Between March 4th and 6th, the Organizing Committee of T20 Brazil – composed of CEBRI, FUNAG, and IPEA – held the first official event of the engagement group. The event took place entirely virtually and was openly broadcast to the public. On this occasion, Bruno Bioni, co-director of Data Privacy Brazil, presented the task force on “Inclusive Digital Transformation”, co-led by Data, along with Anirban Sarma from ORF India. The event’s program and recording can be accessed on the T20 website.

Since December 2023, Brazil has been serving as the president of the G20, a group that brings together the world’s largest economies. Under the Brazilian presidency, there are 13 engagement groups, with the aim of increasing the participation of various sectors of society and providing inputs and recommendations for the Sherpa Tracks and Finance Tracks. Among these groups are the Civil 20 (C20), Business 20 (B20), Women 20 (W20), and the Think 20 (T20), which brings together think tanks and research centers such as Data Privacy Brazil. Each group is composed of different task forces, according to the priorities of each sector.

The T20 consists of six task forces: 1. Combating inequalities, poverty, and hunger; 2. Sustainable climate action and inclusive energy transitions; 3. Reform of the international financial architecture; 4. Trade and investment for sustainable and inclusive growth; 5. Inclusive digital transformation; 6. Strengthening multilateralism and global governance.

The task forces also have internal divisions, in subtracks on priority topics within the task force’s scope, each with three members from different G20 countries. The Inclusive Digital Transformation task force has six subtracks. Data Privacy Brazil’s work in coordinating task force 5, as well as its relationship with the broader G20 process and other aspects of the groups’ structure, were addressed in a previous blog post.

The T20 Inception Conference aimed to present the work and outline the group’s next steps collaboratively, with task forces, members of the Advisory Councils and other engagement groups, as well as official representatives of the G20. Over the three-day event, all task forces were presented by coordinators, addressing their composition, with the presentation of track members, and the process of curating policy briefs abstracts, submitted to inform the T20’s recommendations to the Digital Economy Working Group of the Sherpa Track.

On the last day of the conference, Bruno Bioni – who coordinates task force five with Anirban Sarma and Jaqueline Pigatto – presented the main highlights of the Inclusive Digital Transformation task force. In his speech, he highlighted the selection process of the abstracts, especially the high number of submissions: there were approximately 200 abstracts submitted, of which 98 were selected in a collaborative effort between track members and task force coordinators.

Still, on the quantitative aspect, Bioni highlighted the submissions for the Artificial Intelligence (AI) track, which received the most abstracts (53). He connected this data with Ambassador Maurício Lyrio’s speech on the first day of the conference, who informed that the Sherpa Track has been treating AI as a priority. In the ambassador’s words:

“In terms of global governance, one important issue we are starting to discuss in the digital economy is the governance of Artificial Intelligence. […]. Whatever contribution T20 could provide in terms of this important issue would be useful for us too, because this is something that I think G20 should assume as an important issue for discussion as soon as possible”.

On the qualitative aspect, Bioni highlighted the intersectionality aspect in the submissions and how digital agendas emerged transversally in the reports from other task forces:

“‘Intersectionality’ is a good word to describe a pattern of all the subtracks, in the sense that digital technologies should be rooted to address the most fundamental and pressuring issues (climate justice, work skills and education, gender and race discrimination, global governance deficit). The transversality of the digital with other subjects demands us how this agenda could relate to other task-forces (…) and how we could work together aiming to build a more “just worlds and a sustainable planet” with fewer inequalities, hunger, and poverty, resonating the of the Brazilian President (Lula)’s words which reflects a policy continuity line considering previous G20 presidencies, especially from Global South countries, and looking ahead to the next year in South Africa”. 

On the last day of the conference, Anirban Sarma, who is also leading the Inclusive Digital Transformation task-force, participated in the wrap-up session with other task-force coordinators. Sarma represents ORF India, which participated in the T20 India‘s core group, and he was also co-chair of the engagement group’s task-force on digital public infrastructures in 2023. Based on these previous experiences, he highlighted the convergence between different task-forces and engagement groups recommendations and how to address them:

“One experience we had during the Indian presidency while writing our task-force statements was there were considerable overlaps between the big recommendations coming from different task-forces. We can actually preempt this by having chairs meet in smaller groups, by making this a dynamic ongoing dialogue. […]. We also need to engage with the other engagement groups”.

The aspect of creating synergies between task forces and engagement groups was one of the highlights of the conference. Through activities such as side-events and the elaboration of joint statements, this work is seen as particularly important in the coming months leading up to the delivery of engagement groups’ recommendations to the Digital Economy Working Group. The delivery of the T20 Communiqué, containing the recommendations, will take place during the Mid-term Conference in July, with the date and location to be announced. Data Privacy Brazil continues its efforts in leadership and coordination of this important task force, always seeking multi-sectoral dialogue and the perspective of the Global South on inclusion and development topics in the digital sphere.

Learn more about the task force here.

Access the full speech here.

Access the conceptual note of the task force here.

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