Skip to main content

G3ict, World Economic Forum, and Microsoft Launch New Inclusive Cities Project

G3ict, World Economic Forum, and Microsoft Partner to Help Cities Invest in and Deploy Accessible Technology for Local Government.

ATLANTA (October 25, 2021) —

G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, and the World Economic Forum, Secretariat for the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance, join forces to launch a project to help cities worldwide adopt technology procurement policies that support greater inclusion.

Under the new Inclusive Procurement Launchpad project, G3ict, a nonprofit organization leading global efforts to define how cities can be both smart and inclusive, will partner with an initial cohort of six cities to adopt the Forum’s model policy that uses the procurement process to support more accessible digital city services for all, including persons with disabilities. The first city selected for the project is Los Angeles.

"This past year has shown us the power of technology to bring us together," said Mayor Eric Garcetti. "By leveraging our purchasing power, the City of Los Angeles has an opportunity to address inequities by enhancing our digital services with more accessible content. Setting this example will not only increase digital accessibility for people with disabilities, but improve the way the City does business."

Cities worldwide are leading a digital transformation of government services and activities. They are uniquely positioned to use their considerable purchasing power, including of ICT, to advance the rights and digital inclusion of persons with disabilities and older persons. The Forum’s procurement model policy requires any ICT purchases be accessible as defined by global standards.

"Technology holds the promise to be a great equalizer among diverse urban communities—yet far too often our failure to ensure universal access to new technologies does the opposite, exacerbating and deepening existing social inequities," said Jeff Merritt, Head of Urban Transformation at the World Economic Forum. "This new partnership is an important step in helping cities leverage their purchasing power to ensure the benefits of technological innovation can reach and benefit all city residents."

"By partnering with the World Economic Forum, G3ict and its global network of expert partners will help cities like Los Angeles achieve their accessibility and inclusion goals," said James Thurston, Vice President for Global Strategy and Development at G3ict. "We appreciate Microsoft’s support in making this project and partnership a reality."

The Microsoft Corporation, in alignment with its new commitment to help reduce the digital divide for people disabilities in areas such as education, employment and access to technology, contributed to the advisory group that developed the Forum’s model policy, and is providing funding and expertise to this new global initiative.

"As cities find new ways to transform their services such as transportation or broadband access with digital technologies, ensuring accessibility and inclusive solutions are integrated is more important than ever to close a persistent digital divide. City governments are in a unique position to expand community access and participation by bringing together innovative technologies such as cloud, 5G, and IOT to provide real time information that connects people to their community and the world around them," said Dr. Julia Glidden, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector. "This new effort by G3ict is an incredible leap forward in helping cities become both smarter and more inclusive of the people they serve."

For more information about this new global initiative to support more inclusive smart cities and to learn more about help for your city, visit the G3ict Inclusive Cities webpage.


The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.

Established in June 2019, the G20 Global Smart Cities Alliance on Technology Governance unites municipal, regional and national governments, private-sector partners and cities’ residents around a shared set of principles for the responsible and ethical use of smart city technologies. The Alliance establishes and advances global policy norms to help accelerate best practices, mitigate potential risks, and foster greater openness and public trust. The World Economic Forum serves as secretariat for the Alliance.


G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. In 2016, G3ict partnered with leading civil society and industry organizations to launch the Smart Cities for All global initiative and working to eliminate the digital divide for persons with disabilities and older persons in Smart Cities around the world.


Contact: Udita Singh, Communications Manager, G3ict,