​​​Connecting the unconnected and enabling digital transformation requires partnerships, financing, technology, regulation and innovation, global cooperation, and, above all, Leadership.

Throughout history, the greatest leaders have successfully set direction, maximized efforts, and mobilized people and resources towards attaining a vision. Bringing the remaining 3.7 billion people online is part of ITU's vision of a world where no one is left behind and where the power of ICTs can be used to lift many out of poverty and build more inclusive societies. 

This session of the Road to Addis Series focused on Leadership as a driving force to achieve digital transformation and universal connectivity. Held as part of the program of ITU's Global Symposium of Regulators (GSR) 2021, the world’s pre-eminent gathering of ICT regulators since 2000, the session inspired not only members of the ICT regulatory community, but also the general audience by featuring leading figures from different sectors who will share valuable lessons in accomplishing the unimaginable.

The session answered​ the following questions:

  • What constitutes a great leader and what are the skills required from the leaders of the future?
  • ​What kind of leadership is needed to enable the digital transformation of an entire planet?
  • What leadership lessons can be applied for solving the universal and inclusive connectivity challenge by 2030?
  • What does it take to guide people in accomplishing the unimaginable?

The event was highly interactive with youth participation, online chat and Q&A from the audience, a session illustration, as well as videos, and polls.

The session was hosted by ITU and moderated by David Kirkpatrick, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy Media. ​

Are you a policymaker, regulator or Sector Member of ITU-D? Learn more about GSR and register for the full program at

Find the video showcased during the session here:



David Kirkpatrick
​Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Techonomy Media​
Biography »​​​​​


​​Doreen Bogdan-Martin BDT Director
​​Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
Biography »
​​​Rula Ghani
​Yolanda Cuba​
MTN Group Vice President for the Southern and East African (SEA) MTN markets​
Biography »​​​
​​​Rula Ghani
​H.E. Rula Ghani
First Lady of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan​
Biography »​​
​​​Lady Marieme Jamme
Lady Mariéme Jamme
​Founder and CEO of iamtheCODE, Pioneer in System change, Technologist and SDG GoalKeeper. ​Member of Generation Connect Visionaries Board​
Biography »​​
​​​Ursula Owusu Ekuful
​Hon. Ms Ursula Owusu-Ekuful
Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Republic of Ghana
Biography »​​
​​​Dr Ram Sewak Sharma
​​Dr R​S Sharma
Former Chairman, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)
Biography »​
​​​Stephen Spengler
​​Stephen Spengler
ESOA Chairman & CEO of Intelsat​​
Biography »​
​​Badri Younes
​​Badri Younes
Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Communications & Navigation, NASA


Ali Al-Toblani

​Young Leader, ITU Generation Connect, Bahrain
Biography »​​​​​​


Francis Xavier Inyangat
​​​Young Leader, ITU Generation Connect, Uganda
Biography »​​​​​

Sofia Valle
Young Leader, ITU Generation Connect, Brazil​​​​
Biography »​​​​​​​ ​​


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Illustration Finance.jpg


​​lollipops_4.pngLead​​​2Connect​: Redefining Leadership and its Role in Connecting the Unconnected

22 June, 2021, 13:00 – 14:30 CEST​​

Zoom webinar
The ​webinar was delivered in English with simultaneous interpretation in the five other UN languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish and Russian). LIVE English captioning ​​was provided.