Forum 2020 Series: A series of events to mark the 60th anniversary of the OECD

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The session will be an opportunity to reflect on the fact that digital tools have played a central role in mitigating some of the impacts of the COVID pandemic. By helping ensure educational continuity through remote learning, digitalisation has seen its potential in education more widely recognised. Remote working, too, has been encouraged to slow the spread of the virus, and continues to play a key role in helping lessen some of the economic impact associated with containment and mitigation measures. Yet, not all of us are equal in the ability to carry out our daily-lives through digital means. The pandemic has laid bare digital divides that risk increasing inequalities and unequal access for disadvantaged groups. It has further amplified a number of pre-existing trends, such as pressures to automatise, growing market and societal power in the hands of a few tech actors, and increasing privacy and cybersecurity risks. The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a light on both the benefits and risks associated with digital technologies. It has accelerated digitally-driven transformations and fastened the migration of many parts of our lives to the digital world. This holds significant implications for our relationship to digital technologies both during the pandemic and for the recovery, as we strive to develop the “digital future we want”.