Leveraging Technology for Development

Oct 2, 2018

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts forward an integrated, broad and ambitious plan for global action on sustainable development. With such zealous targets, the need for innovative and disruptive solutions is critical. These solutions will largely sprout from technology, thanks to to the innovations introduced through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Revolution has already transformed how we live. It has reshaped government, commerce, healthcare, mobility, education and livelihoods.

Along with the potential to provide disruptive solutions on a large scale, new technologies bring their own sets of challenges and opportunities. What impact will these technologies have upon inequalities, poverty, jobs and wellbeing? How can these innovations aid in overcoming our development challenges? With commercial goals, how can we combine the social impact of new technologies? These are all important questions to consider and address with the increasing infusion of technology. 

Technological innovations have allowed access to information for people around the world. Those in the most remote and inaccessible areas are now joined by invisible lines of connection, over radio waves and satellite signals, which give them a voice and a means to communicate across the planet. Wearable and implantable technologies are helping enhance people's “digital presence”; pocket-sized supercomputers are providing for an infinite amount of storage space; smaller, cheaper and smarter sensors are being introduced – in homes, clothes and accessories, cities, transport and energy networks; the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics is reshaping livelihoods and decision making; 3-D printing is allowing to open an entire world of better health opportunities…and the list is endless! These are some of the fascinating possibilities that technology is helping to achieve.

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