Committed to connecting the world


WTIS-17 - Programme




Day 1: Tuesday, 14 November 2017
​09.00-09.15 Opening of the exhibition
0​9.30-10.00Opening ceremony
10.00-10.30 Group picture and coffee break
Plenary Session 1: Fostering a healthy investment climate with better data

This high-level session will bring together technology leaders, telecommunication regulators and national statisticians to discuss how the increased availability of comparable and quality data can support the formulation and implementation of public policies that help foster a healthy investment climate, especially in developing countries that are still struggling to fully benefit from ICTs. In many of these countries, there is a lack of data and information on many aspects of the national economy and society, including the state of ICTs, making it more difficult to support sound public and private decision-making on policies and investments. This session will highlight the importance of developing investment-friendly policy frameworks and the role of better data in signaling areas for potential market growth.

In particular, the session will address the following questions:

Moderator: Mr Cosmas Zavazava, Chief, Projects and Knowledge Management Department, ITU - [biography]

Keynote: Mr Bowei Gai, Founder, World Startup Report - Presentation (pdf) - [biography]


​12.30-14.30 ​Lunch break
​14.30-16.00 Plenary Session 2: Big data for measuring the information society

The statistical community has recognized the potential of big data for official statistics, as well as for increasing impact by better targeting ICT investment efforts. The use of big data will bring a number of benefits including more cost-effective production of timely, relevant, and new official statistics. However, in order for these big data benefits to materialize, issues related to methodology, technical resources and capacity, data access, data protection, and data privacy need to be addressed.

This session will showcase the results of the ITU pilot project on big data for measuring the information society.

In particular, the session will address the following questions:

Moderator: Alexandre Barbosa, Head of the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (, Brazil and EGH Chair - [biography]

Keynote: Louis DiCesari, Head of Big Data Implementation, Vodafone Group - [biography]


16.00-16.30​Coffee break
16.30-17.30​ Tutorial: Data visualization and big data analysis tools

Brief interactive tutorials on open-source and/or commercial tools for visualization and big data analysis.

Moderator: Tatiana Jereissati, Coordinator, UNESCO Projects, Brazilian Network Information Center (, Brazil - [biography]
Demos: Crowdsourcing ICT data
(Room: Amphitheatre Cesar)

Series of demos on innovative initiatives to crowdsource the collection of ICT- related data.

Khopotso Mtwazi, Director, Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services, South Africa - [biography]
​19.00      ​ ​Welcome Cocktail


Day 2: Wednesday, 15 November 2017
​09.30-11.00 Plenary Session 3: Measuring the Information Society Report 2017

For the ninth consecutive year, ITU will publish the Measuring the Information Society Report. It features the latest ICT Development Index (IDI) and its global and regional analyses, highlighting progress made by countries as well as persistent digital divides. This year, the report will include country profiles of ICT developments. The report will also feature a chapter on emerging ICT trends such as artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and smart devices. This session will present the main findings of the report, focusing on the results of 2017 IDI, followed by a question and answer session.

Moderator: Johannes Bauer, Chair, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University and Associate Editor, Telecommunications Policy - [biography]

11.00-11.30Coffee break
​11.30-12.30 Plenary Session 4: New data needs for the digital economy
The evolution of technology is rapidly changing the way people live, communicate and do business. In the increasingly digital world, ICT skills are ever more important for accessing information, buying goods and services, and finding a job. New digital services constantly emerge, granting consumers and producers closer access to the global markets. At the same time, the ICT sector adds to global environmental challenges. E-waste constitutes one of the fastest growing streams of physical waste in today’s global environment. New statistical needs emerge to track these trends and to support the development of evidence-based policies, in particular for the digital economy.

During 2017, the Expert Group on Household Indicators (EGH) has strengthened its role as the key international standard-setting body for measuring ICT access and use by households and individuals.

This session will feature:                

Moderator: Linah Ngumba, Senior Statistician, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Kenya and EGH Vice-Chair - [biography]


​12.30-14.30 ​Lunch break
14.30-15.30 Plenary Session 5: New metrics for broadband and cybersecurity

As ICTs reach even higher levels of uptake worldwide, policy-makers are beginning to look beyond ensuring equitable access and focusing on promoting sustainable use and maximizing impact. As a result, one of the emerging challenges in measuring the digital economy is tracking the intensity of use, especially of broadband technologies. In parallel, as ICTs permeate a wider range of social and economic activities, the need to build confidence and security in the use of ICTs emerges as a key challenge to support ICT developments. Thus cybersecurity is an important albeit under-quantified building block of today and tomorrow’s information society.
Over the past year, the Expert Group on Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (EGTI) has stepped up a gear in its efforts to update the ICT metrics collected from the supply-side and keep abreast of the latest ICT developments.

This session will feature:                 

Moderator: Mansour Al Shehry, Market Study Specialist, Communication and Information Technology Commission, Saudi Arabia - [biography]


​15.45-16.00 ​Coffee break
​16.00-17.30 Lightning Talks: Country Experiences

​Countries share their experience with the collection of ICT statistics. Topics discussed include coordination, ICT skills and big data for tourism statistics and e-commerce​.

Moderator: Ebrahim Al-Haddad, Regional Director, ITU Arab Regional Office - [biography]
Lightning Talks: Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development
(Room: Amphitheatre Cesar)

The Partnership will host a session on tracking the digital economy. The Partnership Task Group on ICT for the SDGs will present the work on developing a thematic list of ICT indicators to measure ICT availability and use in sectors relevant to the SDGs that are not covered in the global SDG indicators framework.

Moderator: Aulia Astagina Ramadhani, Head, Multilateral Affairs, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Indonesia - [biography]

Day 3: Thursday, 16 November 2017
​09.30-10.30 Plenary Session 6: Measuring emerging ICT trends

As ICT networks worldwide fully digitalize and converge, a vision for a hyper-connected future emerges, one where the spread of innovations inartificial intelligence, big data, IoT, and cloud computing are improving the quality of lives worldwide. However, these innovations risk creating new digital divides. To ensure that everyone shares equitably the potential benefits of these new technologies, there is a need to understand and measure these new divides.

This session will introduce these new technologies and discuss emerging statistical challenges related to monitoring their development. The session will also highlight the uneven level of adoption of these new technologies in different regions of the world, and propose ways to accelerate their uptake and bridge these new divides.

In particular, the session will address the following questions:                  

Moderator: Jinqiao Chen, Deputy Chief Engineer, China Academy of  Information and Communications Technology, China - [biography]

Keynote: Johannes Bauer, Chair, Department of Media and Information, Michigan State University and Associate Editor, Telecommunications Policy - Presentation (pdf) - [biography]


10.30-10.45  Coffee break
​10.45-11.45 Plenary Session 7: Smart data for smart sustainable cities (SSCs)

With the explosion of urban populations, providing public services efficiently and sustainably is becoming an increasingly important challenge. ICTs are helping to meet this challenge by unlocking the potential of digital data to make cities smart and sustainable.
This session will discuss the public policies needed to promote smart and sustainable cities and look into indicators to measure their development and operation.
In particular, this session will address the following questions:

Moderator: Mohamed Hamdi, Director of Innovation, El Ghazala Communication Cyberparc, Tunisia - [biography]


​11.45-12.30Plenary Session 8: Transforming emerging technologies into economic opportunities with better data

The emergence of new technologies such as big data, IoT, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence will usher in an era of ubiquitous computing and automation that will radically transform human societies. These technologies represent new and exciting economic opportunities but they can also bring about significant economic displacement. With the future fast approaching, businesses, governments, and citizens worldwide need to begin the crucial conversation over how to ensure shared prosperity within individual countries and between developed and developing regions worldwide.

This multi-stakeholder panel will review insights from the various sessions of WTIS-17​ that shed light on the policy challenges related to balancing the economic gains and losses from the coming widespread adoption of big data, IoT, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. Panelists will share their main take-away messages from the Symposium and make suggestions for key topics to be addressed by WTIS-18.

Moderator:  Cosmas Zavazava, Chief, Projects and Knowledge Management Department, ITU - [biography]

​12.30-14.30 ​Lunch break
14.30-16.00Presentation of Chair’s summary and conclusions
​16.00-16.30 Closing ceremony