The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is on from 22 to 25 February at the city’s trade fair facilities in Gran Via, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. As well as mobile technology, the event is a chance to make headway in terms of the socio-economic return for the city’s population. The MWC is expected to have an economic impact on the metropolitan area to the tune of 460 million euros.
Barcelona City Council is to take advantage of the upcoming Mobile World Congress to seal its ethical and social commitment with the electronics industry and the communications sector. “We understand technological innovation is a chance to make progress in other areas beyond mobile phones, such as social, education and environmental spheres”, explained the Mayor of Barcelona.
The move complements work by City Council to help nurture the economy for information and communications technology (TIC) and mobile technology in the city. As an example, this year’s edition sees ten companies incubated at Barcelona Activa facilities get their own stand at the 4 Years From Now (4YFN) event. Likewise, of 60 Catalan businesses present at the Catalonia pavilion, 37 received support from this municipal organisation.
Less of a digital divide and more socio-economic return
This edition of the congress signals support for programmes to reduce the digital divide. The aim is to facilitate citizen access to ICT, fostering related knowledge and correct use. Guided tours have been scheduled for beginners, opening the MWC up to new collectives, as well as new municipal employment schemes which feature digital inclusion measures.
City Council is also moving to increase the socio-economic benefit from the congress for the city’s population as a whole. An agreement is due to be signed with the Taula d’Entitats del Tercer Sector de Catalunya (Catalan Third Social Sector Organisation) to roll out a programme of action and technological applications to serve the needs of social entities.
As the world mobile capital, Colau made reference to Barcelona’s commitment to making technological development compatible with respect for social and environmental rights. According to Fira de Barcelona, the Mobile World Congress generates 13,000 temporary jobs and has an economic impact of 460 million euros on the metropolitan area.