By Bruno Bioni, Jaqueline Pigatto, Mariana Rielli and Rafael Zanatta

 

The year 2024 marks Brazil’s presidency in the G20, the group of the world’s largest economies, chaired by our country for the first time. It is a year of great opportunity for Brazil to influence a broad global governance agenda, prioritizing issues such as inequality, climate change, and, of course, digital transformations.

Alongside the G20, various engagement groups are formed annually, providing opportunities for participation from actors beyond governments. The T20 (Think20) is the think tank group, and Data Privacy Brazil is co-leading one of the task forces within this group in 2024, alongside the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), an independent organization founded in India over thirty years ago.

In addition to the T20, which brings together research and policy formulation organizations, there are meetings of business leaders (B20), scientists (S20), civil society activists (C20), labor leaders (L20), auditors (SAI20), women leaders (W20), and youth organizations (Y20). Within this complex arrangement, the T20 constitutes the support structure for the G20 governments by formulating ideas and policy proposals.

Following the principles of inclusion, representativity, and effectiveness, T20 Brazil will seek to engage a large number of national and foreign think tanks, encouraging the participation of African organizations, and will have a broader impact on the Finance and Sherpa tracks of the G20.

Understanding the Task Force on Inclusive Digital Transformation

The T20 consists of six task forces. The first is called “Combatting inequalities, poverty, and hunger,” led by MADE/USP and CIPECC. The second is called “Sustainable climate action and fair and inclusive energy transitions,” led by the Cipó Platform and IDDRI. The third is called “Reforming the international financial architecture,” led by the BRICS Policy Center and IWEP. The fourth task force is called “Trade and investment for sustainable and inclusive growth,” led by FGV and IDOS. The sixth task force is called “Reinforcing multilateralism and global governance,” led by the Igarapé Institute and IGD.

The task force led by Data Privacy Brazil and ORF is the fifth, named “Inclusive Digital Transformation.” According to its institutional description, “TF5 focuses its efforts on developing recommendations to leverage digital innovations to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, ensuring both inclusion and ethical considerations. Its objective is to influence the work of the G20 Sherpa Track Digital Economy Working Group.”

The working logic of the task forces involves curating policy recommendations (policy briefs) produced by specialized organizations. These recommendations, once selected through a competitive submission and evaluation process, are directed to the G20 Digital Economy Working Group. In this sense, the task force channels the best public policy ideas from think tanks to decision-makers engaged in diplomatic negotiations for international cooperation.

What is meant by inclusive digital transformation?

UNDP argues that digital transformation can play a crucial role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), provided it is approached in a deliberately inclusive and rights-based manner. Simply adopting digital transformation does not automatically guarantee progress in this direction. If we do not address the digital divide and other forms of digital exclusion, we can expect long-term negative impacts on human development. Following the UNDP’s stance, the approach we seek is one of “inclusive digital transformation” that ensures digital technologies are accessible to all, enabling meaningful and secure use of the Internet and digital services, from a citizenship perspective rather than a consumption standpoint.

This approach meets the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, including those without access to connectivity, aiming to build a more open, transparent, and sustainable society without leaving anyone behind. Additionally, it promotes the use and development of digital technologies that are open, responsible, and equitable.

As an approach focused on citizenship and a framework of fundamental rights, inclusive digital transformation also involves advancements in what is referred to as data ethics, regulation of artificial intelligence, and digital public infrastructure.

The role of track coordinators in the task force

Below is the composition of the task force, where members and coordinators of each subtrack will be responsible for the analysis, discussion, and summarization of recommendations based on policy brief submissions for the final declaration of T20 Brazil. It is noted that the selection of task force members followed criteria of regional-continental diversity, gender, ethnicity, as well as previous experience and the organization-person’s involvement in regional-global public policy processes within multilateral and international spaces.

1. Digital Inclusion and Meaningful Universal Connectivity

  • Alison Gillwald – Research ICT Africa
  • Alexandre Barbosa – CETIC.br
  • Christian Kastrop – Global Solution Initiative

2. Digital Transformation and Platformization of Public Services

  • Astha Kapoor – Aapti Institute
  • Caroline Khene – Institute of Development Studies
  • Carolina Rossini – Datasphere Initiative

3. Digital Integrity, Data Protection, and Cybersecurity

  • Teki Akuetteh – Africa Digital Rights Hub
  • Luca Belli – CTS
  • Gabriela Zanfir – Future of Privacy Forum

4. New Digital Technologies for SDGs and Decent Work

  • Celina Bottino – ITS Rio 
  • Ramiro Albrieu – Red Sur
  • Mark Graham – Oxford Internet Institute

5. Challenges, Opportunities, and Governance of Artificial Intelligence

  • Edson Prestes – UFRGS / Phi Robotics Research Group
  • Stephanie Ifayemi – Partnership on AI
  • Adeboye Adegoke – Paradigm Initiative 

6. Global Digital Governance and Regulation of Digital Platforms

  • Anita Gurumurthy – IT for Change
  • Fernanda Martins – InternetLab 
  • Maria Paz Canales – Global Partners Digital 

In the coming months, we will be co-organizing parallel events where we hope to have the participation of different entities, not restricted to members of the Task Force. It is crucial to have collaboration in other events related to T20 as well – this form can be filled out by those who wish to organize an event. One of our responsibilities as lead co-chair is the co-construction of the T20 calendar, specifically for the Inclusive Digital Transformation task force. We are already receiving some proposals, and the idea is to merge them to optimize resources and efforts to the fullest extent.

 

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