By 2022, 500 million internet users in India will come online for the first time via their mobile phones - the “Next Half Billion” (NHB).
They will be living more of their lives online, not just to communicate and keep themselves entertained, but also to access essential services like healthcare, education, employment, training, shopping, and government benefits.
Digitization is an invaluable tool in addressing the development needs of the country faster, better and cheaper. To create a thriving digital society, we need to enable every Indian to feel empowered and safe when she is online, reap benefits from technology, and face minimal harm from its risks.
To do this, we need to address the visible or invisible risks the NHB faces online. We need better privacy, protection from cybercrimes, inclusion of vulnerable groups (e.g. disabled, elderly), recourse from financial frauds, authentic information, and transparency of influence over one’s outlook.
Only when we design solutions to tackle these risks, can we build a sustainable and empowering digital society for India’s NHB.
The Digital Society Challenge is a funding program for bold innovators who are creating solutions to make the internet safer for the Next Half Billion, such that online risks are better addressed and the NHB can communicate and transact more freely online.
Winning proposals will receive funding from Omidyar Network India.
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