The EDISON Alliance

For Digital Inclusion

“Improving 1 billion lives globally through affordable and accessible digital solutions across, at least, health, finance, and education by 2025.”

1 Billion Lives Challenge

The 1 Billion Lives Challenge is part of the Edison Alliance, a global movement of 45 Champions from the public and private sector, who are committed to prioritizing digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals so every person can affordably participate in the digital economy. The aim of the 1 Billion Lives Challenge is to recognize, support, and encourage credible commitments to improve lives through affordable and accessible digital solutions across health, finance, and education by 2025. The 1 Billion Lives Challenge brings together digital inclusion commitments from governments, companies, and other organizations globally, giving members full access to the EDISON Alliance network for support and resources, active spotlighting new financing mechanisms to accelerate their goals.

Our impact

The 1 Billion Lives Challenge will:
Accelerate the delivery of digital services for unserved and underserved populations
Inspire more public commitments to digital inclusion
Demonstrate that universal digital inclusion is an achievable goal
Support EDISON Alliance organizations in the successful achievement of their digital inclusion goals
Develop global relationships and sustainable, scalable models for further impact to 2030

By participating in the 1 Billion Lives Challenge, organizations:

Show Leadership: Inspiring and engaging other influential public and private sector leaders to advance digitally-enabled inclusion
Demonstrate Commitment: Make a measurable commitment that will contribute to the 1 Billion Lives vision
Accelerate Action: Share specific existing projects to scale through the EDISON Alliance and declare their partnerships

Why should you participate?

Create new partnerships with diverse stakeholders to accelerate their digital inclusion goals
Pioneer new approaches and exchange knowledge on successful digital inclusion practices across regions and sectors
Build an ecosystem of like-minded socially responsible and ambitious organizations
Get global recognition for making a difference through authorized usage of a 1 Billion Lives Challenge logo and ongoing media

How can you participate?

Engage with the EDISON Alliance to join the 1 Billion Lives Challenge by, either:

Pledging an existing or new commitment to improve a quantified number of lives through digitally inclusive services
Providing a defined, verified, and material resource contribution towards an initiative with a recognized Pledge

For more information on how you can get engaged and criteria for selection please contact at

First Wave of Existing and New Commitments from EDISON Partners

American Tower

Build 2,000 Digital Communities over the next five years to improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged or underserved global communities by supporting connectivity worldwide through community education, healthcare access, financial inclusion, and career development.

Apollo Hospitals

The Apollo Tele Health Intervention Programs: Overall programs have provided health care services to over 16.5 million people across various projects locations as of July 2021. The aim and target for Apollo –Telemedicine programs is to achieve an additional 20 million service delivery by the year 2024, thus touching the lives of at least 36.5 million people.


The Digital Bangladesh vision of the government is creating unprecedented public-private partnerships to accelerate bottom-up socio-economic development by connecting all 5,000+ rural and urban local government institution-based one-stop service centres with fibre optic by 2022 and 200,000 public facilities (including 100,000+ schools and 18,000+ health clinics) with fibre, 4G/5G and country’s second satellite by 2025. A whole-of-government citizen-centric platform MyGov has been launched to simplify, decentralize and digitize 90% of G2C services by 2023 with most payments going cashless by 2025.


Giga is a global initiative, led by UNICEF and ITU, to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity and choice. This translates to a goal to achieve universal school connectivity. By 2030, Giga hopes to connect 2.8M schools and over 500M children.


Indonesia is accelerating the development of telecommunications infrastructure to support the growth of the digital economy, aiming not only to provide more than 12,000 villages with 4G cellular networks by the end of 2022 (10 years faster than the initial plan) but also to connect 150,000 public facilities with internet access through the launch of the Satellite of Republic of Indonesia I (SATRIA I) in 2023.


Last year, Mastercard reached its five-year goal of bringing 500 million previously unbanked people into the financial system, through more than 350 innovative programs across 80 countries. Mastercard is now doubling down on its original commitment, reaching to bring another 500 million people into the digital economy by 2025, for a total of 1 billion individuals. Alongside that, Mastercard is committing to help 50 million small and micro merchants, with a direct focus on providing 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions that can help them grow their businesses.


MTN has committed to include financially 100 million people and 2 million SMEs by end of 2025.


By 2025, Qualcomm is committed to enriching the lives of 27 million people by continuing to bring technology to underserved communities around the world through their Qualcomm® Wireless Reach™ program and engage 1.5 million students and teachers across the globe in their strategic STEM initiatives.

Southern Communities Initiative (SCI)

Led by Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners; Rich Lesser, CEO of Boston Consulting Group and Dan Schulman, President and CEO at PayPal, SCI Aims to drive more investment into six southern communities in the United States that are home to half of all African Americans, reducing the digital divide in nearly four million households over the next 10 years (about 3M households, or 9M people, by 2025).SCI is also working to dismantle systemic inequities and the digital divide, and increasing access to education, connectivity, and jobs. SCI provides corporations and philanthropists measurable, vetted, easy-to-action ways to fulfill their $65 billion in racial equity commitments since summer 2020.

Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF)

Through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, a USD$100 million commitment by leading investor and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, the Foundation has empowered over 10,000 African entrepreneurs from across all 54 African countries with funding, training, mentorship, and access to key networks. It is inspired by his philosophy of Africapitalism that positions the private sector, and young entrepreneurs in particular, as key players in eradicating poverty and transforming Africa. Through its TEFConnect platform, the Foundation aims to support up to 10 million Africans by 2030.

University of Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town is committed to digital inclusion in Africa. Through its “one student, one laptop” initiative, the university aims to provide 3,000 high-quality laptops every year to students on financial aid. In addition, the university’s Online High School program aims to provide quality education to 1,000 students every year through connected, digital technologies and an open, freely available self-paced curriculum.


Verizon is dedicated to economic, environmental, and social advancement, and has committed $3 billion to help those who need it most across a five-year span through 2025. This includes 10 million youths provided with digital skills training by 2030, 1 million small businesses provided with resources to help them thrive in the digital economy by 2030, and 500,000 individuals prepared for jobs of the future by 2030.

Women in Tech

Women in Tech is committed to empowering 1 million women and girls in STEM by 2025 across 6 continents through skilling, mentorship, advocacy, and community support. In addition, our social impact fully online school HER Digital Academy aims to provide 100.000 students quality education in web development programs and digital technology, building skills and confidence to best equip them for the future of work. Women in Tech is an international non-profit organization on a mission to close the gender gap and to help women embrace technology.

Western Union

Through the global pandemic, the international flow of remittances has remained more resilient than other private capital flows. In the post-pandemic economic rebuilding that lies ahead, there will be a significant need for innovation and technology to keep financial support flowing across borders, particularly to developing countries. When this money moves fluidly, good things happen. A child goes to school, a business expands, emergency aid arrives the moment it is needed. That is why Western Union is committed to enabling 300M people to digitally connect to the global economy through mobile wallets by 2025.

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