The theory of punctuated equilibrium suggests that change and evolution, far from being gradual, occurs in short bursts of time, often accelerated by drastic and stressful external shocks. The outbreak of the novel coronavirus promises to do just that. The global response to the novel coronavirus will not only accelerate the process of digitalisation, but also fundamentally alter its trajectory. A new wave of technologies, norms, government policies and social behaviours will emerge, wither or evolve, compelling rapid resolutions to long festering fault-lines, or, for better or worse, entrenching them.

CyFy 2020 will gather an international community of experts — for the first time in a virtual setting — to identify, interrogate and interpret the new normal that is emerging in our global digital society. Over the course of a week, five themes will animate CyFy’s virtual discussions.

The closing remarks by Samir Saran, Chair CyFy, President, ORF at CyFy2020 showcases ten key takeaways from the event, including the rise of China during the pandemic, survival of democracy amid emerging technology, the role of big corporations in our life, their accountability towards communities they serve, and the control of state on technology, among other things.

Saran talks about the social digital contract for the post pandemic world, where the responsibility of the state, big corporates and audiences and citizens will have to be redescribed, the global information systems that requires new guarantors.

The brightest takeaway, he says, is that people are discovering and shaping new aspirations using the device the they hold. During the pandemic, the use of technology by governments, corporations, and people show that the fourth industrial revolution will be driven by positive tech.

The post first appeared in ORF