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Reimagine a digital society

Reimagine a digital society

Anticipating tomorrow’s policy issues to adapt to a digital future.

Mark Essex

Director of Skills

KPMG in the UK


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Digital change is accelerating, and existing policy prescriptions will be out of date.

Reimagine a digital society builds on our Reimagine public policy report containing 20 ideas to improve public policy using the best disruptive techniques from the world of business.

In a series of films we present ideas from KPMG people about how society and policy more broadly will adapt to a very different world. A world in which Artificial Intelligence plays a greater role in the lives of citizens.

The first of these films looks out changes to the way we behave as consumers, and what that means for public policy. The second looks through the eyes of the retailers and how they will need to adapt.

A world without choice – impact on public policy

We imagine a “digital family” of bots organising everything from food provision to travel to health to home utilities and finances. Why not also your relationship with Her Majesty's Government?

But with all that opportunity, also comes challenge. What about cyber risks?The digitally excluded? How do we manage privacy? Government must anticipate these changes and create policy to handle challenges that have not yet presented and with tools which do not yet exist.

Reimagine the future of retail: A world without choice

And how will businesses, often operating on low margins, adapt to this world? Will they transform themselves into digital platforms or will they go the other way and offer a limited and curated choice, perhaps as discounters do today? Will retailers improve the store experience, or use VR to bring the store to the customer, or will they abandon the high street entirely?

For policymakers, if retailers leave the high street over two decades that’s one thing but if this transformation takes place more quickly the disruption will be hard to manage. Those people who have not kept pace with the digital world risk becoming more socially isolated. But if we can encourage more digital inclusion there is an opportunity to transform public service delivery; at higher quality and lower cost.

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