Recent initiatives such as Internet.org and Project Loon seek to empower the world’s population with the same access to tools and information that helped facilitate the very success of their founding members, including Facebook and Google.
A wide gap between the developed and developing countries currently exists. In the United States alone, 81% of the population has access to the internet — and the U.S. doesn’t even lead the pack (we actually rank #26). European countries including Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the Netherlands all boast over 90% connectedness numbers. While less than one third of people in developing countries have internet access (30.7%), developed countries average almost 80% connectedness rates (76.8%).
In order to make the global transition from an industrial economy — where success is sometimes skewed toward the wealthy due to their access to resources — to a knowledge economy — one based on the availability of information — we must equip everyone with the same tools and resources. As Mark Zuckerberg has said, this will enable an entirely new generation of thinkers, technologists and entrepreneurs who can learn, grow and help solve the world’s problems like never before.
Image: Flickr / a4gpa