How the Internet is Changing Government Agendas

DISCLAIMER: All opinions in this column reflect the views of the author(s), not of EURACTIV.COM Ltd.

“The world is in a transition from an industrial and information economy into a conceptual economy” whose ultimate resource is talent, writes Žiga Turk, a University of Ljubljana professor, former Slovenian minister and current secretary-general of the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe, on his blog.

The conceptual economy will change how governments work, argues Turk, reflecting on “the role of government in the digital society of 2025”.

“An increasing number of people” are able to show their talents, says Turk, but “the game is how to make use of all this talent,” he explains.

As talent is “empowered by information and communication technologies,” governments should first of all let “people and individuals” decide. Government should not be a “decision-making body”, but a “coordination platform among stakeholders”. It should “coordinate” rather than “command or control,” Turk argues.

Then, “when government has to make decisions, it should do so in an open way” by providing “a platform for reaching decisions and agreements among stakeholders,” he writes.

According to Turk, “political systems follow communication technologies” as the better communication is, the more people are involved.

“Governments must take steps to support this conceptual economy,” Turk concludes, namely by:

  • Creating, attracting, retaining and empowering talent;
  • Providing a technical infrastructure (Internet for all) that encourages creativity;
  • Providing law and order, and;
  • Considering what kind of intellectual property rights are most appropriate in an economy that is increasingly de-materialised. 

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