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Is Global Economic Inequality Getting Worse? | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Is global economic inequality getting worse?

Yes, said the majority of respondents in a recent GZERO poll.

What's happening in Ukraine has undone much of the momentum for narrowing the equality gap created during the pandemic, said Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media, during a Global Stage livestream conversation hosted by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft. The event was held on site at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, DC , and was moderated by Jeanna Smialek, Federal Reserve reporter at The New York Times. The war has aggravated pre-existing problems like high inflation and supply chain disruptions. A cease-fire would help end all this, but don't count on it.

This week the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are holding their annual spring meetings. The conflict is top and center on the agenda, as is financial assistance to first help Ukraine keep the lights on and someday rebuild when the Russians leave.

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COVID & War Highlight Need To Get More People Online | Vickie Robinson | Global Stage | GZERO Media

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.

Being offline "places an automatic limit on your ability to be productive and has major ramifications for our society," says Vickie Robinson, head of Microsoft's Airband Initiative to expand broadband access throughout the developing world.

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Join us for our Global Stage event live from Washington DC

WATCH : Today at 3:30 pm ET, GZERO Media streamed from the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, to discuss "Financing the Future" as part of our Global Stage series.

Moderator Jeanna Smialek, Federal Reserve reporter at The New York Times, led the conversation with Eurasia Group and GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer, World Bank president David Malpass, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia, and Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt. We also heard from Vickie Robinson, General Manager, Microsoft Airband Initiative, and Gintarė Skaistė, Minister of Finance, Lithuania.

GZERO Media's Webby Award-nominated Global Stage series is produced in partnership with Microsoft.

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Make Internet Affordable, but Not Free for All | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Make internet affordable, but not free for all

Free internet for everyone sounds great, but what's really important is for it to be accessible, says Vickie Robinson, head of Microsoft's Airband Initiative to expand broadband access throughout the developing world. The problem, she explains, is that it costs money to build and maintain networks, so no costs for end users could have unintended consequences. "If you have a framework in which the internet is free for all, do we lose some freedoms? Do we lose innovation? Do we lose the use of the internet as a tool for empowerment?" Instead, Robinson would focus only on giving access to people who really need it and can't afford to be online.
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Should Internet Be Free for Everyone? | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Should internet be free for everyone? A Global Stage debate

Half of the world's population is currently offline, and COVID has further widened the digital gap. Providing more than three billion people with affordable, reliable internet access sounds like a no-brainer, but the devil is in the details. Who'll pay for it, how do we measure success, who should be on board, and what are the potential benefits?

Several experts weighed in during a Global Stage virtual conversation hosted by GZERO Media in partnership with Microsoft during the 76th UN General Assembly, moderated by the UN's Melissa Fleming.


Don't miss our next event: LIVE on Wednesday Oct 13 11am ET/ 8 am PT:

Infodemic: Defending Democracy Against Disinformation

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Watch our discussion to decide: should internet access be free?

Access to the internet is a universal right.

Broadband should be free.

Tech companies should foot the bill.

Discuss.

GZERO Media and Microsoft will convene proponents, skeptics, and fence-sitters to debate whether the internet should be free on the next Global Stage event.

Make up your mind in our event September 15th at 11am ET/8am PT.

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