On Thursday, the World Food Programme (WFP) recognized Hans Vestberg, the Chief Executive Officer of Ericsson and a United Nations Foundation Board Member, with its Hunger Hero award for Ericsson’s “pioneering work providing telecommunications solutions in support of humanitarian response.” This is a much-deserved recognition of Vestberg’s and Ericsson’s commitment – and results – in addressing global issues.
Vestberg has been more than a strong partner to the UN on humanitarian and development issues; he’s been a leader in harnessing the resources and expertise of the business community to help the UN and others advance global solutions to disaster response, poverty, hunger, climate change, and other challenges.
Ericsson supports the work of humanitarian relief agencies, including WFP, through its employee volunteer “Ericsson Response” program, which deploys personnel with telecommunications expertise to support disaster response efforts. To date, the program has assisted in more than 40 relief efforts – from the Ebola crisis to the devastating typhoon in the Philippines.
In addition, Vestburg is a founding member of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and a member of the Leadership Council of the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Vestberg provides an example of the kind of leadership we need to create a world where no one is left out of global progress.
Our challenges, from the largest refugee crisis since World War II to disease outbreaks and food insecurity, will not be solved by governments alone. Nor will we seize the opportunities to create jobs, improve livelihoods, and protect the environment unless we fully engage the private sector. Vestberg provides an example of how it can be done and what a difference it can make.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked CEOs to help “drive action to achieve a life of dignity for all people.” Hans Vestberg is showing how it can be done.