This time last year, I was preparing for a 24-hour journey to attend the Digital Nations Ministerial Summit in Montevideo, Uruguay. Aside from the rigours of travel – including a missed flight that saw us stuck overnight in Panama – the journey was worth it as I knew Canada was going to confirm its intention to Chair the Digital Nations for 2020. I would get to plan a Summit in my hometown. Of all the risks I was thinking about (are we going to have a big enough budget?) I didn’t have a global pandemic on my list.
But we’re resilient – and that’s the theme of our 2020 Summit: “Resilient and Responsive Government”. Canada’s Digital Nation Ministerial Summit, hosted by our Minister of Digital Government Joyce Murray, will be a virtual one to be held November 2 – 3, 2020. We’ll be using technology to connect 10 of the most advanced digital nations to collaborate on a wide variety of digital government issues. We are meeting at a time when digital government is more important than ever – to provide secure, reliable and easy to use services to citizens when and where they need them.
The group was launched as the D5 by the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Korea, Estonia and Uruguay in 2014. Canada was invited to join along with Portugal in 2018, making it the D7. By the time Denmark joined in late 2019, we got tired of changing the trailing digit and simply adopted Digital Nations.
Being part of Digital Nations has been like having a trusted group of friends that you can turn to for advice, share experiences and throw ideas around. The group provides a unique, unconventional international arena for member countries where we can innovate and shape digital government for our citizens together.” - Seong Ju Park, Deputy Director, Global e-Government Division, Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Republic of Korea
Aside from high-level discussions at annual Summits, the organization also runs some high-functioning working groups on artificial intelligence, data, and digital identity. I’m also very happy to be chairing a brand new working group that is focusing on best practices in adding an environmental lens to digital government. We’re also working with our friends at FWD50 to plan a whole day of programming at this year’s event on November 4 to highlight all of this work. I hope you can join us – we’ll be continuing the great discussions of the FWDThinking series.