February 21, 2024


Future Depends on What You Do

IEEE President’s Note: Connecting the Unconnected

At IEEE, we know that the development of science and technology is the motor that drives the enhancement of the high-quality of life for every single individual on this earth. Sad to say, as we are all mindful, today’s entire world faces substantial worries, which includes escalating conflicts, a climate disaster, food insecurity, gender inequality, and the close to 2.7 billion people who are not able to access the Net.

Bridging the divide

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the electronic divide like by no means prior to. The world saw the need to have for common broadband connectivity for remote do the job, on the internet education, telemedicine, entertainment, and social networking. People who experienced access thrived when these without it struggled. As tens of millions of classrooms moved on the net, the lack of connectivity manufactured it hard for some pupils to take part in distant understanding. Grownups who could not perform their work virtually faced layoffs or lowered work hours.

The pandemic also exposed weaknesses in the world infrastructure that supports the citizens of the earth. It became even much more obvious that critical communications, computing, strength, and distribution infrastructure was not generally equitably distributed, significantly in less developed locations.

Nearly 45 % of global homes do not have access to the World-wide-web, in accordance to UNESCO. A report from UNICEF estimates that practically two-thirds of the world’s schoolchildren absence Online entry at home.

This electronic divide is particularly impactful on women of all ages. who are 23 % less most likely than adult men to use the Online. In accordance to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, in 10 nations across Africa, Asia, and South America, women of all ages are concerning 30 per cent and 50 % a lot less probable than adult males to make use of the Net.

Even in created international locations, Net entry is often reduce than 1 might consider. Far more than 6 per cent of the U.S. populace does not have a large-speed relationship. In Australia, the figure is 13 percent. Globally, just about half of homes have an Web relationship, according to UNESCO. In the created entire world, 87 % are connected, in comparison with 47 % in producing nations and just 19 per cent in the minimum formulated nations.

Gains of technologies

As IEEE appears to be to direct the enhancement of technological innovation to tackle climate modify and empower universal prosperity, it is necessary that we identify the part that significant connectivity and digital technologies engage in in the organization’s ambitions to aid world-wide sustainability, drive financial development, and renovate health and fitness treatment, instruction, work, gender equality, and youth empowerment.

IEEE customers about the globe are repeatedly building and applying technologies to assist clear up these problems. It is that universal passion—to enhance world-wide conditions—that is at the heart of our mission, as well as our increasing partnerships and considerable actions supporting the accomplishment of the U.N. Sustainable Advancement Targets.

One rising partnership is with the International Telecommunication Union, a U.N. specialised company that helps set plan related to information and facts and conversation technologies. IEEE Member Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected as ITU secretary-typical and took office environment on 1 January, getting to be the 1st girl to guide the 155-yr-outdated organization. Bogdan-Martin is the receiver of this year’s IEEE President’s Award [see sidebar].

IEEE and ITU share the target of bringing the gains of engineering to all of humanity. I search ahead to functioning intently with the U.N. company to boost significant connectivity, intensify cooperation to hook up the unconnected, and improve the alignment of digital technologies with inclusive sustainable advancement.

I actually imagine that one of the most important purposes of technological know-how is to boost people’s lives. For these in underserved areas of the planet, technological innovation can enhance instructional possibilities, offer improved overall health care, alleviate suffering, and preserve human dignity.

Know-how and technologists, notably IEEE associates, have a considerable function to engage in in shaping daily life on this planet. They can use their abilities to acquire and advance technology—from environmentally friendly vitality to reducing waste and emissions, and from transportation electrification to electronic training, health and fitness, and agriculture. As a particular person who thinks in the electrical power of technology to reward humanity, I locate this to be a pretty powerful vision for our shared upcoming.

You should share your views with me: [email protected].


IEEE president and CEO

This write-up seems in the June 2023 print issue as “Connecting the Unconnected.”