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The fully networked human? − Innovations for future networks and services
ITU Kaleidoscope event, Cape Town, South Africa 12 December 2011
Deputy Director General, Department of Communications, Republic of South Africa, Mr. Gift Buthelezi, representing H.E. Ms Dina Pule, Minister of Communications, South Africa
Professor Francis William Petersen, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering & the Built Environment at the University of Cape Town
Professor Mitsuji Matsumoto, Global Information and Telecommunication Studies, Graduate School of Waseda University, Japan
Mr Graeme Allan, Executive- Network Infrastructure Provisioning, South Zone, Telkom SA Ltd
Our distinguished chairman, Dr Mostafa Hashem Sherif, AT&T, USA
Ladies and Gentlemen
Colleagues and friends

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to the 2011 Kaleidoscope Academic Conference in such a lovely campus in the beautiful city of Cape Town.

Firstly, I would like to thank the Department of Communications of the Republic of South Africa, without whom this event would not have been possible.

Many thanks are also due to our host, the University of Cape Town, and to our generous sponsors: Telkom South Africa, Nokia-Siemens Networks, and Research in Motion.

Let me also express my gratitude to our partnering organizations: Waseda University (Japan), the French University of Egypt, the National School of Information Sciences (Tunisia), the Institute of Image Electronics Engineers of Japan, and the Association of African Universities.

And to our technical sponsor IEEE.

Before I say a few words on this year’s event, I would like to show you a short video illustrating how the standards produced by ITU help connect the world.

VIDEO – “Standards in Action”

As you will have seen we ITU is active in many fields such as climate change. The last two week ITU led an ICT Coalition at COP17 where we succeeded in raising the awareness of the significant role ICTs can play in mitigating and adapting to climate change. Also with ensuring our standards provide for persons with disabilities and we have a Focus Group looking at accessibility of audio visual media.

ITU’s interoperable, non-discriminatory international standards are clearly global tools to improve economic and social welfare.

At the last Kaleidoscope in India, I stressed that standardization is the key to ensuring that ideas are turned into reality. This year I can add that academia’s participation in our standardization work will gives it many more ideas and add much greater value.

Since the beginning of this year Universities are able to join ITU and I am very pleased to report that we now have 25 academic institutions members of the ITU standards sector, and many more about to join.

ITU’s membership of 193 member states and over 700 private-sector entities represents an extraordinary opportunity for academics to bring their ideas to life through standardization, raise the profiles of their institutions and uncover potential sources of future funding.

Perhaps more importantly, Academia’s participation in the standardization process will ensure those that create innovation play a formative role in determining how their innovations are reflected in standards and public policy.

Academic membership is available with a fee structure affordable to academic establishments in developed and developing nations, CHF4000 and CHF2000 respectively, and we encourage you to make use of this opportunity to meet experts from the ICT industry, governments and regulators from around the world.

This is the fourth Kaleidoscope Academic Conference, and the first in Africa, and we continue to look into the future, with the theme: “The fully-networked human? – Innovations for future networks and services.”

Today, we have a wealth of technology available to us, and what is now most important is that we apply this technology in a way that makes our lives easier, simpler and more convenient.

Human-centric technology, as it has come to be known, is intrinsically designed to place its user at the centre, with virtualized networks, other IT resources, services and applications, automatically adapting to the specific circumstances of the user.

Having ICT adapt and respond to our activities as we perform them, or to our preferences as we form them, will better synergize our physical and digital worlds; ensuring a simpler, more personalized engagement with ICTs we are using ever-more frequently.

A key element in the development of Human-centric ICT networks is the ITU’s Internet of Things (IoT) Global Standards Initiative, This takes into account technologies such as Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN), Near-field Communication (NFC), and Radio-frequency Identification (RFID.

ITU welcomes and encourages Academia’s participation in debates surrounding all of our work. This year’s Kaleidoscope attracted many excellent submissions, which will surely provide fuel for an illuminating debate on the future of ICT.

84 papers were submitted for peer-review, and 30 were selected for presentation at the conference. What is particularly encouraging is the proportion of these papers originating in developing countries. This show the potential there is for innovation in developing countries, something ITU is encouraging.

This selection of papers is published in both IEEE Xplore Digital Library and the Kaleidoscope proceedings which you have all received on CD, and I must thank those who undertook the difficult task of selecting the papers most-deserving of presentation.

A prize fund totaling USD 10,000 will be awarded to the authors of the three best papers.

Young Author Recognition certificates will be issued to young authors presenting their ideas, and two BlackBerry PlayBooks will be donated to the presenters of the two best ranked papers among the recipients of these certificates.

In addition to this conference, there are many ways in which you can stay involved with ITU and its work. For example:
  • Become a member of ITU.
  • Follow and participate in our Technology Watch initiative, in which we very much encourage the contributions of academia and research institutes.
  • Attend, free of charge, our ITU workshops, where we advance existing work areas and explore new ones.
  • ITU also offers remote participation in its major symposia, seminars and workshops; allowing one to participate in an event, avoiding the financial and environmental costs of travel.
  • Download our ITU standards from our website free of charge.
  • We also have a new Q&A s section on the web where you can post a question on any area of our work… and get a response from one of our many experts.
Finally I would just like to say a word on Kaleidoscope’s Jules Verne Corner, which is dedicated to science-fiction writers, those dedicated technophiles who dare to imagine the potential of today’s technology and articulate visions of its implications for our future. The Corner’s theme this year is “The chip in the Brain” and, when we consider the potential of human-centric technology, this may soon be a case where science-fiction soon becomes reality.

I thank you all for contributing to the Kaleidoscope series of events, and I hope that this and future Kaleidoscopes remain the exciting and informative events they have become.

Thank you for your attention. Please enjoy the conference.

 

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Updated : 2011-12-13