ITU Telecom World 2011 sets new paradigm for top-level networking,
High-level dialogue on broadband culminates in
‘Manifesto for Change’
Geneva, 27 October 2011 – The 40th anniversary edition of
ITU Telecom World closed its doors today after three intensive days of
high-level networking, knowledge exchange and deal-making.
Over 330 world leaders, including Heads of State, Heads of Government,
Ministers, national ambassadors, heads of regulatory agencies, and CEOs from
around the world, came together for the event, which saw debate and interaction
on a broad-reaching global agenda spanning everything from broadband to
connecting cities, harnessing innovation and next-generation wireless advances,
and featured live participation from around the world.
The event was preceded by an invitation-only Broadband Leadership Summit
which sought to tackle the many complex issues raised by broadband deployment,
from the challenges of infrastructure financing in poorer nations and isolated
regions to cybersecurity, data privacy and intellectual property rights.
“As we accelerate towards a ubiquitous high-speed future, international
dialogue is essential to ensuring we take the right decisions, learn from one
another’s experiences and avoid having to re-invent the wheel. ITU Telecom World
plays an increasingly central role in forging best practices that the public and
private sectors can draw on when defining and deploying the networks that will
offer best quality affordable service to all users,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré,
The Summit closed by addressing a
Broadband Challenge to world leaders, top policy-makers,
industry leaders, users and consumers as part of a Closing Conversation
moderated by CNN’s Becky Anderson.
The Challenge underlines the need for concrete policy measures to promote
broadband, stresses the fundamental importance of making content meaningful to
individuals at a real-life, local level, and calls on world leaders,
governments, industry and civil society to work together to ensure that at least
50% of the developing world’s population, and 40% of its households, are using
broadband Internet by 2015.
In his closing remarks, Carlos Slim Helú, President of the Carlos Slim
Foundation and Co-Chair of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital
Development, pointed to the past decade’s explosive growth in mobile as offering
a potential roadmap for broadband take-up. He cited the success of the prepaid
model in Latin America as an innovative alternative to large-scale top-down
investment, in addition to affordable devices and low-cost universal access
through WiFi in public places, schools and libraries.
New levels of interactivity
This year’s repositioned event included a comprehensive Forum programme
featuring new streams, such as a Digital Cities programme focusing on how
technology can help meet the challenges of increasing urbanization, and an
in-depth Technical Symposium for CTOs and ICT engineers.
A new-look show floor highlighted opportunities in emerging markets across
Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. “Just being able to connect
with Ministers from around the world, from developed and developing
countries…it’s been a great chance to engage and learn,” said Omobola Johnson,
Nigeria’s Minister for Communications Technology. “Coming from a country like
Nigeria, it’s a great opportunity to see what the new technologies are, what the
new applications are, and how we can use these in Nigeria,” she said.
To bring the whole world into the event experience, new levels of
interactivity were assured through extensive webcasting, online polls, a
metaconference involving 10,000 schoolchildren worldwide, and competitions for
Young Innovators and Digital Innovators offering prizes of CHF 8,500 seed
funding to help winners to turn their project concepts into reality.
“Youth are the future, and nowhere is this more true than in our
fast-changing industry, where innovation is being driven by a new generation of
‘digital natives’ for whom ICTs are a natural and intrinsic part of the world. I
have no doubt that many of the 45 young innovators ITU has hosted this week will
go on to big things, and help further reshape our digital world in ways my
generation cannot even imagine,” said Dr Touré.
Innovation was the byword of this year’s event, with showcases by event
partners including Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, China Mobile, China Potevio,
Cisco, Datang, Du, Ericsson, Etisalat, Fiberhome, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NTT
Group, NTT DoCoMo, Qtel, Rohde & Schwarz, RIM, Satorys, Swisscom, Telkom SA,
Turk Telecom, TDIA and ZTE.
“Innovation, by definition, is the future of our industry – and seeing some
of the exciting ideas being worked on by the Young and Digital Innovators
attending ITU Telecom World 2011 this year has shown how innovation is now truly
global,” said Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed Al Thani, Chairman of the Qtel Group.
“The event has been an excellent showcase of some of the creativity, passion and
drive needed to create real change.”
New players from established and emerging markets were also showcased on the
many national pavilions including Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Burundi, China, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ghana, Geneva, Switzerland,
Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malawi, Malaysia, Namibia, Nigeria, Poland, Qatar, Russia,
Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and Zambia.
"Russia has a long and proud tradition in the telecommunications industry,
from Alexander Popov's first practical application of radio waves to the current
day," said Igor Shchegolev, Russia’s Minister of Communications and Mass
Media. "ITU Telecom World 2011 has enabled us to showcase the fact that Russian
companies are at the very forefront of new developments in the industry, and has
opened doors to new markets and investment."
Engage, Collaborate, Connect!
Over 55 Forum sessions featured Ministerial Roundtables, workshops and
interactive panel discussions, with participants encouraged to put forward their
questions via range of multimedia platforms.
The opening session, ‘Pathway to a Connected World’, kicked off in landmark
participatory style with chair Nik Gowing of the BBC drawing on the opinions of
a distinguished and diverse panel from the public and private sector, including
Stephen Conroy, Minster for Broadband and the Digital Economy, Australia;
Russian Minister Igor Shchegolev; John Davies, VP of Intel Corporation’s World
Ahead programme; Jianzhou Wang, Chairman of China Mobile, the world’s largest
mobile operator; and ITU’s Dr Touré.
Joining the audience in Geneva were thousands of participants from around the
world, who were able to actively take part in the event through live webstreams
and put real-time questions to panellists through a very active twitter feed.
Panellists agreed that there is no one-size-fits-all universal solution to
broadband deployment. What works in one country may not work in another, so the
important element is a common, shared vision and a good regulatory framework,
Senator Conroy noted that broadband is “too important to hope it will appear,
it needs leadership from governments and also the ITU. Leadership is the key for
Focus on youth
Other highlights of the event included National Days for Ghana, Malaysia and
Nigeria; a video message by President Laura Chinchilla of Costa Rica, Patron of
ITU’s Child Online Protection initiative, reinforcing the importance of online
security for young people; and the announcement of the six winners of the Young
Innovator and Digital Innovator competitions, which brought 45 finalists from 22
countries to Geneva for training in how to pitch their innovative projects to
The winners, who were voted for by delegates in Geneva and around the world
via online polls, were:
Young Innovators category
Sanniti Pimpley (India) with a project to help urban youth
learn while on the bus to work, through onboard screened content.
Fab-Ukozor Somto (Nigeria) with the MS2C (Mobile Skills to
Cash) texting service that matches NGOs, private companies and public sector
opportunities to text-messaged skill-sets of citizens seeking work.
Richard Seshie (Ghana) co-founder of Gas'Yo!, a project that
helps make delivery of gas more efficient in the last mile of distribution,
thanks to mobile apps.
Digital Innovators category
Jian Min Sim (Singapore), whose project involves developing
a mobile app that gives volunteers the information they need to stay safe and
Hasjra Bibi Cassim (South Africa) for Showmemobi: a mobile
app that shares South African stories through film and helps lift people out of
Andrew Benson (Sierra Leone), for Digital Hope, a service
that uses digital tools to empower amputees to sell their own home-made goods.
“The ITU Telecom World 2011 Young Innovators workshops provided a bridging
effect to actually help you migrate your idea from theoretical concepts to
something that is useable practical and feasible. The fact there was such a
diverse mix of people from different backgrounds and different perspectives
turbo-boosted the thought process, so that the ideas we came up with as a group
were amazingly wonderful,” said young innovator Komborerai Murimba from
Meanwhile, in the ITU Telecom World 2011 Metaconference, children as young as
nine years old were among the first to challenge speakers on the Forum panels
with their own views, thoughts and video prototypes of ideas that could help
solve the problems posed by ITU Telecom World 2011 delegates. Using Twitter to
share their ideas with panel chairs who relayed their messages, students were
thrilled to see that their voices had a global impact.
Manifesto for Change
The culmination of the event was a global Manifesto for Change that
recognizes the importance of broadband for socio-economic development. Compiled
with the help of event partner Ernst & Young, the Manifesto draws on input from
delegates and online participants, capturing multi-channel knowledge flows from
around the world. ITU will now be encouraging world leaders to commit themselves
to put in place the necessary legal and regulatory frameworks to help the
private sector implement this change.
“Any good development programme starts with a dream from a leader,” said
ITU’s Dr Touré. Once that dream is shared with the people it becomes a vision.
You then need people who believe in that vision and can implement it. We have
dreamed this dream together and it has now become a vision – and now we need to
take the necessary steps so that we move together . . . we are entering the
Knowledge Society, where every citizen not only has access to information but
can use information, create information and share information. In this new
world, no person on the planet should miss out on opportunities through lack of
Next stop Dubai!
The next ITU Telecom World event will be held in Dubai, UAE, in Q4 of 2012.
Key event statistics
Over 6,500 top-level participants onsite including Heads of
State and Government, Ministers, city mayors, industry CEOs and technology
gurus, along with hundreds of thousands of participants from
around the world interacting in real-time via webcasts and twitter streams
332 global leaders participating in the Broadband Leadership
34 of the world’s major ICT names participating in the event
as key partners
251 influential speakers from 64 countries took part in the
multi-streamed conference agenda
237 companies from 41 countries on the show floor
324 accredited media from around the world, including major
global broadcasters, news agencies, national newspapers and ICT press
10,000 students from schools across the globe, who shared
their work with 150,000 of their classmates across five continents.
Archived webcasts of selected ITU Telecom World 2011 sessions are available
Photos, videos, blogs and Daily Highlights of the event are available at:
ITU Telecom World 2011 event activities can be found on Facebook at
www.itu.int/facebook and through the @ITU_News twitter account #ITUworld11.
For more information, please contact:
Head, Communications and Partnership Promotion,
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU