Ericsson has announced a major new commitment to empower 1 million children and young people by 2025 through access to digital learning, tools, content and development programs.
This commitment forms part of the World Economic Forum-aligned EDISON Alliance 1 Billion Lives Challenge – a global movement of forty-five champions from the public and private sectors. The members, including Ericsson, are committed to prioritizing digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) so that every person can fully participate in the digital economy and society. The ‘1 Billion Lives Challenge’ brings together digital inclusion commitments from governments, companies and other organizations globally.
Ericsson’s new commitment will be unveiled today by company President and CEO, Börje Ekholm, in a virtual address to the Global Forum for Children and Youth where he will explain the criticality of the work to Ericsson in realizing its mission – to enable a world where limitless connectivity improves lives, redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future – a world where limitless connectivity means limitless possibility.
Building on a legacy of work in digital inclusion
Today’s commitment will be realized through Ericsson’s leading Connect To Learn initiative which has positively impacted more than 200,000 children and young people in over 25 countries around the world since its foundation in 2010.
The initiative is enabling access to quality education for underserved and unconnected communities and establishing an inclusive digital platform with a focus on empowering the next generation with digital skills, essential for their socio-economic development. It also aims to improve gender equality by empowering women and girls through ICT.
Börje Ekholm, says: “At the heart of Ericsson’s purpose is the belief that connectivity creates possibility for all people. We believe it is a responsibility of government and business to work together to build a more equitable future for children and young people – digital connection is a critical enabler of this. Ensuring that every young person has access to a quality internet connection and can acquire the necessary skills to thrive in a digital economy.
“This is why we are making this pledge to help narrow the digital divide and create a more equitable society.
“This is the latest milestone for Ericsson’s Connect To Learn program, which has been working for over 10 years to advance digital inclusion. However, there is still much more to be done. We call on partners, customers, governments and NGOs to join us in pledging the resources needed to make a real, lasting difference.”
A long-term partnership with the EDISON Alliance
Ericsson’s commitment to the World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance One Billion lives challenge comes in addition to its partnership with UNICEF, in support of the Giga Initiative. The Giga Initiative, founded by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is a partner of the EDISON Alliance and aims to connect every school to the internet by 2030 and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice.