26 February 2024, Golden Hall, Casa Llotja, Barcelona:  The GTWN celebrated our 2024 theme Digital Generation and our ongoing commitment to Digital Inclusion for All at a stellar reception during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event brought together veteran TMT executives together with mentees and up and coming leaders from around the world.

(L-R) Candace Johnson, FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez, Michele Merrell, Ana Lattibeaudiere, Lucy Lombardi, Victoria Hernandez, Laureen Cook, Leticia Latino, Dora Petranyi, Isabelle Paradis

GTWN International Board Members, Victoria Hernandez (GTWN President Europe), Michele Merrell (GTWN North America President), Laureen Cook (GTWN Co-Founder), Lucy Lombardi, Leticia Latino, Candace Johnson (GTWN Founding President) Ana Lattibeaudiere, Dora Petranyi  (GTWN Board Member), Isabelle Paradis were on hand to welcome each of their guests individually.

The GTWN/MWC Welcome Reception is always considered the “hottest ticket in town” and this year was no exception.  Highlights included: Keynotes of GSMA CEO and Board Member Mats Granryd and FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez;  the Honors Roll Call of corporations and individuals who had answered the GTWN’s Call to Action for Digital Inclusion launched at MWC 2023;  as well as introductions to the authors which contributed to the 2024 edition of the GTWN’s magazine The Mobile Century. The evening was truly one of excitement, engagement, and thought leadership for the digital tech industry.

In his keynote, GSMA CEO and Member of the Board Mats Granryd paid tribute to the GTWN International Board Members’ action-oriented, “can-do” approach to using technology in their professional and personal endeavors to bring about change for the good of humanity, our planet, and our universe.   He also thanked the GTWN for their dedication to our industry over more than 32 years.

Mats Granryd

FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez highlighted the important contribution to digital inclusion made by the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) which provides affordable high-speed internet options to qualifying households across the U.S. Funding for the program, which is administered by the FCC, is projected to be exhausted by April 2024 unless legislation is passed by Congress to provide $US 7 billion in additional funding.

FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez

Following on this inspiring speech, GTWN International Board Member Ana Tavares and GTWN Call to Action Lead Director introduced other outstanding women who have made significant contributions to bringing about Digital Inclusion for All:  Mia Thomson, Founder and CEO of “unconnected.org“; GSMA head of Pakistan and GTWN Mentee of Candace Johnson, Saira Al Faisal for her work in Pakistan;  and GTWN Co-Founder Janice Hughes’ mentee Kamila Sadiqi, whose Foundation is working to bring education back into the lives of young Afghani women who have been excluded from study by the Taliban.

(L-R) Saira Faisal Syed, Kamila Sadiqi, Ana Lattibeaudiere, Mia Thomson, Claire Sibthorpe

A special mention was made to Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Digital Inclusion in Mobile for Development Team at the GSMA, for her tireless work in promoting Digital Inclusion for All and the ground-breaking initiative bringing together CARE, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the GSMA.

(L-R) Candace Johnson, Ana Lattibeaudiere, Claire Sibthorpe

We were thrilled to have our two co-sponsors of the evening, COLT Technologies and the Vusion Group present their respective work to overcome the digital divide. COLT is providing connectivity infrastructure in the most unconnected areas of the world, while Vusion Group is  bridging the digital divide between physical retail stores and e-commerce with their technological solutions for positive commerce.

Vusion Group CEO Thierry Gadou

Colt Technology Services CCO Annette Murphy

Dora Petrayani, CMS Global TMT Co-head and GTWN International Board Member introduced this year’s Mobile Century magazine on the theme of Digital Generation and introduced some of the authors from around the world who contributed to it.  The GTWN is proud to have CMS as its publication partner for The Mobile Century for the third year.  The publication features inspiring articles on all aspects of digital generation: generative AI, one of the big themes of the Mobile World Congress;  the perspectives and aspirations of digital natives; and also how digital tech is being used on a global scale to generate change.

(L-R) Dora Petranyi, Victoria Hernandez, Isabelle Paradis, Letitia Latino, Maria González Gordon, Candace Johnson, Eva Talmacsi, Michele Merrell, Saira Faisal Syed, Claire Sibthorpe, Angela Kung, Ana Tavares Lattibeaudiere, Dr Mona AlFedily, Lucy Lombardi, Carlotta Barone-MacDonald