Promotional image of the Barcelona conference for digital inclusion
BCN Ciutat Digital

Barcelona Conference for Digital Inclusion: Bridging Gaps for a Just Digital Transition

Today, not being connected to the internet, not having access to quality devices or not having the necessary skills to do so means being more vulnerable, losing access fundamental rights and not being able to fully participate in social life.

Nearly three years after the Covid-19 pandemic, we can safely affirm that the digitalisation of an increasing number of basic activities is  here to stay. Access to the internet and digital technologies is no longer an accessory that is nice to have, but rather an essential requirement to perform daily activities, such as following online education courses, looking for a job or interacting with public administrations.

When we speak about the digital divide, we speak about a new divide that deepens pre-existing social, economic and cultural inequalities, but we also speak about differences among the Global North and Global South, and among rural and urban areas. This divide has multiple dimensions: not only does it involve connectivity, but also quality devices and skills. These three key pillars are needed for people to be able to make the most out of digital technologies in a critical way.

Therefore, when we speak of digital inclusion, we must also speak about all of the above, and we must do so together with the other stakeholders who are working to promote it: from local civil society initiatives to municipal and State-level policies, to Giga, the UN’s programme to connect every school in the world to the internet.

On 1 December 2022, Barcelona City Council, Giga (Unicef – ITU), the Mobile World Capital Barcelona and the Cities Coalition for Digital Rights are organising the Barcelona Conference for Digital Inclusion at Ca l’Alier. This open event aims at bringing a wide variety of voices working on digital inclusion at different levels to jointly discuss how we can move towards a just and people-centered digital transition.

*The Conference will not be streamed

Would you like to attend? Register by filling in this form.



Barcelona Conference for Digital Inclusion: Bridging Gaps for a Just Digital Transition

09:30 – 10:00    Registrations

09:50 – 10:00    Institutional Photography 

10:00 – 10:30    Opening Keynote

  • Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor for 2030 Agenda, Digital Transition, Sports and Territorial and Metropolitan Coordination, Barcelona City Council
  • Christopher Fabian,  Giga Co-Lead (Unicef)
  • Oleg Polovynko, Chief Information Officer, Kyiv City Council

10:30 – 11:30    Panel on Digital Inclusion: "Beyond access to technologies: inclusion for a just digital transition"

  • Cecilia Robles, General Director for the United Nations, International Organisations and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Government of Spain
  • Laia Bonet, Deputy Mayor on 2030 Agenda, Digital Transition, Sports and Territorial and Metropolitan Coordination, Barcelona City Council
  • Gina Tost, Secretary for Digital Policies, Government of Catalonia
  • Francesc Fajula, CEO, Mobile World Capital Barcelona
  • Moderator: Alex Wong, Giga Co-Lead (ITU)

11:30 – 12:00    Coffee break

12:00 – 12:45   "Local and global initiatives to bridge the digital divide"

  • Michael Donaldson, Chief Innovation Officer, Barcelona City Council
  • Aditi Poddar, Government Engagement and Programme Implementation, Giga (Unicef)
  • Manon Reniers, Smart City Project Coordinator, City of Brussels
  • Ricard Faura, Director of Digital Inclusion and Capacity Building, Government of Catalonia
  • Moderator: Paula Boet Serrano, Project Manager Digital Rights & Inclusion - BIT Habitat– Barcelona City Council

12:45 – 13:30    "Tech for inclusion: what technological solutions are being deployed to bridge the digital divide?". Led by Digital Future Society

  • Therese Jamaa, Vice President Huawei Spain
  • Fernando Vilariño, Associate Director - Computer Vision Center & President of the European Network of Living Labs
  • Jordi Cabau, CTO Saltó Group
  • Naroa Zurutuza, Giga Tech Lead
  • Moderator: Montse Guàrdia, Mobile World Capital Barcelona

13:30 – 15:00    Lunch

15:00 – 16:00    "Research and public-private partnerships to bridge the digital divide"

  • Patricio Reyes, Researcher, Barcelona Supercomputing Centre
  • Pilar Roura, Project Manager, Barcelona Activa
  • Svetlana Velikanova, CEO, Harbour.Space
  • Jessica McGhie, Senior Manager, Communications, IHS Towers
  • Paul Landers, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Connect to Learn, Ericsson 
  • Moderator: Isabella Longo, Project Director, BIT Habitat, Barcelona City Council

16:00 – 17:00    "A policy agenda for digital inclusion: what needs to change?"

  • Adrià Cuenca, Lead Social Innovation & ICT - m4Social, Association of the Social Sector Organisations of Catalonia
  • Federica Bordelot, Senior Policy Advisor, Eurocities
  • Nuria Borrut Valdivias, Coordinator employment and economic activity, Department of Neigbourhood Planning, Barcelona City Council
  • Pontus Westerberg, Programme Management Officer, UN-Habitat
  • Moderator: Marc Pérez, Digital Innovation Lead, Barcelona City Council

17:00 – 17:30    Closing

  • Michael Donaldson, Chief Innovation Officer, Barcelona City Council

Programme of the Barcelona Conference for Digital Inclusion (PDF)

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