Richard Purcell: What is so important about an economy that is digital?

July 29th, 2014

What is so important about an Economy that is Digital?

In my last blog, I talked about how disruptive technologies have changed so much of our lives that we can rightfully describe our economy as being truly digital. So much has changed about the way we talk to each other, read books, discover new information, and learn about what is happening right now.

So, it brings to mind the challenge the all innovators face – how do we create this as a sustainable effort? What will make this digital economy last and create truly long-term shifts in our prosperity and well-being? Is what we see today just a super-Internet – or is it something more profound?

Over a decade ago, entertainment companies faced a critical situation. They were able to create much more content than the current distribution system could handle with the then-current theater and television infrastructure. Cable television vastly widened their distribution, but that cable needed to be strung to each and every household before the content could come ‘down the pipe’. We called this the last mile problem – they had to connect before they could move forward.

We face similar challenges in the Digital Economy and this time our last mile involves the trustworthiness of the digital products, services, information and solutions – not just that they are faster, cheaper, better and easier to use. Up until recently, digital transactions were relatively simple and the elements of trust have been based on reputation, goodwill and, frankly, consumers turning a blind eye to the down-side consequences. That’s not how an economy is built, though. As the system increases in complexity, the demand for structural trust increases. Trust has to be integrated into the exchange mechanism according to accepted rules with reasonable oversight.

How do we get to an economy with demonstrably trustworthy behaviors? Join your fellow explorers at the 2nd annual Digital Economy Congress in Vancouver BC 8-10 October to examine the ways online retail, cloud services, wide-spread sensors, data analytics and digital currencies can become sufficiently trusted to create a sustainable economy. Together, we can explore how we can solve our newest last mile challenge – trust in the digital economy. 


The 2nd Annual Digital Economy Congress is taking place in Vancouver on October 9th and 10th. Find out how you can get involved here.

Richard Purcell - CEO, Corporate Privacy Group

Richard Purcell has been a leading voice in addressing consumer privacy and data protection challenges since the late ‘90’s. He leads Corporate Privacy Group (CPG), an independent consulting firm focusing on establishing sustainable and effective information security and privacy programs. CPG supports multi-national corporations, Internet start-ups and government agencies in planning, developing, and implementing enterprise-wide […]

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