticals feeling the full brunt of this challenging environment, whereas others are finding reprieve in being digital by default.

The sharp drop in economic activity and job losses has prompted governments and central banks to act swiftly to mitigate the onslaught of this pandemic. Massive liquidity provisions and favourable credit support have played a role in calming markets amid signs of considerable financial stress. Much of the world population has rapidly embraced a contact-free economy. From eCommerce and eLearning to Telemedicine, this has become the new normal for many citizens.

Automation and digital adoption also showed businesses a path to resilience and continuity in a globally competitive landscape. Business and popular sentiment has shifted toward green as the colour of the post-pandemic economic recovery. This crisis has, more than ever, affirmed the significance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals on climate action, good health and wellbeing, sustainable cities and communities, jobs and economic growth, and the importance of a shared and equitable future for all citizens.

The world economy, however, is at an inflection point that requires careful consideration and potential actions. A key question facing world leaders now is how to best imagine and shape a post-pandemic economy. If necessity is the mother of invention, this pandemic raises critical questions that need to be addressed. Shaping the Next Normal explores the construct of a sustainable post-pandemic economy along the following themes:

  • Prioritizing and incentivizing an environmentally responsible economy
  • Rethinking GDP as a metric that encourages social, economic, and environmentally responsible innovations and outcomes
  • Empowering the development of sustainable and intelligent communities to bridge the digital divide and create inclusive economic growth and employment
  • Embracing online and digital education to support universal lifelong learning and the future of work
  • Encouraging international trade agreements that promote resilient supply chains between nations

As global pressures mount for austerity and increased taxation to offset the cost of this pandemic, our best response should be firmly anchored in supporting economic growth and expansionary monetary policies built on strong international trade and partnerships. There is no time like the present to shape the future while fully embracing the transformative power of digital technologies.

“With adversity comes opportunities. It’s time for a bold vision to shape and reimagine the future. The science, policies, and practice of our actions today will form the foundations of a more prosperous, sustainable, and equitable future for generations to come,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO.

Shaping the Next Normal can be accessed here.

For more information about Shaping the Next Normal or to arrange an interview with the authors, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823

About ICTC

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.



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