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Partnership Platform on ICT④SDGs: ICT-enabled Economic Growth, Innovation and Job Creation for Sustainable Development

The ICT④SDGs ITU Academia Partnership Platform: ICT-enabled Economic Growth, Innovation and Job Creation for Sustainable Development was organized in London, United Kingdom, by ITU with the generous support of the London School of Economics (LSE).

The event brought together some of the leading scholars and authors of the ITU Book on “ICT- centric economic growth, innovation and job creation”. This book highlights the challenges and opportunities that information and communication technologies (ICTs) bring in the areas of innovation, governance, education, job creation and economic growth. ICTs cut across all
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are enablers of growth and development. As the international community works towards achieving these goals, it is important to remember that access to ICTs is key to socio-economic as well as sustainable development.

ITU thanks the following experts for their active engagement in this event:
Dr Ahmad Sharafat, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
Dr William Lehr, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Dr Tim Unwin, Royal Holloway, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Dr Emanuele Giovannetti,  Anglia Ruskin University and Hughes Hall College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Dr George Barker, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, and Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


​Day 1


​This session will provide an overview of the digital transformation and its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus is on the impact of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digital transformation on employment and job creation for all – regardless of gender, age, race, marginalized groups and persons with disabilities. The future of work, and the need for acquiring new skills to mitigate potential disruptions in labor markets will also be discussed. Besides, the session will highlight some of the hot topics that need to be carefully and meticulously researched on an urgent basis.


Dr. Ahmad Reza Sharafat, Tarbiat Modares University, Iran

Tim Unwin, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Ms Helani Galpaya,

Dr Mike Short, Chief Scientific Advisor at UK’s Department for International Trade

Ms Janet Gunter
Co-founder and Education Lead, the Restart Project

Dr Martin Koyabe
Head of Technical Support and Consultancy Division, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

This session will highlight key factors that accelerate digital transformation in converged ecosystem with the focus on the role of ICTs as key enablers in realizing the SDGs. This session will also explore how ICT-enabled platforms can act as innovation multipliers, when adopting a multi-stakeholder approach to support innovations or even wider transformations such as forging industry 4.0 and embracing disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data and robotics by focusing on the specific socio-economic conditions and contexts.

Prof. Emanuele Giovannetti, Anglia Ruskin University and Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr. Fabian Braesemann, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, UK
Dr David Souter,
ict Development Associates, UK

Prof. Jason Whalley, Northumbria University, UK


This session will explore how governments can harness ICTs to promote sustainable development by providing enabling environments that facilitate the introduction of innovative ICT-based products and solutions in the traditionally non-ICT sectors of the economy (agriculture, health, energy, transportation, commerce, etc.). The focus is on how to actively identify and remove barriers to the development of ICT-based products and services.


Facilitator: Tim Unwin, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK


​Day 2


This session will highlight the importance of skills as key enablers for the digital transformation and the achievement of the SDGs. It will look at new skills requirements and share ITU’s capacity development efforts to address those. In particular, opportunities for academic and other institutions to partner with ITU in this field will be presented.

Presentation by:
Dr. Susan Teltscher, Head, Human Capacity Building Division, BDT/ITU

Contribution by:

Prof. David Mellor, Honorary President, United Kingdom Telecommunication Academy (UKTA)


This session uses the ITU Book titled "ICT-Centric Economic Growth, Innovation and Job Creation" and the outcomes from the previous sessions to foster a dynamic dialogue amongst the academic community, ICT-ecosystem stakeholders from the public and the private sectors, donors and development partners to explore and identify future research streams and ways forward through multi-stakeholder partnerships in a dynamic ICT ecosystem. It will also explore what are the key areas and opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaborations on joint research, which can bring the potential of ICTs for contributing to the SDGs in general, and SDGs 9 and 17 in particular; what kind of support framework(s) are needed from each stakeholder; and how to engage and enhance partnerships for implementing the digital transformation in the ICT-ecosystem.


Dr. Bill Lehr, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

Mr Bernard Yvetot, VP International Stragey, Orange

Dr Paul Hyland, Director, Bureau of Communications and Arts Research, Department of Communications and the Arts, Australia