CATCHING TECHNOLOGICAL WAVES: INNOVATION WITH EQUITY

 

# Catching Technological Waves: Innovation with Equity

 

Recent developments in frontier technologies, including artificial intelligence, robotics, and biotechnology, have shown tremendous potential for sustainable development. However, they also risk exacerbating inequalities by creating new digital divides between technology haves and have-nots. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed this dichotomy. While technology has been critical in addressing the spread of the disease, not everyone has equal access to its benefits.

 

## The UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2021

 

The **UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2021** examines the likelihood of frontier technologies widening existing inequalities and creating new ones. It emphasizes the importance of national and international policies, instruments, and institutional reforms to create a more equal world of opportunity for all, leaving no one behind.

 

### Key Findings:

 

1. **Market Potential**: Frontier technologies already represent a $350 billion market, which could grow to $3.2 trillion by 2025. This offers great opportunities for those ready to catch this technological wave.

 

2. **Global Preparedness**: Many countries, especially the least developed and those in sub-Saharan Africa, are unprepared to equitably use, adopt, and adapt to the ongoing technological revolution. This lack of preparedness could have serious implications for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

 

3. **Policy Recommendations**:

   - Strengthen and align Science, Technology, and Innovation systems and industrial policies.

   - Build digital skills among students and the workforce.

   - Close digital divides.

   - Enhance social protection and ease workforce transitions to mitigate potential negative consequences on the job market.

   - Strengthen international cooperation to build innovation capacities in developing countries, facilitate technology transfer, increase women’s participation in digital sectors, conduct technological assessments, and promote an inclusive debate on the impact of frontier technologies on sustainable development.

 

### Harnessing Technologies for the Common Good

 

A key takeaway from the report is that technologies are not deterministic. We can harness their potential for the common good, and we have an obligation to do so. As we navigate the ongoing technological revolution, it is essential to prioritize equity, inclusivity, and sustainability.

 

In conclusion, let us strive to create a world where technological innovations benefit everyone, regardless of their background or location. By doing so, we can build a more equitable and sustainable future.

 

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Feel free to explore more technology news and innovations on platforms like [NBC News](https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation), [SciTechDaily](https://scitechdaily.com/news/technology/), and [BBC Innovation](https://www.bbc.com/innovation.

(1) Technology and Innovation Report 2021 | UNCTAD. https://unctad.org/publication/technology-and-innovation-report-2021.

(2) Innovation: Technology Innovation & Invention News - NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovation.

(3) Technology News, Research & Innovations - SciTechDaily. https://scitechdaily.com/news/technology/.

(4) BBC Innovation | Technology, Health, Environment, AI. https://www.bbc.com/innovation.

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