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New Digital Normal

Are we ready for the changed world?
09.11.2020
New Digital Normal

The next Open Innovations international forum for innovative development will take place at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre on October 19-21. The event will be held in Russia for the ninth time and will cover all the most topical issues of 2020. The impact of the pandemic and all the technical transformations on society and business space that followed it will be the focus of the forum. Yekaterina Inozemtseva told about the event in detail.

Екатерина-Иноземцева_T.jpg Yekaterina Inozemtseva
Director General of Skolkovo Forum

The pandemic has had a huge impact on all sectors of society and all fields of human activity. The mass transition to online space was one of the main transformation processes during the self-isolation period. That is why Open Innovations forum in 2020 was named New Digital Normal. 

According to Yekaterina Inozemtseva, the first day of the event will be dedicated to the study of people and human environment. Forced self-isolation and increased activity in using various digital services have affected society seriously. First of all, the format of interaction among people has changed. Remote work and studies alongside communication on the net have become a truly integral part of society. Many people, projects, and businesses had to adjust to the new order of existence. That not only became an impetus for revision of development strategies and action plans but also left an imprint on the consciousness of people and somehow changed their attitude to some things.

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“How do people, their environment, and their lives change when they get more advanced technological capabilities? This is a very serious question that requires deep reflection. Our experts will share their opinion on that issue”, says Ms. Inozemtseva. 

During the second day of the forum, participants will talk about new scenarios and platforms for interaction among business, government and society on a global scale. As emphasized by Yekaterina Inozemtseva, the discussion will focus primarily on the ‘economy of survival’.

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The new reality has literally forced the entire economic and political community to adjust to its challenges and requirements. Those who were able to quickly transform their plans and adapt to changing supply chains, closure of borders, remote work, and other circumstances were the most prepared for such an unforeseen situation. 

Such skills as mobility, responsiveness, and flexibility are relevant not only in times of pandemic and crisis. Today’s world is very changeable, so the ability to introduce innovations to work more effectively is a conscious necessity for any business. 

The third day of the forum will be devoted to the discussion of the laws of technology development in the post-COVID-19 future. Although the pandemic did not serve as an impetus for the creation of innovative products, it significantly changed the trends and priorities in their development. 

“Food delivery services, remote education courses, and other online projects became particularly relevant during the pandemic. In addition, the development of medical technologies and innovations and everything that could help fight the virus became more important. However, during the forum, we would like to pay special attention to not only these trends but also the topical issues of cyber security and artificial intelligence”, emphasizes Yekaterina Inozemtseva.

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The transition of almost the entire world to online space resulted in increased risks and threats related to web security. Accordingly, the development of technologies that are able to solve the tasks of the digital community became the priority. 

“The pandemic not only became a global problem for the world but also revealed many other problems. For example, the mass transition to online space has shown that digitalisation not only offers people many opportunities but also poses new challenges to society”, noted Ms. Inozemtseva. 

People, who did not have internet access or did not have sufficient computer literacy, found themselves in a losing situation. During the self-isolation period, they did not have opportunities for comfortable interaction with society and the world. Thus, the inequality between some segments of the population or even between entire countries became even more evident. That also contributed to changes in the development priorities of some areas. At the same time, ‘forced’ digitalisation has accelerated the involvement of some groups of the population in economic turnover. For example, the transition to remote working made it possible to increase the number of vacancies for people with disabilities.

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It is planned to pay special attention to the issues of women entrepreneurship during the forum. 

“We have always talked about the fact that digitalisation provides many new opportunities for women in business. It gives them access to an extensive flow of information, remote work, and new professional activities. We may say, today we are in the ‘conditions of the future’: the transition to online space was very rapid. And now we are interested to know how women entrepreneurs managed to cope with the situation. We want to find out whether they were able to take advantage of all the benefits that the new digital economy has given them”, explained Yekaterina Inozemtseva. 

During the forthcoming forum, participants will also talk about the transformation in education including not only changes in formats but also those in the content of training. Experts will share their opinion on what specialities will be relevant in the world after the pandemic. 

Are people ready for the changed world? This is what the participants of the Open Innovations forum will talk about for three days. The experts will estimate the degree of transformation in different spheres of human life in terms of social, economic, and technological relations. The main thing is that they will prove that digital reality is normal for the modern world. 

Viktoria Yezhova, Global Women Media news agency

Translated by Nikolay Gavrilov


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