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World Summit on the Information Society


British Council participation

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The UK participation event

On 22 May 2003 the British Council hosted the UK's official participation event for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The event provided delegates with an opportunity to learn more about the Summit and to explore and develop ideas for continued involvement. The report below contains an outline of the day's events with links to more detailed information. [Please note - the linked documents have been posted as received from facilitators and rapporteurs.]

Welcome and introduction by David Green, Director General, British Council
David Green, the British Council's Director General, welcomed delegates and underlined the British Council's commitment to the concept of the Information Society and its significance in today's world. He went on to describe some current British Council activity in the fields of information and knowledge. To read David Green's speech click here.

A view from the Summit organisers by Pierre Gagné, Executive Director, World Summit on the Information Society
Keynote speaker at the event was Pierre Gagné, the Summit's Executive Director. His talk, preparing for the Summit on the Information Society, gave a comprehensive overview of the issues and challenges surrounding the Summit. To read Pierre Gagné's speech click here.

M. Gagné also provided a useful timetable of Summit activity. Click here to view the timetable.

The event continued with a series of short presentations from representatives of the DTI, DfID, DfES and FCO on key issues from a government perspective. A range of sector-specific workshops followed these plenary sessions. Taking the overall theme, 'Preparation for the Summit', participants had the opportunity to develop a shortlist of key issues and desired outcomes relevant to their own specific sectors:

To read about outcomes from these sessions please click on relevant link above.

After lunch, during a series of workshops on core issues and opportunities, delegates worked in multi-disciplinary groups on the following topics:

    The trust agenda - the importance of trust and confidence as a prerequisite for the further development of the information society.
    The enabling environment Group A and The enabling environment Group B - the role of governments/regulators in building competitive frameworks to enable business investment, and creating widespread access to the information society; the role of new business models and community based initiatives; and the role of multi-stakeholder partnerships in delivering infrastructure and other projects to build digital opportunities.
    Building capacity: skills, content and applications Group A [awaiting document] and Building capacity: skills, content and applications Group B - focusing on ICT enhanced learning; developing capacity for creative local content; strengthening human, institutional and organisational capacity building and capacity for research and development.
To read about outcomes from these sessions please click on relevant link above.

During her concluding remarks, Grace Kempster, Director Information Services Management at the British Council thanked delegates and speakers for their high quality contributions. She expressed the hope that people would feel informed and empowered by the event and would now take the initiative in developing their own responses and activities leading up to the Geneva Summit in December 2003 and beyond to Tunis in November 2005.

For further information about the Summit and related activity use this link to view a factsheet containing relevant websites and contacts.

List of participants at the event.

For further information please contact Sue Hughes or Russell Drury.

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