Introducing our 444 goals
Our ‘444 Goals’ means Four Focuses in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. “444” Goals encompass Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion, Inclusive Growth, and R&D.
Why the 444 Goals?
New technologies are creating new opportunities for human advancement. In the same way, these new technologies bring about serious threats. There are possibilities and pitfalls. This is the biggest irony of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
From Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) to autonomous vehicles, Blockchain, drones, neurotechnologies, and quantum computing, these new technologies are disruptive and changing the way we live, work, do business, and communicate.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is widening the gap between the haves and the have not. On the one hand, the biggest gainers in this Revolution will be the providers of intellectual and physical capital. These are the innovators and investors. On the other hand, the biggest losers will be the providers of labour. These are the workers whose lives depend on labour for capital. So there are both opportunities and threats; possibilities and pitfalls, depending on which part of the divide you are.
This is why seizing the opportunities and avoiding the pitfalls of the Fourth Industrial Revolution requires that we consider moral and ethical questions as they affect our world today. New technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution will affect individual identity, models, ownership, privacy, and value creation.
Therefore, inequality may be the greatest concern in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As an IP & IT law firm in a knowledge economy and digital age, we see the Fourth Industrial Revolution as a shift from digitization to innovation at the speed of combined disruptive technologies. This shift will force companies to change their business models, which in turn will have socio-economic impacts, locally and globally. From a moral and ethical standpoint, we hope to see a world where innovators and investors of intellectual and physical capital—the gainers—help create sustainable development to benefit our world.
This is why we have come up with our Four Focuses in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (444 Goals): Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion, Inclusive Growth, and Research & Development (R&D)
In our technology-driven world today, empowering people means connecting people, including the disadvantaged, wherever they are. Every individual—rich or poor—and every community—urban or rural—should have access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This is why digital inclusion is critical.
Digital inclusion includes 5 elements:
(1) affordable and robust broadband internet service;
(2) internet-enabled devices that meet the needs of the user;
(3) access to digital-literacy education;
(4) quality technical support; and
(5) applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation, and collaboration.
At Infusion Lawyers, digital inclusion is one of our 444 Goals. Through ICT, we advocate and support the social and economic development of people especially in Africa, including persons with disabilities; women and girls; and youth and children.
With our IP & IT Advocacy Practice and our approach to the legal work that we do, we will support digital inclusion in Africa through support for digital-inclusion policies, legislation, and regulations, closing up the digital divide in communities in Nigeria and Africa. Also, with our other practice areas, we hope to use our professional-services offerings to provide the legal infrastructure that innovators in the digital space need to stay ahead.
According to the Global Index Data 2017, close to one-third of adults—1.7 billion—are still unbanked. About half of the unbanked people include women, poor households in rural areas, or individuals with no jobs. In Nigeria, only 40% of Nigerian adults have an account with a financial institution or a mobile money provider. This financial exclusion is one of the causes of extreme poverty.
According to the World Bank Group, financial inclusion will “reduce extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity”. Financial inclusion has been identified as an enabler for 7 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
At Infusion Lawyers, we support World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative. With our 444 Goals, we will support financial inclusion in Nigeria and Africa through our IP & IT Advocacy Practice and our approach to the legal work that we do in our various practice areas. We will advocate, promote, and support policies, legislation, and regulations that spur financial inclusion for economic empowerment. We will also continually develop services that will address the legal needs of innovators in the financial inclusion space.
According to OECD, the top 10% of income earners take home over ten times more pay than the bottom 10%. Also, according to the World Economic Forum (WeForum), the richest 1% of the global population controls more wealth than the remaining 99%. This is why today we do not only need growth but also broad-based growth that touches on the quality of life of everyone, including the poor, minorities, and women. That growth is inclusive growth.
With inclusive growth, we mean shared prosperity; a better place to live for everyone. Inclusive growth is economic growth that brings economic opportunities, creating jobs and reducing poverty. It means empowerment opportunity through good governance and transformational leadership. From education to healthcare, food security to safe environment, inclusive growth will improve access to essential needs. Through inclusive growth, we want to be part of projects that boost job creation, reduce the rural-urban gap, and improve the Human Development Index (HDI).
To achieve inclusive growth, we must improve sustainable human development by increasing economic opportunities. As governments focus on development planning, economic diversification, doing-business improvements, and fiscal policy reform, with our 444 Goals we look to supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), youth empowerment, and protecting local contents.
With our IP & IT Advocacy Practice and our innovative approach to the legal work that we do in our various practice areas, we will support inclusive growth in Nigeria and Africa. We will advocate, promote, and support policies, legislation, and regulations that promote and support inclusive growth towards an improved standard of living for the Nigerian or African people.
Research & Dev
In industry and technology sectors, R&D plays a significant role. While investments in R&D do not automatically result in innovation, R&D is a key component of innovation and a key factor in developing new competitive advantages. In a knowledge economy, R&D is crucial. Investing in R&D is an investment in the future. With R&D, industrialization is achieved through commercialization of knowledge such as intellectual property in a global economy that is now predominantly based on intangible assets. Largely, the new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution such as AI, autonomous vehicles, quantum computing, etc are all products of R&D.
But R&D is not cheap. Investments in R&D rely greatly on access to robust finance, strong IP systems, and state of competition.
We understand that R&D is critical to not only innovation but sustainable development as well. As companies and corporations look to developing new products or services, or improving existing products or services, R&D is critical. Also, governments should leverage R&D through universities and research institutions for economic competitiveness in today’s global economy, opening up a window of opportunities for its citizens. This way, Africa’s contribution to the global IP database will be significantly improved and Nigeria and other African countries will have improved ratings on the global innovation index.
At Infusion Lawyers, R&D is one of our 444 goals. Combining our expertise and experience in IP, we hope to help R&D labs, universities, and research institutions leverage R&D for competitiveness in the Fourth Industrial Revolution through advocacy, policy support, and special IP protection and exploitation services geared towards commercialization of IP.