Academics warns that the digital divide could exclude millions of the UK’s poorest people

During its first edition of the SDG of the Month series, Imperial College London explored sustainable development goal (SGD) 10: reducing inequalities by focusing on ‘The Digital Divide in a COVID-19 World.’ The event, which was attended by staff, students, alumni and global partners, looked at how the COVID-19 crisis impacts the digital divide and how to address the gap between those who have restricted access and those who are connected. ‘For people on the wrong side of the digital divide, the disadvantages associated with being unable to access digital technologies have become more pronounced. Unless digital exclusion is taken seriously as part of a wider task to reduce inequality, millions of the poorest people will suffer the consequences,’ said Imperial College Business School’s Professor of Economics Tommaso Valetti. In this vein, the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Innovation Fund Co-Founder and Manager Sunita Grote introduced UNICEF Venture Fund which ‘takes the principles of venture capital investing and applies them to solutions that may accelerate results for children, such as using artificial intelligence (AI) and data science to track the impact of social distancing measures on access to schools and learning opportunities.’