CONFERENCE: Global Alliance for ICT and Development, Oct 21-24, 2008, Yerevan, Armenia

Posted on 11 September 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Events and Conferences, Opportunities, technology | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

[Note: this is not a disability-specific conference. However, it could be an opportunity to introduce a disability perspective to non-disabled participants. Inquire directly with the conference organizers, NOT We Can Do, regarding options for making the conference accessible to people with disabilities or other inquiries.]

Title: Global Innovation Forum for Education and Development
Organized by: UN GAID, UN e-Leaders Committee, Athgo International, Ministry of Economy – the Republic of Armenia

Location: Yerevan, Armenia

Focus: ICT innovation in the areas of access, connectivity, and relevant local content development

Dates: October 21-24, 2008

The Global Innovation Forum for Education and Development provides a platform for several hundred young people across the globe to advance their causes toward achieving the MDGs through ICT. Area experts from the private and public sectors and selected young participants are invited to showcase their successful ICT practices and highlight new innovations and new ground-breaking business models and methods that successfully address the development needs in different societies.

The forum is set to encourage young people to get engaged in, and develop and propose new ICT initiatives that innovatively advance local communities in various emerging regions.

First, the forum will concentrate on the basic tools that facilitate the creation of innovative solutions, particularly, systematic and quality educational opportunities. Currently, proper education is not widely available in developing regions, thus slowing innovation and hampering the implementation of existing ICT. Consequently, the forum will focus on ways to improve educational opportunities and quality through ICT, specifically focusing on building ICT skills among young people. To this end the impact of access, connectivity and relevant local content in meeting educational and analytical needs will be examined and methods to overcome the obstacles discussed and presented.

The second part of the forum will highlight some of the best practices in the areas of ICT access and connectivity with a special attention on the impact of appropriate local content to ensure sustainable development.

Each participant will have the opportunity to engage policy makers, experts and his/her peers to draft innovative solutions to ICT development and implementation challenges. On the final day, the young participants will showcase their plans in innovation panels. The proposals will be evaluated by leaders in government, the private sector, and civil society, and will be showcased at the conference closing ceremonies.

Panel focus and objectives
Panels will focus on three ICT elements (access, connectivity and local content) in two different contexts:
1. Education for Innovation in the 3 ICT elements
2. Innovation for Development in the 3 ICT elements
The panels will also include discussions about innovative financing for new innovations and demonstrate creative ways of including young people in the process of innovation and implementation.

Expert Panels: in each of the panels, the discussions should include and highlight the benefits that ICT brings to the educational sector (examples: access to global databases for new ideas and existing best practices, complex problem solving, group project collaborations, extensive teacher training through simulations, education system management, etc.), which in return heightens the innovation (more talented ICT professionals, increased demand, modernization) that ultimately leads to sustainable development (ICT adaptation and systematic usage, simplification of economic complexities, diffusion of new tools in various sectors of economy, new partnerships, entrepreneurial developments)
1. Access: Education – Innovation – Development
2. Connectivity: Education – Innovation – Development
3. Local Content: Education – Innovation – Development

Broad questions to address:
• What are the biggest challenges to building capacity in LDCs, especially for young people?
• How do you encourage human capital investment in ICT, without guaranteeing job growth?
• How can we ensure that ICT education is continual and does not become obsolete in a world where technology changes weekly?
• How is the educational process improved by ensuring access/connectivity/local content to ICT? Is the efficiency element the biggest winner or is it the enhancement in knowledge sharing that takes the prize home?
• How do we bring the richness of Web 2.0 to LDCs in a cost effective way?
• What are the missing resources to translating innovation in access, content and connectivity into results?
• How best developed integrated ICT networks in areas that lack the basic infrastructure, namely power resources and skilled human capital?
• How can we, using existing and already deployed hardware in LDCs, SIDS, and rural areas, improve ICT access?
• What are the latest developments in ICT connectivity that allow for wider areas of coverage?
• In areas impacted by natural disasters, how does content help the recovery process?
• How can we improve access and connectivity in areas where infrastructure has been damaged by disaster?
• How does devoting more resources to ICT4D help solve development issues such as governance, health, and climate change?
• How does advancement in ICT translate into development progress in the above areas?
• How do we encourage and promote innovation in LDCs, especially where the benefits of education are diminished by brain drain?
• How do we address problems like brain drain and other barriers to encouraging and supporting human capital investment in ICT fields?
• How do we increase absorption capacity, especially in LDCs where other development challenges have yet to be resolved?

Room DC1-1464, One United Nations Plaza, New York, N.Y., 10017
Telephone: (1-212) 963-5796 Fax: (1-917) 367-4340
e-mail address: Website address:

We Can Do received this conference announcement via the Global Partnership for Disability and Development email discussion list.

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