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  • 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report

A reliable partner in the digital world

The digital revolution is changing our lives. The technological opportunities that come along with it are almost infinite. Digitalization has the potential to make the world a better place to live in – by providing easy access to information, enabling greater transparency and providing a previously unheard-of capacity to create networks. But it also bears risk. This raises many general ethical issues: How much technology is (still) good for human beings? What defines humans and differentiates us from machines and robots?

To stand still or go back are no options because the digital development cannot be stopped or even reversed. Rather, digitalization must be designed for the purposes of human beings - a task that challenges everyone: politics, economy and civil society. In addition, humans must be enabled to use opportunities and to avoid dangers. In this context we as a telecommunications company consider ourselves to carry responsibility. Grouped together under the question "Are we stumbling blindly into digitalization? We need digital responsibility!“ we started an initiative in 2016, with which we are facing our Corporate Digital Responsibility. The main idea behind this is that we have to deal with the question of exactly what shape digital responsibility is going to take.  But no one company, institution or government can mandate digital responsibility on its own. It is something that involves everyone. For this reason, we are seeking dialog with experts, opinion leaders, but also regular citizens. In our web special, we are offering information and expert interviews and during our events, we invite discussion. Furthermore, we are also engaged in numerous other initiatives and through other activities.

In order to ensure everyone can participate in the knowledge and information society, it is important that they know how to use digital media safely, competently, and responsibly. Media literacy has become a key skill. Our aim is to make sure that people know how to competently and safely use new technologies regardless of their social background or personal abilities. With our numerous projects and initiatives in Germany and Europe, we target children and young people as well as adults and people of a more advanced age.

It remains part of our social responsibility to support people seeking refuge in Germany with cultural integration and inclusion in the employment market. Our goal is to open up career perspectives for a successful new start and motivate other employers to join in. We are convinced that companies as well as politics and civil society make an important contribution to the integration of refugees into our society.

We also apply our civil duty regionally, in particular in Bonn, where our headquarters is located. There, we support the local sport with Telekom Baskets and Baskets@school, and cultural events such as the Beethovenfest Bonn and the Jazzfest Bonn. On our numerous Social Days, we give our employees throughout Germany the opportunity to volunteer for local social projects or the environment.

What makes us a reliable partner in the digital world

Digital technologies have penetrated German society like never before. This is shown in the D21 Digital Index 2017, which is promoted by Deutsche Telekom. However, the index also shows that with respect to the use of digital technologies, there are big differences between individual groups in society. Having access to modern information technologies is the basis for the ability to participate in the knowledge and information society. We are committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, background or education, can participate in digital society. That is why we are continuing to rapidly expand our infrastructure and improve transmission speeds with new, secure technology. At the same time, we use our social initiatives to reduce potential obstacles to ICT img use. To this end, we contribute our core expertise as an international ICT corporation. We develop our own offers and support partner initiatives with our expertise in this area. We have specific goals in this aspect, for ourselves as well as for our partners.

Our activities focus on the following:

Reliable partner in the digital world

Creating awareness
Supporting implementation
Strengthening skills
Creating awareness

The only way to effectively shape the digitalization process is in collaboration with the worlds of business, politics and society. We have made a commitment to promoting social dialog and are active in collaborations and partnerships to facilitate this dialog. By signing the Charter of Digital Networking we emphasize our commitment.

If the digitalization process is to succeed, it is vital that people have faith in the confidentiality of their personal data. Data privacy and data security are our highest priority, which is why we support the conscious and safe handling of personal data, for example with our online guide

The question of whether and how information and news on the Internet can be identified as "true” is also vital to ask. We have addressed this subject internally on our activity day "1001 truths - trust and opinion-forming online".

Supporting implementation

With our expertise, we support projects and initiatives that offer digital solutions for social challenges:

We are also working to further improve access to modern information technology. Within the scope of the Telekom@School initiative, we therefore offer general and vocational schools throughout Germany free Internet access up to 16 Mbit. Connections at higher speeds are available to schools at significantly reduced prices.

We also offer special rates to enable low-income customers and people with disabilities to make phone calls and surf the web at reasonable prices. More than one million customers in Germany take advantage of these special plans each year.

Strengthening skills
  •  "Teachtoday" is our initiative promoting safe, competent use of media. It supports children, young people and parents as well as teachers by offering hands-on tips and materials.
  • The free children’s magazine „Scroller“ by the Teachtoday initiative encourages children to think about how they use media and learn to co-create the digital world.
  • We strengthen competence in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics with a number of measures and programs. Many of these projects are supported by the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation.
  • Along with four other foundations, the Deutsche Telekom Foundation is a supporter of the "Education and Digitalization Forum" that intends to improve equality with digital media education.
  • With its "Yes, I can!" initiative, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung supports projects and organizations that help socially and educationally disadvantaged young people improve their personal and media skills.
  • We are also involved in the Digital-Kompassproject, which offers volunteers a platform to help seniors navigate the Internet.
  • Along with the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen (BAGSO, German Association of Senior Citizens' Organizations), we support the media literacy of older people and also support the "Golden Internet Award" for competent internet users age 60 and up. In this context, Deutsche Telekom awarded the special prize "Letting ideas grow" in 2017 to a special project that is now being supported in its implementation.
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