CPA Virtual Conference: The 4TH Industrial Revolution

Conference Overview

Dates: 5-9 July 2021

Location: Online

In 2021, the CPA celebrates its 110th Anniversary. As well as looking back at its evolution and achievements, this year provides a valuable opportunity for the CPA to look forward and consider how the Commonwealth, parliaments and democracy may evolve over the next 10, 50 and even 100 years.

In the spirit of looking forward, the CPA is hosting a Virtual Conference on the 4th Industrial Revolution, held from 5-9 July 2021.

This Conference will imagine how the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ might impact upon the lives of current and future generations within and across the Commonwealth and importantly, how will parliamentarians and parliaments stay ahead of the curve?

Will technological advancements provide viable solutions to current challenges, from ending global poverty, climate change and meeting the SDGs, to preventing future global pandemics? The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for those in power to play closer attention to scientists, researchers, statisticians and innovators.

The sessions at the Conference will also encourage and advocate for parliaments to embrace innovation and change rather than being limited to acting as bastions of tradition and history. Parliaments will need to legislate, regulate and scrutinise complex and advanced technical changes in years to come, from the use of bioengineering to artificial intelligence as well as ensuring greater access to science and technology specialists.

The Conference will invite parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to join with industry leaders, innovators, experts and academics from the private, public and third sector to discuss emerging trends in technology and their potential impact on our society.

What is the format for the Conference?

The CPA Virtual Conference on the 4th Industrial Revolution will take place on Zoom across five days from 5 – 9 July.

Each day of the Conference has a different theme and will feature multiple sessions, including:

  • Panel discussions
  • Showcases
  • Roundtables
  • 1-to-1 Dialogues
  • Explainers
  • Q+As

The timings for each day vary to cater for the different time zones across the nine CPA regions.

How can I attend the Conference?

To attend the Conference, you must register on Zoom. You will then be sent a personalised link to attend.

Each day of the Conference has a separate Zoom link, which will function for all sessions during that day. You can find the registration link for each day in the Conference Programme below.

You can attend as many days of the Conference as you would like – just remember to register for each day individually.

Conference Programme

Below you can find a break down of what’s on each day at the Conference and a link to register for that day. Further information about each session will be added in due course.

If you would like this information in PDF format, download the flyer.

Each day of the Conference will complement the other days to provide a full overview of the emerging technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution. We hope to see you at as many sessions as possible!

REMINDER: You must register separately for each day of the conference using the Zoom registration links provided below.

What is the 4th Industrial Revolution?

Day 1: 5 July 2021


07:00 – 11:00 EDT (UTC -4) | 12:00 – 16:00 BST (UTC +1) | 16:00 – 20:00 PKT (UTC +5) | 21:00 – 01:00 AEST (UTC +10)

Sessions include:

  • Digital Democracies & Closing the Digital Divide
  • Regulating at Speed and Scale


The 4th Industrial Revolution and Environmental Stewardship

Day 2: 6 July 2021


01:00 – 04:15 EDT (UTC -4) | 06:00 – 09:15 BST (UTC +1) | 10:00 – 13:15 PKT (UTC +5) | 15:00 – 18:15 AEST (UTC +10)

Sessions include:

  • Ensuring a Green Industrial Revolution
  • Green Cities of the Future


Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Algorithms

Day 3: 7 July 2021


05:00 – 08:30 EDT (UTC -4) | 10:00 – 13:30 BST (UTC +1) | 14:00 – 17:15 PKT (UTC +5) | 19:00 – 22:15 AEST (UTC +10)

Sessions include:

  • The Potential (and Risks) of AI
  • Combatting Algorithm Bias


Big Data and Blockchain Technology

Day 4: 8 July 2021


09:00 – 12:00 EDT (UTC -4) | 14:00 – 17:00 BST (UTC +1) | 18:00 – 21:00 PKT (UTC +5) | 23:00 – 02:00 AEST (UTC +10)

Sessions include:

  • Explainer: What on Earth is Blockchain?
  • The Potential Uses for Blockchain


Cybersecurity and the Internet of Things

Day 5: 9 July 2021


12:00 – 15:00 EDT (UTC -4) | 17:00 – 20:00 BST (UTC +1) | 21:00 – 00:00 PKT (UTC +5) | 02:00 – 05:00 AEST (UTC +10)

Sessions include:

  • The Internet of Things and Maximising Production Processes
  • Societal Benefits and Risks of the Internet of Things


Get Involved

Excited to discuss the big questions on the future of technology and its impact on our democracies?

Follow us on Twitter @cpa_secretariat and join the conversation using #CPA4IR. We’ll be tweeting throughout the Conference.

If you know parliamentary colleagues or others in your network that would be interested in the conference, use the share button at the top of the page to share it on social media or via email.

For questions about the conference, please contact Mr James Pinnell at

IMPORTANT: If you would like to attend this Conference, do not use the form below to register. You must register for each day of the Conference separately using the individual Zoom links above.