September 11, 2018 Print

Fundación Instituto David Hume (FIDH) seeks to convince global leaders of the benefits of technology for developing economies. The Argentinian think tank has been selected to present its new policy brief, “Providing a Broader Framework to Social and Labour Relations,” at the Think20 (T20) Summit, September 16–18, 2019.  In the brief, FIDH argues that the ongoing and rapid innovation in technology provides opportunities for developing countries and could lessen the number of people in poverty through the creation of jobs in new markets.

The T20 is an associated group of think tanks of  G20 Summit members. The G20 is an international forum composed of the 20 leading economies in the world. The T20 seeks to add value to the G20 process with evidence-based public policy proposals. This cuts down on time and helps make the G20 more successful. FIDH’s full brief has been published on the T20 website and has been added to the G20 Insight Platform, putting forward advocacy for free-market, classical liberal principles internationally among some of the most influential decision-makers in the world today.

“We were invited to participate in the T20 and then we expressed interest in participating in Task Force #1,” explained FIDH Executive Director Eliana Santanatoglia. “As a participant, we proposed a policy brief in one of the task force sub-subjects: ‘A new social contract for the digital era.’ Our recommendation was subject to a peer-review process coordinated by the co-chairs of the task force that decided to approve and publish it in the T20 website and in the G20 Insight Platform, in which the recommendations for the G20 of different years are published, representing all the [participating] think tanks. In this way, our brief will be considered to be part of the communiqué [published] by the organizers (CARI and CIPPEC) that will be presented at the T20 Summit”

The T20 Summit is broken into a series of task forces, each designated to deal with one of the topics to be discussed at the following G20. FIDH was placed in Task Force #1, which focuses on “the future of work and education for the digital age.”

“We acknowledge that most of the literature produced by academics, international organizations and some international think tanks, have a pessimistic, even apocalyptic view of the changes introduced by the digital era,” said Santanatoglia. “The main goal of our policy brief is to introduce an alternative view — a rational optimist one — which understands that the so-called ‘fourth industrial revolution’ appears as an opportunity to undeveloped or emerging communities.”

Rather than shying away from innovation, Santanatoglia praises the “productivity jump” as “good news” and urges governments and organizations to “open political and legal frameworks so as to allow new structures to emerge and compete.”

New technology results in new opportunities for economic growth. When governments allow innovation to flourish, they also allow for the poor in their countries to flourish. A recent study conducted in partnership with Atlas Network shows evidence that economic freedom is directly linked with poverty reduction.

“We believe that new technologies make new citizens and we must let the outcomes be, since no state could foresee their unintended consequences,” sayid Santanatoglia. “New strategies and institutions [will] emerge, institutional competition and imitation could enable the flourishing of emerging economies.”

The inclusion of FIHD in the T20 and G20 provides an alternative to the conventional ways of thinking about dynamic changes in the nature of commerce typical in many similar summits. Instead of imposing regulations, tariffs, and other barriers to trade in order to prevent negative outcomes, FIHD proposes liberating the international marketplace to innovate in order to allow for positive outcomes.