Despite the pandemic forcing a rapid digitalization of the economy, 3.7 billion people in the world still do not have internet access.

This panel of world leaders met online on 7 October 2021 at 17:00 CEST to mobilize and scale-up technologies and infrastructure to enable digital inclusion.


Paula Ingabire, Minister of Information and communications technology and Innovation of Rwanda

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Application of the United Arab Emirates

Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

Tan Hooi Ling, Co-Founder, Grab

Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Vista Equity Partners

Adrian Lovett, President and Chief Executive Officer, World Wide Web Foundation

Chaired by:

Børge Brende, President, World Economic Forum

Moderated by:

Adrian Monck, Managing Director, World Economic Forum

digital, COVID-19, EDISON Alliance

EDISON Alliance: What is the Forum doing to close the digital gap?

COVID-19 has exposed digital inequities globally and exacerbated the digital divide. Nearly half of the world is still not online.

With more basic services moving online and the pandemic highlighting affordability challenges in wealthier nations, these deep digital gaps are exacerbating inequality and preventing the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

At The Davos Agenda, the World Economic Forum launched the EDISON Alliance, the first cross-sector alliance to accelerate digital inclusion and connect critical sectors of the economy.

The EDISON Alliance will prioritize digital inclusion as the platform of platforms for partners with a common purpose for achieving the SDGs. Its vision is to ensure that every person can affordably participate in the digital economy.

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