Technology has been central to development throughout the course of human history. The rapid growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs) across the world proves this fundamental connection on an unprecedented scale – and with revolutionary impact.

Copyrighted_Marton_Kovacs_2019

Today, it could be said that all development is linked to digital development: from education to transportation, urban planning, sanitation, health, manufacturing, industry and, of course, communication, there is no industrial sector today that does not rely on ICTs as the essential backbone infrastructure providing access to services – and the associated benefits of social and economic development.

At the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the specialized United Nations agency for ICTs, one of the priorities is to ensure that those benefits are made available to all of the world’s population, not just a limited few. ITU is committed to connecting all the world’s people, wherever they live and whatever their means. And connectivity, and the ICT services, products and solutions it enables, is essential to meeting every one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

But how can we accelerate universal connectivity and the development it brings when nearly half of the people in the world remain offline?

The ICT sector is working with us towards an ambitious long-term goal of connecting the next 1.5 billion citizens by 2020. This will require not only enormous investment in networks and other infrastructure, but also – crucially – significant political commitment.

Infrastructure alone, however, is not enough. According to ITU, around 90% of the world’s population is covered by at least 2G or 3G services – yet adoption remains at barely 51%. So for connectivity to be meaningful, to actually reach people and change lives, affordable, fit-for-purpose services and equipment are needed, as well as local content in local languages, relevant to local context. And programmes to raise awareness of the benefits of connectivity, as well as to teach the digital skills essential to taking full advantage of this potential.

Digital literacy is just as important for meaningful connectivity as cheap handsets or 3G networks in rural and remote areas. Innovation and inclusivity are as vital as infrastructure and investment.

It’s clear that neither public nor private sector can go it alone. The task of connecting the whole world is as enormous as the developmental benefits it will bring. The leadership, resources and skills required are as great as the impact it will have. Government must work closely with the private sector, with all stakeholders throughout the digital ecosystem, with NGOs and international organizations, with civic society, communities, academia and media.

Public private partnerships, in whatever form, are the key to driving meaningful connectivity and bringing the world online. This is where ITU’s leading annual event, ITU Telecom World, has such an important role to play. By bringing together leaders from government, industry, regulatory bodies, international agencies, consultants and academia from developed and emerging markets alike, the event works towards meeting the SDGs through digital technology, focusing efforts on infrastructure, investment, innovation and inclusivity.

It features an international exhibition of tech solutions and projects, a world-class forum of interactive, expert-led debates, an Awards Programme, and a networking programme connecting organizations, nations, individuals and ideas.

The ITU Telecom World Awards Programme, in particular, is an opportunity to encounter, engage with and celebrate the best in innovative tech solutions with very real social impact.

The international visibility, UN credibility and access to networking, investment potential and partnerships offered by the Awards has proved highly valuable since the programme’s introduction in 2015 – and is an excellent stage for precisely those public-private collaborations so essential to growing connectivity.

Additionally, the event provides a powerful stage for exhibiting the projects, technologies and ideas that are driving development at local, national and international levels on the showfloor, as well as attending the Forum debates on “Innovating together: connectivity that matters” to learn, network and share knowledge.

Held this year in HungExpo, Budapest, Hungary, from 9 – 12 September, ITU Telecom World 2019 is only one small step towards connecting the world. Every step counts, however, on the journey to accelerate development throughout the world through technology. And together, we can make those steps larger, longer and more effective.

Horyou is a media partner of ITU Telecom World 2019

Por Pedro Meduna*

Night traffic lights in Tokyo

(English version below)

A mobilidade urbana tem se transformado de forma acelerada e significativa em todo o mundo. As atuais demandas, tendências e exigências dos usuários têm impulsionado o surgimento de novas soluções tecnológicas em um mercado cada vez mais dinâmico e competitivo. Somado à velocidade desse ecossistema, temos o desafio da mobilidade urbana sustentável, que exige a adoção de novos modelos, capazes de trazer soluções para urbanização contemporânea e para o aumento da frota de veículos nas cidades, aliando isso à ações sustentáveis.

Em grandes centros como São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro ou qualquer outra metrópole mundial, o trânsito gerado pelo alto número de veículos individuais dificulta a locomoção das pessoas, afeta o meio ambiente e compromete a qualidade de vida pelas condições estressantes dos engarrafamentos, concentrados, principalmente, nas regiões de maior densidade populacional. A grande missão das empresas de mobilidade é a de buscar alternativas reais e inovadoras, o que não significa apenas inventar novas tecnologias, mas também criar soluções inteligentes de deslocamento para um público que disputa espaço com outros passageiros nos transportes coletivos ou com outros carros nas ruas.

Hoje podemos perceber que a tecnologia vem mudando a maneira com que as pessoas consomem e que essa tendência irá transformar a cultura da mobilidade urbana. Influenciadas pela economia colaborativa – conceito de rede na qual as pessoas acessam a bens e serviços através do compartilhamento, ao invés da aquisição – já podemos notar um movimento no comportamento das pessoas que passaram a basear seus hábitos de consumo em escolhas inteligentes e sustentáveis, focados no coletivo. “Compartilhar a possuir”, essa é a megatendência global e secular.

Muitas pessoas, por exemplo, estão deixando de comprar carros particulares ou até mesmo vendendo os seus próprios para optarem por novas formas de deslocamento. No entanto, trocar o veículo individual pelo transporte compartilhado ou optar por formas de locomoção mais sustentáveis é ainda uma atitude que exige mais do que boa vontade e trazer o diferencial em uma sociedade que há décadas valoriza o carro como principal meio de transporte se torna a chave para esse processo de transformação.

A mobilidade como serviço ou Mobility as a Service (Maas), caracterizada pela oferta de transporte personalizado, integrando os mais diversos modais em uma mesma plataforma com o objetivo de ampliar as alternativas de deslocamento das pessoas é, sem dúvida, o caminho para a construção da mobilidade urbana mais sustentável e harmoniosa nas grandes cidades. O centro crucial dessa solução está em buscar a “viagem mais eficiente”, considerando toda jornada do passageiro, desde da saída de casa até o seu destino final, com segurança, pontualidade, rapidez e economia.

Transformar as cidades em um melhor lugar para viver deve ser o principal propósito de uma empresa do setor de mobilidade. Para atingir este objetivo, é extremamente importante uma estreita colaboração entre os mais diversos operadores do setor e o poder público, buscando, não somente as novas tecnologias, mas também inovação, criação de valor e a transformação desse serviço, com a disponibilização de um sistema inteligente e conectado, capaz de interligar as cidades.

Assim, mais do que dar opções – desde táxi aéreos, passando por carros compartilhados “peer to peer” e táxis e chegando até a opções de micromobilidade, como os patinetes ou as bicicletas, chamados de “última milha”, aquela última pernada em áreas com alta densidade de trânsito – será possível sugerir qual o meio de transporte mais eficiente para o usuário, de acordo com a sua necessidade naquele momento específico. Ser capaz de processar diferentes dados e informações para lhe oferecer essa informação na interface de um aplicativo é, realmente, entregar o que chamamos hoje de mobilidade como serviço. Esse é o futuro que precisamos construir hoje.

*Pedro Meduna é Country Manager da Cabify Brasil

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Make cities better places to live in
By Pedro Meduna *

Urban mobility has been rapidly and significantly changing around the world. Current user demands have driven the emergence of new technology solutions in an increasingly dynamic and competitive market. In addition to the speed of this ecosystem, we have the challenge of sustainable urban mobility, which requires the adoption of new models, capable of bringing solutions for contemporary urbanization and the increase of the vehicle fleet in cities, combined with sustainable actions.

In large cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or any other global metropolis, the traffic generated by the high number of individual vehicles makes it difficult for people to move around, affects the environment and compromises the quality of life due to the stressful conditions of traffic jams, mainly concentrated in the most densely populated regions. Mobility companies’ great mission is to look for real and innovative alternatives, which not only means inventing new technologies but also creating intelligent travel solutions for a public that fights for space with other commuters or other cars on the street.

Today we can see that technology is changing the way people consume and that this trend will transform the culture of urban mobility. Influenced by the collaborative economy – the concept of networking in which people access goods and services through sharing rather than acquisition – we can already see a movement in the behavior of people who have come to base their spending habits on smart, sustainable, focused choices.

Many people are no longer buying private cars or even selling their own to opt for new forms of travel. However, exchanging the individual vehicle for shared transport or opting for more sustainable forms of transportation is still an attitude that requires more than goodwill and is disruptive in a society that for decades has valued ​​the car as the main means of transport becomes the key.

Mobility as a Service (Maas) is characterized by personalized transport, integrating the most diverse modes in one platform with the objective of expanding the alternatives of people displacement. It is undoubtedly the path to sustainable and harmonious urban mobility in large cities. This solution lies in pursuing the “most efficient journey,” taking into account every passenger journey from home to their final destination, safely, on time, quickly and economically.

Making cities better places to live must be the primary purpose of a mobility business. To achieve this goal, close collaboration between diverse operators in the sector and the government is extremely important, seeking not only new technologies but also innovation, value creation and the transformation of this service, with the provision of a system smart and connected, able to connect cities.

So more than giving options – from air charter to peer to peer shared cars and taxis, to micro-mobility options like scooters or bikes – it will be possible to suggest the most efficient means of transportation for the user, according to their needs at that specific time. Being able to process different data and information to offer it in an application interface is really delivering what we now call mobility as a service. This is the future we need to build today.

* Pedro Meduna is Country Manager of Cabify Brasil

The minimalistic Japanese philosophy resonates with sustainable consumption

Sustainable fashion brands are booming in Japan

In Japan, there’s an ancient term repeated by grandma’s for generations: “Mottainai”, which means “too good to waste”. While its origins lie on Buddhist traditions, the Mottainai philosophy relates to many aspects of Japanese culture: it carries the message that every object has an inherent value and that should be taken care of until the end of its lifespam. It resonates with the culture of respect and care that is cherished by Japanese tradition, but it also answers to the demands of our modern society for a more sustainable economy.

While there’s a global outcry for more ethical and environmental-friendly practices in fashion, beauty and leisure, the concept of fast and disposable goods has become obsolete. In this context, many sustainable start-up brands have come to light to show there’s a way to be socially and environmentally responsible while making profits – a trend that has inspired even giant chains.

This trend is represented by pioneer brands like People Tree, which has started to work with sustainable fashion more than 25 years ago, sourcing from local producers, garment workers and artisans in developing countries to produce ethical and eco-conscious clothing, and also by modern businesses likemStudio Membrane, which uses biodegradable fabrics to create clothing that resemble art.

MUJI store in Canada

Even cosmetics and beauty brands that are known for using ancient and natural ingredients have become valued and demanded, and not only by Asian consumers. European and American clients are increasingly interested in their sustainable packaging and organic formulas. 

It all helped Japanese brands to conquer Western markets, eager for products that are both innovative and eco-friendly. As of 2017, Japanese fashion chain Muji created its first sustainable collections, which use organic cotton and other sustainable materials. Since then, Muji has grown exponentially in Europe and has now more than 57 stores in the continent. Another Japanese fashion brand, Uniqlo has expanded in Europe by promoting its minimalistic, sustainable style, which includes recycling initiatives, reducing plastics and promoting ethical work.

Although these brands are seen as “trendy” and modern, many of them have worked under the traditional Mottainai philosophy. For generations, children are taught to not being wasteful and to respect the environment. One of the latest Netflix phenomena, the Japanese personal organizer Marie Kondo, is known for her minimalistic approach of things, which goes in the opposite direction of mindless consumerism.

As fast-fashion becomes an obsolete concept, the 3R motto (reduce, reuse, recycle) is starting to make sense for more consumers – or, as Mottainai grandma used to say in Japanese children’s books: “don’t waste!”.

Want to know more about Japan, the host country of SIGEF 2019? Follow our posts on Horyou blog.

SIGEF 2019 will take place in Tokyo on 18-19 September

(Marcus Figueredo)

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals

2030 é o prazo para todos os países do mundo implementarem os 17 Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável (ODS) da ONU. Isso quer dizer que os países têm pouco mais de dez anos para atingirem essas metas e, consequentemente, dar mais alguns passos rumo a um planeta mais justo e mais sustentável.

Mas não são só os líderes políticos que precisam assumir esse desafio. Isso está também em nossas obrigações de cidadão. E mais do que isso, não basta ter empatia com os Objetivos, é preciso buscar alcançar essa mudança. Incluem nessa lista de responsáveis as empresas e seu comprometimento com o crescimento sustentável. Trata-se de uma tendência global: além da responsabilidade social, a sustentabilidade deve estar entre os objetivos do negócio.

A boa notícia é que muitas empresas, de segmentos distintos, já estão colocando em prática políticas baseadas nos ODS. Apresento aqui alguns exemplos.

A Cabify neutraliza as emissões de carbono. Isso quer dizer que, a empresa mede suas emissões de dióxido de carbono e as compensa financiando projetos que recompõem a mesma quantidade do gás na atmosfera. A iniciativa busca ajudar a proteger milhões de árvores, combatendo também o aquecimento global e preservando a biodiversidade.

Uma das maiores companhias do mercado de bebidas do Brasil, a Ambev, oferece uma Aceleradora para empreendedores com soluções ambientais. Através dessa plataforma, desafios de ideias e tecnologias com objetivos sustentáveis serão solucionados. A Aceleradora está presente em todos os países onde a companhia atua. O projeto busca reunir ações de impacto positivo para além dos muros da cervejaria, que buscam construir um legado sustentável para a sociedade e o meio ambiente.

Na Hi Technologies, o planejamento e o plano de negócios foram desenhados com base no 3º Objetivo: Assegurar uma vida saudável e promover o bem-estar para todos, em todas as idades. A startup, através do uso de tecnologia e inteligência artificial, busca oferecer acesso à saúde para todas as pessoas, independente de sua localização ou condição social, através do Hilab, laboratório portátil, qualquer um pode fazer um exame clínico com um preço muito baixo.

Portanto, finalizo aqui dizendo que não importa a atuação ou o setor. No final do dia o que precisamos entender é que é necessário se preocupar um pouco mais e de que a sustentabilidade é uma necessidade nas empresas. São esses cuidados que garantirão nosso rumo ao planeta que queremos.

*Marcus Figueredo é CEO da Hi Technologies, Healthtech que tem como objetivo democratizar o acesso à saúde por meio de tecnologia. O carro-chefe da empresa é o Hilab, laboratório de “bolso” conectado à internet que usa inteligência artificial para acelerar o diagnóstico médico.

(English version)

How companies comply with the Sustainable Development Goals

(Marcus Figueredo)

2030 is the deadline for all countries in the world to implement the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This means that countries have a little more than ten years to reach these goals and, therefore, to take a few more steps towards a fairer and more sustainable planet.

But it is not just the leaders of the countries that need to take up this challenge. This is also our obligation as citizens. And more than that, it is not enough to have empathy with the Goals, we must seek to achieve this change. This includes companies that aim for sustainable growth. It’s a trend: in addition to social responsibility, sustainability must be among the business objectives.

The good news is that many companies, from distinct segments, are already putting into practice pillars based on SDGs. Here are some examples.

Cabify neutralizes carbon emissions. This means that the company measures how much carbon dioxide its activities emit to compensate via financing projects that take the same amount of gas out of the atmosphere. The initiative seeks to help protect millions of trees, combat global warming and preserve biodiversity.

One of the largest beverage companies in Brazil, Ambev, offers an Accelerator for entrepreneurs seeking environmental solutions. Through this platform, challenges of ideas and technologies with sustainable objectives will be solved. The Accelerator is present in all the countries where the company operates. The project seeks to bring together positive actions beyond the walls of the brewery, which seek to build a sustainable legacy for society and the environment.

At Hi Technologies, the business plan was designed based on Goal 3: Ensure a healthy life and promote well-being for all, at all ages. The startup, through the use of technology and artificial intelligence, seeks to provide access to health for all people, regardless of location or social status; through the Hilab portable laboratory, anyone can do a clinical examination for a very low price.

Therefore, I finish here saying that it does not matter the performance or the sector. At the end of the day, what we need to understand is that we need to worry a bit more and that sustainability is a necessity for companies. It will guarantee our path to the planet we want.

* Marcus Figueredo is CEO of Hi Technologies, a Healthtech that aims to democratize access to health through technology. The flagship of the company is the Hilab, an internet-based “pocket” laboratory that uses artificial intelligence to accelerate medical diagnosis.

Focused on 3 Sustainable Development Goals, the Future Here Summit invited social good doers, innovators and artists to re-imagine a new Renaissance – one involving technology.

Horyou team presenting the social network for social good to the Future Here Summit audience. Image Credits to Anna Rosa Paladino for TIAC Academy.

Let’s fast forward and think of a world without inequalities, where innovation is a core element in all enterprises and society is built on partnerships for good. This is not Utopia – all the aforementioned scenarios actually come under three of seventeen United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The 3 SDGs – Reduced Inequalities; Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Partnership to Achieve the Goals – , were the main focus of the Future Here Summit, an event focused on re-imagining the next generations from a ‘Renaissance’ viewpoint. Unsurprisingly, Florence, birthplace of the eponymous artistic avant-garde movement, was the venue. While addressing issues including Augmented Intelligence, Energy, Nature, Sustainable Development and Education, the event had both on-site and virtual panels and sessions, whereby artists, entrepreneurs, visionaries and academics were invited to exchange ideas and expectations for the future.

Horyou, the social network for social good, contributed to one of the sessions with an inspiring presentation of its role in empowering change-makers. Speaking for Horyou, Sueyfer Velásquez, Social Media and Partnerships Manager, introduced the network to a diverse and curious audience. «It’s a very powerful experience to share our vision for a better world in the birthplace of Renaissance», she said. Seizing the opportunity, Sueyfer went on to introduce HoryouToken, the first digital currency for economic inclusion and advancement of the SDGs, along with HoryouTV and SIGEF, the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum, which will take place on 18-19 September, in Tokyo, Japan.

In addition to the conferences, the Future Here Summit incorporated Orbit, a dedicated incubator for the development of «experiential wisdom tools and businesses» where art, science and businesses were welcome to help promote inclusive growth.

To governments, international institutions and the scientific community, Artificial Intelligence represents hope for sustainability and quality of life for all. The 3rd edition of the AI For Good Global Summit, a yearly event organized by the International Telecommunication Union’s, a UN agency, will be held in Geneva on 28-31 May to discuss the role of AI for Social Development and Social Good. Horyou blog spoke with the Head of the Strategic Engagement Division of ITU, Frederic Werner, about the expected outcome of this initiative.

AI for Good Summit will take place in Geneva from 28-31 May

How can AI help society to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

AI has enormous potential to help accelerate progress towards the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals by capitalizing on the unprecedented quantities of data being now generated in all areas, including human health, education, commerce, communications, migration and much more. Leaders in AI and humanitarian action are convening on the neutral platform offered by the United Nations to work towards AI improving the quality and sustainability of life on our planet.

It’s the 3rd edition of the AI for Good Global Summit. What has changed since the first edition?

The 2017 summit marked the beginning of a global dialogue on the potential of AI to act as a force for good. The action-oriented 2018 summit gave rise to numerous ‘AI for Good’ projects, including an ‘AI for Health’ Focus Group, now led by ITU and the World Health Organization (WHO). The 2019 summit will continue to connect AI innovators with public and private-sector decision-makers, building collaboration to maximize the impact of ‘AI for Good’.

Could you mention some of the educational tools the Summit will offer to its participants?

The AI for Good Learning day will take place on Friday 31 May. It is made up of workshops, tutorials, and educational sessions through three full-fledged tracks targeting businesses, the public sector and youth. The participants will learn about the latest AI trends, use cases and solutions to major societal challenges.

Horyou is a media partner of AI for Good Global Summit.

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