A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Digital Culture


Secretary-General, GTWN

Digital culture is the interface between human beings, societies and digital technology. It can be seen as the natural progression of human cultures as every aspect of society and economy is transformed and reinvented by the integration of a digital platform.

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Our Digital Legacy: Creating a new Culture for the Next Generation


Chief Perfect Officer, Perfect Ltd & Senior Advisor Diversity & Inclusion

It’s a fact that we are in the midst of a new industrial revolution and indeed a societal shift. Now more than ever, leaders are under increasing pressure to come up with innovative solutions to an array of business and societal challenges, while navigating an increasingly complex world.

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Our Shared Digital Future – Building an Inclusive, Trustworthy and Sustainable Digital Society


Chair of the UN Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group (IGF-MAG)

A contribution of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Digital Economy and Society, introduced by Lynn St Amour, Chair, UN Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Group and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s System Initiative on Digital Economy and Society.

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International Carriers’ Path to the IoT Gold Mine

Isabelle Paradis, President HOT TELECOM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is potentially the most significant driver of new developments, technologies and revenue for telecom operators since the evolution of the Internet itself. Strong words, but the increasing opportunity to derive value from the collection and analysis of data from all the objects surrounding us is rapidly moving from a vague idea to a fully realized reality.

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Profile: Laureen Cook

Laureen R. Cook, Executive TMT Adviser at Extelcon Consulting. She was formerly with the IFC (World Bank), as Principal TMT Advisor, in the Global Telecommunications, Media & Technology investment sector, where she developed new business and evaluated TMT investment opportunities in Emerging Markets; providing guidance to the regional teams on new projects and portfolio companies, structure & operational improvements, from concept through to exit. Prior to joining the IFC, Laureen was with Alcatel-Lucent as Vice President 4G/LTE Strategy. She holds an MSc in Telecommunications Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and an MBA from Long Island University in New York. In June 2017, Laureen was named as one of the Top 50 Women to Watch in the Telecoms Industry by Global Telecoms Business.

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The Future of Mobile & Satellite Convergence

Laureen R. Cook, Executive TMT Adviser, Extelcon Consulting

In the next decade, the mission of the satellite industry is to enable affordable Internet services for all, which is rather similar to that of the mobile industry. To achieve this mission, industry leaders are taking a commercial approach towards reducing the costs of Space Communications by commoditizing the development of satellites so that they can be manufactured at a lower cost, with increased capacity, higher throughput, and lower latency.

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The Future of Retail: Partnership Opportunities for the Mobile Industry

Thierry Gadou, Chairman and CEO, SES-Imagotag

The next major digital battle will play out in the retail sector, which will offer telecommunications and mobile service providers many amazing business opportunities. Where once retail was purely bricks and mortar, and then it also became virtual thanks to the Internet, we are now entering an era which we can describe as truly “omnichannel”.

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NorthStar: Empowering Humanity to Preserve our Planet

Stewart Bain, CEO NorthStar

As of December 2017, the world population rose to 7.6 billion people. nearly 2 billion are children, living in an era of communications technology which not long ago would have seemed like science fiction. This generation will inherit our planet’s fresh air, forests and farms, rivers and oceans, but they lack a single unifying technology to deal with the most pressing issue of all: how will they sustain their environment? If we are to bequeath a more sustainable world to our children, we must move quickly to provide a solution to preserve our planet and its surroundings.

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Shooting for the Moon

Jennifer L. Schenker, Editor-in-Chief, The Innovator

Naveen Jain’s first company, Infospace – which started out by focusing on content and services for websites –was created during the Internet dotcom boom.

While that company had big ambitions, Jain is now literally shooting for the moon.

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5G: Why we need a Shared Infrastructure Model

Kate McKenzie, CEO Chorus, New Zealand

The key to driving investment in 5G mobile networks is a shared infrastructure approach, enabling operators to spread the considerable cost of these networks amongst the industry as a whole. This is all the more necessary in smaller economies such as new Zealand, which simply doesn’t have the population or the geography of larger countries, which would sustain a market-driven infrastructure approach to 5G.

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Profile: Victoria Hernandez

Victoria Hernandez is formerly a C-Level executive of major telcos such as BT, Orange and Proximus, and is now based in Paris. She is also a Founding Director of the GTWN, a Business Angel, Board Member and “C” Leader in the telecoms industry and fintech in Europe and Abroad.

Profile: Michele Merrell

Michele M. Merrell is a senior level telecommunications and technology executive with 30 years in the corporate world. She is the President of Merrell Consulting Group, a global consulting consortium. She serves as a Board of Director for three corporations in the telecommunications industry. Michele is on the international board of directors for the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN), and is the North America President for GTWN, an organization that actively promotes and mentors women in the global telecommunications and technology industries

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Sustainable Development Goals – Room for Companies to Lead

by Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, SVP, Chief Sustainability and Public Affairs Officer, Ericsson

When I am talking to groups about sustainability, people often ask me how highly it rates on today’s corporate agenda. Simply put, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide investors, and therefore companies, with insights into how government decision-making and company behaviour will shape the development of the global economy over the next fifteen years. It also provides a powerful framework for companies to manage their impact on society, and relate to the most important issues of our time. Continue reading

Using Radio with Mobile Phones for Sustainable Development: Lessons from Africa

by Heather E. Hudson, Professor Emerita, University of San Francisco


Radio remains the most widely used medium in much of the developing world. More than 75 percent of households in Sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) have radio sets. In the past decade, cellular network coverage has expanded to include rural areas, and mobile phones have also proliferated, even among low income rural populations. By mid- 2017 according to the GSMA, there were 420 million unique subscribers in SSA, equivalent to a penetration rate of 43 percent. Thus many households, even in rural regions, have access to a mobile phone.

Paying it forward with the Multiplier Effect

by Vicky Sleight, Chief Perfect Officer, Perfect Limited

So how do we move forward in this complex world? We need to create culturally competent and globally inclusive workplaces. We should all be able to work in environments where everyone can thrive, but to do that we need to lead the way and create them. Continue reading

Case Study: Solving the STEM Skills Challenge

by Dr Terri Simpkin, Managing Director, Mischief Business Engineering, (UK & Aust.)

I have spent a good deal of my professional time over the past two decades sitting on panels or delivering key note sessions on the status of workforces and the skills agenda. While the industry focus changes, by and large the topic and challenges remain the same: not enough people, mismatches of skills and lack of diversity.

The Internet of Things: Reflections on the Opportunities and Risks

by Alicia Asín, CEO of Libelium

The potential for innovation and growth that IoT brings to any sector and, in particular, to smart cities is undeniable. We are experiencing the transition into a new era connecting the physical world to the digital world. our vision of an intelligent world, with sensor- lled cities, allows us to imagine more ef cient, habitable, safe and resilient towns thanks to the new digital era. Continue reading