Digitally-led, Inclusive Growth in the Age of COVID-19

Part 1 - Lead Organizer


Contact Person

John Karr

Organization / Affiliation (Please state "Individual" if appropriate)

The Asia Foundation


Senior Director



Economy of Residence

United States

Primary Stakeholder Group

Civil Society


Part 2 - Session Proposal

Your proposal is for

Main Conference (Day 1-3)

Session Title

Digitally-led, Inclusive Growth in the Age of COVID-19


Inclusion Sustainability Trust

Session Format

Fireside Chat

Where do you plan to organize your session?

Virtual / online

Specific Issues for Discussion

Online platforms are delivering cost savings, efficiency, and value creation that can be leveraged to achieve an array of positive development goals from inclusive economic growth, to improved health and welfare of marginalized populations, to women’s empowerment. The Asia Foundation and Google propose a presentation and panel discussion at the 2021 Pacific Internet Governance Forum that will focus on the opportunities and challenges presented by the rise of the platform economy. The presentation will highlight a number of case studies and examples of new use-cases for online platforms in connected Asia. The panel discussion - which will include subject matter experts from The Asia Foundation and Google, government officials, civil society representatives, and executive leadership from the APEC Policy Support Unit - will highlight areas where development outcomes are enhanced by online platforms, and how new challenges can be addressed.

Describe the Relevance of Your Session to APrIGF

COVID-19 crisis has pushed more communities online at a faster rate, accelerated the adoption of e-commerce, and facilitated the rapid dissemination of new digital skilling tools, e-health services, and remote work applications. In addition to the benefits afforded the region by online platforms, the panel will explore conditions on the ground in APAC that may inhibit inclusive, digitally-led growth, such as physical infrastructure challenges which limit connectivity in the region; shortages of skilled human capital necessary to promote creative, locally-driven digital-first solutions; the relationship between adequate levels of competition and local innovation; and access to cloud computing infrastructure that offer faster paths to local R&D - particularly in the area of development-focused big data, AI, and machine-learning initiatives. Finally, while online platforms open up new opportunities for entrepreneurs, researchers, policymakers, and disadvantaged groups, platforms also expose users to new challenges. The panel will highlight the benefits of enhanced cybersecurity and cyber resilience in Asia and the Pacific, along with good digital literacy tools.

Methodology / Agenda

THE PRESENTATION AND FIRESIDE CHAT The panel will last 60 minutes total, each discussant will have 5-8 mins to cover their topic, with approximately ~10 minutes of inter-panel exchange, and 15 mins Q&A will follow.

Please provide 3 subject matter tags that best describe your session.

#digitaleconomy #onlineplatforms #onlinesafety


Moderators & Speakers Info (Please complete where possible)

Name Designation Organization Economy of Residence Stakeholder Group Gender Status of Confirmation
Moderator (Primary) Anju Mangal Regional Coordinator WWW Foundation Fiji Civil Society Female Confirmed
Moderator (Back-up) APNIC Foundation Proposed APNIC Foundation TBD Technical Community Female Proposed
Speaker 1 John Karr Senior Director The Asia Foundation USA Civil Society Male Confirmed
Speaker 2 Anne Dunn Commissioner Online Safety Commission Fiji Government Female Confirmed
Speaker 3 Andrew Ure Head of Public Affairs Google Australia Private Sector Male Proposed
Speaker 4 Denis Hew Director APEC Policy Support Unit Singapore Intergovernmental Organization Male Confirmed


Please explain the rationale for choosing each of the above contributors to the session.

Anju Mangal - Asia Regional Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation Denis Hew - Director APEC Policy Support Unit Anne Dunn - Online Safety Commissioner, Fiji John Karr - Senior Director, Technology Programs, The Asia Foundation Andrew Ure - Head of Public Affairs, Google - APAC** TBC APNIC Foundation TBC Each discussant is expert in the field of digital safety, connectivity, or digital economy. In addition, each discussant helps provide a well-rounded and diverse set of perspectives on the topic.