Digital Economy Report 2021

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST (UTC–05:00)
Public Event: Virtual Event

The event will be hosted in English and include simultaneous translation in French.
L’événement se déroulera en anglais et comprendra une traduction simultanée en français.

With cross-border data flows surging, data has become an increasingly important economic and strategic resource. At the same time, the governance of data remains fragmented at best.

The Digital Economy Report 2021 takes a deep dive into the development and policy implications of cross-border flows of digital data. The report provides a fresh and holistic view of this particular kind of international economic flow. It examines recent trends and global developments in the data-driven digital economy, and reviews existing data governance approaches at the national, regional and multilateral levels. The report calls for innovative governance approaches that reflect the multiple and interlinked dimensions of data, balancing different interests and needs in a way that supports inclusive and sustainable development with the full participation of all countries.

In this webinar, the main findings of the report will be presented, followed by a moderated panel discussion.

The event is jointly hosted by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), in partnership with George Washington University's Digital Trade and Data Governance Hub (DataGov Hub), the Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network, and New York University’s The Governance Lab (The GovLab).

Key Questions:

  • What are the most important issues that countries face in the governance of the data-driven economy?
  • How can the voices and concerns of developing countries be best reflected in the development of global governance of data and cross-border data flows?


  • Susan Ariel Aaronson, CIGI Senior Fellow, Research Professor of International Affairs and Director of the DataGov Hub, George Washington University
  • Bob Fay, Managing Director of Digital Economy, CIGI
  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Head of the E-Commerce and Digital Economy Branch, UNCTAD
  • Fernando Perini, Senior Program Specialist, IDRC
  • Lorrayne Porciuncula, Executive Director of the Datasphere Initiative, Internet and Jurisdiction Policy Network
  • Erin Tansey, Director, Sustainable Inclusive Economies, IDRC
  • Stefaan Verhulst, Co-Founder, The GovLab at New York University

Event Speakers

Susan Ariel Aaronson is a CIGI senior fellow, research professor of international affairs at George Washington University and co-principal investigator with the National Science Foundation/National Institute of Standards and Technology, where she leads research on data and AI governance.

Robert (Bob) Fay is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert in the field of digital economy research.

Torbjörn Fredriksson is the Head of the E-commerce and Digital Economy Branch at the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Fernando Perini is a senior program specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Fernando is responsible for a portfolio of research projects advancing data ecosystems in developing countries. In recent years, he has contributed to several strategic IDRC initiatives, including open data, feminist open government and artificial intelligence for development.

Lorrayne Porciuncula leads the Datasphere Initiative, incubated and catalyzed by the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network.

Erin Tansey is the director of IDRC’s Sustainable Inclusive Economies program.

Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder of the Governance Laboratory (The GovLab) at New York University (NYU).