Technology is essential but nothing can be done without “global cooperation”

There is no progress without technology, but there is also no innovation without the power of collaboration. During the first of three days of the Digital With Purpose Summit 2024, which features Expresso as media partner, the focus of the agenda was on the themes of education, biodiversity and smart cities. During the opening of the event that took place in Cascais, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recalled the importance of “global cooperation†to achieve sustainable development goals and highlighted the contribution of artificial intelligence, but not without alert to the challenges it represents.

Unequal access to digital, the advent of disinformation and the risks of political interference, particularly in electoral processes, were some of the dangers stated by the President of the Republic, which he considered essential to combat. In parallel, the head of state says it is necessary to “help the poorest countries†in the environmental and digital transitions.

Luís Neves, CEO of the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), the entity responsible for organizing the summit, argued that “just criticizing does not solve the problems” that the world faces in terms of sustainability. The person responsible hopes that the third edition of the summit “will be a moment of action†and that solutions, projects and initiatives will emanate from it that contribute to facing humanity’s main challenges.

Lucas Araguena (Santander), Giorgia Rambelli (UTM), Veerle Vanderweerd (COVIDEA), Helena Freitas (UNESCO) and Javier Espinoza (Financial Times) were some of the speakers on the first day of the summit

Nuno Fox

Education must be a priority

It is not enough to talk about technology at the service of education, warn the speakers on this first day of the international summit. “Emerging technologies can help, but to do so appropriately we have to address the technological transformation of education,†argues Sobhi Tawil. The director of UNESCO’s Division of Innovation and Future of Education says it is urgent to reduce inequalities in access to education around the world and “universalize the quality of basic education†€.

For technology, and in particular generative artificial intelligence, to be used to boost access and quality of education, it is urgent to ensure that everyone has access to connectivity. “If 85% or 90% of young people have an internet connection at home in Western Europe and North America, this figure could be less than 10% among young people from poorer countries,†said Sobhi Tawil . The next step is to ensure that those who have access to technologies know how to use them and, finally, create learning plans that are useful, interesting, of quality and, above all, free.

Tim Vieira, founder of Brave Generation Academy, advocates that quality education should be available to everyone, regardless of their financial capacity, and calls for greater collaboration between the private and public sectors, but also between parents and educators. “We must be able to give the freedom to choose the topics that most interest those who are learning,†believes the businessman.

The Digital With Purpose Summit 2024 takes place until Thursday at the Estoril Congress Center, in Cascais.

Tim Vieira (left), founder of Brave Generation Academy, defends modern learning models based on personalized educational paths

Nuno Fox

Other conclusions from the first day:

  • Protecting biodiversity and restoring habitats must be a shared responsibility between companies, governments and citizens, in a mission in which technology can be one of the greatest allies. There are projects based on 5G and artificial intelligence that seek to protect marine species and others that help prevent fires in Greece;
  • The empowerment of indigenous peoples has been worked on with the support of technological innovation and is an example of how advances in knowledge can help with social cohesion;
  • The concept of smart cities was another of the topics covered at the event, particularly from the perspective of how technology can facilitate objectives such as making metropolises carbon neutral;
  • Once again, also in this field, collaboration between the private and public sectors is essential to achieve the UN’s sustainable development objectives;
  • More than pilot projects for smart cities, the speakers argue that these solutions must be generalized so that it is possible to meet environmental and social goals from the point of view of sustainability. “To gain scale, we have to share knowledge and be collaborative,†highlighted Fernando Reino da Costa, CEO of Unipartner.

This project is supported by sponsors, with all content created, edited and produced by Expresso (see Code of Conduct), without external interference.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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