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Professor Alex Pentland contributed visions of Our Digital Future to the book ”Remaking the World – The Age of Global Enlightenment”

On May 27, 2021 at the launching the book “Remaking the Wolrd – The Age of Global Enlightenment”, Professor Alex Pentland, MIT, Co-founder of, went in detail on his contributions to this e-book as well as urged for a change in the SDG 2030 goals to move towards a more positive light. By improving the SDG 2030 goals, Sandy hopes the world would improve access to opportunity, which would then in turn help reach the United Nations Centennial’s goals. He wrote:


During drafting of the Sustainable Development Goals I was part of the UN Secretary General’s “data revolution” team.   It was clear that digital systems were proving to be a fundamental revolution in human development, and so it was important that the power of data and data analytics (including AI) be incorporated into the SDGs [1].  In the subsequent years this revolution has not stopped or even slowed down.  The world is becoming ever more digital.

Today this revolution is no longer proceeding application by application and nation by nation. Instead, we are seeing a convergence from separate digital systems for each application and each nation to unified, all-purpose digital ledgers that handle finance, commerce, capital, and tax transactions across the globe.   These new ledgers are also a natural home for and extension of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), and are being promoted by trade countries such as Singapore, Switzerland, and China as a safer and cheaper way to conduct business.

While the combination of many different types of transaction on government-sponsored platforms allows greater security and real-time auditing for fraud detection and instabilities, it also raises questions around governance and control.  Consequently, there is an urgent need to achieve international consensus on standards and principles of governance, and this will be a critical issue for the UN and other multilateral organizations to address; we need a “digital Bretton Woods” accord to establish the rules of international digital interaction.   My hope is that the 2030 UN development goals will incorporate universal deployment of such rules, and that by 2045 the digital world will have a safe, inclusive, accountable and balanced ecology of data and AI for everything from trade and finance to medical services and government.

The book “Remaking the world – the Age of Global Enlightenment” will delivered to readers on June 21, 2021.