Despite significant investments in ICTs, entrepreneurship and innovation, many countries cannot adapt to the fast-changing digital environment and technological revolutions. Countries need new, more resilient, and forward-thinking approaches to guarantee they can safely navigate a digital world that is increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) and achieve the outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals.
To bridge the Digital Innovation Divide, we need to empower countries to overcome challenges on their path through digital transformation – unlock their digital potential, build local capabilities in innovation and entrepreneurship, and accelerate their ecosystems’ impact on cross-cutting sectors for an inclusive and sustainable society.
It is imperative to rethink innovation capacity at the national, regional and global levels, including:
1) countries’ capacity for strategic foresight on technology impact,
2) ability to develop bankable projects without the Silos,
3) providing support for small and medium enterprises to grow,
4) enabling favorable policy conditions that accelerate investment, and
5) Enabling access to open innovation and technologies
Nurturing digital innovation and entrepreneurship is a key element to the missing link to closing the digital divide and ongoing efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To close the growing digital innovation gap, the BDT has recently launched a new framework, the Innovation and entrepreneurship Alliance for Digital Development, which will support countries in building critical local enablers needed to lead in the changing digital environment.
A high-level dialogue will follow to address the following questions:
What are countries doing to be ahead of the curve?
How can we assess the innovation capacity of countries?
What can countries do to be the driver of digital innovation?
What can countries do to absorb fast-changing ICT-centric technologies?
What should partnership look like to accelerate the development of digital innovation capacity?