What To Expect When You're Expecting [Disruption]: The Digital Economy and British Columbia

December 6, 2017
Kristine St-Laurent

You are in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So, what is it — and in what ways may it transform life as we know it?


  • The digital economy increasingly permeates all aspects of business and society. Already, its effects have been felt across the economic landscape, including the skills needed to get a job, the production and delivery of services, and political and policy decision-making.
  • In the emerging digital economy, a growing share of trade in goods and services is taking place through electronic commerce on the Internet. The digital economy has three primary components — supporting infrastructure, electronic business processes (how business is conducted), and electronic commerce transactions (selling of goods and services online).
  • A growing share of economic activity is unmeasured or poorly measured by government statistical agencies, in part because current approaches to calculating GDP and collecting statistical data do not reflect the value of digital consumption.
  • BC has an opportunity to leverage the forces of disruption and be a leader in the transition of traditional industries to the digital economy.
  • In addition to encouraging the development of a strong digital supercluster in BC, policymakers should also be considering steps to stimulate the take-up and diffusion of digital technologies, platforms and tools across the economy. This can be a powerful way to raise productivity in the broader business sector.

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