Why sustainability needs connectivity

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The UN’s vision of a fairer, greener planet inspired Huawei to commission a study in collaboration with SustainAbility, exploring how digital technologies can help countries around the world achieve the SDGs.

With a growing global population, deepening urbanisation, and increasing resource consumption, we are faced with a worrying dilemma: How can we do more with less to be sustainable?

Introducing the SDGs
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as Global Goals, offer a pathway to end poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to provide a framework for future development. The SDGs are unique in that they were formed with participation from the private sector, as well as civil society, governments, and multilateral institutions. All entities, including governments, civil society, businesses, and multilateral institutions, have a renewed role to play in helping countries not only develop economically, but develop the capacity to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The role of digital technologies to achieve SDGs
The UN’s vision of a fairer, greener planet inspired Huawei to commission a study in collaboration with SustainAbility, exploring how digital technologies can help countries around the world achieve the SDGs.

The report looks at different initiatives, large and small, where ICTs are contributing to the SDGs. Some examples include Germany’s plans to connect 40,000 schools to high-speed broadband Internet, Wi-Fi and provide better equipment for students; or Natural Cycles, a contraception app invented by Swedish physicist Elina Berglund, informing a woman of her fertile days using a precise algorithm to determine ovulation.

Huawei Australia’s contributions
In Australia, Huawei has committed to a number of Corporate Social Responsibility programs, including driving the adoption of e-health training services across the Pacific Islands region after joining forces with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Huawei and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead are currently developing a technology solution which will make online access to training materials possible in countries currently lacking reliable broadband connectivity.

Such case studies have demonstrated that, while all new digital technologies – Cloud, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, advanced analytics – can help advance sustainable development, high-speed broadband will be the key to achieving breakthrough progress in Australia.

If Australia can address areas where its performance has been lagging behind, such as increasing connectivity levels and high-speed network coverage, improving the digital skills of the population and bridging the digital divide, further social and economic progress are likely to follow.

Looking ahead
If Australia is to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it will need contributions from stakeholders in every walk of life, not least the information and communications technology sector.
Enhanced connectivity will change the world for the better, allowing individuals to better sense and seize opportunities.

Read the full report here.

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