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Massive technological innovation on an unprecedented scale is probably one of the key decisive developments of the past decades. To highlight the importance of this development, many speak of a “technological revolution”, making reference to the the industrial revolution, which abruptly changed the course of history.

Technological innovation occurs on a variety of different levels and with different purposes. Sadly enough, a lot of technological innovation is attributed to military research - high-tech weapons systems are a big market. A positive side effect of this are so called “spin-offs”, military inventions that are turned into civilian goods - implantable hearing aids, rescue drones, or the Internet are just a few examples.

But technological innovation also happens in other sectors, such as medicine, transport, communication and IT. For young people, the vast penetration of mobile phones and increased access to the Internet is certainly one of the most relevant technological developments today. An internet connection - fixed or mobile - allows anybody to access any type of information almost instantaneously and connects people from all corners of the world. Of course, this has a tremendous impact on how we communicate with each other - emails, social media platforms and video chats are the new mail, faxes and telephones.

Technological innovation can greatly contribute to the economic, social and political development of countries. Access to the Internet empowers everyone - to young people it offers increased opportunities to participate in community life and make their voices heard, be it via online tutorials, job portals or social media campaigns. Yet, in 2015 only 40% of the world population have ever connected to the Internet. It’s our duty to push for affordable Internet access for everyone and raise awareness among peers on how to become responsible digital citizens.

Researching issues connected to technology, you might want to check out these resources:

UN Conference on Trade and Development - Science and Technology for Development

International Telecommunication Union - Children and Youth

Brookings - Center for Technology Innovation

Voices of Youth - Citizens

Web Top Ten - Top 10 Tech News Sites

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