5 Sep 2021
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Systemic Trends in Cross-Border Trade and Finance: Opportunities and Risks of the Digitalisation Challenge

4 Weeks
Programme Area
Public Finance and Trade
Event Focal Point Email
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
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Digitalisation – the system of processes leading to transforming all processes through evolving digital solutions – is an inextricable part of everyday life in the office, at home, in government, and inside the mind. Consumers can access producers of all sizes; migrant workers can remit savings to their families; loans can be cleared at the speed of a click; investors can identify their preferred targets with accuracy – all with a notable reduction of cost and complicatedness. 

The course covers the various conceptions of digitalisation and gives a broad introduction to the field. Digitalisation is put in a significant historical context, from its modest beginnings as a by-product of production processes to its current ubiquity, with a focus on its effects on individuals, organizations and society at large. The course uses case studies from cross-cutting sectors, like telecommunications, manufacturing, transport, etc., to explain the ongoing fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0.

At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Be familiar with the notions of digital materiality, practice, information, and transformation; 
  • Elaborate on the importance and consequences of digitalisation for individuals, organizations and society at large;
  • Argue on the social sustainability of digitalisation, with special focus on identify factors, personal integrity, social change, average morality, and the digital divide; and
  • Understand the importance of differentiation, multiplicity, variety and diversity in a global marketplace.

The course consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1: The building blocks of digitalisation, socio-materiality and digital innovation in international trade and finance.
    Digital innovations in products and services, processes and business models have radically changed the way industries work. Next generation industries are characterised by countless interconnected devices, automated processes, and storage, analysis and use of massive amounts of data. 
  • Module 2: Digitalisation in international trade and finance. An interdisciplinary perspective. 
    Progress in the fields of business, investment and trade facilitation through the introduction of digitalisation technology is analised.
  • Module 3: Digitalisation and social sustainability. Ethical aspects. Privacy and the digital divide. 
    This seminar aims at raising awareness on the complexity of a digital society, by addressing ethical concerns related to identity, privacy, security and sustainability.
  • Module 4: The way forward. Risks, opportunities, and challenges.
    The convergence of big data, artificial intelligence and a better knowledge of individual microeconomic behaviour is examined. Queries about surveillance capitalism are discussed.

This is an online course on the business, social, economic, legal and political implications of deep digitalisation at the global, regional, national, and local levels.

In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling, the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. 

Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).

This course is designed for advanced officials from all spheres of government, the enterprise, civil society, private and public finance, investment, international trade, project management. Academics, lawyers, policymakers, negotiators, and technology officials alike will benefit from this course.

A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.

Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.
  • Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.