Next week, various Verizon executives are taking part in the Xynteo Exchange in Oslo – an innovative event that brings together Government, Industry, Academia and NGOs to discuss societal issues, and collectively identify solutions. It’s a great opportunity for Verizon to join practical debate of the most innovative kind, and look at how business can be a force for good.
The Xynteo organization positions itself as a platform for galvanizing leaders and catalyzing ideas. The organization was founded to look at how to develop a new growth model, working on the premise that today’s focus on “growth above all” has actually turned it from a catalyst for progress to a catalyst for destruction. The model today is predicated on short-term wins over long-term prosperity, and is desolating natural resources and widening exclusion – hence why the UN adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. The Exchange will dig deep into specific problems, and think how society at large can work together to find a solution – as these problems also present the biggest commercial opportunities for the future.
Verizon’s focus at the Exchange is on how connectivity has the potential to be a force for good. We’re entering an era of technology-led disruption and innovation, heralded by the 5G revolution and digital connectivity, which will transform communications around the world, open up business and collaboration opportunities that we can't yet imagine, and become a critical lever to creating a better world. The Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of this new world order – and we believe that connectivity has a crucial role to play in helping the world to collectively achieve these, unlocking the potential of humans, businesses and society to do more “new” and do more good – while leaving no one behind.
The themes we’ll be discussing at the event are as follows:
- Connectivity’s role in eliminating waste: Society’s use of resources is horrendously inefficient, with cities everywhere under pressure to find low-cost, scalable and sustainable solutions to rising levels of waste. How might we better leverage the Internet of Things to solve the growing waste problem facing cities around the world?
- Education in an automated world: With over a third of the skills important in today’s workforce likely to be irrelevant within a 5-year period, our education system is preparing our children for a future that no longer exists. How might we modernize education to better equip every child with the skills the future is likely to require?
- Closing the opportunities divide: Internet access for all: A digital divide is opening in Europe. Lack of connectivity holds people back from accessing better work, education and healthcare opportunities, potentially impacting some parts of society for generations to come. How might every European get access to high-speed internet by the end of 2025?
- Big data, big impacts, small “me”: In the digital world, we stand before an incredible opportunity to finally solve some of the world’s most intractable problems. And yet society’s digital adoption outpaces its understanding of who owns the data, who can use it, and to what end. How might we ensure that the digital world gives us the data we need to unlock our potential, but also the private lives we deserve?
- Connectivity in a regulated world: Technological development has outrun regulatory development within the past few decades - and yet regulation is increasingly important as 5G technology, AI and robotics play a larger role in shaping the future. How might we propel the future digital economy through safe, human-centric regulation?
We’re looking forward to some interesting debates!
From the Verizon perspective, the key thing about connectivity is that it helps humans do more in the world, by turning innovative ideas into reality. We call this humanability. It’s about building the future today, so the world will be a better place tomorrow.
We’re looking forward to participating in the Exchange, and hoping to turn discussion into innovation as we move forwards. We’ll be digging into each of the problem statements above throughout next week, and publishing our take on them on the news center. Watch this space!