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Smarter Education: How ARM is Urging a Faster Path Toward UN Sustainability Goals

By Dominic Vergine, Head of Sustainability, Arm
Sustainable Innovation

By Dominic Vergine, head of sustainability and corporate responsibility, ARM

Today the Future of Spaceship Earth report compiled by DNV GL, a sustainability adviser to business, has revealed that on the current rate of progress no country in the world will meet all of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the target date of 2030.

As a signatory of the UN Global Compact and the designer of chip technology powering 95 percent of the world’s smartphones, ARM is supporting the stark warning given in the report. The SDGs were put in place in 2015 to address the needs of people in developed and developing countries, emphasizing that no one should be left behind. This sentiment underpins all ARM does within our sustainability programs.

Technology plays a crucial role in addressing social issues and our contribution to the report highlights the need for efficient and affordable computing to be made available to all to aid education in the world’s most vulnerable communities.

The term Spaceship Earth was popularized by R. Buckminster Fuller, a former Mensa president, who said: “If you want to teach people a new way of thinking, don’t bother trying to teach them. Instead, give them a tool, the use of which will lead to new ways of thinking.” We believe that thought can be extended into the global role technology must play in education. The percentage of the world’s population that remains unconnected is decreasing, even in the least connected area, Sub-Saharan Africa, more than 60 percent of the population has access to a mobile – and devices are becoming increasingly affordable.

We believe education is the key to unlocking a truly sustainable future. Spreading education everywhere is increasingly about giving a decent level of access to technology. With smartphones now selling for as little as $25 and a mini-computer, such as the ARM processor-powered Endless Mini for less than $80, mobile-inspired technologies are now entering classrooms around the world and it’s becoming easier to imagine an end to digital poverty.

To inspire young people and equip them with the skills they need, wherever they live, whatever their background, we work closely with our sustainability partners and practitioners across a range of educational initiatives.

The Literacy Bridge Talking Book program, jointly supported by ARM and Unicef, has rolled out portable listening devices in Ghana to deliver health, agricultural and educational information to 40,000 of the country’s most vulnerable people. We have also signed a multi-year partnership with Unicef to transform the lives of millions of children through new technology solutions.

Closer to home, we work with the BBC on the BBC micro:bit program and Code Club, a nationwide network of volunteer-led after school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.

Learn more about ARM’s sustainability programs.

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