The FINANCIAL -- The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) joined forces with the mobile operators’ trade association GSMA, the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), to host the event, taking place 1,000 days into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
To be authentic we must acknowledge the negative narrative around new technologies.
ICC Secretary General John W.H Denton set the scene for discussions saying that while new technology was creating better jobs on aggregate, the world could not pretend that the digital divide did not exist. “If we ignore the challenges they cannot be overcome,” Mr Denton said.
Regulation and policy is playing an important role in intelligent connectivity
Mats Granryd, Director General of GSMA highlighted several examples of how new technology was advancing global goals citing examples ranging from long distance surgical interventions by doctors to improve or even save lives to the use of artificial intelligence for effective disaster preparedness including epidemics and climate change.
The power to advance educational goals through mobile connections
Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and ICC Honorary Chairman said that today, nearly 5 billion people were uniquely connected to the mobile network, advance goals in areas from education to healthcare. “That’s a powerful computer in the hands of people,” he said. Mr Mittal highlighted how people in remote areas, with limited infrastructure for schools and colleges, were able to access to education themselves via mobile networks.
It’s not about the technology alone…
Kate Wilson of the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) said that while a lot of time was spent focusing on building new apps, focus should be put on infrastructure, pricing and skills development to unleash the potential of entrepreneurs on the ground in developing economies. “Don’t look at building something, figure out if it already exists,” she said. “The technology is amazing but it is using the technology that is key.”
The power of partnerships
“Working through a transparent government process is the way to understand the complexity of social transformations,” said Cristina Gallach, High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda. Ms Gallach said that government could not achieve success however without unleashing the power of partnerships.