Multistakeholder collaboration for digital inclusion
The UN Secretary General highlighted in the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, that the COVID-19 pandemic has “magnified the many benefits and harms of the digital world” while revealing that “digital tools have become the lifeline for millions of people”. However, he cautioned that lack of prompt action will risk piling digital inclusion barriers on top of many other existing barriers to development. The roadmap calls for a multi-stakeholder effort for digital cooperation on topics ranging from connectivity to artificial intelligence. The roadmap highlights the need to convene a global group of stakeholders including governments, the private sector and investors to advance efforts in building an inclusive digital economy and society.
Through various policy levers, governments provide the enabling environment and regulatory guidance that help shape corporate actions that impact digital inclusion. Investors need to be aware of these regulatory changes and how they impact their investments. Investors can also drive the flow of resources in an increasingly market driven approach towards building connectivity infrastructure, enhancing digitalisation, and accelerating technological innovation. The private sector is at the heart of ensuring access to technologies, enhancement of digital skills of end users, ensuring trustworthy use of technologies and innovating openly and inclusively and both governments, investors and other stakeholders can shape the environment in which these opportunities can be unlocked.
Digital Inclusion Benchmark
In December 2020, the World Benchmarking Alliance’s (WBA) first Digital Inclusion Benchmark (DIB) ranked 100 of the world’s most influential technology companies on four areas of digital inclusion: Enhancing universal access to digital technologies; Improving all levels of digital skills; Fostering trustworthy use by mitigating risks and harms; Innovating openly, inclusively, and ethically.
The benchmark results show that commitment and contribution towards digital inclusion is highly uneven across industries in the digital sector, measurement areas, and markets of operation. While a few leading companies comprehensively demonstrate best practices, most have yet to embrace digital inclusion as a core responsibility. In 2021, these companies together with 50 new tech companies will be ranked on digital inclusion. WBA has also launched the Collective Impact Coalition (CIC), an initiative that offers a framework to bring together Allies around key issues that are catalytic to system change.
- Raise awareness on the need to ensure technology companies make commitments towards addressing their shortcomings in advancing digital inclusion.
- Identify ways forward for governments and investors to motivate and accelerate the private sector’s performance on inclusive digital transformation.
This 90-minute roundtable will bring together governments and investors to discuss how they can leverage common interests in addressing digital development challenges, some of which are highlighted in WBA’s benchmark results to enhance digital cooperation, drive digital inclusion, and accelerate the achievement of SDGs for the Decade of Action.
Following an opening presentation from Lourdes O. Montenegro who leads the digital sector transformation at the WBA, a keynote address from Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and interventions from other government representatives and investors will drive an aspirational dialogue. This event will explore and co-create specific calls to action on multi-stakeholder collaborations to address issues in the digital sector including inclusive investments in digitalization so that no one is left behind in the digital economy.
Date: 30 September 2021
Time: 0800 EST | 14:00 CEST | 17:30 IST | 20:00 SGT
- Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (Keynote)
- Fábio Faria, Minister of Communications, Brazil (Keynote)
- Lourdes Montenegro, Lead Digital Sector Transformation, World Benchmarking Alliance
- Felippa Amanta, Head of Research, Center for Indonesian Policy Studies
- Alison Bryant, Senior Vice President of Research & Enterprise Lead for Technology & Digital Equity, AARP
- Anita Dorett, Program Director, Investor Alliance for Human Rights
- Lauren Compere, Managing Director and Head of Shareowner Engagement, Boston Common Asset Management
- Jon Guinness, Portfolio Manager, Equities Fidelity International
- Paula Byrne, Director of Sustainability, Samsung
- Christine Brueschke, Sustainable Investing Analyst, Fidelity International (Moderator)
World Benchmarking Alliance
The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) is a non-profit organisation whose purpose is to build accountability for business performance on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. WBA published free and publicly available benchmarks across seven systems transformations and works with allies and industry stakeholders to drive system changes to achieve the SDGs.
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