New Digital Society: Interview to Paola Pisano


“The notion of Digitalization requires skills, development and effective training, in particular, of course in the developing countries”


Paola Pisano, Professor of Economics, University of Torino and Former Italian Minister for Technological Innovation and Digitalization, Italy, during the XXI Infopoverty World Conference exposed all the doubts and hopes for a different and more digital society.


How to reach an inclusive digital society and economy?


A cooperation is fundamental to reach this goal, to create the right infrastructure, developing human and institutional capacity and protect human rights. It is also important to understand how to originate disinformation and misinformation with different analysis of the national and international legal framework and understanding the practical application of different experiences. Even if digital technology makes it possible for people in country with high connectivity to work and learn from home, this is a privilege. In fact, some people do not have access to internet technology, in particular the poor and vulnerable; connectivity is still a big issue, traditional broadband connections are costly and country often faced difficult in the financing of the fiber cable required.


Since we still find ourselves in an unequal digital society, which are the main problems, especially exacerbated by the pandemic?


One of the main problems that we are facing is the accessibility: much of the most useful information online is not that easily accessible, especially to those who need it most. Access to digital solution is often limited to copyright regime and proprietary system. Most existing Digital Public Schools are not easily accessible in terms of language, the content or the infrastructure required to assist them. For this reason, when I was a minister, I strongly support the use of open source in public administration and I worked for creating a community of expert dedicated to the development of open-source software and also open-source culture around the Italian Digital Public Services. We recognize the role of open source in the public sector, which is one of the drivers of innovation and a potential tool for furthering the international cooperation. And we need to improve digital knowledge and competencies: digitalization requires skills, development and effective training, especially in the developing countries. Technology reflects and amplifies existing social, cultural, and economic inequality that are affecting migrants, refugees, person with disabilities, rural population and indigenous peoples. Future generation will judge whether the present generation for catching the digital opportunities. And I think that the time to act is now, we don't have to wait any other time.


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