In preparation for the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, GEN President Jonathan Ortmans sat down to discuss what is new at the GEC this year -- held for the first time on the African continent -- and why organizers chose digital disruption as a fundamental theme for the 2017 Congress. 

Ortmans said digital disruption has become a key point for public and private partnerships in supporting entrepreneurship. He said that entrepreneurship in the past 10 years has been a topic that governments in economies around the world have taken an interest in because of the opportunities to create new jobs and provide economic growth. But through digital disruption, new challenges have erupted at the intersection of entrepreneurship and public interest.

"It's [now] not just the question of whether government is helping or hindering," Ortmans said. "It's the question of government has to be the partner. Because all of the really hard to crack innovation challenges of our society are now in things like healthcare, transportation, energy and so forth. And these are semi-regulated industries -- so they're industries that as entrepreneurs engage with them, it's going to become absolutely essential that they are doing it in partnership with government."

The GEC, he said, has historically been an ideal platform for policymakers, entrepreneurs and others within the entrepreneurial ecosystem to have an open conversation about the leading challenges and most effective solutions. And the GEC 2017, through the global ministerial, masterclasses and design-thinking sessions, will take on the ecosystem's leading challenges and help create best solutions.

To hear more from the Ortmans about the GEC in the Facebook Live Chat, visit the Global Entrepreneurship Facebook Page.