Connecting the Other 50% to the Worldwide Web of Future Opportunities in Work, Health, Education

Houlin Zhao, Secretary General, International Telecommunications Union

Over half of the world society is connected to the internet…but imagine what a fully connected world would look like. Already e-commerce among the 55.1% of the world connected, accounts for 90% of global commerce. As a result, a whole wave of online entrepreneurs have set out into the virtual world to solve society’s problems, and have found their niche markets, even if on the other side of the world.  Digital courses and online education opportunities have proliferated over the past 10 years; such that anyone with a 4G/5G network access could earn a degree in higher education without ever stepping foot on a university campus. Further, digital health information and alerts to potential health threats serves to keep our communities healthier and more resilient to the spread of infectious diseases, like Ebola.

 

In my interview with Houlin Zhao, the Secretary General of the Intl Telecommunications Union; we explore what current and future benefits exist for our global society to adapt to and to adopt new 4IR technologies available in the global online network…We also discuss the importance in ensuring that everyone in the future- the other 50% of the world population, is connected to the worldwide web….

Why? Local SMEs and entrepreneurs are the most incentivized and best innovative force to solve local problems. So, the more people, esp. in poorer countries we empower with access to the internet to become educated, take care of their personal health, and even grow a business; the more prosperous and peaceful our world will become. This is the work and core mission of the ICT community. And, the ITU is there to support all partners and stakeholders in this mission.

Let’s hear what Mr. Zhao has to say further about the importance of the ITU and its work in the world today.

 

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