During a recent Web summit in Lisbon, Tim Berners Lee – the founder of the internet – proposed a New Contract for the information superhighway as our society is facing new challenges as internet and digital information and communication technology (ICT) now permeates virtually all aspects of our lives.
The challenges are strongly connected with our desire as a collective society for a prosperous and competitive economy, a sustainable environment, and a more democratic, open, healthy society.
The Internet Challenges should be seen as a key positive element, empowering citizens, growing businesses and helping us build an open, innovative, secure and sustainable innovation society.
More than ever, society needs clear and balanced responses to the challenges that face the internet, ones that are based on a full understanding of policy issues and the context in which they are addressed. A pragmatic strategy is needed for sustainable growth and prosperity, so that Europe can respond to the following main challenges:
– Transforming society into a high skill / high employment economy, one that is needed in a globalised environment;
– Tackling the effects of an ageing population while improving the major services for the public;
– And doing so in a way that takes account foreseeable expenditures and environmental constraints;
Is is critical that the governments understand the vital importance of these issues in terms of promoting an effective contract for the Web that is understood by all citizens as a decisive enabler of change.
The effective implementation of the solutions, society will demand an new contract that is centred on the main following priorities:
– An onnovation economy – driver of future wealth;
– The knowledge society – participation for all;
– Green ICT – support for an eco-efficient economy;
– Next generation onfrastructure – balancing investment with competition;
– Soft Infrastructure – investing in Social Capital;
– SMEs and ICT – supporting small enterprises;
– A single information market – enabling cohesion and growth;
– Transforming e-government – rethinking delivery of public services;
– Online trust – a safe and secure digital world;
– Clear leadership – rethinking the public policy making process
The challenges demand an effective partnership contract between all the key actors – the nation states, universities, businesses, and civil societies of Europe – in order to build a real strategy of confidence when it comes to the implementation of different policies.
The focus on Innovation and Knowledge as the drivers of creating added value with an international dissemination is a unique challenge that may be the answer to a new way of interaction between those who have the responsibility of thinking and those that have the responsibility of producing goods and services.
In a new global and innovation society, the internet has a central role to play towards the creation of value and a focus on creativity. In a time of change, the contract for the web can´t wait.
The contract must confirm itself as an enabler in a very traditional system by introducing into the economy a capital of trust and change that is essential to ensure a central leadership in the future.