APAC Insights#4

2020 in Retrospect: Is this the Year that Reshaped our Digital Future?

2020 went down as a year that brought disruption and change in a manner that few people alive today have seen.

The pandemic has been felt in every corner of the world, and its impact has been wide-ranging: disrupting the routines, institutions and industries that underpin our daily lives, magnifying the challenges that we face, and putting us on an unprecedented race in search of a vaccine. These on top of numerous natural disasters and major weather events, political turmoil, stock market crashes, trade wars and civil unrest that the world has had to deal with this year.

Amidst all this, the Internet had shown us a way forward, enabling us to recreate a semblance of normal life as we piece together a puzzle of how the future might look like.

But the Internet itself, in part due to its widespread utility in year 2020, was facing greater scrutiny on several fronts. Greater use had made the Internet more appealing to bad actors, and a corresponding rise in cyberattacks, misinformation, and attempts to shape online social narratives intensified attempts by governments to rein in big tech companies, assert digital sovereignty, and control technology development. At the same time, private and public sector response to the pandemic, such as social-tracking apps, were raising even more security and privacy issues on the tools that we use to go online.

Speakers highlighted some key trends in 2020 that could have significant implications on the future of the Internet.

  • Charles MOK, Entrepreneur and former Legislative Councillor, Hong Kong
  • Anju MANGAL, Head of Asia-Pacific, A4AI, World Wide Web Foundation, Fiji
  • Nikhil PAHWA, Founder, Medianama, India

Moderator: Rajnesh Singh, Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific, Internet Society

Date and Time

06:00 – 07:00 UTC

Wednesday 16 December 2020