Innovation Matters: The Rise of the Global Digital Economy & Lessons from East Asia


Every day, billions of people connect with others, purchase services from businesses – all within a click of a button from their electronic devices. These new, rapidly unfolding processes and forms of content, distributed in a variety of digital formats, offer salient opportunities and scope for innovation. What is the government’s role in supporting the evolution and promotion of the digital economy?

In this episode of “Innovation Matters”, Professor Carin Holroyd and Professor Ken Coates, both from the University of Saskatchewan, explore the nature, implications, potential and risks of government policy on the digital economy. According to their publication “The Global Digital Economy: A Comparative Policy Analysis”, governments still tend to underestimate and misunderstand the economic potential of the digital content sector due to old mindsets about the traditional industrial economy. Governments still may not know how to support digital content companies – although this is changing in the light of the successes of Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta, and the like. As our guests show, experiences from the frontrunners in East Asia – most notably from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore – provide fascinating opportunities to take a closer look at the public use of digital technologies and to consider government policies and efforts to expand the sector. The episode includes success stories of the rising stars of the digital economy, particularly valuable for countries in transition, and ends with key 3 tips for policymakers in the region in devising the most effective digital economy strategy.


Carin Holroyd, University of Saskatchewan Professor
Ken Coates, University of Saskatchewan Professor