2019 Annual World Economic Forum Meeting in Davos


January 22, 2019


Davos, Switzerland

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​Special Session of the Broadband Commission and the World Economic Forum

In December 2018, the internet reached it’s ”50-50 moment,” where, for the first time ever, more than half of the global population had access to the internet. With the achievement of this important milestone, we are confronted with new connectivity challenges that will need to be addressed through innovative approaches and strong partnerships. This years’ co-hosted special program of the Broadband Commission and the World Economic Forum will gather Government representatives, leaders in business, civil society and academia aiming to discuss the following:

  • How to keep countries digitally competitive in the 4th Industrial Revolution?
  • How to support the other 50% in achieving 100% connectivity?
  • How to ensure our generation is ready to be safe and productive in a digital environment?
  • What policy-environment will be necessary to support these connectivity challenges?

The Special Session will be attended by​ Vice Co-Chair ITU Secretary-General Mr. Houlin Zhao, and other Commissioners including: CEO of The World Bank Group Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, President and CEO of Nokia Corporation Mr. Rajeev Suri, President & CEO of World Childhood Foundation Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, Group Chief Executive Officer Operations Mr. Scott Gegenheimer, Director General of Swiss Federal Office of Communications Switzerland Mr. Philipp Metzger, Director General of Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) Mr. Mats Granryd, Minister of Digital Economy and Communication Benin H.E. Ms Aurelie Adam-Soule Zoumarou, Head of Novartis Foundation Dr. Ann Aerts, CEO of Samena Telecommunications Council Mr. Bocar Ba, President of Office of Electronic Communications Poland Mr. Marcin Cichy, Minister of Digital Economy and Society Thailand Dr. Pichet Durongkaveroj, Executive Director International Trade Centre (ITC) Ms. Arancha González, ​Director of the UN Global Pulse Mr Robert Kirkpatrick, Senior Director Technology Policy Microsoft Mr. Paul Mitchell, Group President and CEO of Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) Gro​up Limited Mr. Rob Shuter, ​CEO of Intelsat Mr. Stephen Spengler,​Executive Director, International Relations, Corporate and Government Affairs of​ America Movil, Dr Carlos Jarque and Administrator of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Mr. Achim Steiner.

Session Agenda

Opening remarks:

  • Mr Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, ITU and Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission
  • Ms Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer and Acting President of The World Bank Group and Broadband Commissioner leading the Working Group  – “Broadband for All: A Digital infrastructure Moonshot for Africa”
  • Mr Rajeev Suri, President and CEO, Nokia Corporation and Broadband Commissioner was moderating the session
  • Several ICT Ministers were also present – South Africa, Rwanda, Benin, Indonesia and Thailand

Four interactive breakout groups addressed specific challenges and devised constructive proposals in each area as priorities for advancement in 2019.

  1. Enabling Smart Ecosystems led by Mauricio Ramos, Chief Executive Officer, Millicom Inc.
  2. Achieving the push to 100% connectivity led by Stephanie von Friedeburg, Chief Operating Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  3. Developing the 4iR ready generation led by Joanna Rubinstein, President & Chief Executive Officer, World Childhood Foundation
  4. Building the Policy Environment led by Philipp Metzger, Director General, OFCOM Switzerland​

Closing remarks:

  • Dr Carlos Jarque, on behalf of Carlos Slim, Chairman, America Movil and Co-Chair of the Broadband Commission
  • H.E. Ms Paula Ingabire, Minister, Ministry of ICT and Innovation, Rwanda  on behalf of H.E. President  Paul  Kagame President, Republic of Rwanda and Co-Chair of the Broadband Commission ​
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