Launching the Principles for Digital Inclusion in the Green Economy

OTTAWA, Canada, February 12, 2024 — Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is thrilled to unveil a significant milestone resulting from the collaborative efforts of the EDISON Alliance Sprint Group. In the span of seven months, from May to November 2023, DOT, alongside esteemed partners like NetHope, Dubai Cares, Goodwall, The Digital School, UNICEF, and other members, engaged in a transformative journey aimed at advancing digital inclusion, particularly for young women in the burgeoning green economy. The culmination of this endeavour is the launch of the Principles for Digital Inclusion in the Green Economy, a groundbreaking initiative that aims to amplify the role of women and girls in shaping a sustainable future.

“The sprint group symbolizes the crucial collaboration of organizations and institutions joining forces with a common purpose — addressing the climate crisis through a collective ecosystem committed to promoting gender equality and meaningful inclusion. It issues a compelling call to action for the entire ecosystem to recognize the amplified impact of gender inequality amidst the climate crisis. It underscores the imperative to inclusively engage the most marginalized, especially women and girls, ensuring that solutions to the climate crisis are not only relevant but impactful.” 

– Elizabeth Mengesha and Meaghan Anderson, Co-Chairs of the Topic Sprint Group

Background:

The Sprint Group, embedded within the World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance, embarked on a mission to explore the intersections of climate change, digital technology, skills development, and gender equity. This collaborative effort resulted in the formulation of five key principles designed to catalyze positive change and foster increased participation and digital inclusion in the green economy.

Unveiling the Principles for Digital Inclusion in the Green Economy:

Principle 1: Think Digital, Act Local

The first principle stresses the need to ground digital inclusion initiatives in local realities, fostering community-driven empowerment. By strengthening local agency, individuals and communities can make decisions that directly impact their lives and environment, promoting autonomy and capacity. Recognizing and nurturing the expertise of women and their communities is vital for the success of green economy initiatives. Integrating climate considerations from the project’s inception not only aligns with these principles but also creates meaningful opportunities for young women to actively engage in climate action through digital inclusion projects.

Principle 2: Leave No One Behind

The second principle adopts an intersectional approach, recognizing that the marginalization of young women is multifaceted. Addressing systemic challenges such as poverty and unpaid care work, an “ecosystem” approach ensures a comprehensive strategy to reach them. By considering various social factors, we pave the way for inclusive green spaces that transcend traditional boundaries, fostering opportunities and dismantling barriers.

Principle 3: Representation Matters and Mentorship Pays Off

Empowering women in the green economy goes beyond skills; it requires creating a sense of belonging. The third principle emphasizes the importance of mentorship, establishing a robust support system that extends beyond technical guidance. By showcasing role models and fostering representation in climate leadership roles, we instill confidence, inspiring young women to envision themselves as integral contributors to these fields.

Principle 4: Don’t Forget Soft Skills

While technical skills are crucial, the fourth principle recognizes the significance of “soft” skills. Building cognitive and socio-emotional skills such as confidence, growth mindset, and collaboration is essential for the holistic development of women in green spaces. This approach ensures that women not only acquire technical skills but also possess the psychological resources to thrive in transformative spaces.

Principle 5: Create Safe Spaces

The final principle advocates for the establishment of women-only spaces, providing a platform for collaboration, support, and open dialogue. These safe spaces aim to cultivate an environment where young women feel empowered to express themselves without reservation. Emphasizing safer spaces in learning environments, workplaces, and community networks is crucial to address pervasive safety concerns and gender-based violence.

“In the pursuit of transformative change, the EDISON Alliance exemplifies the power of collaborative efforts and multi-stakeholder partnerships. As we navigate the path forward, DOT commits to embodying these principles, working hand-in-hand with diverse stakeholders to enact tangible actions that propel digital inclusion and empower the next generation. Our dedication aligns with the Alliance’s vision, to ensure equitable access to the digital economy to bridge the digital divide. Multi-stakeholder endorsement and uptake of the principles has the power to steer a future where collective efforts reshape systems for the better – achieving impact at scale”.

– Nada Ghaoui, Vice President Marketing and Development

In embracing these principles, we pave the way for a future where digital inclusion seamlessly aligns with a just transition to a thriving green economy. Within this vision, the green economy becomes a space where every young woman is afforded the chance to contribute, innovate, and flourish. Through the conscientious application of these principles, our aim is not only to bridge existing access gaps but to initiate a ripple effect of empowerment that extends well beyond individual interventions. We aspire to leave a lasting mark on the landscape of digital inclusion in the green economy across the Global South. Stepping into this new era guided by the Principles for Digital Inclusion in the Green Economy, DOT extends an invitation for you to join us on this transformative journey. Together, let’s empower women and girls to become architects of a greener and more inclusive tomorrow. The future is bright, and it starts with each of us taking meaningful steps today.

Call to Action:

Join the movement! Share the Principles for Digital Inclusion in the Green Economy  with your network and be a catalyst for change. Together, we can shape a future where everyone, regardless of gender, plays a crucial role in building a sustainable world. 

Principles for Digital Inclusion in the Green Economy

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our commitment to advancing digital inclusion and sustainability.

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