IEEE President’s Notice: Connecting the Unconnected

IEEE President’s Notice: Connecting the Unconnected


At IEEE, we all know that the development of science and expertise is the engine that drives the development of the standard of life for each individual on this planet. Sadly, as we’re all conscious, as we speak’s world faces important challenges, together with escalating conflicts, a local weather disaster, meals insecurity, gender inequality, and the roughly 2.7 billion individuals who can’t entry the Web.

Bridging the divide

The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered the digital divide like by no means earlier than. The world noticed the necessity for common broadband connectivity for distant work, on-line schooling, telemedicine, leisure, and social networking. Those that had entry thrived whereas these with out it struggled. As hundreds of thousands of school rooms moved on-line, the dearth of connectivity made it troublesome for some college students to take part in distant studying. Adults who couldn’t carry out their job nearly confronted layoffs or decreased work hours.

The pandemic additionally uncovered weaknesses within the world infrastructure that helps the residents of the world. It turned much more obvious that very important communications, computing, power, and distribution infrastructure was not at all times equitably distributed, significantly in much less developed areas.

Almost 45 p.c of world households should not have entry to the Web, in line with UNESCO. A report from UNICEF estimates that just about two-thirds of the world’s schoolchildren lack Web entry at residence.

This digital divide is especially impactful on ladies. who’re 23 p.c much less possible than males to make use of the Web. In response to the United Nations Academic, Scientific and Cultural Group, in 10 international locations throughout Africa, Asia, and South America, ladies are between 30 p.c and 50 p.c much less possible than males to utilize the Web.

Even in developed international locations, Web entry is commonly decrease than one may think. Greater than six p.c of the U.S. inhabitants doesn’t have a high-speed connection. In Australia, the determine is 13 p.c. Globally, simply over half of households have an Web connection, in line with UNESCO. Within the developed world, 87 p.c are related, in contrast with 47 p.c in creating nations and simply 19 p.c within the least developed international locations.

Advantages of expertise

As IEEE appears to guide the event of expertise to deal with local weather change and empower common prosperity, it’s important that we acknowledge the function that significant connectivity and digital expertise play within the group’s objectives to assist world sustainability, drive financial development, and remodel well being care, schooling, employment, gender equality, and youth empowerment.

IEEE members across the globe are constantly creating and making use of expertise to assist resolve these issues. It’s that common ardour—to enhance world situations—that’s on the coronary heart of our mission, in addition to our increasing partnerships and important actions supporting the achievement of the U.N. Sustainable Growth Targets.

One rising partnership is with the Worldwide Telecommunication Union, a U.N. specialised company that helps set coverage associated to info and communication applied sciences. IEEE Member Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected as ITU secretary-general and took workplace on 1 January, turning into the primary girl to guide the 155-year-old group. Bogdan-Martin is the recipient of this 12 months’s IEEE President’s Award [see sidebar].

IEEE and ITU share the objective of bringing the advantages of expertise to all of humanity. I stay up for working intently with the U.N. company to advertise significant connectivity, intensify cooperation to attach the unconnected, and strengthen the alignment of digital applied sciences with inclusive sustainable improvement.

I really consider that one of the vital vital purposes of expertise is to enhance folks’s lives. For these in underserved areas of the world, expertise can enhance instructional alternatives, present higher well being care, alleviate struggling, and keep human dignity.

Expertise and technologists, significantly IEEE members, have a major function to play in shaping life on this planet. They will use their abilities to develop and advance expertise—from inexperienced power to decreasing waste and emissions, and from transportation electrification to digital schooling, well being, and agriculture. As an individual who believes within the energy of expertise to profit humanity, I discover this to be a really compelling imaginative and prescient for our shared future.

Please share your ideas with me:


IEEE president and CEO

This text seems within the June 2023 print difficulty as “Connecting the Unconnected.”


Leave a Reply

Back To Top
Theme Mode