Digital Opportunity Trust pledges to equip 1 million youth with digital and 21st-century skills by 2025

Young Girl Featured in Image with Text

January 19, 2022

The world continues to face a global pandemic. Many young people, especially those in vulnerable and unconnected communities, are still unable to access remote learning and lack digital skills essential to employment and opportunity in the digital economy. Women and girls also suffer disproportionate effects on their livelihoods.

Digital Inclusion is accepted as a basic human right yet remains an enormous and complex challenge. Despite the state of the world today, it also presents an opportunity for a global shift towards inclusive and equitable digital growth – and a creative approach to international development.

This year DOT is celebrating 20 years of supporting young women and men to overcome the Digital Divide.

As DOT looks forward to the next 20 years, we are announcing an important commitment: DOT joins the EDISON Alliance, 1 Billion Lives Challenge, to empower 1 million youth by 2025 to lead their communities into an inclusive digital economy. 

Under the leadership of the World Economic Forum, the EDISON Alliance 1 Billion Lives  Challenge is a global movement of over 45 champions from the public and private sectors that are committed to prioritizing digital inclusion as foundational to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Announced at DAVOS in 2021, the EDISON Alliance for digital inclusion aims to ensure that every person can affordably participate in the Digital Economy. Through the challenge, EDISON Alliance members are committing to Improving 1 billion lives globally through affordable and accessible digital solutions across, health, finance, and education by 2025.

As an organization committed to digital inclusion, women’s empowerment and the potential of young people as leaders of change, Digital Opportunity Trust, and its network of thousands of young leaders, has reached over 3 million people globally. We commit to deliver digital literacy and 21st-century skills in the marginalized communities and schools of Africa and the Middle East, to reach an additional 1 million people by 2025.

Building on a legacy as a champion of young people and digital inclusion

DOT’s commitment, announced by Founder and CEO, Janet Longmore, comes as a recognition of its 20-year record in delivering digital and social entrepreneurship skills at scale. DOT has accomplished this through a broad network of trusted partners across civil society, the private sector, and the government who are collaborating to support youth worldwide as they co-design peer-to-peer solutions. 

DOT Founder and CEO, Janet Longmore, says:

“We are proud to be a contributor to the goals of the Edison Alliance – goals that align with our belief in digital inclusion and our passion to see young women and men reaching their potential. We commend the World Economic Forum for taking the leadership to bring together this collaboration of responsible, forward-thinking organizations. We are here specifically to forge partnerships that will bring to reality the Alliance’s digital inclusion commitments for millions of young lives.”

20 Years in the Making; Universal access and digital inclusion a global priority

DOT’s commitment will build on the success of its unique youth-led peer-to-peer model which has impacted more than 3 million young women and men across the globe since 2002.  DOT’s model has been embraced by the world’s largest generation of young people – young women and men who are eager to seize the opportunities that the digital world of work is offering.

DOT’s pledge to the EDISON Alliance and the 1 Billion Lives Challenge, aligns with its mission to mobilize and inspire all underserved and disadvantaged young people with digital literacy, 21st-century skills and the self-confidence that will enable them to thrive in an inclusive digital economy.

DOT’s model focuses on catering to the future world of work and the socio-economic development for the world’s largest generation of young people who are ready to act. Our peer-to-peer approach mobilizes tech-savvy leaders, encourages entrepreneurial mindsets and advocates for digital inclusion through:  

  • Digital literacy
  • 21st-century skills and;
  • The self-confidence to pursue digital livelihoods

A long-term partnership with the World Economic Forum

DOT has long been committed to the work of the World Economic Forum. Janet Longmore has been recognized as a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur and she has contributed to the Davos meetings. She is a leader in the movement for digital inclusion and she has championed the equitable empowerment of youth and women through leadership roles in the World Economic Forum’s Internet for All initiative, the Catalyst 2030 network and the Business Leaders Caucus of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Partnership.

Partnerships are key to realizing our commitment

We’re calling partners and donors to join our pledge and contribute to ensuring the inclusion of youth and women in the digital economy. 

About Digital Opportunity Trust

DOT is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada, with 6 locally-managed offices in Africa and the Middle East (Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Lebanon, and Jordan. DOT presence extends to Ghana, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia through local partnerships with youth-serving organizations. DOT has created impact in over 25 countries as a development innovators and catalysts placing youth at the center of its activity to unlock their potential, bridge the digital divide across communities, and provide equal access to digital solutions for impact. 

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Read Our Press Release: Digital Opportunity Trust joins the EDISON Alliance and pledges to equip 1 million youth with digital and 21st-century skills by 2025.

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