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As the world grapples with sustainability and environmental conservation challenges, the relentless pursuit of technology, industrial reform and societal change rages on.

History has shown that the unthinking pursuit of progress at all costs are the genesis of sustainability and environmental problems. 
Now that we are being rudely awakened by the consequences of our actions, what can we do to minimise and eventually even reverse the negative outcomes of the past?
Perhaps the 2020 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos will lead the way by addressing three issues pertinent to scientific progress:
  1. Technology: How do we create a global consensus on deploying the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) technologies?
  2. Industry: How do we help businesses create the models necessary to drive the enterprise in Industry 4.0? How do we navigate in a world driven by exponential technological change and increasing expectations from all stakeholders?
  3. Society: How do we reskill and upskill our workforce and millions of people in the next decade?

The WEF strategy is simple and effective: bringing together the most relevant leaders from all sectors of global society, and identifying the best ways to address the world’s most significant challenges.

And the strategy works — for almost 50 years, the Forum has been the catalyst for global initiatives, historic shifts, industry breakthroughs, economic ideas and tens of thousands of projects and collaborations.

Said Professor Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and Executive Chairman: “People are revolting against the economic ‘elites’ they believe have betrayed them, and our efforts to keep global warming limited to 1.5°C are falling dangerously short. With the world at such critical crossroads, the ‘Davos Manifesto 2020’ (will) reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and governments.”

While the engine that facilitates next-generation technology is enhanced global connectivity and communications, how can these two enablers be managed to sustain and advance technological progress? How can these same two enablers address the three pertinent issues of the WEF and Davos Manifesto 2020 to promote equality and the greater good for humanity?

Sustaining global connectivity with morality

From Epsilon’s perspective, global connectivity is currently bolstered by friction-free interconnection between data centres, secure connection to the cloud and the exchange of internet traffic. All of these are accelerated by reliable network backbone with software-defined networking (SDN) technology.

With access to these capabilities, modern enterprises are more connected than ever before.
These network technologies lay the foundation of intelligent technology.
Service providers and technology vendors are collaborating and partnering to make technology more consumable and available for everyone. And this benefits enterprises that are undergoing digital transformation and innovating new ways to offer the best customer experience in every area of work and play.
Digital technology, enhanced by better connectivity and communication, has made the developed world a better place, and helped to wake the collective consciousness to the issues of sustainability and ecologically-responsible morality. 
What about the not-so-developed world?
According to the latest Digital 2019 report by We Are Social and Hootsuite, global internet users make up only 57% of the world population. This means that there are over 3 billion people who are still offline and do not have access to the internet like the rest of the world.
Global efforts have progressed the narrowing of the digital divide but there is still more that companies and governments all around the world can do.
Not a smooth road ahead but there is hope
Globally-enlightened service providers believe in the power of connectivity and how it can create new opportunities for communities everywhere.
They are dedicated to working with customers and partners from all corners of the world to support initiatives that enable better global connectivity.
Over the years, such companies have served businesses in unique markets by extending their reach into the international market and connecting their customers across the globe. In a way, they are playing their part as an overarching facilitator of enablers to bridge the digital divide.
Digital inclusion will remain in the spotlight for discussion over the new decade.
Certainly, the outcome of these initiatives will bring higher quality of life and stronger economic development. 
One of the possible outcomes would be more affordable and reliable connectivity in developing countries.
High-speed internet is a major factor in unlocking opportunities for these economies which eventually leads to better education, healthcare and a stronger workforce.
Innovation in networking technology and deeper partnerships between organisations could become a driving force in making connectivity more affordable and reliable.
According to the 2019 Affordability Report, “technological innovation creates regular opportunities for market shifts” and in a way, service providers from the first mile to the last mile can impact the affordability for an individual accessing the internet.
At the end of the day…
By enhancing connectivity, business intelligence, productivity and collaboration, service providers can indirectly impact the global dynamics and bring positive paradigm shifts.
This is because digital transformation and Industry 4.0 (and beyond) not only eradicate or minimise wastage, inefficiencies and poor business ideologies—they also increase corporate transparency and accountability.
At the other end of the food chain, ordinary people are empowered by social media and other connectivity platforms to become active stakeholders in every business and governance entity. This further reinforces oversight in corporate social responsibility, sustainable business and governance policies, and ultimately leads to enhanced balance and equality.
Ideally, continually enhanced global connectivity and communication are unstoppable forces in making technological progress more sustainable and ecologically responsible.
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