Behind the hype of hyperconnectivity

Alan Marcus
Head of Information Technologies, Telecommunications, Media and Entertainment Industries; Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum LLC
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In a world where the digital and physical realms are merging, we need new ways to balance complex, interdependent and often contradictory values.

The increasing global impact of hyperconnectivity warrants a deeper understanding of the norms, values and responsibilities for building sustainable global systems and institutions.

Recognition is growing that digital hyperconnectivity is dramatically changing the world around us.

Leaders across all sectors and regions realize that this has profound implications.

But how should they respond?

Relationships are changing, between all members of society. It is not clear what the new roles, responsibilities, norms, business models or system dynamics will look like in the next 5-10 years.

In an environment of challenging global economic and social conditions, the role of government is in flux, as the public demands more.

New technologies offer governments unprecedented opportunities to generate efficiency gains and productivity in the public sector and to improve policy outcomes.

Increasingly too, citizens and businesses use those same technologies and tools, including social media, to contest existing policies and processes and provide submissions and proposals on emerging ones. Governments face the growing need to sustain and increase public sector agility, and to adopt and use technologies in new ways. There’s a chance to make policy-making more inclusive, moving from one-way consultation to  collaborative, trust-based relationships.

That trust needs security. Increasing dependence on connectivity for everyday activities is fast turning cyber security into one of the single most important threats faced by businesses and governments alike.

This is why it is critical to establish principles that can to provide institutions with a model to help them meet that threat and that’s where the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Cyber Resilience initiative comes in.

The widespread adoption of the principles it has developed is helping to raise business standards and contribute to the shared goals of economic stability and prosperity. A lot of policy will be written in this space in the coming years and new business models will emerge to deliver new benefits to society.

The World Economic Forum is committed to providing the space for the necessary dialogue to support the development of globally equitable, sustainable and interoperable solutions.

The Global Information Technology Report 2012 will be launched Wednesday April 4 11.00 EST.

Alan Marcus, Senior Director, Head of Information Technology and Telecommunications Industries, World Economic Forum

Pictured: John Bumgarner, a cyber warfare expert who is chief technology officer of the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit, a non-profit group that studies the impact of cyber threats, works on his laptop computer during a portrait session in Charlotte, North Carolina December 1, 2011. A cyber warfare expert claims he has linked the Stuxnet computer virus that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010 to Conficker, a mysterious worm that surfaced in late 2008 and infected millions of PCs. Conficker was used to open back doors into computers in Iran, then infect them with Stuxnet, according to research Bumgarner, a retired U.S. Army special-operations veteran and former intelligence officer. To match Insight – CYBERSECURITY/IRAN REUTERS/John Adkisson

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