NEST forum unites aspirations for education and connectivity

Press release
Nov 13, 2011 07:00 (GMT +00:00)
  • Access to broadband can bring learning to more people
  • Broadband enables new ways of teaching and learning
  • Collaboration essential across public and private sectors

The Networked Society Forum, NEST, hosted by Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), has wrapped up in Hong Kong, having sparked new inspiration among representatives from the public and private sectors to lift education on the global agenda.

NEST forum participants prioritized target areas for further collaboration to create the conditions to make learning available to everyone, everywhere. Topics covered during the two-day event included the way we teach and learn in a connected society, and how Information and Communications Technology (ICT) can support that.

Sharing across geographical and cultural boundaries is one concrete way ICT can contribute. Sir Harold Kroto, a Nobel laureate in Chemistry and NEST discussion leader, said: "We should inject the ideas of every brilliant teacher into every school if we can."

Access, broadband and collaboration were common themes. Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and another discussion leader, described his experience in seeing mobility change people's lives in Africa. But he says the challenges in education are universal. He said: "At Columbia University, every week we turn on the screen and 20 campuses are on live simultaneous video conference and we now have a worldwide classroom."

Industry leaders were equally energized about discussing the future use of communications technology. Jon Eddy Abdullah, CEO of Total Access Communication in Thailand, said: "We have worked for years to get mobile handsets into the hands of people. We're pretty much there with 100% penetration in some countries. Some people think it's 'Game Over' for telecoms. But it's not. We have a great opportunity to help other industries use this technology for good."

Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, said there are immediate results to this gathering. "One major accomplishment of our time together is that we have lowered the barriers. After this weekend I think we have come closer to experts in academia, the public sector and our industry colleagues to understand the challenges and opportunities before us."

"And we know that we have to start sharing now. There is a great need for us to compile and share the already-existing examples of how broadband is changing education in the world. We will set about gathering those examples right away," said Vestberg.

"We all need to have better metrics to describe the powerful relationship between education and ICT. In the past we have measured connectivity's impact on GDP and jobs. Together with Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, we will start the work to develop the methods and metrics to show this. This will help bring the opportunities of utilizing technology in extending the reach of education to the attention of policymakers", Vestberg said.

Ericsson intends to extend the reach of this conversation by initiating further public private conversations on this topic also on a regional level.

For a complete list of the NEST discussion leaders and key contributors, as well as photos and videos, or to learn more about the issues that were discussed at the forum, please visit

Notes to editors:

Our multimedia content is available at the broadcast room:

Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the "prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 180 countries, more than 90,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 203.3 billion (USD 28.2 billion) in 2010. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.


Ericsson Corporate Public & Media Relations
Phone: +46 10 719 69 92