You need to read the royal’s powerful address about making technology work for humanity.
Just a few weeks ago, Queen Rania Al-Abdullah made a heart-wrenching visit to Rohingya refugees living in Bangladeshi camps.
Having fled from persecution in their native Mynamar, the families the Jordanian royal spoke with seemed “hollow from shock”.
“War has overwhelmed their lives, just as it has overwhelmed the lives of millions in the Arab region,” said Queen Rania, as she relayed her experience to attendees at this week’s Misk Global Forum.
The royal joined officials and innovators such as Bill Gates at the event in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where speakers addressed the theme of “Meeting the Challenge of Change”.
And it’s a fitting time to discuss the issue, Queen Rania stated, as “our world is suffering from a scarcity of hope”.
“Never before has the need been greater for us to connect, exchange knowledge, and expand innovation.”
من كلمتي خلال منتدى مسك العالمي الذي أقيم اليوم في الرياض #الأردن #السعودية #الرياض I believe we need to reevaluate our motives behind acquiring technology. Rather than a race to the top for the privileged few, our priority should be employing technology to empower entire societies. What we need is technology with a heart – one that beats for us. We need technology that is not measured in bits and bytes, but by its ability to close the gaps that stand between us and the self-realization of our people; the security gap, the education gap, and the hope gap. From my speech today at the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh #MiskGlobalForum #Jordan #KSA #Riyadh
The refugee children she met with in Bangladesh had a “boundless ability to dream”, explained Queen Rania, however time often dminishes their positivity.
“As they grow older, their horizons narrow, closing up due to fear, obstacles, and helplessness,” Her Majesty said. “After all, a mind full of fear has no room for dreams.”
However despite the major advances in science and technology in recent years, their suffering has not been alleviated, the royal noted.
“Is it not a paradox for people to starve in the age of abundance? For millions of children to be out of school in an era of free education?” Queen Rania asked.
“For us to become disconnected from our most critical humanitarian ideals in the age of connectivity? And for us to turn our backs on and even fight diversity instead of building tolerant and safe societies?”
Instead, the royal called for a shift in the way the world views technology, urging society to “adopt technologies that add value to our lives and keep hope alive”.
“What we need is technology with a heart – one that beats for us,” Her Majesty said.
“We need technology that is not measured in bits and bytes, but by its ability to close the gaps that stand between us and the self- realization of our people – the security gap, the education gap, and the hope gap.”
Does anyone else feel inspired to completely change the world right now? Us too.
Click here to read Queen Rania’s speech in full (trust us, it’s worth your time).
Images: HRH Queen Rania/Instagram, Queen Rania Media Centre