Better access to education and healthcare top aspirations for the next 30 years
‘Connecting people’, ‘new ways of learning’ and ‘enhanced communication’, seen as top benefits of the web so far
To mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, over 1000 survey respondents from across the UAE shared what the Web has made possible for them today, and what they hope it will make possible for future generations.
Whilst the web has delivered many ‘firsts’, from the first website (info.cern.ch – 1990) and the first online banking (Stanford Federal Credit Union -1994), to the first Internet connection in space (Cisco – 2010), people’s ambitions for the Internet’s future overwhelmingly highlight what it can make possible for society.
Enabling ‘better access to education’ tops the list of respondents’ aspirations for the future of the Internet (68%), followed by enabling ‘better access to healthcare’ (61%).
Based on a survey of respondents across the 7 Emirates, the findings showcase the enormous impact that the World Wide Web, as the largest application on the Internet, has had in connecting people and information, over the last 30 years.
-The last 30 years: The number one thing the Internet has made possible for people in the UAE is to ‘keep in touch with family and friends’ (72 %), followed by ‘providing a source of entertainment’ (68 %) and ‘staying up-to-date and informed’ (61 %).
Respondents selected the education sector (40 %) as the primary beneficiary of technological advances to-date, followed closely by the entertainment industry (39 %).
According to the survey, the Internet is 10% more likely to have affected the way in which the over 55s work (53%) in comparison with 16-24 year-olds (43%).
-The next 30 years: Most respondents in the UAE would like the Internet to deliver ‘better access to education’ (68 %), followed by better access to healthcare (62 %).
When asked which industries will benefit most from technological advancements, the top choice was ‘education’ (35 %) followed by ‘healthcare’ (34 %).
–Most popular impact: ‘Connecting people’ (35 %), ‘new ways of learning’ (31 %) and ‘enhanced communication’ (28 %) are seen as the top three ways in which the web has benefited society to-date.
The age group most thankful to the Internet for creating new ways of working was the over 55s (31%), compared to 23% of 16-24 year-olds, born into the Digital Age.
-We can’t live without it: Over a third (39 %) of people can’t imagine being able to function in their jobs without the Internet. A further 38 % believe that people born before the Internet have a better appreciation for its benefits.
-Making truly global conversations possible
If the web has become a place of inclusion, the hashtag has become a marker of social allegiance; an opportunity for global communities to rally around the causes they believe in. From movements to support women’s rights and equality with the UN’s #HeForShe, or #BringBackOurGirls and the #MeToo campaign, to enabling people to be a part of something bigger by helping fund crucial research with the #ALSIceBucket which raised $115 million for crucial research.
-Opening our minds to the possible
Approximately 500 European institutions provide short courses and entire degree programmes at a distance, which when combined with advances in technology are creating opportunity in never before seen ways for the previously excluded – whether in remote Indigenous communities in Canada and Australia or for women in Africa to study IT.
Opening up the possibilities of industry
Whether it’s retail, financial services, manufacturing or healthcare, the web has made accessing their services easier and simpler. It continues to create more opportunities, such as omnichannel retailing, allowing online and offline experiences to work together as one, so we can expect even more possibilities in the next 30 years
“By 2022, we are going to see more traffic crossing global networks than in the entire history of the Internet combined. This traffic comes from all of us, and increasingly, our machines. …organisations – be it in healthcare, education, or any other industry – must be able to understand the power of connections and securely extract value from them. In addition, they need to manage the complexity that comes with the explosion of connecting people, places, ideas and things across a network,” said David Meads, vice president, Middle East and Africa, Cisco.