Wednesday, November 01, 2006

IGF 2006: PICISOC Workshop - ICT to Achieve MDGs

The PICISOC organised workshop was on Wednesday afternoon. Having done the workshop round over the past 2 days I was a bit worried that we may have limited numbers in attendance. However I was pleasantly surprised to get the headcount. A peak of around 80 attendees which makes it one of the better attended ones (some I went to organised by some "big names" had less than 10 in attendance).

We had a good and diverse line-up of speakers, something which I worked hard at in the limited time I had in pulling speakers together. Of course, we had our superstar, Vint Cerf, who kindly agreed to participate, and I guess some came just to hear and interact with him ;)

Other speakers included Bria McElroy from the Centre for Women and IT from the University of Maryland who very kindly agreed to come at very short notice, Keith Davidson from Internet NZ, Alex Ntoko from ITU, Mike Johnstone from Samoatel, Luke Phipps from VIA Technologies and Tai Purcell. Jovan Kurbalija from Diplo moderated the session whilst I chaired it. I started off with an introduction of the theme and what we hoped to achieve followed by Vint sharing his thoughts on the theme. We then launched into each speaker sharing their thoughts and a round-up by each. With the limited amount of time available for the workshop, there was only so much we could do with the workshop. At the very least, I hope we stimulated a bit of discussion on the topic and stakeholders continue this in the future. My emphasis was that we need practical outcomes and solutions, not philosophical ones (there is a tendency to have too much philosophical crap when it comes to the needs of small island and developing states). Where we go from here remains to be seen.

My slides from the workshop are available here and an audio recording of the workshop is available here (with thanks to Franck). The quality in the first half is a bit suspect, but improves in the second half, once some issues were ironed out.

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