Innovation has been recognized as a powerful engine for development to address social and economic challenges and steer global concerns for policy makers and citizens alike. Innovation is also essential to accelerating digital transformation and fosters the sustainable growth for the digital economy. BDT Innovation service supports ITU memberships to foster digital transformation through ICT entrepreneurship and increased ICT innovation in the ICT ecosystem, while encouraging empowerment of grassroots key stakeholders and creating new opportunities for them in the telecommunication/ICT sector. This also includes building a culture of innovation in the ITU membership to foster ICT entrepreneurship, ICT SMEs, startups creation and scale-up. The ITU Office for Europe is specifically tasked such needs through the Regional Initiative for Europe on ICT-Centric Innovation Ecosystems defined at WTDC-17.
This year’s Innovation track@WSIS Forum provided a unique opportunity for high-level dialogue, cooperation and partnerships among telecommunication/ICT policy-makers, regulators, industry, academia, regional and international development agencies and organizations on specific actions undertaken at the regional level strengthening the impact of the ICTs on the sustainable development. A primary outcome of the Innovation track@ WSIS Forum were three session report that captured future steps in accelerating Digital Transformation from 3 perspectives
• Good Practices
• Innovation Ecosystems Implementation tools
• Funding Policy for high impact sustainable flagship projects
All sessions of Innovation track@WSIS Forum were held in Room C1, ITU, Geneva
09:00 – 10:45 Session 1: An Insight into ICT-Centric Economic Growth, Innovation and Job Creation (Live Webcast)
This session focused on findings from the book "ICT-centric economic growth, innovation and job creation", written by leading scholars and experts from around the world, aimed to address the challenges and opportunities offered by ICTs in the areas of innovation, governance, education, job creation and economic growth
11:00 – 13:00 Session 2: Good Practices for Accelerating Digital Transformation (Live Webcast)
This session focused on the successful actions taken by stakeholders including universities, major industry players and international entities to leverage ICTs in all socio-economic sphere through innovation. The practices behind each successful case were discussed in a guided exercise format.
14:30-16:15 Session 3: High level session on Digital Transformation (Live Webcast)
This session focused on building vibrant ICT Ecosystems taking into consideration country experiences illustrated by high level representatives of Member States. It discussed possible ways of further strengthening international collaboration in the field of Digital Transformation through ICT-Centric Innovation. This session was an opportunity for launching two country Digital Innovation Profiles (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia), one Country Review (Moldova), a publication on Innovation Practices in Europe and the ITU report “Bridging the Digital Innovation Divide: A Toolkit for Strengthening ICT Centric Innovation Ecosystems” (now available in all 6 UN languages).
16:30 – 18:15 Session 4: Financing Mechanisms for Accelerating Digital Transformation (Live Webcast)
This session focused on a key requirement for building vibrant ICT Ecosystems - funding. The discussion was around investing in and funding of bankable projects for sustained development with immediate and long term measurable socio-economic impact.