A few weeks ago I attended the 12th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty. Organized by the Brookings Institution, the Blum Roundtable brings together policy and technical experts from government, academia, business, investors and NGOs from all over the world. This year’s event, - Disrupting Development with Digital Technologies, - explored the impact of the digital economy on the ways business and development organizations now engage with emerging and developing countries.
In a pre-Roundtable blog, Kemal Derviş, - Brookings VP, Global Economy and Development, - identified three major trends with the potential to redefine global development over the next 10 years: the growing adoption of digital payments serving people everywhere with near-frictionless transactions; the spread of Internet connectivity and digital literacy; and the harnessing of data to better serve the poor and to generate new knowledge.
Discussions were organized around six different sessions over three days. Each session looked at the impact of digital technologies on economic development through a different lens, including electronic payments, access to information and the future of work. Prior to the Roundtable, Brookings commissioned a policy brief for each session to help set the stage for the ensuing presentations and discussions.