The Internet economy will evolve substantially over the next ten years, fueled by innovations in technology and business models. Advances such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and blockchain could bring about an industrial and technological “renaissance”. Our community believes that the Internet will promote drastic shifts across all sectors of the future Internet economy. In a hyperconnected economy, no sector of the economy will be untouched by technology – hospitals, transportation companies, manufacturing firms – and only those who adapt quickly to technological change will be successful. 

This rapid change will disrupt businesses and increase pressure on societies, particularly on jobs and economic opportunity. Business models and the nature of work will be profoundly changed. It is far from clear whether this technology-driven disruption will favour existing Internet platforms or bring greater competition and entrepreneurship. Either way, governments and society at large will need to quickly adapt to the new economy and its policy challenges.

We are on the verge of a technological paradigm shift as the digital and physical worlds converge. This technology “renaissance” will disrupt existing economic structures and business models in ways that society is only beginning to understand.

All parts of society – from local communities to education systems, healthcare and public services – will have to adapt to the pace of change.

Governments and particularly policymakers will be ill-equipped to respond to the economic and social pressures of IoT and AI.

Market consolidation by Internet service and access providers could spur the growth of so-called “walled gardens” – closed platforms with proprietary ecosystems – leading to a loss of choice, constraints on innovation and Internet fragmentation.

Those economies and new market leaders who successfully anticipate this paradigm shift will drive innovation and entrepreneurship.