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Policy Briefs

People-Centered Science and Digital Transformation: A Practical Proposal for the G7 and G20

Abstract

To increase the benefits of scientific research and innovations in frontier technologies and digitalization, coordination, collaboration, trust building, and knowledge sharing between the Group of Seven (G7) and Group of Twenty (G20) countries and the rest of the world are crucial. Although breakthroughs in these fields are making progress toward achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a significant digital gap exists, hindering the effective implementation of progress. Often, the participation and engagement of ordinary people are an afterthought but are essential to creating sustainable processes for applying and scaling the implementation of scientific and digital breakthroughs so that all communities can become resilient.

Therefore, we propose the creation of the “Sustainable Prosperity Network’’: a people-to-people network that harnesses science and data-driven digitalization to increase interoperability and integration between existing initiatives and global institutions in fulfilling global challenges. By connecting physical and digital communities with the goal of empowering ordinary people to participate meaningfully in policy making and innovation processes, we can act together to achieve results that will vastly increase the positive impact of science, frontier technologies, and digitalization. With minimal commitment from the G7 and G20 processes, the Sustainable Prosperity Network can expedite collaboration among key stakeholders, create resilient communities capable of meeting global issues like the climate challenge and multidimensional inequalities, and ultimately achieve the UN SDGs by 2030. A Sustainable Prosperity Network approach ensures that the G7 and G20 processes have an opportunity to effectively coordinate their respective efforts to build trust and share knowledge. We can increase the benefits of science, frontier technologies, and digitalization in a manner that facilitates “glocal” development breakthroughs that can be scaled and adapted for various local contexts, while accelerating progress toward a more equitable and resilient world.