Vanu CEO Shares the Opportunities and the Challenges of the Rural Last Mile at UN Global Solutions Summit
November 9, 2018
Earlier this summer, Vanu, Inc. was asked to participate in the Global Solutions Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, themed “From the Lab to the Last Mile: Technology Deployment Business Models for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” The event convened more than 450 participants, including scientists, investors, entrepreneurs, students, NGOs and UN officials to discuss how to scale the deployment of proven, cost effective technology solutions to reach the tens, if not hundreds of millions of people in need of them.
Speaking on a panel titled “ICT for the Last Mile,” Vanu’s CEO Andrew Beard shared how the company is working to address the technologic, economic and behavioral challenges that have traditionally held back wireless network connectivity in rural areas of developing countries.
While acknowledging the challenge of creating new solutions to long-standing problems, Beard stressed the immeasurable socioeconomic benefits that providing connectivity delivers to populations that currently lack coverage. It has long been maintained that connectivity has a positive impact on a community’s healthcare, education and economic growth. Multiple speakers at the Global Solutions Summit highlighted the necessity of wireless coverage, in particular access to electronic payment systems that may serve as an economic engine or enable access to critical services like electricity and clean drinking water in developing regions.
Both an encouraging and humbling experience, Vanu is honored to be among the organizations chosen to present at the 2018 Global Solutions Summit. The entire Vanu team looks forward to collaborating with the many thoughtful and innovative event participants also seeking realistic and cost-effective solutions to deployment challenges.