This year’s Telecom World event convened by the ITU and hosted by the Hungarian Government from 9th-12th September in Budapest was one of the most interesting and useful such events in recent years. The Forum programme contained many thought provoking presentations and discussions, and the government’s hospitality was generous, featuring an inspiring musical evening and a drone display over the Danube. There was also a very diverse exhibition, with particularly impressive displays from China about the Digital Silk Road.
The UNESCO Chair in ICT4D was delighted to participate in and contribute to several sessions. In particular, David Banes was a speaker in an important session on Accessibility matters: dismantling the barriers of disability with technology on 12th September. This session noted that technology can enable better access to health, education, government services and the job market for all those affected by disabilities, but also asked what more can be done, in both emerging and developed markets? It explored how existing solutions can be scaled and adapted, and sought to identify whether there is a business case for digital inclusion solutions?
Our Chairholder (Tim Unwin) also moderated two sessions, on Diversity by design: mitigating gender bias in AI and the launch of the ITU-CISCO Digital Transformation Center Initiative, as well as speaking in the Huawei sponsored session on Fixed wireless technology for affordable broadband development. These provided a good opportunity to highlight the work of the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D and also our TEQtogether initiative changing men’s attitudes to women in technology.