2050: A glimpse into the Future of Global Governance

Looking out 30 years, we assume the fundamental role of government will be similar but the shape of government systems and how they function will change significantly.

It is expected that access to data and AI-assisted modelling and planning will enable governments to be more agile, proactive and more-long-term. Leaders can draw on rapid modelling and prototyping to “test” strategies and policy choices under different scenario.

Mapping the world; charting the future. With almost unlimited access to data about their citizens’ lives and sentiment and economic output, impact and resources, governments will be in a position to make rapid, informed choices about policies, citizens’ needs and service delivery. Governments will be able also to share their data maps with citizen’s in real-time, to raise awareness and drive behavioral and societal change.

Simultaneously, governments will be more interventionist to safeguard societal cohesion and economic well-being. From sanctioning predictive policing to pre-emptive lifestyle changes, active behaviour change policies are an important tool. They will be developed for many outcomes; improved health and mental well-being, support early childhood development and life-long learning; to reduce environmental impact through sustainable consumption habits.

Not to mention that data governance will be come as critical as good economic and financial governance for a country’s reputation and public trust. Given its economic, social and security importance, the state must play a leading role as rule-maker and watchdog to ensure a level playing field for business and data security and protection for citizens.

But will democracy survive datafication?

Political leaders and governments will have extraordinary access to information on how citizens feel about what issues and why. They will also have intelligent systems and innumerable channels to communicate and influence thinking and behavior. With acceptable levels of societal well-being, citizens could disengage from politics.

How will WikiGov: real-time co-governance work?

In areas where understanding public sentiment or ensuring citizen buy-in for new regulation and programmes, policy-makers take an open-source approach. Citizens contribute ideas for solutions in areas and respond to/test policy prototypes. Most suited to issues where public interest and engagement are high, e.g. education reform or health and well-being policies, “wide-scale” co-creation approaches makes the policy design process more efficient and implementation more effective.

Enabled by highly connected public services and communication channels, citizen and community networks will actively contribute to safeguarding their neighborhoods, to budgeting decisions or even to information and communications flows during natural disasters. Smart systems can prompt citizens to engage or seamlessly build clusters of like-minded citizens as the need arises. This direct citizen empowerment ratchets up the resources available to governments, at national and local level.

At the same time, governments take a whole systems approach, developing platforms for innovation and risk solutions to create public value and services with private and NGO partners. Government provides the leadership, strategic vision and support needed to build trust among platform partners. Public value platforms replace administrative and ministerial silos, supporting smaller but more influential and more efficient government.

The public sector will be reshaped: smaller but more effective. As in industry, technology reduces the size of the public sector workforce. It also enables more effective outsourcing and new forms of collaboration, with the private and not-for-profit sectors. Health and education are two leading examples, with solutions provided by a range of partners, who can be selected or replaced seamlessly based on performance (impact) measurement as well as cost.

Citizens access services, pay taxes and engage with government through a single interface, with automated help and response. The system serves the citizen rather than vice versa.

What about government finance?

With a mostly digital and platform driven global economy, new tax approaches emerge, notably to tax firms where their goods and services are consumed, not made or developed. Global platform providers can no longer choose their “home” tax jurisdiction but pay to many countries, at a flat rate, in proportion to their percentage turnover per country.

What’s more, access to data and AI analysis in real-time offer new means to establish public spending priorities. Government spending and investment is accurately measurable in terms of impact, not just costs, meaning more informed decision-making and greater citizen buy-in for major state, municipal or local investment and spending.

The most important key element is that governments are expected to be more transparent. The means of communication are more sophisticated but the competition for attention higher. Citizens expect communication to be two-way, e.g. participative consultations on near-term issues. Governments will be able to deploy highly tailored messaging, to reach different parts of society with messages meaningful to them, using the most appropriate channel.

Helping people navigate systems with the information they need in real-time becomes an important means to reach citizens and to administer services efficiently and effectively. Overlaying context specific information/instructions is used for better health and safety and to help people access or better understand government services and policies.




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Horizon Group

Horizon Group

We are a Swiss Think Tank that promotes a transition towards a future economy that is sustainable, inclusive, technology-driven and growing.

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