Jack Ma and Melinda Gates push ‘digital cooperation’ to offset potential damage from technology

Jack Ma and Melinda Gates lead push for ‘digital cooperation’ to offset potential damage from technology

Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Belinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, led a UN panel and the release of a report into ‘digital cooperation’ that aims to make sure the benefits of digital development reaches all.

The panel and report is the work of the UN and key business leaders, in order to call on governments to make sure that digital development benefits all, arguing that this needs to happen with broad participation from stakeholders, including businesses, civil society, academics and technologists.

According to an Alizilla report on the talk, the panel issued a set of recommendations around making digital access affordable and guaranteeing access to traditionally marginalized groups because this would “maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of digital technologies”.

Gates said: “Developing countries and marginalized communities must have a voice in deciding how these technologies are used. That’s how we can guarantee that, instead of reinforcing old problems, digital technologies are a source of new solutions,” she said.”

Ma, who, like Gates, is also a prolific philanthropist, brought up the importance of changing the education systems in countries to better equip children for the future.

“Global cooperation among all parties – private sector, government, citizens, academics and civil society – is needed to use technology to achieve more prosperity, more opportunity, and more trust for people around the world,” Ma said.

“We need to focus especially on making technology inclusive so more women, young people, rural populations, small businesses and developing countries can benefit. We also need to rethink our education systems so they will prepare our young people for the future, instead of for yesterday,” he said.

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