By Chris Donkin

Industry urged to bring
technology to all

The mobile industry is making great strides to use technologies for social good, but there is still much work to do to create true inclusion, a panel of experts argued.

In a keynote session earlier this week, UN deputy secretary-general Amina Mohammed highlighted the mobile industry had to work to increase gender diversity, while also pointing to potential and risks of new technologies to greater society.

She said new technologies, which increase convenience for many, risk widening the digital divide further and urged organisations to ensure innovations were inclusive for all.

In addition to the greater good provided by charitable initiatives, Mohammed added we were now seeing companies doing social good being “rewarded by customers”.

Later in the session Turkcell CEO Kaan Terzioglu was joined by Google SVP of AI and health Jeff Dean, and Francesco Rocca, president of aid organisation International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to discuss initiatives already underway to increase the impact of mobile.

Terzioglu, who’s company has worked to provide connectivity to refugees, said a smartphone was “not a luxury but a necessity” especially for displaced citizens. He added spectrum was a “human right” which should be given away for people to use and described data as a resource each country should be free to make use of rather than being “looted by a few companies”.