DAVOS, Switzerland — One of the outcomes of this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meetings in Davos, Switzerland, was that Mercedes Aráoz, prime minister of Peru, announced plans to launch an Internet for All program in 2018.
The Internet for All initiative is an effort by the World Economic Forum to bring together stakeholders from a range of sectors to address key barriers to internet inclusion. It launches platforms at the national, regional, and global level in order to extend access to the internet to the hardest to reach.
Devex spoke with the initiative’s lead, Eric White, ahead of the World Economic Forum meetings last week to talk about its model, accomplishments so far, and goals moving forward.
A new focus for 2018 would be the divide caused by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, White said, referring to the term World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab uses to describe this new era of technological transformation. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to fundamentally transform the global economy: new types of businesses, new winners, and maybe new losers,” he said. “It’s safe to say businesses that leverage the Fourth Industrial Revolution effectively are going to develop in places with robust internet ecosystems. When we think about the digital divide now and how it contributes to inequality, if the Fourth Industrial Revolution is built on top of the digital divide, it could exacerbate inequality.”