San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
The Centre for Global Equality, UNCTAD and eNovation4D
are hosting a Symposium titled
Global e-Commerce – breaking barriers to inclusivity
at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
on the 6th of October, 2015
Changes in the ICT landscape have expanded the scope for people and businesses in more countries to engage in e-Commerce. Mobile and online transactions now enable small enterprises to access new markets and to connect with global value chains. Meanwhile, greater choice and lower process are encouraging consumers to shop online.
But there is no guarantee that e-commerce will bring benefits to all. E-commerce is transformational in nature. There is a risk that it will lead to widening divides across and within countries. Growing incidents of cybercrime are also raising concerns. The policy challenge is to create an environment that provides more equal opportunities for different stakeholders in various locations and sections of society to take part in the e-commerce process and to reap benefits.
This symposium brings together participants from government, academia, business and civil society to discuss and debate the challenge of achieving greater inclusivity and development gains from global e-commerce.
The seminal document of the event is the Information Economy Report 2015: Unlocking the Potential of E-commerce for Developing Countries from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). This report presents recent developments, identifies what countries need to do to enhance their e-commerce readiness and provides policy guidance.
As stressed in the UNCTAD report, creating an enabling environment for inclusive e-commerce requires the involvement of many stakeholders. The symposium will examine the role of the public and private sectors as well as civil society in providing the necessary infrastructure, payment solutions and legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure effectiveness and build trust in online commerce. Special attention will be given to cross-border e-commerce and how to ensure that such transactions are both fair and inclusive.
The discussion will be informed by the experience of global e-commerce players such as eBay, alongside national e-commerce champions such as Kapruka in Sri Lanka and Impact Enterprises, which is pioneering impact sourcing in Africa. In addition, perspectives will be offered by some of the most influential players in the facilitation of e-commerce in developing countries, from international organizations and academic experts to government representatives and members of civil society.
The symposium is expected to generate a set of concrete actions aimed at breaking down present barriers to inclusivity in the domain of online commerce.
Top row, in order of appearance: Lara Allen (the Centre for Global Equality), Torbjörn Fredriksson (UNCTAD), Michael Barrett (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge), Harsha Liyanage (eNovation4D), Shola Taylor (CTO).
Bottom row, in order of appearance: Ian Thornton (UKCDS), Dulith Herath (Kapruka), Dimitri Zakharov (Impact Enterprises), Dorothea Kleine (Royal Holloway, University of London), Irene Mandl (EuroFound).
Not in pictures: Nimal Karunatilake (Trade Commissioner, Sri Lanka High Commission, UK), Alasdair McGowan (eBay).
09.00 Welcome remarks
• Lara Allen, Director, Centre for Global Equality
09.15 What makes an enabling environment that fosters inclusive e-commerce?
• Lessons from the Information Economy Report (I) 2015, Torbjörn Fredriksson, UNCTAD
• Enhancing financial inclusion through mobile platforms: the case of MPESA, Michael
Barrett, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
• The digital divide in access to e-commerce platforms, Harsha Liyanage, eNovation4D
10.30 Tea break
11.00 Policy implications
• Forming a global trade policy for e-commerce at the World Trade Organisation, Nimal
Karunatilake, Trade Commissioner, Sri Lanka High Commission, UK
• Addressing the infrastructure challenge, Shola Taylor, CTO, Secretary-General
• Measuring the positive social impact of business practices, Ian Thornton, Interim Director,
12.30 Lunch break
13.30 E-commerce and inclusive international trade
• Platforms that facilitate engagement in e-commerce, Alasdair McGowan, eBay
• Overcoming barriers to cross-border e-commerce, Dulith Herath, Kapruka
• Offshoring of services to Africa, Dimitri Zakharov, Impact Enterprises
15.00 Tea break
15.30 Fair and inclusive e-commerce
• From Fair Trade solidarity networks to B2B e-commerce: Lessons on scalability,
and in/exclusion. Dorothea Kleine, Royal Holloway, University of London
• International division of labour: crowd employment, Irene Mandl, EuroFound
16.30 Concluding remarks
• Lara Allen and Rebecca von Blumenthal, Centre for Global Equality; Torbjörn Fredriksson, UNCTAD; Harsha Liyanage, eNovation4D
When & Where
Centre for Global Equality
The Centre for Global Equality focuses the resources available in world centres of excellence such as Cambridge on evolving innovative solutions to global challenges. We contribute to greater global equality by improving access for the underprivileged to the intellectual, social and financial resources usually reserved for the elite.
We are a network of NGOs, academics, businesses and individuals who work collaboratively towards reducing extreme inequality, a root cause of poverty and marginalisation globally. Based in Cambridge, we have over 50 member organisations that work on more than 90 projects in 27 countries.
For more information please visit: www.centreforglobalequality.org