Knowledge, innovation and talent ahead of the digitization challenge
At world level the digital economy represents an opportunity for socioeconomic development. Apart from the positive effects on access to basic services (education, healthcare, government, financial services, etc.), this digitization process gives companies from all sectors a chance to become more efficient and competitive.
The Fundación Luso-Española, the Fundación Euroamérica and Casa de América Latina, with the aim of seeking areas of cooperation between Latin America and the European Union ahead of the digitization challenge, have put on in Lisbon the seminar "Challenges of the digital transformation and knowledge in the Ibero-American space ". In the opening session Luis Fernando Álvarez-Gascón, General Manager of GMV’s Secure e-Solutions sector, analyzed how this technological revolution is transforming our economy and society. The day-long seminar analyzed the present and future of the economy ahead of the digital challenge, tapping into the experience of companies from various productive sectors and of Ibero-American organizations involved in the region’s development and several institutions.
The authorities and experts from Latin America and Europe agreed that there remains much to be done in order to achieve an effective digital transformation. Witness the shortfall in Latin American connectivity and infrastructure. This is a clear demonstration of factors that are unprepared for the region’s technological development and now need to be prioritized to drive the digital transformation across the board. Challenges looking ahead, driving countries towards the digital economy, generating an environment in which huge volumes of data are used, capable of being transformed into knowledge and sound decisions. “Science and technology are our best allies for overcoming the great challenges now faced by humankind in areas such as healthcare or transport. We also have to take onboard the risks associated with the digital transformation, in aspects such as privacy and cybersecurity and tackle them properly. Europe and Latin America share culture and values in common; this favors a common stance towards these challenges”, argued Álvarez-Gascón.
Together with the investment and infrastructure challenges, another of the keys to making significant headway in the digital transformation lies in the people, especially in terms of digital knowledge and training of human capital. There is a clear dearth of talent at world level; a systematic effort is now needed to train up skilled professionals capable of carrying out the necessary developments. There is no need for panic; the digitization revolution, with the automation of certain processes and the robotization of some jobs, is not going to entail the loss of our own job. From this digital revolution new professions and opportunities will arise, leading to the digitization of talent, one of the main levers ensuring organizations can successfully transform their businesses.
Likewise, the Secretary General of the Ibero-American Conference, Rebeca Grynspan, took stock of the Latin American situation ahead of the digital transformation, a digitization process she defined as “quicker than in the rest of the world”. To back up her case she pointed out that internet use has risen from 17% of the population in 2015 to 56% in 2016. During her speech she stressed the abovementioned themes, such as the need for a higher infrastructure-, science- and technology-outlay and an improvement of education quality for the region to be able to exploit the digital revolution and thus boost its productivity.
Ricardo Vaca Berdayes, Expert in Social Behavior and Professor of the Universidad de San Pablo CEU de Madrid; Ana Teresa Freitas, CEO of HeartGenetics, Genetics and Biotechnology; Luis Fernando Álvarez-Gascón, General Manager of GMV’s Secure e-Solutions sector; Joäo Vasconcelos, former Secretary of State for Industry and founder of Startup Lisboa; Juan Jung, Public Policies Manager of the Inter-American Association of Telecommunications Firms (Asociación Interamericana de Empresas de Telecomunicaciones: ASIET); Helena Martins, Director of Public Affairs and Policies of Google Brazil; and Tiago Vidal, Director General of Llorente & Cuenca Portugal.