IGF 2021 Launch / Award Event #25 Corporate action on digital inclusion: progress and prospects

Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 (14:00 UTC) - Tuesday, 7th December, 2021 (15:00 UTC)
Conference Room 7

World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA)
1. Lourdes Montenegro (Philippines), Lead, Digital Sector Transformation, WBA

2. Nicholas Sewe (Kenya), Engagement Manager, Digital Inclusion Benchmark, WBA

3. Megan Roberts (U.S.), Director of Policy Planning, United Nations Foundation


1. Philippe-André Rodriguez, Deputy Director, Center for International Digital Policy, Global Affairs Canada  

2. Lourdes Montenegro, Lead, Digital Sector Transformation, WBA

3. Yu Ping Chan, Senior Programme Officer, Office of the Envoy on Technology, United Nations

4. Nnenna Nwakanma, Chief Web Advocate, World Wide Web Foundation 

5. Christine Brueschke, Sustainable Investing Analyst, Fidelity International

6. Eduardo Navarro, Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer, Telefónica S.A. 

7. Prajna Khanna, Head of Sustainability at Prosus & Naspers  

Online Moderator

Megan Roberts, Director of Policy Planning, United Nations Foundation


Nicholas Sewe (Kenya), Engagement Manager, Digital Inclusion Benchmark, WBA


This will be a virtual event. We will have opening statements on digital inclusion and cooperation from 2-3 stakeholders in the digital sector such as from the UN Office of the Envoy on Technology and the UN Foundation. Then a moderated panel discussion on the need for multi-stakeholder collaboration to address the specific issues emerging from the Digital Inclusion Benchmark results, with calls to action on digital cooperation and corporate responsibility.

Duration (minutes)



This session will launch and unveil the 2021 results of the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) Digital Inclusion Benchmark. The Benchmark ranks and scores 150 of the world’s most influential technology companies (including hardware, telcos and platforms) on their actions towards four areas of digital inclusion: enhancing universal access to digital technologies, improving all levels of digital skills, fostering trustworthy use by mitigating risks and harms, and innovating openly, inclusively and ethically. As such it highlights the critical role of the private sector in accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through digital inclusion. For more background information, you may navigate to the following links:

2020 key findings, rank and scores of 100 digital technology companies: https://www.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org/publication/digital-inclusion/

2020 in-depth report and analysis: https://assets.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org/app/uploads/2020/12/DIB2020-Synthesis-report.pdf

During the session, we will discuss 2021 key findings from the Benchmark research which is relevant for IGF’s 2021 focus areas:

Economic and social inclusion and human rights

Universal access and meaningful connectivity

The discussion may also touch on emerging and cross-cutting areas, including: Inclusive Internet governance ecosystems and digital cooperation

Trust, security, stability

In particular, by highlighting the role of systematic and comparable data on corporate contributions to digital inclusion, hence revealing gaps where more coordinated action is required, the session can contribute towards Policy Question #4 under Economic and social inclusion and human rights:

Inclusion, rights and stakeholder roles and responsibilities: What are/should be the responsibilities of governments, business, the technical community, civil society, the academic and research sector and community-based actors with regards to digital inclusion and respect for human rights, and what is needed for them to fulfil these in an efficient and effective manner?

The WBA is one of the key constituents of Roundtable 1 C/D “Digital Inclusion” of the UN SG’s Digital Cooperation Roadmap. For this proposed IGF session, we expect participants to include representatives from companies benchmarked as well as WBA Allied entities, including investors representing more than USD 7 trillion assets under management, as well as civil society organizations and think tanks.

To ensure the best experience for all participants, the session’s agenda will have a slot for an open discussion/Q&A from the audience which will encourage interactions, contributions and engagement among various stakeholders; by making verbal statements and comments or through the chat section (text). We also plan to encourage the audience from all over the world to tweet about the event in real-time as this will enrich the discussions on digital inclusion.