By Erin Swan
At eFileCabinet, we talk a lot about how important it is to be connected. It makes your business more profitable, makes you more efficient, makes your employees more productive, and makes your clients happier. But connectivity is about more than building a better business—it’s about building a better world. And evidently, we’re not the only ones who think that.
On Saturday, the United Nations assembled with speakers from all around the world and from all walks of life. Among them was Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In case you don’t know, Zuckerberg is involved in a lot more than social networking these days. He is becoming known as a worldwide advocate for internet connectivity, and he spoke on this topic before the UN twice on Saturday.
Before the Private Sector Forum and then UN Sustainable Development Summit, Zuckerberg lobbied for worldwide connectivity and stated that internet access has become a right for citizens in today’s world. He touted the potential power of connecting the world through the internet, saying, “When communities are connected, we can lift them out of poverty.”
The internet lobbyist heavily promoted the idea of prioritizing the connectivity of refugee camps, which have brought extreme property into the worldwide spotlight in recent months. Connecting refugees to a worldwide audience would spur widespread action, according to an op-ed written by Zuckerberg and Bono that was published in the New York Times.
Zuckerberg has shown that he can walk the walk as well as talk the talk. The Facebook founder has also founded a group known as Internet.org, which is most publicly known for their plans to develop internet-beaming drones, which would bring the web to remote regions. He has also met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi from India in an effort to promote internet connectivity in these developing countries.
In a video, Zuckerberg stated, “There are more than 4 billion people who need to be connected. And if we connect them, then we’ll raise hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.”
So what was the result of Zuckerberg’s lobbying at the UN assembly? Worldwide leaders seem to be falling in with his ideas, because the UN set the target of connecting every world citizen by 2020.
Imagine the issues that social media could bring to light, which are currently unknown because people can’t share their stories. Imagine the resources for education that could become available to those who have no opportunities for formal schooling. Though it’s not a one-step solution, connecting the world to the internet could be the first step to creating a global community that will help raise people from poverty.
What do you think? Is worldwide connectivity the first step to ending global poverty? We think it might be, but then again, we have a lot of faith in the power of connectivity.