In the past 12 months, we’ve seen the potential of technology at scale. Genomic sequencing has enabled us to quickly identify and respond to Covid-19 variants while facilitating the acceleration of vaccine development and deployment. Advances in nuclear fusion meanwhile are offering a real possibility of sustainable and safe energy.
Still, governments around the globe are at an inflection point. In deciding whether to embrace the radical power of technology, they have to balance public hesitancy and suspicion fuelled by competing interests, from those who romanticise the past and regard tech-driven transformation as an outright threat to those who prefer the slow and incremental path to change. All too often, the result is a vision in which technology has to be contained.
Tomorrow will belong to the countries, companies, entrepreneurs and communities that work together responsibly to harness the power of technology for good, and leave no one behind. How we handle the technology revolution is the central question of our time.
In this report, we shed light on public attitudes towards government, technology and the international order to give policymakers a clearer understanding of where progress and innovation is welcome, and where deficits in trust are holding back adoption and advances. Although the report underlines issues of trust between citizens and their governments and between citizens and big tech, it also shows how technology can be instrumental in building public confidence in digital infrastructure, as evidenced by successful applications of online platforms and services during the pandemic.
Over the past three years, the TBI Globalism Study has sought to highlight how progressive policymakers and leaders should embrace the technological revolution, rather than attempt to hold it back. If we can address some of the issues highlighted here, then we’ll be closer to realising the full potential of the internet age.