Having joined us at Web Summit 2014, U2’s Bono had this message to share with Web Summit 2016 attendees.
Olá Web Summiteers,
Greetings from somewhere other than Lisbon, where I, much to my chagrin, this year could not join you. I trust Paddy Cosgrave has identified some good Guinness stops for the pub-crawl in Portugal’s beautiful capital. You can’t escape the Irish.
While I couldn’t be there, my colleagues at ONE are, to launch a campaign to get the public and private sectors working together to make sure 350 million women and girls in the world’s least-developed countries can get connected to the internet by 2020. Their latest report shows that the digital divide is becoming a digital chasm when it comes to women and girls — who are a third less likely to be connected to the internet than men and boys.
Bono onstage at Web Summit 2014
As Juliana Rotich, Co-Founder of BRCK, puts it: “Poverty is sexist in many ways, but this growing gender gap in online access needs to be closed, and quickly. Access is a great equaliser and when women and girls in the most marginalised communities do get online, mothers can make sure their babies are gaining weight properly, farmers can check on market prices, and girls can learn how to read, write and code even if school might be an hour’s walk away.”
In this digitally driven world, the smarts and brilliance of the Web Summit community are constantly innovating the way we live, work and act. We need people to work together to make sure that passion and creativity should be of benefit to everyone regardless of where they were born and with which chromosomes.