As part of the lead-up to MWC Shanghai 2021, Huawei began its DAY 0 opening salvo with key topic “Connected for Shared Prosperity Collaboration & Trust in a Shared Cyberspace Day” at a forum in Shanghai, China. The plenary was represented by Huawei, GSMA, the Center for Environmental Economic Studies at Fudan University, and The Paper with the support of UNESCO.
Speakers representing six countries agreed that the global economic recovery is increasing instep with greater enforcement of pandemic control measures. Spanish Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism María Reyes Maroto, Portuguese Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Pedro Nuno Santos, Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology László Palkovics, Malaysian Minister of Communications and Multimedia Dato’ Saifuddin bin Abdullah, and the Thai Secretary-General of the National Digital Economy and Society Commission Vunnaporn Devahastin all spoke at the event, agreeing that reductions in emissions, more jobs, and more initiatives in facilitating prosperity are needed to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 and the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals. Multiple speakers identified digital technologies and global collaboration as essential in this process.
As COVID-19 pandemic accelerates digital transformation and new values in the industry, Chen Lifang, Huawei Senior Vice President and Board Member, described how technology can be used as an engine for human progress. While calling on individuals and businesses to think big and act small, Chen reiterated her support of the UN’s sustainable development goals and building a green, innovative and inclusive world.
“We’ve all had mixed feelings about 2020. The pandemic has changed our lives. Many things we took for granted no longer exist and our values have changed. My biggest takeaway from the past year has been just how hard it is for society to reach a consensus. There seems to be constant conflict and disagreement, from deciding if it’s necessary to impose lockdowns to debating if it’s worth it to wear a mask,” said Chen during her keynote speech titled “Believe in the Power of Technology”.
The participants from China, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand, Hungary and Portugal are all in favor for technological advancement but they also rally for climate action, digital inclusion, and sustainability.
“5G is a standardized technology defined by its high bandwidth, low latency, and broad connectivity. It helps traditional industries transform and can benefit all. Wide-scale 5G deployment can already be seen in multiple industries around the world. Every-day consumers are benefiting from 5G experiences, while industrial use in seaports, mines, and the transportation sector is increasing operational efficiency. Is this a bad thing? I don’t think so.
If we claim that technology is critically important but its development is ideologically wrong, this will only result in division, confusion, and regression.
We must reach a global consensus on this issue and believe in the power of technology to leverage it for the benefit of the society,” Chen explained as she talked about the challenges each leaders and organizations must face to reach an honest consensus on whether technology is an engine of human progress.
Huawei has long been an advocate for supporting technological advancement. In 2020, Huawei recycled over 4,500 tons of electronic waste Through multiple initiatives including a reduction of plastics in their phone packaging (1.8 million shopping bags of plastic saved per 10 million phones) and a reduction of 148 million tons of CO2 emissions through the deployment of their FusionSolar solution in more than 60 countries and regions (equivalent to planting more than 200 million trees). Huawei also helped build the world’s largest agricultural PV power plant and fishery PV power plant in Ningxia and Shandong, respectively, both of which have contributed significantly to local environmental protection efforts.
“Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all” has also been set as one of the UN SDGs. As of the end of 2020, Huawei’s TECH4ALL Connecting Schools and DigiTruck programs have been brought to more than 200 schools, benefiting over 60,000 teachers and students. In a related program, Huawei is also collaborating with UNESCO on a three-year Open Schools program in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Ghana that will help schools improve digital skills and support online education.
Stefania Giannini, USESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education, stated that information and communications technologies (ICT) play a crucial role in ensuring educational continuity, making education more inclusive, and providing lifelong learning solutions through interactive websites, online libraries, and video courses.
More than 1,000 guests from over 50 countries attended the forum either online or onsite, and discussions were live broadcast in eight languages. Attendees agreed that digital technologies have become the foundation of sustainable development and will benefit more people in multiple aspects.
The Director of Fudan University’s Center for Environmental Economic Studies Li Zhiqing closed out the event saying, “China is pushing for comprehensive green transformation of social and economic development, and peaking carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality are the top priority in the transformation. We should encourage innovation in disciplines like economics, finance, and ecological environment which span liberal arts and engineering, so as to fill the gap in talent needed for sustainable development in the future.”
MWC Shanghai 2021 runs from February 23 to February 25 in Shanghai, China. Huawei showcases its products and solutions at booth E10, E50, and E90 in Hall N1 in the Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC). For more information, please visit https://carrier.huawei.com/en/events/mwcs2021