This episode of The Weekly Tradecast talks about the future of cryptocurrencies with UNCTAD economist Marina Zucker. Regulators in various countries are now investigating after FTX – one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges – filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2022.

As claims swirl, the high-profile company could owe repayments to as many as one million people.

Whether they get the money is another question.

After other big bankruptcies before and after FTX’s unexpected collapse, digital currencies are facing tougher questions around volatility, security, safety and trust. With the impact hitting investors and other crypto companies, calls are also growing louder for tougher rules.

Tune in to this episode to find out what could happen and should happen with digital assets.

In this first episode of Digital@TheLastMile limited series, you will hear women entrepreneurs talking about an app developed by two Fintech companies in Bangladesh and Cambodia. The Fintech featured participated in the Women MSMEs FinTech Innovation Challenge Fund launched in 2019.

The objective of the challenge was to tailor digital financial services for women entrepreneurs in Asia and the Pacific. The challenge fund was implemented by UNCDF in partnership with UNESCAP and was generously supported by the Australian Government, the government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO) and Visa.

Harry Yeff aka Reeps1, talks to ITU in our Technology for Good podcast series.

This episode of Technology for Good highlights the creative role of artists and visionaries in creating new narratives surrounding our relationships with technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Harry Yeff has recently launched a brand new initiative with ITU, the Artistic Intelligence Visionary Initiative (AIVI) at AI for Good. He is seeking out the artists who create works that aid our understating of technology and guide our future relationships with innovation. The initiative is helping to illuminate and celebrate the role of the artistic expert in shaping our future with AI.

Presented and Directed by: Maximillian Jacobson-Gonzalez

Edited by: Daniel Woldu

In this episode of The Weekly Tradecast, we talk to two “eTrade for Women advocates” helping to bridge the gender and digital divide.

Birame Sock from Senegal and Damilola Olokesusi from Nigeria tell us about the massive opportunities for women in Africa’s emerging technology sector.

But the stigma persists that tech is a “male industry”, leaving women under-represented and often excluded.

How can Africa better support women to set up viable tech businesses that create decent jobs and economic growth? Tune in to this episode to find out.

In this 6th episode of DigitalDots Talks podcast we discuss trends and developments in the digital world with Amandeep Singh Gill, United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology. He connects the many dots on different digital topics that the UN covers. Why is it necessary and important to have a UN Tech Envoy? In 2021 the UN Secretary General presented Our Common Agenda to rebuild the world and secure a better and more sustainable future for our people and our planet. For the digital part of Our Common Agenda, a Global Digital Compact will be established. But what is this Global

Digital Compact? Who participates and what is its intended outcome? And what role will the private sector and other stakeholders play? In this podcast you will find the answers for these and many more questions. The interview is conducted by Lars Tummers, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva.

For more information on this podcast series, and to register for email notifications for new episodes, go to: https://www.permanentrepresentations.nl/permanent-representations/pr-un-geneva/podcasts

DigitalDots Talks podcast is presented by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Geneva and the Geneva Internet Platform.

The UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation and ‘Our Common Agenda’ underscore the need for enhanced and improved digital cooperation. ITU and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology have been working closely to promote digital cooperation, including through the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition.

In this episode, Doreen Bogdan-Martin speaks with Amandeep Singh Gill, Doreen Bogdan-Martin. Listen to find out more about his vision, the concept of the ‘’digital commons’’, the proposed Global Digital Compact, and more!

In this episode, David Mikhail talks with Neha Mehta, Regional Lead for the Pacific and Papua New Guinea at UNCDF, about bringing women entrepreneurs, SMEs, and small store owners into the financial blankets in the Pacific.Neha emphasises the significance of providing training in digital literacy and financial literacy to female business owners. She also discusses the use of tokenization and blockchain technology to evaluate creditworthiness using non-traditional data sources and cutting-edge data analysis techniques.

In this episode of Innovation Matters, we explore the concept of the commons as applied to innovation and knowledge rather than, in the way we are familiar with the term, to natural resources and land.

Our Guest, Dr. Jason Potts, Distinguished Professor of Economics at RMIT University in Australia and Co-director of the Blockchain Innovation Hub, argues that what holds back innovation is access to relevant information, and that the innovation commons, a system able to share and enable cooperation around inputs, ideas, and opportunities, should be nurtured to overcome such obstacles.

The global phenomenon of digitalization is increasingly going local. Worldwide, informal online platform work is growing, creating new jobs. Rwanda is a unique example. The central African country has seen increasing migration of young people from rural to urban areas. These young people need jobs – and both formal jobs, and more informal work in the gig and platform economy are providing opportunities. But how is this working? Many potential employees need to acquire new skills, including language skills. And can these trends create jobs that are decent and provide social protection?

In this podcast, Elvis Melia of Meliacred, an expert at the German Institute on Development and Sustainability and the lead of a new study funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) looks at Rwandan jobs in the digital era.

The future of work podcast series was created on behalf of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Historically traditional and closed sector, the postal and courier industry has become one of the earliest adopters and the primary testing ground for the latest last-mile innovations over the past decades. Once praised for their silence, postal electric vehicles are now driving the green transition across supply chains globally, advancing a more sustainable future for all.

Conversely, technical innovation and increased delivery options and speed can at times encourage irresponsible consumption patterns, offsetting the industry’s own environmental achievements. Ahead of the Parcel+Post Expo, the leading global postal trade show, and UPU’s annual World Leaders Forum, held on its sidelines, Ian Kerr spoke to Tony Robinson, CEO of UKI Media & Events and Founder of the Expo, about how to combine delivery efficiency with sustainability, which technologies will shape the future of the Post, and why cross-sector collaboration is important to accelerate their adoption.

Globally, experts observe drastically different patterns of innovation-driven growth. Unsurprisingly, such diversity of outcomes can be largely attributed to the differences in national innovation systems. Even in the era of globalisation, national policies continue shaping development paths, experimentation opportunities, and transformative capacity of enterprises. Yet formulating effective national (and regional) innovation policies is not an easy task and requires complex considerations. From local-based preconditions to regional specificities, policymakers have a lot of factors to balance.

In this episode of UNECE’s Innovation Matters podcast, we welcome Prof. Cristina Chaminade, the Director of the Master’s program in Innovation and Global Sustainable Development at Lund University.

We explore how policymakers can establish regional and local hubs of innovation. Cristina’s main area of expertise lies within the nexus of innovation, sustainable development and nature conservation. Her research focuses on system transformation in developing countries; Cristina explores how emerging economies can accumulate the competencies that would allow them to upgrade and diversify. Previously, Cristina has researched a diversity of countries including China, India, South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica, Brazil, Italy and Sweden. She has also worked as an expert consultant for international organizations including the European Commission, UNCTAD, OECD and UN-ECLAC and conservation NGOs.

Over the past decade, the world has witnessed a rise in platforms and the growing platformization of work. Many of the new forms of work are being generated in the gig economy. These trends are also pervasive in India. While these developments have resulted in increased access to work for women, they are also characterized by higher levels of uncertainty and lesser incentives for skills- and capacity-building, among other challenges. What lessons can be learned from India regarding the creation of more equitable access to jobs in the digital economy? What are some of the policy considerations to overcome these challenges? This episode responds to these core questions.

The future of work podcast series was created on behalf of the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Digital Dots Talks – Episode 4 – the (gender) digital divide

In this episode, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) gives us an original overview
on how to address the digital divide and the gender digital divide.

  • How to address development challenges in the digital era?
  • How to ensure meaningful connectivity and ensure that no one is left behind?

These are some of the questions discussed in this episode.

For more information on this podcast series, and to register for email notifications for new episodes, go to: https://www.permanentrepresentations.nl/permanent-representations/pr-un-geneva/podcasts

DigitalDots Talks podcast is presented by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Geneva and the Geneva Internet Platform. Let me know when the info is updated.

Every country and every sector are affected by the digital revolution, irreversibly scaled up by the recent global health crisis. However, not everyone can equally partake of the benefits that established and emerging technologies bring about. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), through its Division on Technology and Logistics, supports developing countries in their efforts to adapt to the digital revolution and access the benefits of the global digital economy more fairly and more effectively, thereby stimulating inclusive and sustainable development. Through a longstanding partnership with UNCTAD in the framework of its Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) and eTrade for All programmes, the UPU ensures that the postal network is effectively integrated in technology transfer and trade facilitation processes, helping bridge the digital divide across communities.

More about this important collaboration, the role of the postal network in facilitating e-commerce for small businesses, the benefits of “smart” technologies for the Post, and the emerging data divide – on the Voice Mail episode with Shamika Sirimanne, Director of the UNCTAD’s Division on Technology and Logistics.

The ninth episode of UNCTAD’s Weekly Tradecast talks about protecting consumers in an increasingly online world with Teresa Moreira, head of UNCTAD’s competition and consumer policies branch. The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the way we shop. During lockdowns, huge numbers of us went online to buy food, clothes, household goods and entertainment.

That convenience is now part of our lives and in how we spend as more people use credit cards and “buy now, pay later” options at checkout. But consumers face many risks as online shopping grows – not least as the world struggles with a cost-of-living crisis.

Listen in to Teresa to find out what to do if you’ve been scammed and how to tell whether an online marketplace is safe.

In our sixth episode of The Weekly Tradecast, we’re talking about cryptocurrencies with economist Marina Zucker of UNCTAD’s debt and development finance branch.

After some incredible gains over two years, the prices of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been plunging in recent months. More turbulence is likely. Some people have made a lot of money from crypto but many have not been so lucky with the volatile and unregulated digital asset. Scams, collapsing funds, stolen credentials and forgotten passwords have cost investors millions. Are cryptocurrencies here to stay? Is it time for governments to regulate them? Tune in to hear Marina spell out the risks and share her ideas about solutions. Downloads:

  • All that glitters is not gold: The high cost of leaving cryptocurrencies unregulated
  • Public payment systems in the digital era: Responding to the financial stability and security-related risks of cryptocurrencies
  • The cost of doing too little too late: How cryptocurrencies can undermine domestic resource mobilization in developing countries

En este nuevo episodio conversamos con Rodrigo Filgueira, especialista en digitalización, innovación pedagógica y formación docente de OIT/Cinterfor, sobre ¿qué es la digitalización? ¿cuál es la realidad en América Latina? y ¿en qué medida la aparición de tecnologías digitales impactan en los sistemas de formación profesional?

International trade has progressed enormously since the founding of the WTO in 1995. The world trades a lot more – from just over 5 trillion dollars’ worth of goods in 1995 to more than 22 trillion dollars in 2021. The world also trades in new ways – e-commerce accounts for more than 20 percent of total retail sales worldwide. Supply chains have also revolutionized trade, leading to the rise of products made “in the world”. Despite this radical transformation, the WTO and the rules of trade remain largely unchanged. Ambassador Didier Chambovey of Switzerland, the General Council Chair, and the WTO’s Joan Apecu talk about the efforts to keep the organization fit for purpose and ready to respond to the realities of 21st century commerce.

In Lumonga village, situated in a remote part of the West Nile region of northern Uganda, smallholder farmers have traditionally been cut off from the banking system, and been forced to rely on small savings and loans from their community to survive hard times.
For the second episode in our Lid Is On mini-series recorded in northern Uganda, Conor Lennon from UN News went to Lumonga village, to see how digital technology is helping the farmers to get connected, and have a better chance of getting the finance they need to buy basic equipment, grow more crops, and sell more produce.
Music: Within the Earth, Ketsa
Audio: UN News/ Conor Lennon

Life is about transitions–at work, in our personal lives, as we age. Diverse megatrends – from demographics to climate change, from globalization to technological advances and digitalization – are transforming the world of work in ways that are presenting, sometimes new turbulence to the difficult transitions throughout our lives. What’s more, the COVID pandemic has further added to the transitions we’re facing.

A solid understanding of labour market transition patterns and of people’s aspirations and needs is essential to ensuring protected and effective transitions. This episode aims to enhance global knowledge of such patterns for informed and timely policymaking, particularly in emerging and developing countries and identifies the role digitalization plays as a driver of changing transition patterns but also as a facilitator of transitions.

The pandemic accelerated the digitalization of small businesses, which had to adapt very quickly to the new circumstances.

But going digital goes beyond the purely technological aspect. It is about changing the whole way a company operates, in a transition that can affect its finances and its employees.

Dr Sandy Chong, who specializes in helping companies to go digital, explains how they are coping with these challenges.

In this episode Ambassador Henri Verdier, Ambassador for Digital Affairs of France, sheds light on the risks of a fragmented internet and debates on the responsible behaviour of actors in cyberspace, especially in case of cyber conflicts. The discussion is led by Dr Jovan Kurbalija, Head of the Geneva Internet Platform.
For more information on this podcast series, and to register for email notifications for new episodes, go to: https://www.permanentrepresentations.nl/permanent-representations/pr-un-geneva/podcasts
DigitalDots Talks podcast is presented by the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Geneva and the Geneva Internet Platform.

The exponential rise of technology and its widespread adoption has led to a dual effect. On the one hand, there are a rising number of devices and electronics in the market, exacerbating an already growing waste and resource challenge. On the other hand, new technology has also led to an increase in digital solutions and innovation that is a catalyst to transforming electronic value chains towards a circular model.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin speaks with Dr. Naoko Ishii, Executive Vice President, Professor at Institute for Future Initiative, Director, Center for Global Commons, University of Tokyo, on the opportunities that digitalization and connectivity bring to the transition towards a circular economy for electronics, particularly in building sustainable e-waste management systems.

Interviewer: Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU

Over the past two years, e-commerce with its astonishing growth rates became a popular headline of postal news. Deadly for certain industries, the pandemic has turned into a powerful catalyzer for others, putting pressure on companies to search for additional capacity to keep up with the ever-growing demand. That was the case for Ecuadorian start-up “Tipti”. Led by a woman entrepreneur, this online marketplace experienced ten-fold growth, making it the fastest growing e-commerce company in the country. Its CEO and Co-Founder Pierangela Sierra provides a benchmark and inspiration for many women across Latin America. On the 10th episode of Voice Mail, Ian Kerr talked to Pierangela, who is also an UNCTAD eTrade for Women Advocate for Latin America, about the e-commerce landscape in the region, the challenges of overcoming the digital divide, meeting the escalating demand for convenient service and building an e-commerce career as a woman.

Every day, billions of people connect with others, purchase services from businesses – all within a click of a button from their electronic devices. These new, rapidly unfolding processes and forms of content, distributed in a variety of digital formats, offer salient opportunities and scope for innovation. What is the government’s role in supporting the evolution and promotion of the digital economy?

In this episode of “Innovation Matters”, Professor Carin Holroyd and Professor Ken Coates, both from the University of Saskatchewan, explore the nature, implications, potential and risks of government policy on the digital economy. According to their publication “The Global Digital Economy: A Comparative Policy Analysis”, governments still tend to underestimate and misunderstand the economic potential of the digital content sector due to old mindsets about the traditional industrial economy. Governments still may not know how to support digital content companies – although this is changing in the light of the successes of Apple, Google, Amazon, Meta, and the like. As our guests show, experiences from the frontrunners in East Asia – most notably from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Singapore – provide fascinating opportunities to take a closer look at the public use of digital technologies and to consider government policies and efforts to expand the sector. The episode includes success stories of the rising stars of the digital economy, particularly valuable for countries in transition, and ends with key 3 tips for policymakers in the region in devising the most effective digital economy strategy.

The livelihoods of one billion people around the world depend on affordable and secure money transfers from their loved ones working abroad, known as international remittances. In 2021, migrant workers sent an estimated USD 605 billion to their families, a staggering 8.6 percent up from the previous year. Having pushed a vast amount of informal money flows to the digital space, the pandemic revealed the real face of remittances along with their ever-growing importance. When linked to other financial services, such as loans or insurance, remittances can have a profound development impact in emerging economies and increase their resilience to future crises.

As Posts are reinventing themselves by expanding their portfolio in digital financial services, entering the remittances market can turn them into powerful agents of financial inclusion. UPU spoke to Pedro de Vasconcelos, Manager of the Financing Facility for Remittances at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and originator of the International Day of Family Remittances (16 June), about how Posts, through inclusive finance, can bring financial literacy to rural areas to change the lives of millions of people, one at a time.

Digitalization is changing the nature, mode, and pace of work. This means the skilling and re-skilling of workers will be essential if enterprises and entire industries are to maintain and increase functionality and productivity, effectively manage shocks, ensure, and sustain the well-being and livelihoods of workers, and create decent jobs. Understanding and anticipating the evolving skills needs is a crucial step that can guide the training of workers. This episode explores labour market skills needs, and how education, training and lifelong learning can effectively skill and re-skill workers throughout their lives in an evolving and increasingly digitalized labour market.

This podcast episode features an interview with ILO Senior Skills and Employability Specialist and Team Leader on Skills Strategies for Future Labour Markets Olga Strietska-Ilina.

Two billion people – more than six out of ten workers in the world – make their living in the informal economy. The ILO estimates that some 1.6 billion of these workers have been significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic. Among them, women and young workers have been particularly hard hit.

What is to be done? One emerging solution is technology. The ILO Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work recognizes the role of technological innovation in driving change in the world of work and its human-centred approach, and promotes harnessing the potential of technological progress to achieve decent work and sustainable development.In this podcast, ILO Employment Policy Specialist Juan Chacaltana and Technical Officer, Vicky Leung discuss emerging policy trends in how technology can facilitate the transition to the formal economy, or e-formality, and some of the challenges.

Many countries have a very young workforce. While this population dividend can have a positive impact on growth and development, young people often can’t find decent jobs in formal work settings. Now, there is a growing trend toward work that has gone on-line, and is staying on-line. This episode explores how digitalization through “crowd working” platforms can be used as a tool to tap into the labour market potential of a young population, facilitate the creation of new jobs, and further the development and economic growth of an increasing number of societies.

The episode features an interview with Niall O’Higgins, Senior Economist in the ILO’s Employment Analysis Unit, Employment Policy Department.

Rodney Taylor, Secretary General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, discusses digital transformation and the potential role of the post:

  • The emotion of international mail
  • Innovation in telecommunications and IT in Barbados
  • Digital transformation’s critical role in supporting peoples and governments
  • Delivering government services digitally
  • The CTU’s role and mandate, from establishment by CARICOM through to understanding the “metaverse”
  • Supporting CARICOM single market and economy through telecommunications
  • Key areas of digital transformation the CTU is working on, including accessing government services online
  • Opportunities for collaboration with postal operators in digital transformation
  • How the pandemic fuelled innovation and development in digital transformation, and partnerships with the post Scope for working with other international organisations
  • Trends in regional e-commerce
  • Inclusion of all social groups in digital transformation
  • .post top level domain and cyber security
  • Raising awareness of cyber crime and cyber security, and including provisions for cyber crime and data protection in legislation
  • International and cross-sector cooperation in internet and data governance.
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