Stakeholder activism and ubiquitous connectivity – to take center stage at Davos 2020
With less than a week to go before this year’s World Economic Forum meeting kicks off in Davos – the conversations around this year’s theme and marking the 50th anniversary are well underway. “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World” is the title of the 2020 WEF summit, at which global corporate and political leaders will discuss how they can contribute to creating a more sustainable world, while bringing all stakeholders on that journey.
The topic has never been so relevant and there is clear agreement on the thinking that a multi-stakeholder approach and knowing that the best decisions are made when all stakeholders are considered and catered for.
Another theme which is showing favour for this year is the emerging megatrend of ‘Connectivity’. With more than 65m people on the move globally, connectivity is hugely important and relevant. For economic migrants seeking a better life abroad, asylum seekers seeking refuge from war and conflict and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) moving within countries, connectivity is an essential tool for their financial and social wellbeing.
In 2015, every country in the world signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the UN agenda for 2015 to 2030, which focused on the 5 P’s: People, Planet, Prosperity, Partnership and Peace. With just a decade left to achieve and implement the SDGs, business is considering how best it can contribute to achieving a more sustainable world. In August 2019, the US Business Roundtable, for example, announced a paradigm shift in re-defining the purpose of business from a profit-based “shareholder”-driven approach to a more holistic and inclusive “stakeholder” approach. In the EU, Commission President, Ursula van der Leyen has made the New Green Deal a priority for her term of office. She also stipulated that the SDGs should underpin all Commission policy priorities across the board.
In the case of Ding, a prepaid mobile phone top-up company with global reach, we are reflecting on how best to use the technology of connectivity to align with the SDGs to ensure that in an era of hyper-connectivity “no one is left behind” – one of the primary objectives of the SDGs.
“Ding’s mission is ‘connecting people’, irrespective of geography, gender or culture”
Ding’s mission is ‘connecting people’, irrespective of geography, gender or culture. The vision underpinning this mission is the transformative power of mobile phones to enable not just financial transfers and remittances on a B2B level, but to provide real connectivity for people. Mobile telephony offers enormous potential to those who are impoverished and marginalised. It facilitates sending remittances to provide financial support for families and communities in the country of origin or even sending vouchers to buy airtime, to access streaming, or GPS, or to get local market and weather forecasts; it enables locals to access the necessary finance to start a business, or to access educational tools to improve their economic and social wellbeing.
he advent of 5G technology will undoubtedly accelerate the speed and latency of connectivity promising on-demand knowledge for anyone, anywhere at any time. However, 5G is a distant prospect for many in the developing world, who only still have access to 2G or 3G mobile telephony. Eliminating the digital divide will allow the O3B (the other three billion of the world’s marginalised population) who are not plugged into the Internet to access broadband which is available, accessible and affordable.
At Davos this year we will gather together industry leaders, activists and faith leaders to discuss how to transform the benefits of ubiquitous connectivity for the marginalised and most vulnerable in emerging digital economies and all around the world. Ding is proud to be a participant in the debate at Davos on harnessing the power of ubiquitous connectivity to deliver a more sustainable world. Building on our mission of ‘connecting people’, Ding wishes to add an ethical dimension to the burgeoning global industry of mobile top-up, which combines connectivity with compassion.