Big Data for Social Good: How 6 billion mobile phones are social sensors to save lives

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Big Data for Social Good: How 6 billion mobile phones are social sensors to save lives

By Florence Broderick, Strategic Marketing Manager at LUCA.

Attending One Young World as a returning ambassador this year as one of the 40-strong delegation was an absolute privilege. Taking part alongside young employees from hundreds of public and private sector organizations was an eye-opener into the different professional, personal and political situations we face, depending on the country in which we work or study. 


One Young World 2016, which was held in Ottawa, is a summit that brings together the brightest young leaders from around the world, empowering them to make lasting connections to create positive change with technology.  The conference was opened on Parliament Hill by Justin Trudeau (the Canadian Prime Minister) and speakers over the three days included Kofi Annan, Sir Bob Geldof, Professor Muhammad Yunus and Emma Watson.  As you can see below, former Telefónica UK CEO Ronan Dunne also gave a keynote on the role of Millennials in socially responsible businesses:






This unique global get-together of young talent attracts over 1300 delegates from 196 countries and Telefónica sends one of the largest delegations, alongside Siemens, KPMG, PepsiCo, Unilever and ABInBev.  30 of the 1300 participants are selected by the OYW committee to give speeches within the plenary sessions, which cover Human Rights, Environment, Peace and Security, Education, Health and Global Business.  This year I was lucky enough to be selected as one of the 5 Global Business speakers to give an insight on what we are doing in Telefónica in the area of Big Data for Social Good and how Millennial intrapreneurs can drive change within companies.



Each delegate speaker was introduced by a "counselor" and I was fortunate enough that mine was James Chen, a venture philanthropist and the founder of Clearly – a global organization which brings together some of the most creative and innovative minds in the world to solve the challenge of helping the world to see by providing vision correction.

Speaking alongside young professionals from Siemens, Deloitte, Barclays and Thomson Reuters, I gave a 5-minute speech, which you can see here on the One Young World YouTube channel.  My objective was to demonstrate how large corporations like Telefónica can use their Big Data and technology (e.g. LUCA) to have a social impact, measuring progress on Sustainable Development Goals and helping governments and NGOs to deploy humanitarian response in a more efficient way.






We also gave an internal “breakout session” to 120 delegates on the power of networks in organizations, discussing how several ex-graduates in Telefónica founded the “Millennial Network”.  After presenting how we made this happen, attendees from companies such as Nestlé, BMW, UBS and Buhler have got in touch to see how we could work together in the future on social projects to have an impact in our communities.

In the external “breakout session”, I was also lucky enough to attend a Q&A with the Costa Rican ambassador to Canada where we discussed the effects of climate change and how young people and technology have a big role to play in changing behaviour and getting multinationals on board with the public sector.  After that, I joined 20 Thai delegates from the Charoen Pokphand Group at the Thai ambassadors residence where we discussed the differences in how business is done in South East Asia vs. Europe.



Young employees
Figure 2: Young employees from Telefónica and LUCA come together in Canada for One Young World.
Attending the summit this year was an honor – and with this opportunity comes great responsibility.  Telefónica is investing a great amount in young people and their development by being leaders in initiatives such as One Young World.  This year’s agenda really opened my eyes on the world’s biggest issues including the refugee crisis, climate change and extremism, and I realized that as employees of one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world, we are extremely well positioned to have an impact, doing well in our jobs but also doing good in our local and global communities.  We do not have to choose one or the other, we can indeed “choose it all”.