UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Digital divide, platform monopolies: Governing technology in a time of crisis

06 July 2020, 4:30 pm–6:00 pm

Digital divide, platform monopolies: Governing technology in a time of crisis

Join the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP) as we discuss how governments across the world have seized this opportunity, from tracking apps to shaping markets through new digital platforms with leading experts Francesca Bria and Giulio Quaggiotto, chaired by Rainer Kattel.

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UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

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COVID-19 has amplified long held concerns about the digital economy: the monopoly power of big tech, the lack of privacy, lagging government capabilities, and the digital divide between those with and without access. There is a vast potential for governments to change course and steer digitalisation towards societal ends and away from the value extractive model of monetising personal information. We will discuss how governments across the world have seized this opportunity, from tracking apps to shaping markets through new digital platforms.

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This event will be live-streamed via Zoom. Please sign up using the link above. 

Please note there are limited virtual seats available for this event. We will also be live-streaming the event on YouTube, so please follow IIPP on Twitter @IIPP_UCL where we will be sharing the YouTube link on the day of the event if you are unable to register for a ticket.

A recording will be available to watch online after the live event.

A global engagement series: Public purpose in the time of COVID-19

Hosted by the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), this virtual events series will ask the questions: What ​is ‘public purpose’ in the time of a global pandemic? What is the role of the State in shaping a social and economic recovery with a new directionality? Throughout the series, IIPP will be in conversation with leading global thinkers on today’s most pressing challenges, from the macroeconomic policy response to the effectiveness of different public governance solutions and civic engagement experimentation.

This series will also explore how to give public purpose to powerful digital technologies and rebuild more resilient economic systems and institutions, as well as what is needed across emerging economies to avoid spiralling into more debt and inequality.

The current global COVID-19 crisis is a wake-up call for a new public purpose which works for a more inclusive and sustainable global society.

Follow the conversation at #IIPPCOVID19

More information about the series

About the Speakers

Francesca Bria

President at Italian Innovation Fund

Francesca Bria
Francesca Bria is an innovation economist and digital policy expert whose work is located at the intersection of technology, geopolitics and the economy. She was recently appointed to lead the newly created Italian Innovation Fund with an aim to develop the Italian venture capital system. Previously, Francesca was Chief Digital Technology and Innovation Officer for the City of Barcelona and Senior Programme Lead at Nesta, the UK Innovation Agency. In 2017, she founded the DECODE project, funded by the EU, to create tools to give individuals more control of what happens with their personal data. She is Senior Adviser on Digital Cities and Digital Rights for the United Nations and Honorary Professor at the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP). She has been listed as one of the top 50 women in tech by Forbes and as one of 100 women changing the world by Italian Magazine Repubblica "D". @francesca_bria | More about Francesca Bria

Giulio Quaggiotto

Head of the Regional Innovation Center in the Asia Pacific at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Guilio Quaggiotto
Giulio Quaggiotto is an expert in the social and international development aspects of innovation. In his role with the UNDP he works with governments across the Asia Pacific region to develop innovative capabilities and generate solutions to complex development challenges. He is a Research Associate at MIT with a focus on user driven innovation. Previously, he was the Director of Community at Climate KIC and an Innovation Advisor for the Prime Minister’s Office in the UAE. Giulio’s career also includes stints at Nesta, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Bank. He was also the manager of the Jakarta Lab of the UN Global Pulse, a flagship innovation initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General on big data for public policy. @gquaggiotto | More about Giulio Quaggiotto

Rainer Kattel (Chair)

Professor of Innovation and Public Governance and Deputy Director at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Rainer Kattel IIPP-COVID19 Event Series
Rainer Kattel is a leading thinker on the organisational and institutional aspects of innovation and innovation policies. His work has revealed the delicate balancing act for entrepreneurial states between enabling agility and experimentation whilst simultaneously providing stability to minimise long-term uncertainty. Recently, he has focused on the digital transformation of the public sector and its implications for public services, politics and markets. He has written and edited numerous books, including the forthcoming Innovation Bureaucracies (with Wolfgang Drechsler and Erkki Karo). For ten years he led the Ragnar Nurkse School of Innovation and Governance and has served as an expert for public organisations such as the Estonian Research Council, the OECD, UNDP and the European Commission. He leads Estonia’s Gender Equality Council and is a member of the E-Estonia Council. In 2013, he received Estonia's National Science Award for his work on innovation policy. @rainerkattel | More about Rainer Kattel (Chair)