There’s a palpable mix of excitement and caution surrounding this year’s meeting in Davos. You don’t need to spend too much time reflecting on today’s headlines to see that the rapid pace of digital transformation merits a global discussion – at the highest levels – on how real people experience technological change.

Technology is a transformative force for good. But there are risks.

Technology is transforming our lives, changing the way we learn, work, interact with others and get access to all types of services. But amid the myriad benefits of digital technologies, there are potential risks to well-being, where those lacking digital literacy—a blend of technical, emotional, and social skills—fall behind. I’m encouraged by the conversations I’ve had with leaders and policymakers assembled in Davos this week. It’s clear to me there’s a real sense of shared responsibility concerning the stakes involved in this rapid reconfiguration of how society functions.

A rising tide lifts all ships.

Connecting millions to the digital economy is a task that can’t be accomplished alone. Technological benefits such as improved access to education and health information are met with challenges such as weakened social connectedness, persistent digital divides, the spread of disinformation and increasing threats to cybersecurity. We take the relationship between the risks and benefits of technology seriously. Our new partnership with the OECD Centre on Well-being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity (WISE) shows how working together in new ways to prioritize our collective well-being can help deliver a healthy, prosperous, and safe digital life.

Joining forces with the OECD to study well-being in the digital age

Grounded in the OECD Well-being Framework and aligned to Cisco’s CDA pillars, our joint initiative will present existing and emerging OECD data and examine the complex nature of digital transformation via the Digital Well-Being Hub.

The hub will also feature an interactive platform to gather new statistics and people’s insights on digital well-being, including the impact of the digital divide and inequalities in the uptake and use of digital technologies.

The OECD has already done plenty of groundwork

The OECD WISE Centre Director Romina Boarini has already established the starting point for our partnership. She notes, “The OECD has a long tradition of work supporting policy makers, helping them better understand digital transformation and develop appropriate policies to help shape a positive digital future. Our initial report, ‘How’s Life in the Digital Age,’ highlighted the benefits and challenges of digital transformation, from enhanced access and productivity to issues like the digital divide and personal security threats in people’s everyday life and workplace. Our partnership with Cisco helps us take the next step in broadening what we know about the interplay between technology and life to enrich our understanding of well-being in the digital realm.”

“The OECD has a long tradition of work supporting
policy makers, helping them better understand digital
transformation and develop appropriate policies
to help shape a positive digital future.”

—Romina Boarini, OECD WISE Centre Director

Cisco offers connections and experience to the partnership

Our goal is to connect more people to the digital economy and foster digital inclusion across the globe. We‘re driven by the belief that everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they come from or where they are today, deserve the opportunity to be connected to the digital economy, now and in years to come.

From my position as Chief Innovation Officer, I see with my own eyes, the way Cisco works with governments, industry, education institutions, non-profits, and community leaders. Decades of experience through our Country Digital Acceleration and Networking Academy programs uniquely equips us to partner with organizations and communities to connect the unconnected and build a more inclusive future for all. This partnership taps into Cisco and OECD’s expertise in understanding and mitigating risks, unlocking the value of digitization to ultimately improve digital well-being, power safe inclusive communities and resilient economic development. We are excited for the work ahead.

The year ahead

The partnership will launch its ‘Digital Well-being Hub’ in the second half of 2024. In November, we’ll participate in the OECD’s World Forum on Well-being where we’ll be part of conversations addressing the value of well-being approaches for improving knowledge, performance and cooperation across the public, private and civil sectors in a context of societal change.

Additional Resources



Guy Diedrich, Ph.D

Senior Vice President

Global Innovation Officer