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Past Program

Sep 03 - Sep 10, 2003

Digital Inclusion: Confronting the Information Gap

ASC 32

Abstract

More and more, global resources are being allocated to information and communication technologies. Realizing that ICT is not the answer to many basic needs such as education, healthcare, and the environment, it nevertheless has the potential to facilitate many solutions to those needs. Significantly, ICT can be seen and used as a force for equalizing opportunity and well-being that lessens the socio-economic divides between regions, nations, and cultures. In September 2003, the Salzburg Seminar will convene an international group of ICT decisionmakers and project managers to review ICT progress, promote best practices, and energize individuals and organizations dedicated to ICT development for wellness, learning, and commerce.

Rationale With the euphoria of ICT diminished, now is an opportune moment for a reasoned assessment of what many refer to as a “revolution” in human progress. There is a need for an evaluative, thoughtful, forum different from the many conference venues where thought leaders and changemakers are convened. With the majority of the world’s populace lacking access to ICT and its benefits, there is the ongoing need for effective assessment of projects and resources that bring ICT to the people. This critical issue of access - resources, technology, and the social constructs - will be a focus of the session.

Content The session will provide 50 participants from educational, corporate, governmental, and non-governmental organizations and agencies a practical forum for discussion and shared expertise addressing many of the challenges associated with ICT development. It will explore the incidence and impact of digital divisions including the importance of developing and implementing responsive policies to foster technological inclusion.

Themes:

Increasing access through sustainable models

ICT and local cultures – challenges and solutions

Corporations as drivers of ICT

Governments - setting ICT policy, allocating resources, and assuring access

ICT advancements in wellness

Learning and ICT – a tool for education and lifelong learning

Workforce of tomorrow – job creation projects and frameworks

Topics:

Healthcare E-Govt Gender

Lifelong Learning Governance

UN World Summit on the Info Society

Format for Seminar sessions is plenary lectures by renowned faculty followed by working-group discussions and informal optional meetings. Seminar sessions are not conferences - they are much more interactive and product-oriented. Emphasis is placed on the discussion of issues and solutions rather than presentations.

Participants, or Fellows, will be action-oriented decisionmakers and project managers with experience in initiatives that target the ICT gap and have helped to close the divide.

Because of the Seminar's international reputation, admission to sessions is highly selective. For this session, the Seminar will recruit Fellows primarily, but not exclusively, from education, governments (local, national and international), business, political interests, and social welfare organizations. Geographic distribution will be widespread. Fellows are mid-career specialists and activists.

Objective: The objective of the session will be to provide an action-oriented and international forum for assessment of ICT best practices in narrowing the ”digital divide.” It will involve a select group of ICT advocates and practitioners who can focus on ICT projects that are successful in their resource allocation, sustainability, and in disseminating ICT to a larger number of constituents. Through the networks created, it is hoped that a global best practices in ICT development can be reached. Finally, an objective of every Salzburg Seminar session is to validate and inspire participants to greater change that benefits their communities and constituents.

Results: In general, the session is expected to result in a broadening of the knowledge base of international ICT development, to foster the formation of professional networks among participants, and to promote best practices in designing and implement