Reclaiming ICTs for Development @ITU #WSIS2017

  • Laura Monti
  • Digital dividends, Future scenarios
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Empowering the Poorest and Most Marginalised

To coincide with the recent publication of my new book entitled
Reclaiming Information and Communication Technologies for Developmen
(Oxford University Press, 2017), the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D is convening a workshop on Friday 16th June from 11.00-12.45 in ITU Room Popov 1 at the 2017 WSIS Forum being held in Geneva.  

The key premise of the workshop is that the global spread of ICTs has increased inequality, and that the poorest and most marginalised have therefore failed sufficiently to benefit.

The workshop will explore whether the continued focus on the ways through which ICTs can contribute to economic growth will inevitably lead to ever increasing, and dangerous, inequality, and will make recommendations as to how different stakeholders can best ensure that the poorest and most marginalised can indeed benefit from their use.  It begins with short provocative statements by six high-level panelists (see below), and then the collective wisdom of participants will be used to create a map for the future actions that are necessary for a radical rethinking of ICT4D, that may empower the poorest and most marginalised – women and girls in patriarchal societies, people with disabilities, children living and working on the streets, the elderly, the sick, refugees…

The session will also provide a platform for the launch of OUP’s new book “Reclaiming Information and Communication Technologies for Development.”

It is being convened by the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D, which focuses on research and policy impact, focusing especially on empowering the most marginalised through the use of ICTs.

Panellists will be:

  • Alex Wong (Head, Global Challenge Partnerships & Member of the Executive Committee; Head of the Future of the Internet Global Challenge Initiative, World Economic Forum) on The power of partnership
  • Dr. Bushra Hassan (School of Psychology, University of Sussex) on The wisdom of marginalised women
  • Charlotte Smart (Digital Policy and Programme Manager, Department for International Development, UK) on The delivery of donors
  • Michael Kende (Senior Advisor, Analysis Mason, and former Chief Economist of the Internet Society) on The trust in technology
  • Nigel Hickson (VP IGO Engagement, ICANN) on The design of the domain name system
  • Torbjörn Fredrikson (Head of ICT Analysis Section of the Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD) on The energy of entrepreneurship

This text was syndicated with permission from Tim Unwin’s blog.

Tim Unwin @TimUnwin is the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D and Emeritus Professor of Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He was Secretary General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) from 2011-2015, and was Chair of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission from 2009-2014, having been a Commissioner since 2004. He serves on the ITU’s m-Powering Development Advisory Board, the UK Department for International Development’s Digital Advisory Panel, the UN University – Computing and Society International Advisory Board, and the World Economic Forum’s Internet for All initiative’s Steering Committee.

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