The imperative to regulate the technological landscape of the future (by Mark Esposito)

24-11-2021 | Study

Companies focused on essentially digital business practices and models are now not only among those with the highest market capitalization globally, but also the most important economic players from a structural point of view. Their market power, but also their political power, therefore need to be carefully regulated to avoid the risks of serious distortions.

by Mark Esposito 

The effectiveness and scalability of emerging technologies are shifting market balances, creating a range of risks that can only be managed through greater regulation. The approaches currently employed for the governance of the technology however, they are insufficient and substantially limited to the challenges we face, because they are too fragmented and unable to refocus the process in the direction of actionable objectives. In this article I propose a regulatory approach based on three tools that could be exploited to support regulation finalized of technology, in the perspective of the new century: first, a series of levers policies holistic that clearly communicate objectives and identify trade-offs at national and international level; second, new efforts to promote the collaboration between jurisdictions, especially through the setting of standards and the collection of a series of critical incidents between jurisdictions; and, third, the transition to one governance agile, acquired through systemic, design and / or hybrid approaches. 

Why do we need new forms of technology regulation? 

The extraordinary performance of high technology sui markets equity around the world during the pandemic from Covid-19 demonstrates that companies focused on essentially digital business practices and models are now not only among them with higher market capitalization globally, despite the persistence for over a decade of macroeconomic indicators permanently oriented towards low growth. They are among the most important economic players from the point of view structural, but also among the most controversial, because they affect the markets, in the absence of implicit or shared forms of distribution of value. 

This structural importance is not limited to economic power, and probably economic power is only collateral to other forms of acquiring power. In fact, the ability of innovative companies to exploit the effectiveness and scalability of digital distribution, advanced analytics and lean and advanced production methods in a world characterized by the increasing diffusion of mobile devices has generated political and social influence in addition to the rising share prices and, for some, revenues, profits and free cash flow enabling further growth through acquisitions. If we were to interpret this structural dominance more explicitly, we could say that it has such geopolitical relevance as to pave the way for a new world order. In 2020, when Bloomberg reported that the market capitalization of Tesla had surpassed that of Exxon Mobilewas only the first of a series of similar announcements, which would reveal a more systemic shift in market composition and capital flows. 

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