Almost as good as free food! IEEE Future Networks is inviting the IBM Z Global Student Hub population to attend the 2021 IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit at no charge. The IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit is 3-5 November and rightly taking place on the internet. Register now to attend the IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit, yes, for free.
Free registration is only one great reason to attend but there are at least four more reasons, including being among the first to find out who won the Connecting the Unconnected Challenge, gaining exposure to some of the most innovative thinkers in the world, learning a thing or two, and seeing that doing the ‘good’ or ‘right’ thing can result in widespread benefits and financial gain.
There are still 3.7 billion unconnected people across the globe* who are missing out on the life-changing benefits of connectivity for health, education, and economic opportunity. And, while that Digital Divide has slowly been narrowing, the global COVID-19 pandemic showed the connected world that many industries can thrive even when workers are remote and that students can still learn and progress without physically being in a classroom.
But the Pandemic also shed more light on challenges faced by the urban and rural unconnected, since working or studying from home is not an option for those lacking internet access. Such a situation forces a Hobbesian choice for workers who must decide between staying healthy or earning a living. Students living in unconnected homes struggled to pursue education through workaround solutions, camping out in the footprint of places with free WiFi. Falling global economies further challenged governments and nonprofits to provide support, leaving unconnected workers and students with fewer resources than ever before.
Flipping the script, increased connectivity brings life-changing benefits to communities while expanding the global marketplace. Internet access provides unconnected populations options for improved health, more widely available education, and better opportunities for economic progress and prosperity. The World Economic Forum’s research shows that each additional 10% of internet penetration adds 1.2% to per-capita Gross Domestic Product growth in emerging markets. Yet, even though as far back as 2011 the United Nations declared internet access to be a basic human right, and many nations have passed laws to support this tenet, gaps and hurdles remain.
Aware that start-ups, grassroots organizations, universities, and others throughout the world are conceiving of innovative ways to bridge the Digital Divide, IEEE Future Networks and its partners devised a new global competition, the IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge. The intention of the IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge is to call in the creative, strategic work underway by early-stage projects finding unique ways to increase broadband access and usage for unconnected or under-connected populations and geographies. In this, its inaugural year, the Challenge received 257 entries of Proof-of-Concept and Concept Only projects from 66 nations. The entries are further divided into Business Models; Community Enablement; and Technology Applications.
IEEE will formally recognize the best of those competitors and their projects at a global meeting of experts, the virtual Connecting the Unconnected Summit on 3-5 November. Connecting the Unconnected Challenge winners will receive awards for their outstanding models and applications and present their concepts and work to the Summit audience. The Connecting the Unconnected Summit will bring together experts and thought leaders from multinational companies, start-ups, standards-setting bodies, regulators, non-profits and others around the world to present and interact on the issue of internet connectivity for all. Speakers are from companies such as Facebook, IBM, Intelsat, the International Telecommunications Union, Microsoft, and national telecoms and standards organizations. Learn from the globe’s experts and hear the winning business model and concept presentations by signing up for the IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit here: https://ctu.ieee.org/summit/.
IEEE is a renowned technical professional association with over 400,000 members in more than 160 countries, with a mission of “advancing technology for humanity”.
*Source, World Economic Forum
Registration link: https://ctu.ieee.org/summit/