That technology is an engine for human progress is no longer in question. Everywhere you look and in every sector, there is a level of technology at play. Even the mobile phone you hold in your hand is a technological device that has come and made life a whole lot easier for everyone. Technology holds significant benefits for humanity and digital technology can be an indispensable tool for helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals. technology could be an engine for human progress
This was the view of Huawei senior vice president and board member Catherine Chen, in her keynote speech at the recent Connected for Shared Prosperity Forum in Shanghai. Catherine called on individuals and businesses to “think big and act small”, while reiterating her support of the SDGs and building a green, innovative and inclusive world.
Chen said it was essential that people reach an agreement around technology, which held significant potential for achieving development goals. She pointed out that 5G was in fact a standardized technology defined by its high bandwidth, low latency, and broad connectivity, which could transform traditional industries and benefit all.
“Large social changes tend to happen in lockstep with breakthroughs in science and technology. But today, technological advancements are hyped and politicized – as has sometimes been the case with 5G. Every day, consumers are benefiting from 5G experiences, while industrial use in seaports, mines, and the transportation sector is increasing operational efficiency. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.”
Catherine Chen – Huawei Senior Vice President And Board Member
Chen said that while there was always the danger that a new technology could be abused, rules could be established to manage technological risks. There is therefore a need for heightened cybersecurity, privacy protection and trusted AI to keep us all safe. Technology was most effective when it created value for all, and that consensus could be built gradually so that technological advancement could continue.
“By focusing on the limited common understanding, we have right now and what resources are actually available, we can drive progress step by step,” she said. “Huawei has always supported technological advancement. We believe digital tech benefits humanity, and can help the UN achieve its SDGs.”
Chen described how Huawei was already deploying digital solutions to empower people and meet UN development goals – especially the goals of innovation reduced inequality and quality education.
In South Africa, for instance, Huawei, non-profit organization Click Foundation and network provider rain teamed up to connect more than 100 urban and rural primary schools to the Internet. The goal is to boost reading comprehension skills and close the digital gap through technology.
In Kenya, Huawei partnered to build Digitrucks, mobile, solar-powered classrooms that bring digital skills to remote, underserved communities. Equipped with 20 laptops, 20 VR headsets, and built-in Wi-Fi, each DigiTruck is a temporary digital school that provides free classes, resources, and materials.