Technology is key for expanding economic opportunity

Technology is key for expanding economic opportunity

HP unveiled a new study with Oxford Economics that reveals enthusiasm among global leaders for using technology, including AI, to advance key impact goals.

The study of business executives and government officials in 10 countries found 3 out of 4 leaders believe technology is key to expanding economic opportunity (76%) and that AI will help drive progress towards sustainability and social impact goals (76%).

Further, business leaders are either already using AI or plan to in the next 1-2 years for goals such as increasing access to digital education (90%), workforce development (89%), and workforce diversity (86%).

“AI’s reach holds great promise to help HP accelerate our sustainable and social impact goals,” said Ernest Nicolas, HP’s Chief Supply Chain Officer. “From how we responsibly build AI PCs for first-time users to data scientists who use our workstations to help local farmers build more resilient businesses, this is the technology that can move businesses and our communities forward.”

Accelerating digital equity for 150 million people by 2030
About one-third of the global population remains offline, costing the world billions of dollars in lost GDP each year. The digital divide has been growing since the advent of technology, and AI could exacerbate these disparities if intentional action isn’t taken.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to access the tools needed to thrive in the digital economy,” said Michele Malejki, HP Global Head of Social Impact and Director, HP Foundation. “We know technology can be a great equalizer and a powerful tool to drive progress. Yet, to truly narrow the digital divide in our rapidly evolving world, we must also equip individuals with the skills to use technology.”

In its latest Sustainable Impact report released today, HP announced it has accelerated digital equity for more than 45 million people since 2021, bringing the organization nearly a third of the way to its goal of reaching 150 million people by 2030.

The rapid progress is a result of innovative partnerships with key organizations that create tailored solutions for communities. HP pursues impactful programs, strategic investments and partnerships that prioritize those mostly likely to experience the digital divide.

In 2023, HP:

  • Supported digital equity solutions developed by ten organizations in Malaysia, South Africa and Mexico with the Digital Equity Accelerator, such as improvements in digital literacy to access employment, access to educational hardware and software in schools and development of digital platforms to support improved health outcomes. In total, the Accelerator reached 6.4 million people in 2023.
  • Launched more than 100 Digital Hubs in partnership with World YMCA to support digital programming and literacy. For example, the West Orem Digital Hub, provided by YMCA Houston in Texas aims to increase community access to educational, economic, and social opportunities for young people, support services for families, and digital literacy courses for aging members of the community. More than 500,000 individuals were reached globally in 2023.
  • Opened two NABU HP Creative Labs in the U.S. and the Philippines, equipping artists and authors with technology to write and illustrate hundreds of books for children in local languages each year. The free books have helped 1.9 million children in 2023 build confidence, connection to culture and literacy skills, a key building block to participation in the digital economy.

Building skills amid the rise of AI
Both business and government officials report lack of skills as a top barrier to meeting key organizational goals, only economic volatility ranked higher.

Skills-building is a core piece of HP’s digital equity approach. As a result, HP is expanding its goal to enroll 2.75 million users in the free skills-building program HP LIFE. The program from the HP Foundation has already enrolled and enabled more than 1.2 million users to access economic opportunities or start businesses.

HP is undertaking new initiatives to expand responsible access and use of AI, the top reported investment area of businesses today:

  • Expand our free HP LIFE Digital Business Skills courses by releasing a new course on AI skills later this year.
  • Kick-off the HP AI in Social Impact Award, in collaboration with MIT Solve, which provides technology designed for building and running AI applications to social entrepreneurs and organizations that use AI to advance education, healthcare, and economic opportunities in communities globally.
  • Debut commercial and consumer Next-Gen AI PCs to market this month, a new category of devices crafted for work and creation.


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