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The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital. But that left behind those offline, widening the digital access gap — with big implications for education. Vickie Robinson, general manager of Microsoft's Airband Initiative, recalls how she dealt with school closing as a mother. Having in-home connectivity helped her children transition from middle to high school with some sense of normalcy. But two-thirds of school-aged kids around the world didn't have that opportunity, she says during a Global Stage livestream conversation.

Digital Equity

As the world emerges from Covid-19, how can digital access and inclusive approaches to education and skilling connect global citizens to the next billion jobs?
Overcoming inefficiency with education

Overcoming inefficiency with education

Lack of investment in education is often regarded as a structural problem in low-income nations. Leonardo Garnier, a special adviser for the UN's Transforming Education Summit, knows why. Countries with an ample supply of cheap labor tend to get investments from businesses whose profits depend on that. Not to increase productivity, not to spur tech innovation, and definitely not to create a highly educated workforce. The result, Garnier explains during a Global Stage livestream conversation, is forever low wages and stagnant productivity.

COVID upended the job market & focused employers on skills

COVID upended the job market & focused employers on skills

COVID had few silver linings. But perhaps one of them is that it upended the labor market in ways that, for once, favored workers over employers. The switch to virtual meant that recruiters were forced to urgently find people with the right digital skills instead of waiting for those that had gone to the "right" schools. "The talent market became a little dry," Jonathan Rochelle, VP of Product Management, Learning Content & Instructor Experience at Linkedin, says during a Global Stage livestream discussion.

Education’s digital revolution: why UN Secretary-General António Guterres says it's needed

Education’s digital revolution: why UN Secretary-General António Guterres says it's needed

All around the world, tens of millions of kids stopped going to school. Many of them only recently returned, and some never will. Can we still turn this around? Yes, but we need to rethink education, UN Secretary-General António Guterres says in a Global Stage interview with Ian Bremmer.

Want global equality? Get more people online

Want global equality? Get more people online

We think we live in a digital-first world — but there's no "digital" at all for 37% of the global population. That's a big problem in today's economy, where you'll miss out on many opportunities for advancement if you're not connected. The digital divide is thus widening the equality gap.

Want Africa to grow? Get people and businesses online: Africa expert

Want Africa to grow? Get people and businesses online: Africa expert

There's a big opportunity for African countries to take advantage of the pandemic — if they can get online. "Greater internet connectivity can accelerate growth in tremendous ways," says Eurasia Group's top Africa analyst Amaka Anku. One of them would be formalizing the informal sector, which is very large and hard to tax: "It's much easier if people are paying using digital payments," she explains, but governments also need to do their part by cutting red tape to encourage investment.

How can we bridge the "digital Grand Canyon"?

How can we bridge the "digital Grand Canyon"?

The UN likes to say that having half the world's population offline is like a "digital Grand Canyon" of exclusion. So, how can we bridge it? The International Communications Union's Doreen Bogdan-Martin says that the only way is to get all concerned parties — the UN, governments, international institutions, the private sector, and civil society — to work together. "No one can do this alone. We need all hands on deck."

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Amid the rise of cyberattacks and the growth of digital footprints, we’ve never needed stronger security and clearer privacy regulations more. Where should governments draw lines, and how much control should tech companies have, as public trust wavers?