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Briefing paper

The World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a hub for global, multistakeholder cooperation to develop policy frameworks and advance collaboration that accelerate the benefits and minimize the risks of emerging technologies. The network is an international and impartial platform that aims to advance human-centric innovations and help societies be better prepared to deal with the challenges and opportunities brought about by rapid and uneven Fourth Industrial Revolution technological deployment.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming creative economies across Asia. These economic systems of activity that originate in individual creativity, skill and talent and that can create wealth are generating greater consumer benefits, new models of cross-border content distribution, and refreshed opportunities for local content production and economic development. In this pivotal moment of transformation, it is important to examine how regulators can foster a thriving environment for creative economies in the digital era, and how regulation can enable their true potential and economic development. Rather than applying traditional regulatory approaches, creative economies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution can flourish if guided by agile governance – a more adaptive, human-centred and sustainable policy approach. Defined by the World Economic Forum, agile governance calls for a multistakeholder effort, in which the public and private sectors collaborate to develop forward-thinking solutions to encourage industry growth, while addressing the concerns of a fast-paced digital world.

Research for this Briefing Paper found that agile governance is best suited for industry environments in which:

  1. governments encounter practical difficulties in employing traditional regulatory mechanisms;
  2. clear areas of mutual understanding exist between the public and private sectors, fostering collaboration; and
  3. the industry is capable of and proactive in finding solutions to address regulatory concerns.

In its focus on the creative economy, this paper puts a spotlight on the emerging video-on-demand (VOD) industry, which is already moving in the direction of an agile governance approach. The nature of this dynamic industry, its technical capabilities and its commitment to developing human-centred and society-oriented solutions make it a suitable case study to examine the value that agile governance models can bring in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

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