Reflections: Foreword

On the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the GTWN, in 1992, we are taking the opportunity to reflect on where we started, how far we have come, and the journey ahead.

We could not have imagined the scope of the truly amazing transformation that telecommunications and digital technologies in general would unleash on the world over the coming decades. In fact, as GTWN Co-Founder Janice Hughes recalls, her predictions about the growth of the mobile sector, which were considered at the time by many to be wildly optimistic, proved to be far too conservative. The world has changed immeasurably since those early days – not least in the number of female entrepreneurs and executives who have chosen, and still are choosing, to make this exciting industry their future.

Remembering those heady days in the early nineties, when everything seemed possible (as it can do to the young), there are however aspects of the digital transformation of society and the economy which we also could not have imagined and which we cannot condone. Ransomware, online harassment, child pornography, phishing, spoofing, denial of service, and other forms of malware and attacks, have demonstrated that some negative aspects of human nature continue despite, or indeed because they are amplified by, technological change. But far from discouraging us, this has made the GTWN members and their colleagues and supporters all the more determined to persevere in their work to ensure that digitaltechnologies are used, not just for their own sake, but in order to improve the lives of people around the world.

We are immensely grateful for the time and effort that our contributors have dedicated to making this, our 30th Anniversary publication, such a diverse, interesting and informative read. Thank you all. The spirit behind your words is a truly amazing legacy that will live on as the GTWN story continues.

As some of our GTWN colleagues begin a new phase of their careers, we are excited to welcome our new GTWN Global President, Keri Gilder and several new members of the Board from around the world, thus ensuring the next generation will carry on the tradition that has been crafted over the past three decades. Their diverse backgrounds and achievements will, we are sure, inspire everyone to continue our work well into the future.

Many thanks to global law firm CMS, leaders in ESG business practice, who have generously sponsored The Mobile Century for the past two years; and also to our 30th Anniversary Gala Dinner major sponsor, Spanish financial and banking group CaixaBank.

Vicki MacLeod
TMC Editor-in-Chief
GTWN Secretary-General

Bridget Cosgrave
GTWN
Global President

Candace Johnson
GTWN
Founding President