HP: Why is Digital Equity Key for Equality & Sustainability?

Learners participate in storytelling workshop as part of HP's digital equity work with NABU and Wrexham AFC
HP is on a mission to boost digital equity to ensure increased uptake of AI doesn’t widen the digital divide

In an increasingly digital world, what happens to those people and communities who lack digital literacy? 

A new study by HP and Oxford Economics highlights that AI is a key tool for advancing key impact goals – yet one-third of the global population remains offline.

Increased AI uptake

The report curated thoughts from leaders in 10 countries on how AI is impacting business, the economy and sustainability

Highlights from the study include:

  • 76% of leaders believe technology is key to expanding economic opportunity and that AI will help drive progress towards sustainability and social impact goals
  • 90% of leaders are either already using AI or plan to in the next 1-2 years to increase access to digital education
  • 89% of leaders are either already using AI or plan to in the next 1-2 years for workforce development
  • 86% of leaders are either already using AI or plan to in the next 1-2 years for workforce diversity
Stephanie Dismore, HP’s Northwest Europe Market Senior Vice President and Managing Director

“AI’s reach holds great promise to help HP accelerate our sustainable and social impact goals,” says Stephanie Dismore, HP’s Northwest Europe Market Senior Vice President and Managing Director. 

“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.”

How is HP accelerating digital equality?

The report clearly highlights that AI is here to stay, with leaders increasingly engaging it to boost sustainability goals including social and DE&I initiatives.

Yet the digital divide grows, with almost one-third of the global population offline costing billions of dollars in lost GDP each year.

“Everyone deserves an opportunity to access tools and skills that will allow them to thrive in the digital economy,” said Nancy Powell, HP’s UK&I Sustainability Lead.

Nancy Powell, HP’s UK&I Sustainability Lead

“As part of our efforts to support local communities and narrow the digital divide, we recently worked with the Tottenham Foundation to supply children leaving care in Haringey with new laptops and digital skills training,” she continues. 

HP has accelerated digital equity for more than 45 million people since 2021, and is working to reach 150 million people by 2030 through impactful programs, strategic investments and partnerships that prioritise those mostly likely to experience the digital divide.

Learners participate in digital workshop as part of HP's digital equity work in India

In 2023, this included HP supporting digital equity solutions developed by ten organisations 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.

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HP also works with World YMCA to launch Digital Hubs. Designed to support digital programming and literacy, this programme reached more than 500,000 individuals globally in 2023.

Nancy summarises: “Our hope is that by continuing to invest in digital equity initiatives, we can make sure the benefits of digital are open to everyone.”

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