Positivity continues to sprout out of collaborative efforts. Most recently, seven high profile digital companies joined forces to create Internet.org, an initiative to bring internet access to everyone in the world. Led by Facebook’s own Mark Zuckerberg, the partners include Nokia, Samsung, Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Opera, and Qualcomm.
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the world is not connected digitally. Just over 1/3 (2.7 billion) of the world’s population has internet access, with an adoption rate of less than 9% annually. Internet.org’s mission is to cut costs of basic internet services, mainly on mobile devices, in developing countries. Additionally, they aim to use data more efficiently and help businesses create new business models and services that will push forward the need for Internet access.
In a 2011 McKinsey & C0. report found that in developing countries, the internet is responsible for 21% of GDP growth in the past 5 years. It also adds more jobs than it kills. Specifically, only one job is lost for every 2.6 jobs created by the Internet.
In an official statement, Zuckerberg explains the reason for such a venture: “I’m focused on this because I believe it is one of the greatest challenges of our generation. The unfair economic reality is that those already on Facebook have way more money than the rest of the world combined, so it may not actually be proﬁtable for us to serve the next few billion people for a very long time, if ever. But we believe everyone deserves to be connected.”
And while this can in part be an effort to open up the rest of the world to the technologies of Facebook and the likes, the profits seem to be less of an issue then the good it will spread across the globe.
Stephen Elop, President and CEO of our Global Sponsor Nokia, shares his enthusiasm to be a part of this initiative. He mentions: “Nokia is deeply passionate about connecting people – to one another and the world around them. Over the years, Nokia has connected well over a billion people. Our industry is now at an exciting inflection point where Internet connectivity is becoming more affordable and efficient for consumers while still offering them great experiences. Universal internet access will be the next great industrial revolution.”
All of these partners, including Facebook, is just glad to be part of a collaborative work to connect the whole entire world.
Currently, the site provides an overview of the project and its goals as well as a full list of partners. In the coming weeks, it will provide news on Internet.org’s activities as well as interviews with technology leaders and experts.
Learn a bit more on the initiative: