The stage is set for the United Nations World Data Forum, coming up in Dubai on 22-24 October, and all signs indicate that it will be an exciting, innovative and productive event for the global data community. Data leaders from national statistical offices, NGOs, the private sector, academia and international organizations are fully mobilized to collaborate on tackling data gaps and challenges, launching new initiatives and identifying mechanisms to increase financing and support for better data for sustainable development.
Frontier technologies are innovative and often grow fast, with the potential to transform societies, economies and the environment. In recent years, we have seen examples of this in the form of artificial intelligence and machine learning, renewable energy technologies, energy storage technologies, electric and autonomous vehicles and drones, genetic engineering, as well as cryptocurrencies and blockchains. These frontier technologies can help eradicate hunger and epidemics, increase life expectancy, reduce carbon emissions, automate manual and repetitive tasks, create decent jobs, improve quality of life and facilitate complex decision-making processes. In other words, these technologies can make sustainable development a reality, improving people’s lives, promoting prosperity and protecting the planet.