How technology can help address some of the world’s biggest challenges

Posted on 23/04/2019 by wallispr
DISCLAIMER: this article is older than one year and may not be up to date with recent events or newly available information.

As people across the world unite to celebrate the planet’s environment and raise public awareness about pollution on Earth Day, now is a good time to reflect on the problems our planet faces and how we can help make it a better place. Technology plays a key role in both the challenges and the solutions. At VMware, we believe it is our shared responsibility to make sure technology is used as a force for good and impacts positively on the environment, society and the global economy.

We recently polled our Twitter community on this topic, gaining insights from 2,000 respondents across EMEA. Almost half (45%) believe technology is a force for good. When asked which technologies offer the greatest potential to improve the quality of life across the globe, 41% pointed to Artificial Intelligence, 29% to 5G and 22% to the Internet of Things.

While there are a myriad of challenges facing the globe, let’s look at three that were highlighted in this poll and the role of the technology in addressing them:

  1. Quality Education

Quality education is a prerequisite for learning and human development. Education not only improves quality of life, it can also help equip people with the tools required to develop solutions to solve the world’s problems. However, education standards vary greatly between regions and countries. This topic resonates with our Twitter community – over a third believe innovations in technology and access to better equipment can play a vital role in improving access to education.

Prince Sultan University, a not-for-profit, private university illustrates this well. Through the King Salman Education for Employment Program (E4E), the University equips young graduates with the skills and knowledge development that will empower them to secure employment in the increasingly technologically-focused Saudi workforce. VMware is a key partner in E4E, delivering a vocationally-oriented syllabus to create VMware-certified consultants.

  1. Healthy Lives & Well-being

Technology is changing the way healthcare is delivered—how information is shared among teams, how research is conducted and how healthcare organisations interact with each other. Whether it’s data analytics, robotics or artificial intelligence, the possibilities to transform the way we treat patients and develop new cures continue to increase. Over half of our respondents believe healthcare is the industry with the greatest potential to adopt new technology, helping deliver the next generation of care and support.

VMware works with lots of customers to enable them to positively impact on healthcare delivery.

A great example is Medic Mobile in Africa. It uses basic mobile phones and VMware solutions to deliver apps that track disease outbreaks, register pregnancies, and bring lines of communication to rural villages from major clinics.  In the UK, the Royal College of Nursing worked with VMware to build a digital platform to provide training, advice and support to the next generation of the UK’s National Health Service nurses.

  1. Environmental Sustainability

The third challenge centres around environmental sustainability and it clearly resonates with our Twitter community – 75% believe technology has the power to address the issue of climate change, help in the development of green technologies and lower CO2emissions.

VMware is a market leader in server virtualization software, and our products are a major driving force in helping customers realize higher levels of operational efficiencies in their data centers, resulting in a positive benefit to the planet by reducing CO2 emissions.

However we know our contribution needs to extend beyond helping our customers, so we strive to be at the forefront of environmental sustainability in our global business practices and operations. For example in 2018, we became a certified CarbonNeutral company, two years ahead of our scheduled goal. Another example is that we are focusing on eliminating single-use plastics throughout our offices. For Earth Day 2019 we are accelerating our efforts to halt this throwaway culture through our Endanger This Speciescampaign – over eight million tons of plastic enter our oceans each year to the point where by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish.

We believe the tech sector has a major role to play in alleviating the world’s most pressing problems. Our goal is to leave ahead a better future – to put back more than what we take – creating a more innovative, sustainable and equitable world.

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