Ravi Sharma - election statement

As Manu Castells wrote a decade ago – the Internet has become a fabric of our lives.  It follows that those who are unable to effectively leverage the Internet are socio-economically disadvantaged. My aspiration to help promote the notion of digital inclusion in New Zealand led me to  establish the Center for Inclusive Digital Enterprise (CeIDE) along with a group of like-minded collaborators to share and learn.  A recent Mckinsey Global Institute Discussion Paper (May 2019) concludes that “the development and adoption of advanced technologies … has the potential … to improve well-being … through healthier life and longevity and more leisure”. I stand for an InternetNZ that is proactive in promoting the positive potential of Internet-based platforms, services and applications in order to reduce disruption and the potentially destabilizing effects on  society arising from their adoption. Alongside, the recently announced Digital Inclusion Blueprint, this is entirely consistent with the global “tech for good” initiatives being jointly driven by governments, industry and user communities.  InternetNZ has a clear role to play in these activities.  As a member of the Council, as part of the roles and functions spelt out in the Constitution, I hope to contribute to such ideas and discussion by engaging stakeholders (such as communities and the Digital Economy and Digital Inclusion Advisory Group) to advocate and develop shared visions of Use-Cases that could be transformational in the lives of the “have-less”. 

Ravi currently works at the Information Systems Group of the University of Canterbury Business School.   He received received his higher education in Canada including a PhD in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo.  He had spent 10 years in industry as a consultant with IBM Global Services and Deutsche Telekom Asia.  His teaching, consulting and research interests are in digital strategies focused on digital transformations using design thinking and soft systems methodology. He is a Chartered Engineer (UK) and lives in Christchurch with his family.