Anita Gurumurthy was part of this online panel on 'Digitalisation and Global Equity: Who Benefits, Who Loses?' organised by ICT for Sustainability.
While stories of global digital enablement continue to be told and manifest in various ways, new forms of disadvantage, divides and even imperialist structures have also emerged. The extraction of raw materials, production and disposal of digital devices takes mostly place in the Global South along with massive violations of both occupational health and safety and human rights as well as the natural environment. The beneficial parties of digitalisation, however, are mostly located in the Global North (e.g. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft…). Besides, the accessibility to digital services is very unequal and the digital divide seems to increase further - both from a global and a local perspective. the panel discussed how digitalisation and the use of ICT can become more inclusive and sustainable on both the local and the global level, the conflicting goals that may arise, the current hurdles and ways to overcome them, and the kind of policies that are needed.
The other speakers on the panel included:
- Claude Kabemba, Executive Director, Southern Africa Resource Watch
- Nicki Lisa Cole, Visiting Researcher, Science, Technology and Society Unit, Graz University of Technology
- Saadya Windauer, Transformation Activist
The panel was chaired by Kerstin Fritzsche, Head of Research Unit “Digitalisation” at the Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), Berlin, Germany. (chair)