The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> DOREEN BOGDEN-MARTIN: I bet none of us can actually imagine living without the internet and right now
But we, the privilege few, we need to remind ourselves. We need to remind ourselves that the internet can be absolutely transformational for those that do not have access to books and newspapers, those that do not have access to teachers, to health professionals, to agricultural experts, those that are seeking jobs, looking for markets for their products and looking to have access to financial services.
The internet has changed our world but that transformational transformative potential is magnified by a thousand times in the hands of people that have been held back for generations through the lack of access, the lack of access to the power of information.
Ladies and gentlemen, the international community has a moral imperative to ensure that all people enjoy access to the same opportunities. In today's world, leaving no one behind equals access to ICTs. It the UN Secretary‑General ‑‑ that word cooperation is key. When we connect to the first 50 percent of the world, it was through competition, but in order to connect the other half of the world, it's going to be about cooperation and collaboration.
It's also going to be about thinking about new ways that we can bring meaningful connectivity to the unconnected communities.
Accesses that matter to us might not be the same services that matter to them. Ladies and gentlemen, we have with us this afternoon an amazing, energetic, very talented and engaged panel. We will be structuring the next two hours focusing on three key areas: People, planet and prosperity.
How can digital drive the SDGs in each of these areas, and for each of these key areas, I will invite two of our experts to make some remarks. I will then invite comments from the other panelists and then we will open to you, the audience that is here physically as well as the audience that is following online.
But, before we hear from our panelists, we have a distinguished speaker amongst us and I would like to invite Undersecretary Zhenmin Liu, the Undersecretary for succeed and social affairs at UN DESA to please make some opening remarks and launch us in our discussions. Undersecretary, please
>> ZHENMIN LIU: Thank you, Doreen. Thank you, Doreen, for moderating this panel, and thank you for inviting me to address the audience. Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen, it is my good pleasure to share some reflections on achieving SDGs in the digital age.
Four years after this adoption, the commitment to the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, our shared blueprint for globalization remains steadfast and to the highest level of government.
At the SDG summit convened at the United Nations in September gave us the opportunity to reflect on our achievements and take stock of the challenges we face, achieving sustainable development goals. Many countries have been proactively implementing SDGs. We continue to see humans in poverty decline and improvements in health and education outcomes.
Yet, the shared view is that global response is not sufficiently transformative. Slower economic growth, rising inequality and climate change are squeezing the prospects of sustainable development
At the same time, technologies on the internet have transformed information sharing, revolutionized industry, saved lives and advanced development.
There's no doubt that new technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things can help us achieve goals and improve the lives of old.
We need to continue to show case how we can make meaningful contributions to the SDGs. The IGF is one such important platform. There are many others, including STI forum organized by my department, economic and finance and the WSIS forum organized by ITU.
I believe each forum has a unique role to play and that they complement each other.
I also believe you have heard many times in each of these fora, the internet and ICTs are cross‑cutting enablers for SDGs.
Yet, this is true, but these enablers come with many challenges, and in most cases, they create new ones. Some of the pressing issues and challenges facing the internet ecosystem include digital device, capacity building, intort, ‑‑ cybersecurity, the privacy of the internet and unalienable rights. There are also issues we are only just beginning to appreciate that impact the future of work. Global security, and people's trust and well‑being in a digital society.
But, how do we overcome the challenges and the risks? How do we ensure that no country and no one is left behind?
The positive power of the internet and ICTs can only be harnessed if people have a real sense of public trust, security, and stability in the digital space. It's also critical to prioritize technologies that are most needed for sustainable development
To follow up recommendations by the Secretary‑General on Digital Cooperation, we must strife tore cooperation and harness the full potential of technological break throughs.
Distinguished participants, the IGF must respond through the UN's convenient law to bring everyone together, regardless of the stakeholder groups and backgrounds.
Aim to find a convergence and consensus while also acknowledging the points of our divergence. Clearly, the IGF needs to further strengthen its role as being the global policy forum for Internet Governance related issues.
In Berlin, we see an increased engagement of high level decision makers from governments and the private sector as well as technical aspects under associate.
They come to the forum to find innovative policy and solutions to the challenges affecting the internet and technologies. We should keep up this momentum in future meetings of the IGF.
I understand that there's now a network of over 120 national, regional and youth IGFs. Or the acronym UNAFs, for short, that have suspended over the last three to four years. Indeed, modesty holder engagement on a local level is critical if we want to understand the nature of issues and availability of resources in all communities.
The complexity of the internet does not allow for siloed approach of unification of problems and solutions. This is why we are fortunate to have this community that open national and regional IGFs processes, and we are even more fortunate to have them as the partners to guide our vision towards safe and accessible internet for all.
We need to optimize these partnerships is and capacity development opportunities.
Distinguished participants, in conclusion, let us remember that sustainable development is a global endeavor both at inception and in its outcomes. So is the IGF. The challenges we face today, rising inequality, uneven growth, climate change, and a fast-paced technological change, among others, demand collective effort and a stronger multilateral response.
You have heard many times, the internet and technology are critical for achieving SDGs. But, there are also many challenges. We must continue to come together to discuss everyone's concerns.
In doing so, I believe we can turn advancement of these technologies into the benefit humankind and together, make sustainable development a reality.
I thank you for your attention and I wish you have a very full discussion. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you so much, Under‑Secretary‑General. Thank you for sharing your vision and for helping to frame our discussions this afternoon. I appreciate your identifying some of the opportunities, the challenges, and of course, the risks. And as you rightly said, sustainable development is really a global endeavor, one for all of us. And I want to take this opportunity to commend you and your team for your efforts in bringing us all together in the IGF and of course, for embracing multistakeholderism and ensuring that all groups are represented. So, thank you very much. And with that, ladies and gentlemen, we're going to more into our panel. As I mentioned before, we will structure into three segments. I think you all know the 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for people, for the planet and also for prosperity.
So, we will start, first, our discussions looking at people. As you know, the SDGs basically declared that the world's determination to end poverty, to end hunger in all of their forms and dimensions and to ensure that all human beings can fulfill their potential in dignity and equality, and in a healthy environment.
Digital technologies, if carefully managed, can have an important role to play in ensuring sustainable and equitable societies, as the Under‑Secretary‑General has just said so well.
So, in this first part, we will be touching on the SDG, well, SDG 1, on no poverty, on 2, zero hunger, 3, good health, 4, education, 5, gender equality. I'm sure you all know the SDGs by heart. Eleven sustainable cities and communities and SDG 16 on peace, justice, and strong institutions.
And so, our first panelist is Alexandria Walden. She is the policy leader for freedom of rights and expression at Google. Alexandria, if we could ask you to share some of the challenges identified, I would say particularly in the context of rapidly digital transformation for developing economies as well as for vulnerable groups and if you could also share your thoughts for possible routes for overcoming those challenges, Alexandria, please.
>> ALEXANDRIA: Thank you for inviting Google to participate in this conversation. This is something obviously from the top of the company all the way embedded down through our engineers, we're talking about how we proceed and how our products make sense for the world getting everyone online.
So, for me, when I think about the SDGs, I think immediately about their role in helping us realize human rights around the world. That means things like privacy, freedom of expression, nondiscrimination, and then in other areas, the ways in which it can help us take tremendous strides in the areas of health and fighting poverty and many of the other topics that other panelists will cover. But when I think about human rights, I'm anything about the ways in which private sector in particular has a responsibility to help advance human rights and sort of the protect and respect framework that we're a part of and how that feeds into reaching these goals.
so, as several others alluded to, digital technology and the internet have allowed mankind to make tremendous strides in sharing information and addressing some of these areas that we've talked about. But, it's important for us to understand how we can learn, how we can ensure that we're learning the lessons from where we face challenges in the past and build upon those to, as we are seeking to engage and get every person online.
So, the thing that I most want to focus on in terms of how we face these challenges, like I say, the connect to privacy, freedom of expression, description, et cetera, is to ensure that companies are focused on the responsibilities under the guiding of principles and human rights.
Fundamentally, that core framework is connected to the way in which we should be thinking about the SDGs at our company.
There are many ways in which we are thinking about the environment and individuals and communities across our products and the way that they use them. And the UNG Ps are the ways in which we operationalize that. The UN guiding principles help us think about any individual given product and how it's being used in the world and how we think about mitigating any potential harms and think about all of the benefits that can bring.
So, I just want to sort of underscore that point in terms of always ensuring that we are looking at the frameworks that are preexisting when we're addressing the challenges that we've seen in the past. We should not throw the baby out with the bath water. Instead, we should focus on the frameworks that we currently have and the ways in which those were developed in multistakeholder settings.
One of the things I think we've learned is that companies alone or governments alone or associate alone cannot do this.
It is when we work together when we're in conversation learning about impacts and possibilities and opportunities that we see the best of what technology can offer.
And so, I just wanted to underscore that as part of the ways in which we can do the amazing things that emerging technologies will allow us to do.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you so much. Now going to turn to his excellency, the vice minister of ICTs from Paraguay, Miguel Martin. I had the opportunity of visiting your beautiful country a couple weeks ago and visiting some of the local schools outside of Asoncion. Vice minister, if you could share with us your experiences coming from a land locked country, some of the projects and also some of the things you have been rolling out to deal with digital transformation. Thanks.
>> MIGUEL MARTIN: Thank you. First of all, I would like to say that we're really thankful for the invitation of being here as a country. And also announce that this is the first time we come as a big delegation of ten people, and also, as a multistakeholder delegation, we come with government, the Congress, and also, the social/civil representation.
So, it's really good to announce that. And first of all, when you think of internet for all as a necessity for a country or for the world, we find our self with a very big challenge for us, which is our position as a land locked country.
This means we don't have possibility to connect ourselves to the submarine cables, fiberoptics, so, we have to negotiate with our neighbors, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, in order to find better bandwidth and of course the price of access to internet to everyone.
This is a situation we also talked about when you were there and we are finding the ways on how to do it. We have a challenge of diplomacy to work on but this could also be an advantage to others to make not really good offers for us since it's really very difficult to deploy fiber optics for us, the offer torrents the infrastructure, other overs, we have to look at the best.
And as you said, we now have going on, this digital agenda project for the first time in which we are addressing this infrastructure situation.
But, as a person who experienced another project related to ICTs, I would like to say that when we started the project in which I was a founder, I was able to see how bringing the computers just to the kids wasn't the solution. I was a volunteer in Africa, too, and Rwanda, where I actually took the product. We thought of quality of education for all when we took the project to everyone. But, after years, we saw giving the infrastructure wasn't the solution at all.
But, I would like to, I don't want to think of internet that way. I think internet by itself, it is a big solution. When you give the opportunity to anyone to access to information, communication, and this is also for countries that are trying to strengthen their democracy. It is a very, really big important issue. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you so much for that. I'm going to turn to my other fellow panelists, and see if you have any comments on what you just heard from Miguel or from Alexandria before I open to the floor? Olomidi, do you want to jump in? Melissa, you want to go first?
>> MELISSA SASSI: Yeah, so, for me, I think one thing struck that you just said and it's about giving infrastructure is not the only solution. I am very passionate about digital skills and digital intelligence and I think it's important that when people are getting connected, they have the right skills.
And they have meaningful skills to make meaningful use of the internet. When I do my talk, I'll do a little bit of a deep dive but that, for me, is such a critical part of being connected and driving meaningful connectivity.
>> All right, I'm going to speak to Melissa in terms of giving access to the vulnerable. Giving access to the less privileged in the world. Now, I understand in 2017, I think Google did something in Nigeria to be charitable.
Without you having access to the internet. Without you subscribing to any particular ISP, you could actually access Google's two or three pages. For example, you were looking for what, and you just log on to the internet even without you subscribing to any particular ISP internet service provider, Google made it possible for people in Nigeria, I don't know any other part of the world where they have access to that as well, for them to be able to search maybe just for about three or four minutes.
So, I understand if they have that capacity, they could always extend it to other areas. Speaking for Nigerian populace, that some places, just like the problem they have in Paraguay, although, ours is not land locked, but some other social problems that would not really make internet or the wires that you spread around, the ground cables, the fibers to be able to reach them but I believe that technology can always improve to such an extent that the vulnerable can easily access internet.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Actually, before I hand over to Luis, I should have introduced you before I let you speak, Melissa. So, Melissa Sassi is the Chair of the IEEE Skills group. She's also with IBM as the start‑up program manager and Olimidi Baibalola is from Nigeria and is the managing director of Babalola firm doing human rights and privacy as well.
Luis Neves is leading GeSI and was previously at Deutsch Telecom. My friend Gisa is, before she was with the ITU where she was doing emergency and LDC work, she was actually the assistant vice CEO in the ICT Ministry in Samoa. So, really delighted to have all of you up here.
And now, with that, Luis, if you want to share some comments or reflections in the context of the people segment of our discussion, please, Luis.
>> LUIS NEVES: Yes, thank you so much, Doreen. I want to raise a couple of issues in light of a very recent report that we have done called Digital with Purpose. This is a report that took GeSI six months to deliver. It was done by Deloitte together with one of the 50 people around the world. We look to seven different technologies in relation to the SDGs and we visited more than 2,000 sources of information as we were doing to report.
And I will present some findings on my short keynote. What I'd like to bring to this discussion because we're talking about human rights, about privacy and security is that one of the most critical areas that we identified in our report is the discussion about human rights and privacy and security and this is becoming extremely critical in today's context when we look at developments that are taking place and when we are looking how technologies are misused in the interest of some.
So, we need to take those aspects into account as well.
So, technologies are extremely good. Our report shows that. Fantastic. They will deliver 20 percent of the achievement of the SDGs by 2030 but we need to address what we call the externalities also connected with technologies and we need to ensure if we want to ensure trust in the technology we also need the company to step up and take responsibility so the company has to be accountable in the way they describe those technologies.
The second point I would like to raise in connection to the SDGs is that the fundamental technology to ensure SDG achievement is connectivity. We need to provide connection to people. So, when Doreen said, we still have half of the population of the world without access to technology. So, the question is, how are we going to ensure that this happens. So, maybe we need to revisit something that weds in the past. In the past, we had the concept around what we used to call access to everybody so what we call it in providing universal access.
And that was the responsibility of governments, of policy makers in the old times when telecommunications were still in the public sector.
Today, because of competition, of the new global environment, we see lots of private companies. It's good that this is happening. But, we also need to think, what kind of model do we need as to ensure that those 3.6 billion of people will have access to technology.
Because technology will be fundamental to achieve the SDGs and to get prosperity across the world.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Absolutely. And thank you for that, Luis. Of course, back in the day in the 80s when Sir Donald Maylin launched his report on a missing link. Some of us may remember. It was about how long you would actually have to walk to get to a fixed line calculated by the number of hours and days.
And of course, we're not talking about fixed telephone line connectivity anymore.
And so, I'd like your point and I'd like to hear from the audience on the how. How are we going to get there? And when the UN Secretary‑General opened the IGF yesterday, he spoke about connecting the world by 2030, being a shared priority. And as you were saying, Alexandria, it has to be shared. It's not just for governments or just for the private sector. It's for all of us. It has to be our shared priority but before I turn to the audience, Gisa, did you want to add a quick comment before we open up?
>> GISA FUATAI PURCELL: Yes. Thank you so much for inviting me here. Of all these problems, when you listen to it, it comes one thing in mind. These are global challenges. That need global solutions. How do we do that? We do that by collaboration, communication, and better coordination. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Perfect. Thank you. Okay. The floor is open for first round of the questions or comments. I'd invite you to focus on the comments of the panelists that you've heard or the context of people because we're on the people segment of our discussion. Are there any questions? We have microphones. Placed. If you would like to ask a question, please come to the microphone and introduce yourself. Okay. I see the first question. Mai Lin, do you want to introduce yourself? Please, go ahead.
>> MEI LIN FUNG: I'm Mei Lin Fung from the people's connected internet which I co‑founded with Vint Cerf. Want to thank you for the comments. I want to say that the statements have been very inspiring. That we have to learn how to collaborate. And actually, we hear this in every session, we have to learn to collaborate. We actually need to do it. We need to practice at it. We're like at the very beginning of a long journey and we have to start playing the instruments and listening to each other and like an O straw, learn to make music. And I don't see that we're actually developing the tools for addressing that big gap. We keep saying, we need the elephant, the elephant's in the room but we're not building the elephant. So, I just throw that down as a comment.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, Mei Lin. So, we can keep talking about collaborating but I think it's time to actually do it and take action. Great comment, thank you.
Anyone else want to jump in? I see another, please. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
>> Thank you for this space. I'm Fernando. I'm a researcher from Brazil. My comment and actually question goes in the way to exactly question how to put enforcement in enforcing human rights and enforcing the SDGs to companies.
Right now, we had a really big scandal of data collecting and we had a scandal of Cambridge Analytica. And until today, we haven't really had substantial actions against these companies and they were fostering cells that were harming human rights, were against human rights because when you see a company that breeches basic human rights, we have NGOs reporting, we had like mining, reports that actually show the breach in human rights, but when it's internet and digital, it's not tangible.
So, my questions and comments go in the sense to try to understand on how we can, how to come to these kind of companies that can breach human rights and hamper the progress to SDGs and hamper basic, like, one of the SDGs of peace and progress and peace and justice.
So, that's my, actually, comment and kind of food for thought.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Thank you, Fernando. Luis, you were going to jump in and then Alexandria.
>> LUIS NEVES: So, from my side, a couple of things. So, you're raising the same issue that I raised previously. So, we need to ensure trust and responsibilities, so companies take responsibility to ensure trust with people.
What we have been doing in GeSI, in the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative, we have been studying and analyzing these issues quite thoroughly. We just published a report called Enabling Rights where we looked into all different technologies and how technologies can help to address those issues and just recently in New York, we gathered the group of stakeholders together with us, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, to address with businesses how to address those challenges. And we are working on that solution, hopefully.
But, this is an initiative from the industry but there are other dimensions that need also to happen so from a policy standpoint, policy makers, they need to address the issues as well. Companies themselves, and then let's say business associations in collaboration with the associate to work on the solutions.
We have, let's ‑‑ with the civil society to work on the solutions of the. Let's say we have a platform called human rights where we publish solution that's can help human rights activists to address challenges in their own activities, supply chains, workers' rights and so on and so on.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, Luis. Alexandria, before I come to you, there's an online comment or question. If we could take that first because perhaps you'll have something to say to that. Please, can we hear from the person online. Go ahead.
>> Yes, if we can transfer the speaker to the remote queue. Thanks.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Yes, please go ahead. If you can introduce yourself and state your question or comment. If technology doesn't fail us.
>> Benjamin, we can't hear you. Sustainable development can we read out his question or comment?
>> I'll ask him to post the question and then I'll read it.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. So perhaps we'll come back to Benjamin. Alexandria, go ahead.
>> ALEJANDRA BUILES: I just wanted to quickly lift up some examples that relate ‑‑
>> ALEXANDRIA WALDEN: I just wanted to quickly bring up some examples of first collaboration but also accountability. First, I wanted to make sure folks were aware of the global network initiative. It's a decade long initiative of companies, socially responsible investors, human rights Civil Society, and the goal of this multistakeholder effort is to help companies ensure that they are respecting human rights and the way that we are doing business.
And there are important learnings that take place in the setting, as well as there's an independent accountability mechanism, an assessment.
So, this is one example of what we've done in the industry to help companies learn over the course of a decade how we can start to address some of these problems and where mitigations need to happen in our project, in our policies and then in our public policy.
Lastly, I just wanted to reiterate the point on UN guiding framework. Ultimately, what that means is that there is a responsibility on behalf of governments to ensure that they are creating environments for companies to innovate responsibly and then companies have a responsibility to respect human rights.
And so, that means that companies need to be implementing mechanisms like human rights impact assessments, ongoing human rights due diligence and other activities to ensure that we are being thoughtful about the ways in which we're launching products into the world. Similarly, governments have an obligation to engage with companies and make sure they're doing that or use hard and soft law mechanisms to make sure that happens so I think this other gets to other aspects of accountability.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Olumide, and then I'll turn to you, Melissa and Miguel.
>> OLUMIDE BABALOLA: Thank you very much. I think your comment reiterates what was said yesterday about protection of human rights online as a shared responsibility. So, that is the data subjects, that is the data collector, that is data processor, and we all have liabilities and very responsibilities under various laws and regulations.
The GDPR provides for remedies for data subjects whose rights have been violated and there are mechanisms for enforcement and for compensation under the GDPR. I understand Brazil also has a data protection law.
So, it is a shared responsibility, speaking from the perspective of a lawyer, it's a shared responsibility from all of us, especially the data subjects, to call the data controllers and the data processors to question any time there is an allegation or violation of rights or privacy, whatever right is provided under the law.
Once we all take up the responsibility and we move away from the realm of talking, like you said, just talking and talking, but we take actions, I think it's even easier in developed countries for some companies to sit up than some developing companies from where I come from. And we take them to Court, and sometimes, most times, we get compensation. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Melissa.
>> MELISSA SASSI: So, my comment is not necessarily going to address bad actors, but I think that there is a responsibility that, you know, we all have when it comes to utilizing the technology in front of us. I see around the world many, many different definitions of what it means to be digitally literate. Even in certain countries, there are different philosophies on what should be taught and what should people be learning when it comes to becoming digitally intelligent.
And this is where I think it's really important to have a wheel of competencies that people are learning when they go online and understand when you're sharing bits and pieces of data, what are the things that could happen with that doubt? And what are the risks associated with it?
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Vice minister, please.
>> MIGUEL MARTIN: Just to address the question that the woman, I can't see anymore, said. I think doing something as countries, we are already doing and working collaboratively. I think our participation here is, this gathering makes us think differently and go back to our countries and do things differently. Me, myself, I saw things differently before coming to these types of gatherings and listening to others, just listening to others from other countries. Policy makers are doing things differently than we think and this is also a very big step towards doing things right. So, I thank you and applause again for these type of invitations we're doing.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Excellent. Gisa.
>> GISA FUATAI PURCELL: Very quickly, every country has laws and we all know it. And every, well, I would say, every country now has legislation on human rights. So, every company, every organization operating within that country must abide within those laws.
The problem comes when the owners of businesses don't reside within the country. For example, over the top technologies. So, how do you tax the owners of WhatsApp and Viber and all those other technologies. That is the challenge. And in the Commonwealth organization, we did a study on OTT. If there's anybody here from Uganda, you'll know that Uganda has done and passed legislation on OTT. And if they can share their experience at some stage of this panel, it would be really, really good.
But the key is the operators are not getting anything out of it because people go to where there's free Wi‑Fi and use these apps. The government is not getting a cent out of it because if the operator doesn't get any money from the over the top technologies, then the government misses out on the text. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Thank you, Gisa. Are we able to get Benjamin to intervene directly or can we read out his comment or question?
>> We will try once more and then I'll read out the question. We actually have two questions from the remote participants.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. I know we're almost out of time for this first segment.
>> Okay. Benjamin, can you talk?
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Yes, hello. We can hear you, Benjamin. Please go ahead.
>> Okay. Good afternoon. My name is Benjamin. And I'm a student researcher in Namibia. In terms of achieving the SDGs with the internet, this is my view, that I feel is always missing around internet governance conversation. For every time we talk about internet, I think we should have a thematic reasonings, like, if we want improvement in health, why don't we put health forward, and say, how can we use internet to enhance health?
In that way, we could easily reach out to as many persons as possible using internet. And this way, I think we can easily address a lot of the SDG goals if we make the thematic area, say, access, say, education, and all of this order subject. Because internet is not internet for internet's sake. Internet is for a particular purpose. That is where I stand, and I think that is the argument that's still missing. What would make internet the priority as against other subject matters that could
(audio cut out)
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. The audio cut, but, Benjamin, if you're still listening, I think we well understood your comment, and frankly, personally ‑‑
>> Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: I couldn't agree more with you. I do think that sometimes there's a need to sort of shift the conversation and look very specifically, as you were saying, not just for internet in health, internet conversation, look at the great examples out there because there's tons of them where companies and Civil Society are actually using technology to tackle each and every one of the SDGs.
So, thank you for that, thank you for that good comment. And was there one more, as well? From our ‑‑
>> Yes, we have one more question from advocate John Phillip. I can read it quickly. Following section 3 of the High Level Panel report addressing dangers, especially for children, we would be happy to ask the panel how it considers a UN extension for human rights as proposed by the expert, Rapir.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Thank you. Would I get any comments from my panelists on that? I think the point from Benjamin was well understood. Anyone want to take up the part on child online safety? Melissa.
>> MELISSA SASSI: So, you know, for me, I think obviously, if you've noticed a common theme to everything I say, everything I've said so far, and that's around digital skills. And this is where I think it's, you know, equally critical for young people as they're getting connected and as they may not have, you know, super vision around them for them to understand what it means to be safe online.
Now, I'm not 100 percent, you know, connected to this particular publication, so I'm not going to, you know, go into specific details because I don't have them but I can say generally speaking, as we're bringing our kids online, they need to understand both the benefits and the dangers.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Thank you for that. As many of you may know, we've been talking about a lot of anniversaries, the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The anniversary of the creation of the worldwide web. Last week was also the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and there have been a number of discussions happening in the UN as well as outside the UN on the scary numbers out there in terms of online harassment, bullying and even sexual abuse and exploitation online.
So, much to be done on that space, which is worry some. On the ITU side, we're working with you in the revamp p on our child protection guidelines and we would invite you to be part of that exercise if you're not already engaged.
I think, Gisa, I know you wanted to make a comment.
Maybe you can hold it. Is that okay? Because we're going to come back at the end for some general comments and reflections.
So, now moving from people to planet, we're going to shift here for a moment and as you probably know, the SDGs did set a goal to protect the planet so it can support the needs of present and future generations.
Every day, we're seeing just how connected and how fundamental climate change is to development and of course, digital technologies have a very critical role to play in protecting the planet and helping to reverse negative trends.
We're going to be folk using on a range of SDGs from clean water to clean energy, responsible con assumption, life below water, life on land and also climate action.
And I'm going to start first with you, Luis. As I mentioned, Luis is the CEO of GeSI and Luis, if you can share with us, I know you have a couple of slides that you wanted to just show briefly how digital technologies can be most impactful in the fight against climate change. Luis, please.
>> LUIS NEVES: thank you, Doreen, I will try to stick to my five minutes. I mentioned to you previously that we did a substantial piece of research which turned to be this report, Digital with Purpose, delivering a smarter 2030. I invite you to read it. It's a 500 page report. It has more than 500 case studies that we analyzed. As I said, 2,000 pages or documents of research, and we looked into seven different technologies from digital access, 5G, IoT, digital reality, block chain, Cloud, cognitive. So, I mean, reverse analytics, machine learning, art initial intelligence and fast internet.
So, we create these technologies with sustainable development goals and we have an incredible group of recognized people, people like professor Jeffry Sax, Christina, and others. A director and many others that supported our research, an amazing group of technology companies helping us as well within the GeSI framework.
And this you probably can not read from the distance, sum rises very much what we have done. So, we looked into all the different SDGs and we came to the conclusion that these technologies can impact in a positive manner, one of the three, one of the 69 SDGs. A strong, pos thief impact and strong correlation. We impact assessment. Then we came to the conclusion around, what are the most relevant impacts but also, we analyzed what we call, technologies.
So, from a positive story, we saw that the technologies will be creating growth, they will have a positive impact on employment, from a negative perspective, we came to the conclusion that we need to address issues like Greenhouse gas emissions or e‑waste or what we call sustainable consumption or unsustainable consumption.
I already mentioned that the SDGs. The technologies will have a positive impact by 2030. In 22 percent of all SDGs, some of the SDGs are actually not going on the right side. Our study shows that 30 percent of the SDGs actually are having a negative trend but technologies can impact 22 percent of those. On the positive side, those that are going down, they can impact 23 percent and can avoid that tendency of going down through these technologies.
So, when it comes to climate change, which is the main purpose of this panel, what we have been doing in GeSI, we have been analyzing since 2008, what is the situation of technologies in relation to climate change. Around three main questions. One is, what is the ICT sector footprint, the other one, what is the enabling capacity of the technologies and the third question is the business value around it.
So, in 2008, we did a report called Smart 2020 and it the conclusion was that technologies could have an impact 5.5 times bigger, enabling impact than our own footprint. We did the same exercise in 2012, and the factor was one to seven.
We did the same exercise in 2015, and the factor was one to ten. So, the Smarter 2030 report we did in 2015 concluded that the technologies can bring down 20 percent of the global emissions. And this is an amazing story. In the business as usual scenario.
Our digital with purpose report came to the same conclusion through these number of technologies that I mentioned to you. Actually, this report shows that our footprint in 2030 will be about one gigaton of CO2. In 2000, r it was 1.4 gigaton of CO2. So, it seems like the tendency is going down, so these are good news. That does not necessarily mean we need to cross our arms. The we need to address the challenge.
Our companies are investing in green energies so, if you look at what the technology companies are doing, investing in green energies, data centers, infrastructure, this is the way that we are walking the talk.
But, I think the most interesting story here is that the more you deploy technology, the more you can help other industry sectors to address climate change and that will impact every single sector. Energy, agriculture, logistics and so on and so on.
So, this is just to trigger the conversation, and then there will be an opportunity to talk probably in more detail during the panel discussion. Thank you so much.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Excellent. Thank you so much for that, Luis. Very visual
Very impactful. I love when you figure out how to measure things because when we can start to measure, we can actually start to move the needle and make things happen so I like how you were able to link digital to 103 specific targets out of 179. Thank you. That's excellent.
So, Gisa, turning to you maybe to get your perspective from where the Commonwealth countries sit when we look at ICTs and how we can use digital technologies to facilitate cleaner production and more sustainable agriculture while protecting the environment. Gisa,
>> GISA FUATAI PURCELL: So, when we talk planet, we're talking about the land, the sea, the space, and above all, the people. Now, when you look back in history, the industrial revolution, then we can say, wow, we have come a long way. It took the telephone, the fixed telephone line 150 years to cover every corner of the world but it took the internet only five years so this is how powerful technology is. So, in the Commonwealth, what we are doing is, we helped our Commonwealth countries develop policies and regulation and legislation around the affordable and secure use, and access to information and communication technology or nor recently, to the digital economy. And there's a huge impact of technology in ensuring that the world, or the Commonwealth countries, 2.4 billion people, which makes it a third of the world's population. Now, technology helps in agriculture. When you think about the dynamic of people, it's food. Without food, we shouldn't be here.
So, this is why it's very important, because technology can help countries look at new ways of making sure that we can grow the food that everybody can variety on.
When you look at the FAO, at the World Bank, and other studies, it says that around 800,000 children don't have access to better food.
So, this is where technology comes in. I mean, how do we sensitize, how can we understand what is happening out there in the rural villages. It has to be technology, and it has to be a combination of terrestrial and also satellite technology.
If you think about satellite, it's 100 percent coverage. And then, you also think of the way that the governments provide information. This is where digital broadcasting come in. Because that will allow everybody to understand what is happening out there in government. Then, of course, our mobile phones. The key here is capacity building. When we first launch, we first liberalize the market back in my country, Samoa, I was so proud, happy, that I took the first mobile phone to my village. It was for my sister. So, I rang my sister in Australia and I told the sister back home.
Come, talk to her. Can you hear her voice. She was going, oh, no. She was scared. You know, we took everything for granted. But, now, mobile phone is amazing. During that liberalization, we looked at, I was working for the ITU as Doreen mentioned, we looked at small island developing states in the Caribbean, in the Pacific islands, then we realized there is so much to do in these countries because they're so isolated and yet, there is a lot we can do. Therefore, we did a project and that is telecenters. I know a lot of the results of many telecenters were negative, but we need to take telecenters out to the rural village, and teach women that had never had any education before to use the email.
One day, you go there and they say, oh, Nissa, I got an email from my grandson in Vancouver and he sent photos but I don't know how to set my photos there.
This is proof that with technology, you don't have, you don't need any education. And when I said before that these are global solutions, challenges that need global solutions, the implementation of the global solutions is the key. And this is where we look at governments and we look at our own people. Sometimes who have to rely on us to do what we can but this is what we're doing for the Commonwealth countries is to give them the positiveness of the digital economy.
So, now, everybody is coming in, but the key thing is access. There is still the need for access. And it is where universal access funds come in.
So, currently, the Commonwealth, we're doing the project with Malawi and other Commonwealth countries on universal access.
Our liberty, we'll comment at another time.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you, Gisa. So, challenges, solutions in the context of planet. Melissa, please.
>> MELISSA SASSI: One of the things that you mentioned was about working with government on policies. And you know, I'm going to just recognize a couple of people in the audience that I've been volunteering with on a project for the last year that I think could be interesting. So, Mike and Lydia, stand up. Thank you. I'm introducing Mike and Lydia. They both work at Microsoft. I'm a former Microsoftee and we have been involved in taking 82 broadband policies from around the world and ingesting them into a natural language processing algorithm to identify best practices, identify what's included across a number of broadband policies.
And the reason I bring this up is I see a lot of people setting up, talking about goals but how are those goals making their way into policies, whether that's gender inclusion, speed, affordability, whatever it may be, and how can we drive a more data‑driven and objective approach to evolving broadband policies.
We actually took all of the data. We put it into a power BI dashboard, so, a data visualization tool and it's all online so anyone is able to access it. We're in the process of taking all the policies that we collected. We still have more to collect and still more work to do but anyone that wants to check it out and kind of evaluate how can you evolve your broadband policies without reading a hundred of them and figuring out how do you get to a better place, it's at broadband policy.org. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, Melissa.
>> OLUMIDE BABALOLA: Talking about solving problems for Commonwealth countries. Nigeria, as we speak, has problems with agriculture, food. If any one of you have been following our situation, in a couple of weeks, we ran out of chicken. So, it's a hilarious story of an outlet that the business is based on chicken, and they couldn't do business because there was no chicken. And these are kind of opportunities for companies, for technology to be employed, to improve agriculture in those kind of countries.
Become countries where I understand in some European countries, in some developed countries, you have genetically produced food items. Those could be deployed to Africa, where there is massive, massive problems like that. To be solved. So, that's what I think.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you for that. Other comments for the panel or can we turn to the room? Gisa, and then, we're going to see if there's any questions in the room.
>> GISA FUATAI PURCELL: Just quickly, my message to my Commonwealth family is implementation.
I always say to them, great, we have policies, we've developed this and that. But the key is in implementation and if you don't do the implementation, then our policies will be sitting in shelves gathering dust. That's my very small, strong message out there.
And speaking of Nigeria, my really good friend, Professor Dambata used to be the Chair of the telecity executive committee.
So, we were talking about agriculture and ICTs and he was quite surprised when I said, well, if you look at an equation, it goes like this. Sustainable agriculture equals sustainable lives. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, Gisa. I see a question back here and another one here at the table so please, if you could introduce yourself and then go ahead and ask your question or make your comment. Please
>> Thank you. Cheri from the Maldives. Secretariat of technology industry.
It was very interesting to hear the panel. Two things that I note from the panel. Connectivity is fundamental and key to achieving SDGs. Next, 30 percent of SDG achievement is on the negative, on the decline, right? So, given that we just discussed the first two pieces, right, and not to be on the negative side of technology, in the Maldives, both these pieces are extremely important. The planet matters to us because we are the smallest part of the planet. We are in crisis. But, before that, we are in a connectivity crisis. We, in fact, have good connectivity with the world. Albeit at very high cost but we have over 80 percent broadband mobile penetration.
But, on the positive side, our development has actually seen the positive impacts, but, on the people side, what we see is we are actually an island nation of over 187 very tiny microcommunities. And these communities tend to be fairly homogenous.
And we have, from the past, maybe, not had the kind of diversity that we would really want. And we thought maybe connected to the rest of the world, we would get this diversity, the strength of diversity which would accelerate our development.
But, we find, in reality, connecting to the rest of the world, we start living in even smaller bubbles. Now, we forget the huge oceans between the islands. We create bubbles with people in New York, people in Europe, and then what happens? The small diversity we already have in our tiny islands are lost.
And we create these small islands of even more homogeneity. Which, may really be one factor.
Just to take one example. The example of anti-vaxxers. We have tremendous us achievement in achieving the goals of health.
But imagine opening up ourselves to the world and learning that there are people out there who are ready to connect and be on the same small island in the internet who don't believe in vaccination.
So, not just us. But, I think many parts of the world, we are seeing going back into the past in some of these SDGs.
So, this is one thing. The other thing is, when we look at technology, in the bigger countries, going electronic may help. But, in a country where we have to import diesel to make electronic, invoicing the number of increasing the number of electric vehicles may itself have challenges to we have to very critic look at the footprint of introducing accelerated technologies where the technology introduction is not matching the rate of the increase of the number of renewable energy that we are able to create along with it so that we end up importing more and more diesel fuel. So, these are some of the chat edges that I just wanted to highlight. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you so much, Sharif. And we also have a comment at the table and I see one other one in the back, and I think we have nothing online. So, please, at the table.
>> I'm an MP of the German Parliament, specialized on internet policy. I would like to come back to what Gisa said because we often talk about providing structure, technical access, and then the need of educating in terms of literacy, but I think very often a third component is missing, and that is relevant content.
And my question is, how can we become better in providing the right content to help people help themselves, databases, for example, with freely downloadable printing files where you can immediately print water pipe adapters when you only have two not fitting water pipes and no construction market where you can just buy the fitting one or tools or replacement parts to fix things which are broken.
And there are little apps where you can, for example, calculate, if the roof of your building would be good enough for rain water harvesting. It's sometimes really simple stuff.
But, how do you develop the right things. How do you make them available. How do you get people to know this.
I just remember another example. There's an app called Plantics that has been developed by German students but adapted to other continents, too. Where you need a smartphone, it's probably already a barrier. But, if you have it, you can just show a diseases plant to the camera and then it's analyzing it with artificial intelligence and it's telling you what the likely reason for this plant disease is and how you can treat it naturally without needing to buy some poison from some shop.
And I think connecting this content also to production tools, democratizing tools of production like 3D printers, maker spaces, teaching people how to fix and build stuff themselves in rural areas is a real key to development and I would like to know what you know about these examples, what is being done and how we can become better.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Excellent. Great question. So, relevant content. I would also add in local languages as well because the language is often an issue. So, there was one other, please, the gentleman in the back there and then I'll come quickly back to my panel for some quick reflections. Please, sir.
>> Yes, thank you. I'm a freelance journalist. A fellow at the reporters without borders Berlin scholarship program. My question is about ensuring political action especially when there's areas where there's little political action vis a vis implementing the SDGs. Especially with food access. I would start with food security where you find rural farmers in northern Nigeria where I'm from have access to technology, for example, in Google, to have access for crop production but yet cannot transport their produce to the markets in the cities due to lack of access to proper road transport, which is basically a failure of government.
Also, going back a bit about the discussion on SDGs and people, where you have a total isolation in the collaborative action, Google might provide digital tablets for internet access to students or girls in schools but then you find the students with gadgets studying in schools without a roof or under the shed of a tree or walking long distances just to go to school with a shiny tablet in their backpack.
So, how do you ensure especially? Developing countries that governments also share that end of the burden in providing environments to ensure proper digital access. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Excellent question. Thank you. So, we got three comments there. In the Maldives, from Germany, and from our friend. I didn't get what country you were from but you were a journalist. Nigeria. Okay. So any quick comments? Melissa, we start with you and go down the line.
>> MELISSA SASSI: Sure, I want to comment would be your question. Our friend from Germany. So, outside of my role at IBM, I have my own company that I run. I mainly work in Tunisia so I'll give you an example of what I've done personally with my team in Tunisia. I focused on underserved communities and also teaching them digital literacy but also teaching them how to code and part of that is empowering them to create their own solutions.
So, me not creating a solution for them, but them creating their own solution.
So, what I mean by that is, I have one, I've taught tens of thousands of kids to code in about 12 different countries through my program. In Tunisia, it's partly funded by the U.S. department of state. Our flagship camp, we run for 30 days. Young people come in without any experience coding. They learn how to build a mobile application. They learn how to, in some cases, it b kind of depends on the camp, combine that with IoT solution.
Or robotic solution. I have a co‑working space in the capitol.
And what we do is we bring in 30 young people from across the country and they spend a month in this sleepover camp. They come up with a challenge. They tie to the SDGs and they look at, what is a business challenge that we're having in our own community? What's the data that sets that up? So, they learn media literacy. What's valuable data they can use to make decisions? They come up with audio model, business model. They do demo days. The we invite technology professionals, business professionals to come in and help them with their pitches and at the end, they win a prize.
And then we nurture those ideas over time. So, I don't think it's about, how can, you know, one person from another country come and create solutions for you. People have to move from being consumers of technology into creators, makers, and doers, empowered by technology.
But, it's not just technology. It's business skills. It's soft skills and everything that goes along with that.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Olumide, please.
>> OLUMIDE BABALOLA: Responding to my Nigerian brother, I think we're asking for too much if someone is giving us some form of hate. Maybe Google is providing the tablet or it they're providing the device and we still expect them to fix our roads. That might just be asking for too much or asking for impossibility. Now, we've had some situations in the past where some students were studying in digital April dated classrooms, and ‑‑ dilapidated classrooms and some organizations give them tablets, mobile phones, and we've seen situations where they have used such devices to post the state of their schools on the internet and on social media and I discovered that in some cases, the government responded because of the backlash. This is where we talk about the shared responsibility. Someone has decided to give us a device. We also have a role to play to call our governments to be accountable and to call them to do their responsibilities under the law.
So, I think we all have responsibilities. One party cannot finish all. So, we all have our shared responsibilities. That's it.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you and maybe just to add to what you're saying, and to the friend in the back from Nigeria. And your point about ensuring government action on the SDGs. I would just understand the importance of political will. And I think that's key. That governments really do need to be committed to the SDGs and I think we need to do a better job even here in the IGF community and elsewhere of ensuring that governments understand the importance of connectivity and each and every area of the SDG. And I don't think we're there yet. I've seen myself in the context of the IGF high level political role when companies do their volunteer reviews and they talk about how they're implementing and reviewing their SDGs. I think about 30 percent of the countries that reported this year mentioned ICTs.
Which means, the link is not there yet. I think all of us need to do a better job in really pushing that and I also wanted to just quickly come back to Sharif from the Maldives. You raised some points that came up on day zero and I think also yesterday and when we think about the theme of one world OKs one net and one vision, I do think you brought up some good points about ensuring that we maintain also diversity. We remember culture, local culture, local context and I think we have to remember to be preserving those as well. So, thank you also for raising some of those points. Gisa, you were going to make a quick comment?
>> GISA FUATAI PURCELL: Yes, my comment is about question by Germany. I was working with the ITU in one of the projects we did as I mentioned before is telecenters. What we found that worked was developing how‑to in the local language. That was how a lot of the young girls who have not had opportunity to attend colleges and also the women came together and they learned and that's how that worked.
But, I'm thinking back now. That was like 2005. The internet was dial‑up. Can you imagine? So, they were sitting there waiting and the training, too was delivered in the local language. I think that's really, really important and then the other project that I did for the ITU was on climate change. It was an early warning system for flooding in Uganda, in east Uganda.
So, with that project, again, because of my experience from the telecenter project in Samoa, I met with UCC and the way we did it was they developed training in the local language, which was also done and its sensitization.
And then, when we developed the system, I asked them, give me instructions in the local language. So, the siren goes in the first sign, you tell them, Okay. There is likely to be flooding. To be floods. In the second one, they will say, in the local language, pack and go.
And then the third one, it will say, stay if you want to die.
And when we launched this project, it was amazing because flood happened before the launch. And then, by the time we launched, when the flooding happened before, it was the first time ever not one person died. So, it all goes back and I'm, I'm referring to my colleague from Maldives. I strongly believe that within the challenges we face, there is a lot of new skills that we need to give our people to stay sustainable in everything we do.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you so much, Gisa.
I know there's further comments but we're going to move now to the last part of our discussion and then we'll come back for those of you that didn't get to jump in. We're now going to switch to the third point, which is prosperity.
The SDGs aim to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives. And to ensure that economic, social, and technological process occurs in harm any with nature.
Digital technologies have a critical role to play in enabling inclusive growth in sustainable associates.
Melissa, I'm going to turn to you. Of course, in the context of the SDGs, we're thinking about for the future work, decent work agenda, SDG nine, around industry, and of course, reducing inequalities.
If you can share with us sort of your thoughts in that space, and how digital technologies can help foster a more sustainable, more equal and fairer world. Please, Melissa.
>> MELISSA SASSI: So, speaking of a fair world, before I answer the question, I'd like to tell you a story. I'd like to tell you a story about Zahara Zahran, and Yomna. They were three, five, and seven. And this was ten years ago. They were picked up at their school and they were taken to another country where they live to this day.
My name is Melissa Sassi, and I'm the mother of Zahara, Zahran, and Yomna. They still live in this country. Were victims of parental kidnapping. For me, internet inclusion, digital inclusion, meaning for internet is me being a mother.
When Doreen stood up there and they said, meaningful connectivity. For me, I thought, what does that mean to all of us? And for me, it means being a mother. I'm a mother from afar. Now, don't worry. They're safe, they're healthy, I know where they are.
And this is what has empowered me to kind of focus on what I think is my life's work. And that's digital inclusion.
So, I'm the Chair of the IEEE digital intelligence working group and I'm in the process of working through the IEEE, the IEEE smart village, and the coalition for digital intelligence. You can find that at coalitionfordigitalintelligence.org.
And why I'm mentioning this and why I'm mentioning my personal connection is because in order to gain prosperity, it is personal. It's not just about, what does Google think, what does IBM think, what does the ITU think, not what do all of our respective organizations think? It's what does that mother in the Maldives think? Which, I love the Maldives, and I will come back there at any time. What do Zahara, Zahran and Yomna think? When I noticed think did not have access in their classroom, I created a program to send 400 computers there which empowered me to think about, what does it mean to be digitally intelligent. I realized there were thousands of frameworks and definitions and tutorials out there, many lacking local language content. So, I thought, what could I do to make the world a better place?
So, I pulled together a team at the IEEE and we worked with the standards board. I spent two years doing a literature review identifying all the different frameworks and definitions of what it means to be digitally intelligent.
Right now, we're going through the IEEE's standardization board, which has 400,000 members worldwide, the largest engineering organization on the planet, to standardize, what does it mean to be digitally literate?
When you go into school, when you go into informal education, everybody has a different definition of what this means.
Again, you can find the competencies at the website that I just mentioned. In my mind, these are both the basic skills, the intermediary skills, as well as the advanced skills.
So, see it as kind of like a wheel of competencies. In order to gain whether it's increasing healthcare outcomes, increasing education outcomes, or increasing economic outcomes or being a mother, it's this wheel of competencies and what you'll see on this wheel of competencies once you go to that website, it's not just about, how do I learn how to code? Not everybody is going to be an engineer. How do I keep myself safe online? How do I collaborate online? What is the emotional intelligence that goes into collaborating online? But, also, how do you take that group of people who really have a passion for the digital competencies and I've been able to get 31 hours in a classroom setting or a train the trainer kind of thing in my implementation work so it's not just talking theoretically about what's possible but going out and making this possible.
I also think about one other thing. 258 million young people are outside of the school system. What are we doing to empower those young people in an informal way? How can we use technology to teach them to read? To teach them to write? And is there another role that technology can pay to put them into decent work?
I do a lot of work in Pakistan where the second largest number of people reside and I'm very interested in what work we could all do together to bring young people into a position where they are able to process per.
Unless we have a common framework of what it means to be digitally intelligent, we don't have a way of measuring progress. Did
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you so much, Melissa. Thank you for sharing your story. Very, very moving. And we feel your passion and you're doing lots of great things in this space. So, thank you. Olumide, I'm going to turn to you and perhaps you could share with us and enlighten us on the experience in Nigeria, and things that have been happening in your country in the space of enabling access to fair education and decent work. Thanks.
>> OLUMIDE BABALOLA: Thank you very much. Once again, I'm going to start with, if I had some more time, I would ask you all ‑‑ education. I'm so sure, the way a Nigerian man is going to define fair education would not be the same way someone from the UK would define it. Of the especially if I ask Melissa what she understands by fair education, it would be completely different from my understanding of fair education. I'm a lawyer and I've been so qualified for about 12 years, but with the benefit of hindsight, if I said, I had a fair education, my answer might not just be what some of you would expect.
So, talking about this situation of Nigeria, speak on fair education and how technology could help.
The part of the country I'm going to focus on would be the northern part. That is, with respect, the most less educated part. We have a whole lot of children out of school. They have never been to school. They don't know what school is.
And in the past ten years, we had an insurgency in Nigeria, the northern part was ravaged with terrorism. A lot of families were displaced. A lot of children are displaced as we speak. They reside in IDP camps. What we call internally displaced person's camps. They do not have access to education.
But, recently, we've had some aid coming their way internally and externally. So, I have a couple of examples in 2006, the federal government, the federal Ministry of education launched an ICT driven technology. It's a project that's online, that has the curriculum, basic curriculum for students, for young children who are not in school for them to be able to learn.
And also, in Yula, another state, a city in Adamawa State. Another northern state. Another organization. A foreign organization gave students, gave young children laptops with preloaded content.
So, in Nigeria, when you talk about education for the young people, the first thing you talk about is their learning of alphabets. English alphabets.
So, the applications have preloaded content for mathematics, for basic arithmetics, and English learning, and maybe some part of social studies from where they could start without necessarily going through the four walls of a regular classroom.
Someone mentioned the fact that technology is making us see education in a different light. It is not what it used to be where people would necessarily have to be within the four walls of the classroom. With laptops, like my brother mentioned, children can learn and that has been the experience in Nigeria for a while.
Talking about decent work as well. What is decent in some parts of the world is not decent in Nigeria and what is decent in our own situation is not decent in your situation.
I was in Amsterdam a couple of days ago and I spoke with a start‑up. The start‑up is a legal start‑up for them to employ, for them to retain, for them to engages locals in Amsterdam, it would cost them close to 500, say, 1,000 Euros in the month. But, whereas, I'm not so happy to say this, but this is the reality. They engaged some lawyers in Nigeria, and they were giving them about 300 you're owes, 500 you're owes, and trust me, to the caliber of the Euros employed and engaged in Nigeria, that is decent.
Because unfortunately, an average lawyer in Nigeria doesn't end well. So when you find someone that's going to retain you, engage you, you sit in the comfort of your room, all you have to do is be on the system then psychology has helped to create a decent work for those type of people. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you so much. Okay. We're going to turn back to the panel for some reflections and then back to the audience, Luis, please.
>> LUIS NEVES: Well, this panel is about growth. So, it's clear, and I showed before that digital technologies will be having an impact across the global technology. The numbers are huge. We're talking in trillions of U.S. dollars in benefits by 2030.
And the, I also, let's say, more or less, made clear from the research that we have done that technology will be having a positive impact across the world. Coming from a business initiative, my, I have a main saying, how are we addressing the negatives? How can we move the needle whereby the negatives then become positives and I think that's where we need to put our strengths.
So, if you deploy technology in a given country or given environment, you see immediately things going well. You know, once you have connectivity. You provide access to education, different tools for health, for connectivity, for mobility, for the business environment logistics, whatever you can think of, agriculture, so on.
So, you see immediately things moving in the right direction.
But, we need to take into account that question need to address the externalities and by externalities I mean the critical areas which are the most crucial areas from now on to 2030.
And if you look at how the world is moving and the impact of technologies in the global environment, you see three things that we need to pay greater attention. One is, the digital divide. So, we see more and more people having access than the others, so, we have a huge number of people without access.
And those that have access, they also live much better than the ones that have not access.
So, there is a role for policy makers to make sure to create a balance in the world through the use of technologies. The other thing that we need to address is the overall issue around human rights, privacy and security. This is becoming an extremely critical area that we need to understand.
Because this might impact in the global stability of the planet. And I don't want to go into very much time, but if you follow the discussions in U.S. and now in the UK with Brexit and elections and so on, you see how technology is misused in terms of destabilizing also the environment and democracy and institutions and so on.
So, we need to look into those areas because these will be impacting our global situation across the world. I want to bring these into the conversation just to stress that while I'm a firm believer that technology will be fundamental throughout the world, in order to make sure that this better world will happen, we need to pay a lot of attention to some critical areas that also technology can have a negative impact.
I was listening to the question from the German MP, and for me, the main question that she was raising, probably, I misunderstand her or not well, but, it's mainly about digital divide.
Because it's about, how do we ensure that we provide the information to everybody? How do we make sure that everybody has access to the information? How do we bring to the schools, the tools for the kids, for them to learn?
Because we still live in a dual system. We have the privilege with access, and we have the others without access.
And so, the main question here, and I'll go back to my previous comment, is that we need to provide universal access to communication. We need connectivity overall. And that requires investments. That requires policy.
And when it comes to privacy and security, or freedom of expression, or human rights, there are two main things that we need to ensure when it comes to technology.
Is, r ethics, ethics, ethics.
We need to go to the basics. To the values. If we abide by the values, we will solve the challenges that we have with technology.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Excellent. Thank you. I see already we have a question, but, did any ‑‑ please.
>> MIGUEL MARTIN: Just a small reflection really on what the German MP said also. It's very important to note that internet by itself gives information, and very chances to develop a country, right?
But, there's a story that happened in Paraguay where we just left the computer with internet connection in a very, very rural area.
And stayed there for months and they only used it as we taught them to send emails for communicate each other, which is something good. But, there was an American Peace Corps volunteer that once visited that community. And he saw the people were having, the community had a problem, health problem because they cooked inside their houses in the small houses, right, using carbon.
So, he called the leader and told him, look up in this internet page, you can see how you could cook better with this oven that we could make here in your community. So, they built it and all of the houses also build that chimney with their own tools.
And what happened was great. Because they solved a community problem using internet connection, and it was impressive. So, what is content? Content, information is not knowledge. But when someone can help you use that information and turn it into knowledge, something great happens and I just want to tell that story of what we saw.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: That's a great story. Thank you. Okay. I see two questions. Please. Gentleman over here. If you could state your name and, go ahead.
>> Thank you. I'm a researcher at the German Advisory Council on Global Change and we also just published a 500‑page report to what's our common digital future when we think about sustainability issues in the digital age.
And I also want to just broaden the picture a little bit more and to challenge the panel.
The 2030 Agenda says in the head line, transforming our world. What we actually see with digital change is a massive economically driven disruption through digital change in many areas not sustainable at all yet. So, digital change in its transformative power was not really anticipated in the 2030 Agenda, I would say, and it's a real challenge and of course opportunity to bring these communities together and to think about positive outcomes and solutions.
However, of course, three points. We need to give digital change a purpose. That's very much appreciated. It's many tools on our end in themselves, right, they are instruments.
And we need to Mike digital technology itself more sustainable with regards to energy use, but also about new resource problems, for example. Rare earth metals, et cetera.
However, third, and this is a little bit missing on the panel yet, when thinking about really digital leverages, with, the agenda 2030, we also need to think a little bit more systemically about problems, digital technology support, renewable energy use, decentralized, et cetera, but they also could for example support the development of new oil fields, let's say.
Digital technologies can create inclusion and new opportunities for the south, but, for example, could also change our world order completely and create more injustice.
Digital technologies can enrich our practice substantially but also bring totalitarian rule, think about total scoring in China, or huge imbalances with regard to tech Monopolies.
So, this is my question to the panel. How can we and should we redirect digital change as a strong mean toward sustainable development, globally, also, maybe within the UN, the ITU has maybe? Leverages with regard to data politics. I think this is a real substantial issue which has to be addressed in the context of the UN and of course the political environment matters a lot, right?
The nondigital framework conditions. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Excellent. Thank you for those comments. I think there's a gentleman in the back here, please go ahead.
>> Thank you very much. My name is Santiago. I come from Colombia. I am their director of innovation lab for the city of Bogota.
I used to work for an agency that deploys and gives computers for every single school in Colombia, even in rural areas.
And now, ten years have passed, and we haven't improved even a point in the measure, in the measurement of the quality of education. As a politician at that time, I gave a promise when I gave a computer to a school that everything is going to be different. We're going to be different.
But, now, I have to say that, it wasn't real. From that point onwards, I started to try to understand the different, if I have internet or if I know how to use it. But we discovered seven different digital divides. The speed, for instance, is a very important one. The speed of the connectivity.
But, there are two that concern me the most. One is the divide, or the intentional gap. The difference between the intention of, for instance, a rich person in a city, the intention to use the internet of that people, and the people in rural areas, for instance.
Both can use Facebook. But, with totally different intentions. Some of them are selling goods there. And some of them are just sometimes, spending their time watching other people's lives and feeling frustrated.
So, we tried to measure this intention, and we created kind of a genie measure, a genie for inequality in the internet. And this genie is even more, I mean, it's worse than genie, the inequality in the real world. Or the 2.0 world.
Which is, we are really preoccupied about this.
And the second gap, we call the Matthew affect. The Matthew affect is a concept that was proven by a professor saying that if you know how to read, then you can learn something else in a fastly pace. If you don't know how to read, or you read poorly, you are going to improve your knowledge in everything, but you're going to improve it just a little bit.
It happens the same with the internet. If two different people are in the same starting point but with different competitive advantages, the internet is going to provide differently to them. If you are, I mean, if you know a second language, for example, in Columbia, if you know ‑‑ Colombia, if you know how to speak in English, so, your internet is totally different comparing with the internet, if you don't know how to speak in English.
So, bilingualism is a factor that differentiates the way you use the internet. If you have a bank account and credit card, it's totally different. If you don't have it, the internet is just very small for you. You cannot access to the payment for the content that are produced in the Universities, for instance. Or if you had a bad quality primary school, so you don't have the ability to formulate a clever question to get better information, so the internet is going to be really different for you.
So, we call this the Matthew affect.
My question is, how to solve this divide?
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, and apologies to cut you short because those are very, very important comments. We do have, I think one comment from a remote participant. Please go ahead.
>> Yes, we have a question from Benjamin from Namibia. I'll try again.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Benjamin.
>> Okay. Hello, so, this is Benjamin again. My question, closing question to the panelists would be, is it possible to have the big techs drive technology, driven by innovation and economic reasons to make the internet big and all of the innovations around internet at the table as well? I mean, my question is, every time we have conversation in IGF, it's all about developing countries, the demand for reaching the unreached, the rural.
But, I'm asking now, is it also possible to have the big technology companies who are driving innovation, the companies, to be at the table as well. In such a way that they could immobilize their own business plans, so these rural developers would need some of this technology.
In that way, as they get their own big earnings, they can also give something back to consider those who don't have access in their innovations and ideas. I'm asking if we can have that b kind of conversation so that the big tech companies be at the table as well.
I mean, prominently, in IGF's conversations. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Okay. Thank you so much, Benjamin. Great question. So, we have, I think, five minutes left. And what I'm going to invite my fellow panelists, if you can respond to what you've just heard and also if there's one specific takeaway that you would like to add, Alexandria, I'm going to maybe start with you, as I think you had a question that was actually just for you.
Can we bring big tech, I think, I would call Google big tech. So, maybe if you want to take Benjamin's question. And if you have a specific takeaway you'd like to add and we'll just go straight down the line. Please.
>> ALEXANDRIA WALDEN: We can book end the question.
>> MELISSA SASSI: Yeah, IBM in the house.
>> ALEXANDRIA WALDEN: (laughter) Absolutely. Companies of all sizes want to be at the table for the conversations that happen in IGF. We are a huge supporter of this venue, of these conversations, of multistakeholder dialogue in how the internet works and how it develops and ensuring that we all have a voice in how this works, so, simple answer, yes.
In terms of takeaways, I think that all of the comments that I've heard both from panelists and from folks in the audience and online, I think it really all gets back to, collaboration. We do have to just do it. And then, also, the importance of ensuring that while many of the tech companies and the way they operate is global, that we have to ensure that when we're thinking about the ways in which our products and technologies are going to operate in the world, we have to engage locally to ensure that any solutions that are produced, whether it be an app, or anything else, are informed by and developed by and have ownership in the local communities in which they seek to be a solution to a problem.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Excellent. Olumide.
>> OLUMIDE BABALOLA: Perhaps we have representatives of the big tech companies here. The only thing I want to leave us with is the problem we have in my own constituency in Nigeria. That's the legal, that's the justice constituency.
So, basically, the problem with us, the first problem, or the major problem is delay in justice delivery. Delay in judgment delivery. Some cases could last 30 years, 40 years in Nigerian court.
And most of the time because of the workload of the judges, the time they need to write judgments can't be really undone. If we have big tech companies. I know there are so many legal softwares now that help lawyers perform their tasks. If we could also have companies develop softwares that would assist judges in helping write their rulings I'll tell you, a whole lot of our justice problems would be solved in the country. Thank you.
>> LUIS NEVES: First of all, I'm sorry to hear that the program in Colombia is not working. I was at the launch of that program a couple of years back. If I remember, the program's name is (speaking Spanish) and I was invited to the launch of that program to speak there, so, I do regret that it's not working.
It seemed to me a very good program. Anyway, I want toking to the issues ‑‑ to go to the issues raised by the first question. The issue of rare metals is not an ICT problem. It's a political problem. It's a fight about metals across the world. So, the Congress story and all that stuff, we addressed it in GeSI ten years ago. We created an initiative called responsible mineralize. We have now more than 8,000 companies around that program to address it.
But, still, it's a problem because governments are taking control and they are fighting for the metals.
And I've been involved in many of those discussions. But, I think you raised a very important set of issues around technology which I do agree with. So, we have an issue that we need to address. No technologies can be for the good, but they also have many down sides. And that's why when we put out this report, while we looked at the positives, we also looked at the negatives. E‑waste and sustainable consumption.
So, we also as individuals, we do not behave well. We have two, three mobile phones, we consume a lot. It doesn't make sense. We need to walk the talk as individuals as well.
So, we need the movement around digital with purpose. We need the Civil Society, the technology companies, the policy makers, to understand that they have to come together to find a way of turning the negatives into the positives.
And we can do it. Because we have the know‑how. We have the knowledge. We have the will to do it.
So, that's my challenge, also, to you, to all of you.
Because this is not the thing that we can resolve alone, as technology companies. This is something that we need to work together.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Great. Thank you. Digital with purpose. I like that. Gisa, please.
>> GISA FUATAI PURCELL: I want to close by saying that the digital technologies is a tool that allows us and allows our governments and our countries and our people to achieve the SDGs.
Digital transformation allows government to improve the delivery in a much faster, efficient, and effective way of public services that our services much need very, very much.
There is still the digital divide, and we all have to work together to bridge that divide. And above all, capacity building continues to be the key. Where we see challenges, as I said before, I'm sure if you take a deep look into those challenges, then you can recognize that there are, there's a new set of skills, new skill sets, that need to be noted so that together, we can achieve all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, Miguel.
>> MIGUEL MARTIN: I would like to finish answering the Colombia. Yeah. About the project. I think you're not looking at with the eyes that you should when you evaluate the stakeholders that maybe you're using to validate, if it was good or wrong, what you did. I think it was great. Because if you think of the digital divide, and what are were providing to them, you shouldn't think of, after finishing the program, expect to have all software engineers.
I mean, anything can happen when you teach the kids to code, for example. It's something great. But you can't expect of them to be better at math or geography. You don't know that will happen.
But, there are a lot of other things that are happening and you don't know just because you're not looking the way you should evaluate.
If you evaluate with the same way you evaluate traditional programs, then obviously, it will be wrong. So, I would like to just give more good expectations about the program and you should hope that it could get better and if you give connection to internet, too, a lot of good things could happen. Thank you.
>> MELISSA SASSI: Okay. Well I know we're coming up on time so I'll make mine really quick. I think first off, just thank you for having me here today, and thank you for giving me this stage to share my thoughts.
I just really took down a bunch of buzz words of what today meant to me. And I come to you as the private sector, so, Benjamin on the phone, I think we've got, you know, two big tech companies sitting here.
So, I represent IBM and my friend over here represents Google so I think we are equally passionate about this. I've got my colleagues from Microsoft who are here so I think there are a lot of big companies who are here because they care. And here because, not just because they have a job to do, but because they care about it.
So, here are my buzz words that I took down today that mean something to me. Collaboration. Local language content. Relevant tools. Increasing education, healthcare, and economic outcomes. The inclusion of women and girls. The inclusion of everyone, regardless of your ability.
Affordability. Skills, meaningful skills. Internet speed. Policy alignment. But, making sure, thinking about implementation. Protection, and lastly, I believe that digital literacy is a human right. Thank you.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN‑MARTIN: Thank you, Melissa. I think you just made my job really easy because you stole all my buzz words. Thank you. Perfect.
Well, I want to thank my panelists. This has been an excellent discussion, and when we were chatting before, we thought, wow. Two hours. That's a long time. But, actually, it's not enough time. Because there were so many issues raised, so many important issues that we actually need to go deeper. I think for me, my main take away as you rightly said when you started, Melissa, was, yes, collaboration. But, coming to Mei Lin's point, we need to stop talking about collaboration and cooperation and actually do it. And it really is time to move from talk to action because there are 3.6 billion people out there waiting for us.
And as we heard on the panel, and we heard yesterday, and in Day Zero, we're never going to have enough teachers, we're never going to have enough doctors and we're never going to have enough nurses out there so really, connectivity is the opportunity. It's the opportunity for the world to address some of the greatest development challenges out there.
And yes, there's risks. Lots of risks. And we've heard about them and Luis, as you were saying, you know, we need to figure out a way that the good can outweigh the bad because connectivity can help us.
I really believe it is the key enabler. It's not the end in and of itself. It's a tool to help us to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals. I think it is a moral imperative and I really do think it's the only way that we will ever have a hope and a chance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
So, ladies and gentlemen, please, first, I want to thank the MAG for inviting us all to be here. Really, it's been a great honor and pleasure for me. So, thank you, Miguel and thank you Timea. Really, it's been great.
To thank the captioners, who have been doing a great job. And also, to thank those that were following remotely. It's great to know that there's so many active remote participants. Of course, to thank you all here for being so engaged.
And of course, to thank my amazing panelists. It's really been an honor and a pleasure for me to facilitate the discussion this afternoon and really look forward to working with all of you because we got a lot of work to do, and it's time for action. I thank you very much.