Where we are striving to have an impact
More about Arts & Culture
Digital Transformation has impacted the way we create and consume arts and culture, blending both creativity and technology and creating new experiences for audiences. At this point in time, we already have AI composed music and AI generated paintings. Technology has as well impacted how we display and experience cultural heritage such as in museums. Recently in Saudi Arabia and in the UAE, the audience was able to attend a concert for Um Kulthoum, the famous Egyptian legend through a hologram.
In this sphere DAN takes a look into what ways digital technologies created such an impact in the region. DAN also features digital artists from the region and creates bridges between them and the digital art scene around the world.
More about Business & The Future of Work
Disruption is a word we hear a lot nowadays. Businesses and industries are being completely disrupted by new and emerging technologies. This is not only impacting how we do business, but as well the jobs we will have in the future as many jobs are taken over by technology. These are global challenges but will definitely have a higher impact on developing countries with lower skilled easy to vanish jobs. It is estimated that within certain countries within the region 45% of jobs will be impacted. Through DAN, we try to first analyze the impact of digital transformation on the future of the work in the region and try to prepare the market for it to minimize possible damage.
In this sphere, we also take a look at industries being revolutionized by technology such as Agritech, Edtech, Fintech, Healthtech, etc. and at local solutions within our focus countries. We try to connect the different players within the region to set best practices. We try to bring in global experts to support local players in their quest for digitalization. We as well connect with the Arab Diaspora in the international markets to gain from their expertise and do a transfer of the know-how to the local markets, trying to decrease the digital divide.
One of our first activities in DAN was to write a white paper about Digitalization Strategies for the Arab World. In the paper we discuss the impact of digitalization the different industries of the region and on the MENA job market. Read it here.
More about Civic Participation
We dream of smart cities that are driven by the power of civic engagement through technology. We share best practices, we foster discussions and we invite individuals from the society to participate in the process of imagining how our cities could look like.
Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia are leading the region in this matter being the only three countries from the region to be members of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). The OGP displays governments’ commitment “to enhance transparency, accountability and public participation in government”. We take a look into their digital action plans and share as examples amongst the region.
In 2019, DAN launched the first Smart City Forum in Morocco and the Smart City Roundtable in Jordan. In 2020 we hold our MENA Innovation Challenge inviting those interested in designing our digital future in all spheres. Join us in creating smarter cities through technology as more is yet to come!
More about Gender Equality & Inclusion
Is digital transformation further contributing to the gender gap or is it a tool for empowerment or maybe it is both? In an industry that is mainly male dominant, how do we ensure that the needs of women are catered for? How do we decrease the inherent bias? All very important questions we try to address through this sphere.
There are many topics to be addressed, first is accessibility. According to the GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report in lower and middle-income countries, “313 million fewer women than men use mobile internet, representing a gender gap of 23 percent”. According to the ITU “the global Internet user gap is 17 per cent”. There are many topics to be addressed, first is accessibility. According to the GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report in lower and middle-income countries, “313 million fewer women than men use mobile internet, representing a gender gap of 23 percent”. According to the ITU “the global Internet user gap is 17 per cent”. There are many topics to be addressed, first is accessibility. According to the GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report in lower and middle-income countries, “313 million fewer women than men use mobile internet, representing a gender gap of 23 percent”. According to the ITU “the global Internet user gap is 17 per cent”.
Second challenge we need to address, is education. How do we educate girls and women to ensure they have the skills that enable them to navigate and excel in the digital world?
Third is workforce. How do we ensure better representation of women in the digital jobs market? What measures do we promote to ensure equal opportunity? What measures do organizations need to consider not alienate females from a male dominant industry?
There are many models developed to help close the gender digital divide. For example, the UNESCO developed the UNESCO-Pearson Guidelines on Digital Inclusion as shown. DAN strives through its activities to further support and drive Digital Inclusion in the MENA region through its partnerships and through examining and promoting successful local initiatives.
It is said that technology in itself is neutral, its application though is not. This double edged sword manifests itself highly when it comes to online media and journalism. The recent years have witnessed the wide spread of fake news and hate speech. It has also witnessed the death of printed media.
Equipping journalists with the necessary tools to combat these issues is one of our missions in DAN. in 2019 we held our first workshop with journalists in Amman, Jordan. We hope we can further continue with spreading the knowledge within other countries.
Awareness also needs to go to the audience on how to identify fake news, we hope as well to contribute in this domain allowing for a safer online environment for all of us.