Making it real – ICT and the SDGs

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When the Global Goals were launched in 2015, Ericsson was there, leading our industry in embracing the goals as a common framework for measuring impact on society. Our thought-lead report on the role of ICT in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs outlined the potential. Since its inception in 2010 we have played an active role in the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, where we work together with other stakeholders from an industry perspective.

In conjunction the recent launch of the Commission’s State of Broadband 2017 report, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said: “The membership of this Commission offers an encouraging example of just the kind of multi-stakeholder partnerships we need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Technology is crucial in empowering people to participate in our digital future, and in helping governments to better serve people.  But we must also address significant concerns such as cybersecurity, human rights, privacy, as well as the digital divide, including its gender dimensions. Broadband is a remarkable tool; now we must do more to ensure that all enjoy its benefits.”

But what does that mean in practice?  And what progress has been made so far? As the fastest and most global technology uptake in history, mobile broadband has the potential to positively impact all of the 17 SDGs. Below are a few examples of the ways Ericsson is making a positive impact in society and contributing to the achievement of the Global Goals.

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SDG 4 – Quality Education with Connect to Learn

Connect To Learn – a public-private collaboration between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Ericsson and Millennium Promise – currently benefits more than 80,000 students in 23 countries around the world. Connect to Learn delivers a 21st century ICT learning cloud solution from Ericsson that empowers teachers and gives students access to global resources. Read more about our efforts to enable access to quality education here.

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SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities

Ericsson and the City of Tilburg are working together in a district where citizens can view the air, water quality and sound levels in their neighborhood online. Compared to manual sample measurements, this Ericsson IoT solution empowers citizens and helps the city government to reduce cost, effort and carbon footprint. Read more about our work with sustainable cities here.

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SDG 16 – Peace and Justice

Ericsson is the lead technology partner of Refugees United, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping displaced people locate and reconnect with missing family members and other loved ones via a mobile platform. By the end of 2016 there were more than 600,000 registered users on the Refugees United platform. Read more about our work supporting humanitarian efforts here.

These are just three of 17 cases we have published on our website to demonstrate how Ericsson is using mobile broadband to help accelerate achievement of the Global Goals. I hope you will take a few minutes to read the other ones as well!


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR
Heather Johnson
Heather Johnson is the Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility for the Ericsson Group.
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