• The World Economic Forum is promoting a global alliance that will establish rules for the use of connected devices in public spaces in smart cities
  • Digital Future Society, an initiative of the Ministry of Economy and Business and Mobile World Capital Barcelona, is one of the founding partners of the Alliance


Barcelona, 11 October 2019.- Digital Future Society has joined the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, an association created by the World Economic Forum (WEF) with a view to making progress in the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies. Today the WEF announced that fifteen of the world’s main networks of cities and organisations for technological governance will collaborate in the new association. The institution works to establish global rules and policies for the use of emerging technologies in public spaces.

Digital Future Society, promoted by the Ministry of Economy and Business and Mobile World Capital Barcelona (MWCapital) to evaluate the impact of the technological revolution on society and the economy, is one of the founding institutional partners of the Alliance. The other partners are the presidents and host countries for the G20 in 2019 and 2020: Japan and Saudi Arabia, the Smart City Mission of India, Cities for All, Cities Today Institute, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Commonwealth Sustainable Cities Network, Connected Places Catapult, International Telecommunication Union, Open and Agile Smart Cities, Smart City Expo World Congress, and World Enabled. The partners represent over 1,200 of the world’s most innovative and fastest growing cities.

Esteban Redolfi, Director of Digital Future Society, expressed his satisfaction at having “joined this global alliance led by the World Economic Forum to ensure that cities guide our digital future towards a framework for the common good”. “For years, cities have acted as testing ranges for the mass implementation of technology. The time has now come for cities to lead this process, to share learning and to create guidelines that reinforce greater awareness in the use of technology. We are committed to analysing, sharing and building on the work done in cities that have developed a sustainable and effective path forward towards a more inclusive and fairer digital future.”

As the WEF points out, with the right technology and knowledge to control it, cities can lead the way in resolving problems of energy, transport, medical care, education and response to natural disasters, while also making their communities more inclusive, flexible and sustainable. There is currently, however, no global framework or set of rules for the use of data gathered in public space, for example by such as traffic cameras. The G20 Alliance hopes to change this.

The Alliance has pledged to co-design and deploy a global policy framework for the technologies of smart cities before the G20 Summit in Riyadh in 2020. This policy framework is intended to accelerate best practices, mitigate potential risks and encourage greater openness and public trust regarding the collection of data in public spaces. The first policy design workshops with city leaders will be held in November 2019 alongside the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.

During 2020, Digital Future Society will hold a world summit in Spain on technological governance. The goal of this forum is to analyse the major challenges raised by technological transformation, establish recommendations, and seek public and private commitment to move forwards in better governance of the digital future and thus build a more inclusive, fair and sustainable society.