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(REF PC30) People Centered Internet and the SDGs
September 30, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm PDT
Increasingly the realization is dawning that digital technology is not serving us well, when designed without regard to impact on people and planet. The concept of a People Centered Digital Future can come to the front and center of our collective effort to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Families, neighbourhoods, our homes and our communities are central to our dignity and well being as human beings throughout our lives, from cradle to grave. The UN Digital Cooperation Roadmap calls for us to Connect, Protect and Respect. And yes, it’s going to be much harder to achieve the 2030 SDGs if we put on these essential constraints. The question of who is doing the designing can no longer be separated from our understanding of who is going to use the systems, tools and services, and whether digital helps us positively to flourish and thrive or negatively put us at risk and be depressed. “Not about Us Without Us” applies to women, youth, people with disabilities, the vulnerable, the overlooked and we must not forget the people who do not speak English, whose connections are non existent or intermittent due to lack of electricity, or suffer from hunger or thirst, or lack of a place to call home.
Just as Science Labs brought science to the mainstream of society, and science labs in education increased scientific literacy. Community Living Learning Labs can now be used to design digital innovations that are fit for purpose and everyday use in the living rooms, workplaces, agricultural fields, retail floors and factory floors. Community Digital labs in educational institutions will bring digital literacy accessible to all, in a return of the one-room schoolhouse where the advanced learners teach the newcomers. The challenge we face is how can all countries and communities turn on headlights to see the road ahead, instead of driving forward, looking only in the rear view mirror. The volatility, uncertainty of the newly globally connected world means the road ahead is no longer straightforward and increasingly challenging as digitization accelerates in all spheres of life, around the planet.