It may be the Transformation Issue here at B2BNN this month, but it’s also National Inclusion Awareness Month.
Friday also happened to be the first day of the Public Policy Forum’s first ever Ontario Digital Inclusion Summit.
“The digital age creates opportunities for people to participate in society, the economy and civic life in new ways. To build businesses, movements and communities.
But we know that those opportunities aren’t equally available to everyone.
It’s more than a ‘digital divide.’ It’s many digital divides, connected to geography, literacy, comfort, cultures, demographics and more. We have to think more deeply about fairness in the access, adoption and application of digital technology.”
Everyone belongs here. #InclusionON pic.twitter.com/zhob6LRqMa
— Tanya Coyle (@heycoyle) February 9, 2018
Alexander Dirksen in his presentation said, “from Alexa to Siri, we are asking more questions of our devices than ever before. These soothing mechanical voices mark a far cry from the whirring tones of dial-up modems, revealing how ubiquitous technology has become in the ensuing decades. For more than a single machine one turned to for a pixelated array of instant messaging platforms and solitaire applications, we now exist in an era in which an entire digital world is being constructed alongside our physical spaces.”
Is technology then, making our lives better? What if someone doesn’t have access to the digital world?
“Not everyone is getting ahead in the digital revolution. Divides persist across, gender, age, income, ability, geography, just to name a few.” @hillary, @ONgov‘s Chief Digital Officer (or #digitalrockstar, as we’ve heard!) sets stage for 1st Digital Inclusion Summit #inclusionON pic.twitter.com/AU8jp6IhVX
— ausma malik (@ausmalik) February 9, 2018
To learn more about PPF and Ontario Digital Inclusion, session videos from the event are on YouTube.
To really transform our society we will need to recognize @nasma_ahmed as the force to be reckoned with in Canadian tech policy/ethics #inclusionON 🤗 pic.twitter.com/wC6tMASt1M
— ellie ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ marshall (@elliemarshall) February 9, 2018
Koodos to our policy makers for talking about digital inclusion, but without the buy-in of the tech community, there will be no action.
I was recently introduced to a new organization called Tech Reset Canada, whose vision focuses on resetting the innovation agenda. They are pro-growth, pro-innovation, and understand innovation’s important role in economic development. Tech Reset Canada is working to improve how we engage, evaluate, and select innovation projects to maximize their impact on the public good.
They believe “the distance and power balance between those who develop and commercialize the technology coming to market, and our collective public capacity to manage it, needs attention.”
Technology and business’ transformative powers should be focused on people, all of them.
Feature image source: Digital Inclusion