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Connect to Learn Myanmar Ericsson

Editor’s note: Today we are featuring a post from the Ericsson Careers blog by Ei Myat N., who is working for Ericsson Myanmar as a Technical Subject Matter Expert for Radio Access Network (RAN). She is also the Radio Solution Responsible for the Connect To Learn project in the country.

I felt a tear cross my face the moment I saw Phyo – a secondary school student from Bago – on stage receiving a scholarship at the Connect to Learn event. In that silent moment, my mind was filled with a thousand thoughts at the same time: inspiration, gratefulness, hope, confidence, happiness. Never before in my life had I felt strongly proud to have directly contributed to making my country a better place, through working with Connect to Learn.
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smart cities Ericsson sustainability

Editor’s note: Today we are featuring a guest post from Stephanie Huf, the global Head of Marketing and Communications for Ericsson’s Industry and Society business line. The post first appeared on the blog of the New Cities Foundation:

When a man slipped in between the train platform gap at a railway station in Western Australia last year, hundreds of passengers worked together to push the train aside to free him. The video went viral as a heartwarming example of cooperation amongst strangers.

But collaboration in cities is not always a given, and the “Mind the gap” warning is also pertinent when it comes to smart and sustainable cities. Failure to adequately engage people – residents, businesses and civil society groups – in the planning and implementation phases can lead to initiatives being delayed or ultimately blocked.
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At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, the digital revolution was in focus, as was the basic financial state of the world. But the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and humanitarian issues are fast climbing in importance in the discussions and sessions in Davos. Below I reflect on a few of the sessions I attended:
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Connect to Learn Myanmar Ericsson Technology for Good

All eyes were on Phyo* as she took to the stage to accept a scholarship certificate from Mats H Olsson, SVP and Head of Asia Pacific, Ericsson. She kept her head down as she walked, and I felt how nervous she was to be in front of so many people that morning.

But then she faced Mats and smiled, and all the cameras in the room came alive to capture the moment.
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hungerheroawardPhoto: WFP/Rein Skullerud

Last night I was honored to accept the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Hunger Hero Award on Ericsson’s behalf. This award recognizes the pioneering work done by our company to provide telecommunications solutions in support of humanitarian response. The bulk of that work comes from our Ericsson Response program, which recently celebrated its 15th anniversary.

In those 15 years, Ericsson Response has supported humanitarian relief agencies such as WFP with essential mobile communications support during disaster relief operations. A team of 150 staff specially trained in disaster response has deployed in more than 40 humanitarian relief efforts in more than 30 countries.

2015 saw numerous damaging humanitarian crises crop up around the world, impacting hundreds of thousands. Through the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, Ericsson worked closely with WFP on 34 deployments of volunteers in support of the Ebola response as well as emergencies in Vanuatu, Nepal, Iraq and South Sudan. With our legacy knowledge and portfolio in ICT, as well as the breadth of countries in which we currently operate, Ericsson is in a unique position to activate and support a range of needs in trying times such as these – and from our leaders to our employee volunteers, we feel a moral obligation to provide that support.

Ericsson is also strongly committed to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) – a range of campaigns aimed at global issues such as world hunger, poverty, gender inequality and more that can be uniquely aided by ICT. Ericsson remains committed to the UN SDGs with partners like WFP because of the humanitarian vitality of achieving such goals as reaching zero hunger by 2030. The global community has come out in droves to provide their support for these initiatives, as evidenced by the wide range of supporters and contributors to the commitments laid out at the United Nations’ 70th General Assembly last September and COP21 in Paris this past December.

More personally, my time with organizations such as the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development and the UN Foundation Board of Directors has exposed me to the vast array of crises the world is currently facing, and I am motivated to put my and Ericsson’s support behind initiatives to mitigate these crises.

But there is more to be done by all stakeholders, from public organizations to private institutions, through 2030 and beyond. Further support by the global community is imperative to the achievement of the UN SDGs, and at Ericsson we strive to find more opportunities to partner with other organizations and provide our resources to better our world.

My sincere gratitude to the World Food Programme for this great honor – here’s to our continued partnership, and more importantly the eradication of these humanitarian crises in years to come.

If asked, could you draw a comparison between New York and Rwanda? For many in the Western world, they see no similarities, no connections.

As for me – I sell the same ICT infrastructure and services to New York as I sell to Rwanda. And I see the same opportunities for development and enablement via ICT from both regions.

It’s a major misconception about the countries that make up the African continent – that what impacts the rest of the world is not reaching the African people. This could not be further from the truth, particularly when it comes to technology – and particularly ICT. ICT remains a universal enabler and accelerator for much needed local growth and development worldwide.

At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, I joined leaders from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria and the African Development Bank to discuss how the Fourth Industrial Revolution – the technology revolution – is bringing opportunities and challenges alike to Africa. These leaders are responsible for development, public-private collaboration and continuing economic, intellectual and societal growth in their countries. And they all agreed that ICT and its resultant opportunities have left and will continue to leave a significant impact on their infrastructure and their people alike, as much so if not to an even greater extent than in other regions.

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In 2009 I was sitting in a conference room at Ericsson headquarters in Kista, just outside of Stockholm. That was by no means an unusual activity for me – but this meeting was special. We left this meeting with a new remit to answer a question that has been instrumental to us as a company ever since:

“What happens when everything that benefits from being connected is connected?”

This is not a challenge to connect all things; it is an obligation to explore the consequences of connecting everything, to find out the impact of this connectivity on people’s lives, on business and on society at large.

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Han Vestberg World Economic Forum 22nd century

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of a post originally published by the World Economic Forum in preparation for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 20-23:

“So what do you do?” It’s a question that most of us have asked – or been asked – at some point. We often use it as an easy way to start a conversation and to establish some common ground.

But what if people thought our jobs seemed incomprehensible? I think that’s exactly what would happen if we could talk to somebody from the early 19th century and try to explain what working life looks like in 2016. In the same way, we’d probably struggle to understand a regular day in the 22nd century.
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From a sustainability perspective, 2015 was a historic year, and two main developments stand out on the macro level: the passage of the Global Goals in September and the global climate agreement in December, both of which should surely steer the world on a more sustainable pathway. And according to the World Bank, for the first time, less than 10 percent of people in the world are living in extreme poverty.
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MF 4

In celebration of 15 years of disaster relief work with Ericsson Response, we spoke with Martin Falebrand, an experienced Ericsson Response volunteer who has undertaken numerous humanitarian crisis missions around the world.

On April 25, 2015, a devastating earthquake struck Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people and leaving many more injured or without a home. Ericsson Response, Ericsson’s volunteer disaster relief organization, immediately dived into the relief efforts.
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