Bridging the Global Digital Divide – Using Mobile Technology for Better Decisions in Mining and Manufacturing Contexts

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Digital connectivity is reshaping how we live, work and rest. However, the global digital divide means up to 4 billion people around the world remain largely offline due to the accessibility and affordability barriers of the internet. The effect is that these voices are underrepresented in decision-making and their feedback is rarely captured. Yet those excluded are often the most heavily impacted by the globalized economy: people who make the clothes we wear, pick the vegetables we eat, or suffer the consequences of large mining operations that source the minerals that power our cellphones.

Join us on March 27th for a session where we will share practical methods and the results of research deploying mobile technology tools based on voice calls and text messages, to connect to those most underrepresented stakeholders (community members, workers), to ensure social and ethical compliance in global supply chains and participation in environmental and social impact assessments

We will present two case studies: 1. the use of mobile information-sharing and reporting of social and environmental risk in the mining context (from Peru), and 2. the monitoring of working conditions in manufacturing factories to ensure compliance with local and international labour and human rights laws (from China and South Africa).

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue
Room 470, 580 West Hastings Street
(enter via Seymour Street courtyard entrance)
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1L6
Complimentary, RSVP required.
Please register here.

Vera Belazelkoska is the Director of Programs and Partnerships at Ulula, where she works with clients and partners from the private, public and civil society sectors in the design and implementation of stakeholder engagement and social risk assessment systems for the protection of human rights in global supply chains. Vera has directed projects in the extractive, manufacturing and seafood sectors in Peru, Mexico, South Africa, China, and is leading Ulula’s independent project on monitoring of working conditions in garment and textile production hubs in India.
Vera has 10+ years of experience in international development, where she focused on poverty alleviation, financial inclusion and education in parts of Asia, Africa, Central and South America. She was a Rotary International Peace Scholar in Argentina and holds a Masters in Political Economy of International Development from the University of Toronto. She has spoken at various conferences, such as the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Asia Inspection Ethical Compliance Conference in Hong Kong, and EDIT Expo for Design Innovation and Technology. She is passionate about leveraging accessible digital technologies to amplify the voices of workers and communities worldwide for the advancement of transparent, responsible and ethical business operations.
Ulula is a software and analytics platform that helps organizations monitor human rights abuses across global supply chains, leveraging accessible digital technologies. Ulula is a social enterprise based at the IBM Innovation Space in Toronto, and was recently awarded the Best Social Enterprise by InnovateTO. Ulula is one of two ventures funded by Working Capital – a venture fund by Humanity United that accelerates supply chain innovations to enable corporations to operate more transparently and ethically worldwide.
Dr. June Francis is an Associate Professor in the Beedie School of Business and Director of the Institute for Diaspora Research and Engagement at SFU. She is the Co-Lead of Co-Laboratorio PerÚ, where she works to strengthen cross-sector collaboration and the role of universities as engaged development and innovation partners, for inclusive growth. Her research interests lie at the intersection of development, poverty alleviation and international business, with a specific focus on collaborative governance and inclusive business strategies related to natural resources sector, gender and racialized inclusion in governance and nontraditional intellectual property law related to community well-being and cultural and human rights.
Previous work also included evaluating the determinants of export success for information technology and high technology firms. June won the Canada Trust Teaching Award 2014 for teaching excellence. A former player with the Jamaican netball squad, June has coached the BC netball team to the Canadian tournament. June is currently a member of SFU’s Board of Governors, The Hogan’s Alley Working Group and the Board Co-chair of the Hogan’s Alley Society. Co-Laboratorio PerÚ is a multi-year $1.5Million project funded by Global Affairs Canada through the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute, CIRDI. Co-lead by Dr. June Francis and Dr. Kristina Henriksson, Co-Lab PerÚ strengthens cross-sector collaboration, learning and innovation —for more inclusive resilient solutions in resource sector governance, policies and industry practice. The Co-Lab works with private, public and civil society partners in Peru and Canada, embedding activities with local universities.
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