Technology with a purpose, a tool to push the sustainable development agenda

2 July 2019 // Karessa Ramos
Fundación Microfinanzas BBVA

“If a society is not inclusive, it is not a society; if companies do not have a social perspective, they can’t be considered ethical. And technology, without a purpose, has no reason for being.” Director for the 2030 Agenda High Commissioner’s Office Federico Buyolo, has been this resounding during the presentation of the report: “Tecnología con propósito” (“Technology with a purpose”), from the Observatorio Empresarial contra la Pobreza (Corporate Observatory against Poverty), where BBVA is one of the members.

The study reflects the potential of digital tools for Spanish companies to have a greater social impact and aims to be an inspiration so the whole society could participate in such a change, so necessary for the people and the planet. “The 2030 Agenda needs innovation and creativity so that no one is left behind”, Buyolo said.

This innovation and creativity could only come from partnerships, an important cornerstone in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The last among them is precisely dedicated to such partnerships, as an indispensable turning point to achieve the other 16 objectives. “The SDG are an opportunity to create shared values. Jointly exploring the journey towards development could end poverty and build a better world”, guaranteed the director for the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), Aina Calvo.

“Jointly exploring the journey towards development could end poverty and build a better world

Because of this, BBVA Microfinance Foundation, which impacts 11 SDG through its efforts, is subscribed to various strategic partnerships that drive its mission to promote the sustainable development of entrepreneurs under vulnerable conditions in Latin America. This is also made possible, thanks to new technologies, allowing its products and services to reach more people, as efficient as possible. This is reflected in the above-mentioned report by BBVAMF director for Analysis & Research, Giovanni di Plácido, and it has been reiterated by director for Technology and Data, Joao Costa, during his intervention, “connectivity must be as important as education, because there is a direct relationship between poverty and lack of connection.”

Data and Technology director for BBVAMF, Joao Costa, during the presentation of the report “Tecnología con propósito”

As a matter of fact, the report states that technological solutions must be tailored, accessible, affordable and adapted to the target population. Along these lines, Costa said that “the contents generated online have to add value and improve the lives of people.” Something that Di Plácido enhances in the report, “as a foundation, in our digital strategy, we create solutions that are sustainable in time and are truly helping people.”

More than 10 years ago, BBVA decided to dedicate all of its banking experience to people living under vulnerable conditions, to create opportunities where there are none. This decision was named: BBVA Microfinance Foundation. Today, having disbursed USD 12 billion in productive loans and having served more than 5 million people in Latin America through its six microfinance institutions, the Foundation is an example and an international reference when it comes to shared efforts to fulfill the main mandate of the 2030 Agenda: leave no one behind. AECID director also made it clear that when addressing development, the private sector cannot be ignored, “The 2030 Agenda says so: we’re either in this together, or we achieve nothing.”