May 17, 2020

Everything you need to know ahead of the GovTech Summit 2019

Justin Trudeau
Amber Donovan-Stevens
3 min
With the GovTech just under a week away, FinTech Magazine shares all the need-to-know info ahead of the summit

Though the name may speak for itself, Go...

With the GovTech just under a week away, FinTech Magazine shares all the need-to-know info ahead of the summit 

Though the name may speak for itself, GovTech is the annual conference that welcomes delegates and governing bodies from all over the world to discuss the improvement of government functions through the leveraging of technology. 

This year the event will host discussions on a wealth of topics, including procurement, healthcare, 5G, Technology and the welfare state, the future of payments, and imaging digital services, to name a few. 


[Image: Palais Brongniart]

Location: Palais Brongniart, 16 Place de la Bourse, 75002 Paris, France

The line-up now includes:

  • Kersti Kaljulaid, President, Estonia

  • Ana Brnabić, Prime Minister, Serbia

  • Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, France

  • Cedric O, Digital Minister, France

  • Emmanuel Gregoire, First Deputy Mayor of Paris

  • Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health, UK

  • Oliver Dowden, Minister for the Cabinet Office, UK

  • Mircea Geoana, Deputy Secretary General, NATO

  • Travis Vanderzanden, Founder, Bird

  • Robin Klein, Founding Partner, LocalGlobe

  • Cyril Lage, CEO, Cap Collectif

  • Nicolas Colin, Founder, The Family

President of France, Emmanuel Macron, who is supporting this year’s event, said:  “There has never been a better time to make public services more affordable and accessible, using new technology solutions. The GovTech Summit is a unique chance for public officials, intellectuals, tech innovators and investors to meet, share and discuss the future of government and democracy. I look forward to welcoming everyone to Paris.”

In the latest pack release from Founders Daniel Korski & Alexander de Carvalho, Chairman & Vice- Chairman of the GovTech Summit, they reflect on 2018’s event and the plans for 2019: “Last year, we were delighted to be joined by key figures like Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau, as well as over 1500 entrepreneurs, investors, technologists and public servants. It was an amazing event. 

[image: Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau]

“The GovTech Summit this year will be even better. We will grow the GovTech ecosystem further, bringing more members into our community of innovators. The debate about how to responsibly bring new technology into government has never been more urgent. Europeans have a proud tradition of world leading public services - of investing time and resources into welfare, public health and city administration. 

“As technology transforms all industries, it will also transform the public sector. We must ensure that this transformation not only maintains our services and the values that underpin them, but that the services are equitable, personalised, cheaper, responsive as well as responsibly delivered. To do this, Europe must take the lead on GovTech globally.”

The After Event

There will be an evening reception at The British Embassy 39, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré Paris.

[images: GovTech]

For more information on all topics for FinTech, please take a look at the latest edition of FinTech magazine.

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Jun 17, 2021

New FTC Chair Lina Khan to Break Big Tech's Hold on Economy

Elise Leise
3 min
Anti-trust leader steps up to head the Federal Trade Commission—and potentially break up the monopolies of Big Tech

Formerly a legal activist and academic, Lina Khan is now in control of one of the most powerful jobs in the country. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, ensures that companies don’t artificially raise prices on consumers and that big companies abide by fair trade practices—and Khan has just been confirmed as the commission’s chair.  


Right now, the FTC is highly focused on breaking up Big Tech, and Khan is by far one of the most vocal critics of Silicon Valley. Many tech leaders, in fact, see Khan as a threat to the companies they’ve worked decades to build. Ron Knox, a senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, summed it up. ‘Lina understands the vast potential of the FTC to really reshape the economy, de-concentrate markets, and democratise major parts of the economy’.  


What Are Khan’s Views on Big Tech? 

Good question. Many lawmakers have compared Big Tech to the railroads that crossed the United States in the 19th century—companies so large and powerful that the government eventually passed the nation’s first anti-trust laws. But Khan’s view is a little more complex. In it, she argues that the laws that applied in the past are virtually inapplicable today. 


In a 2017 Yale Law Journal article titled ‘Amazon’s Anti-Trust Paradox’, Khan concluded that federal commissions should look at more than just price. In the 1900s, huge railroads could increase prices as much as they wished; today, Google and Facebook are essentially free for their users. But that doesn’t mean they’re engaging in free and fair competition. Despite the price, these companies still undercut their competitors. 


For example, consider some of Amazon’s alleged business operations: 


  • Pricing at a significant loss. Unfair competition. 
  • Amassing vast stores of market data. Unfair advantage.  
  • Buying up smaller, potentially competitive companies. Unfair trade practices. 


Just like the railroad trusts all those years ago, several Democrats have suggested that Facebook and  Google be split up. Instagram, say goodbye to Facebook; YouTube, say goodbye to Google. ‘These firms essentially provide infrastructure to the digital age’, Khan told the BBC. What remains to be seen is what she’ll do about it. 


The First Steps…

Currently, the FTC is suing Facebook for its social network monopoly and will soon evaluate Amazon as well. Biden is fully intent on breaking apart the firms that have ruled much of the American public for so long—and he has bipartisan support. So it’s no surprise that tech organisations are riled up. 


‘Antitrust populism is inevitably going to become the governmental policy stance’, said Aurelien Portuese, the Director of Anti-Trust and Innovation Policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. ‘ [It will] cause lasting self-inflicted damage that benefits foreign, less meritorious rivals’. 


But in 2021, tech companies may be on the losing side of public sentiment. Both Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have taken a highly aggressive anti-trust approach, and even intense trade and technology competition with China can’t stop lawmakers from investigating Big Tech. The majority, in fact, may agree with Khan’s sentiment: ‘Even when services are good for consumers, they can hurt a whole set of other interests—be it workers, business formation, or democracy at large’. 


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