Podcasts

The World Customs Organization (WCO) represents 185 Customs administrations that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. In the era of digitalization, these border authorities find themselves in the epicentre of global e-commerce, influencing the country’s economic competitiveness, defining the ability of its small businesses to reach global markets, and protecting its citizens from illicit trade. With the level of national Customs development becoming the touchstone of overall socioeconomic performance, it is imperative to ensure that this development is speedy, harmonized and coordinated. This is where the WCO, with its mandate to build capacities and promote cooperation, comes in to fill in the gaps.

A few days ahead of the WCO-UPU Global Conference 2023, dedicated to cross-border e-commerce, Ian Kerr spoke to Dr Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary-General, about the evolving role of Customs, the challenges and opportunities they have in common with the postal sector, the importance of trust for the smooth movement of goods across borders, and why cooperation, specifically with the Post, is in Customs’ DNA.

Have you ever talked to a computer during an interview? Have you ever been made aware of a machine screening your application and CV? Or did you get the impression that you had been selected by an algorithm for a job you interviewed for? And how did this make you feel? In this edition of the Future of Work podcast series we want to explore the rising use of Artificial Intelligence in the hiring process. And to explore this topic, we could not have a better guest than Mona Sloane, Research Assistant Professor at the New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering and Senior Research Scientist at the NYU Center for Responsible AI.

Mona Sloane shares with us her research on the uses of AI in recruitment, specifically experiences of both recruiters and tech vendors that have specialised in this field. She shares with us her insights in how AI shifts, changes and shapes professional decision making in the profession of recruiting. We talk with her about the importance of transparency and ethical use of AI tools in recruitment, and the role policy makers and trade unions should play in this process.

This episode of The Weekly Tradecast looks at the pros and cons of big data with Shamika N. Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD’s technology and logistics division.

Every time we send an email, tap on a social media ad or use our credit cards, we are creating digital data. The information travels around the world largely unregulated and it is the lifeblood of tech giants.

But that era may be ending as efforts to rein in big tech gain momentum. Scores of countries are accelerating efforts to control the flow of digital information – driven by security and privacy concerns, as well as economic interests.

Tune in to Shamika to hear about the challenges and opportunities and learn why the UN is calling for a balanced approach to data governance.

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), around 2.7 billion people – one-third of the global population – remained unconnected to the Internet in 2022. This persistent digital divide disproportionately affects women and girls, especially in rural areas and developing communities, leaving them outside of the rapidly growing digital economy. The ITU, a sister agency with which the UPU shares a long history of connecting people and a common goal of advancing universal digital inclusion, strives to use ICTs and technological innovations to transform people’s lives, including those of women.

In line with the global theme of International Women’s Day 2023, the UPU invited Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU Secretary-General and the first woman to hold this post, to share her views on how digital technologies can open new opportunities for women and girls. She delved into how global digital partnerships, like Giga or connect.post, can help unlock this potential, and why transformative leadership is essential to bridge the digital gender gap and accelerate our progress towards a more equal, connected future.

Technology has made enormous strides over the past few decades, improving many people’s lives, and creating incredible economic, scientific, and medical breakthroughs. For some, it has been “the great equalizer”. But others are being left behind in a widening social and economic divide. How can we resolve this paradox in the future of work?

In this episode, we’ll examine this question with ILO Employment Policy Department Senior Economist Dorothea Schmidt-Klau and recall some of the key observations on the impact of technology and digitalization from our previous podcasts.

Francesco Pisano talks with Dr. Jovan Kurbalija, Director of DiploFoundation, about the mission of Diplo. We discover more about digital diplomacy and the impact it has on multilateralism and international cooperation. Jovan Kurbalija shares highlights from the 2022 Summit on Digital Diplomacy and Governance held in Malta and discusses the trends in digital geopolitics and geoeconomics. He underlines that diplomats need new skills to keep pace with changing technology in a digital world.

Digital technology and artificial intelligence present important challenges to equality in the workplace and in society. As workplaces transition towards a digital future, we are already seeing that existing gender equality gaps are being reproduced in the digital realm. However, does this have to be the case?

In the first of our Future of Work podcast mini-series on artificial intelligence and the world of work – and to mark International Women’s Day – we ask whether digital technology can be harnessed to be a force for good, for positive change and more inclusion. We explore the important role digital technologies can play in creating a brighter and more inclusive future of work, and some of the surprising ways they are already being used in workplaces today.

According to UN Women, over the past decade, women’s exclusion from the digital sphere has cost low- and middle-income countries $1 trillion of potential GDP. As a traditional provider of postal social and digital services that accelerate national development, the Post can help and support women, especially in developing and least developed communities, to take full advantage of digital transformation. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023 celebrated under the global theme of innovation for gender equality, Ian Kerr spoke to Marjan Osvald, UPU Deputy Director General and the first UPU Gender Equality Champion. They discussed ways that Posts can lead change towards a more equal world, how the UPU and partners work to promote this leadership, and how small steps can make a big difference.

Many developing countries are seeking to close the digital divide and benefit from the online economy. Those benefits could be even bigger by also closing the gender divide.

The UN says the exclusion of women from the digital world has cost low- and middle-income countries at least $1 trillion in lost economic value in the last decade. Empowering all women and girls is the focus of the UN’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day – “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.

How can we ensure women have the skills, funding and opportunities to build tech businesses and support economic growth? Tune in to UNCTAD’S Shamika N. Sirimanne to find out.

In the 8th episode of DigitalDots Talks, we discuss the different ways in which our worldwide economy is going digital. For this, we have invited Torbjörn Frederiksson, Head of E-commerce and Digital Economy at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). We talk about big and familiar platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon, about the power of big data, but also about many other ways in which our economies are influenced by increasing digitalisation. What is the digital economy and how do we include everyone in it?

How can we make sure that anyone can benefit from the quick developments in this domain? These are questions we will cover in this new episode of DigitalDots Talks. The interview is conducted by Lars Tummers, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Geneva.

This episode of The Weekly Tradecast looks at inequalities in technology for least developed countries with Torbjörn Fredriksson, head of UNCTAD’s e-commerce and digital economy branch.

During COVID-19, technology helped us to combat the virus and ride out the crisis. With pandemic restrictions in place, much of the world went online to stay in touch and to work, study and shop from home.

Many of those habits are here to stay. But not all countries and economies are equally prepared to go digital.

As the online economy grows, the technology gap is also growing for least developed countries. Tune in to UNCTAD’s Torbjörn Fredriksson to find out what they must do to close the gap and benefit from the digital economy.

As the United Nations marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, this episode of The Weekly Tradecast talks about bridging the gender divide with two young researchers from Egypt and the Philippines.

The STEM areas – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – offer enormous opportunities for women. But attitudes persist that these are fields mainly for men, often leaving women under-represented or excluded.

Menatallah Elserafy and Fresthel Climacosa just completed a one-month fellowship doing cutting-edge health research in Japan. Started in 2020, the Young Female Scientist Program is run by UNCTAD and Okayama University to support women in developing countries by sharing skills, knowledge and inspiration.

Listen in to the two young scientists to hear more about their time in Japan, their research work and their plans for the future.

In this first episode of Digital@TheLastMile limited series, you will hear women entrepreneurs talking about two apps developed by 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.

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?

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