Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG

Speech by ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

   ITU WSIS Forum 2012 

ICT Discovery - Official Opening


15 May 2012, Geneva, Switzerland

Distinguished colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be with you here this afternoon for the official opening of the ICT Discovery.

The ICT Discovery is the place where ITU highlights the history of information and communication technologies, ICTs, and demonstrates their achievements, and how they completely have transformed our lives.

We also take a look at the future, and the wonderful opportunities that may be brought about by new technological developments that could be just around the corner.

ICT Discovery is also about the contribution that ITU has made to all this progress, from 1865 right through to the present and on into the future.

The displays here cover the history of communications from the very beginning of humanity right through to the Internet and the mobile devices we carry around today. The displays provide a snapshot of the interconnected world we live in, and the journey towards instant, global, multimedia communications in the hyperconnected knowledge society of tomorrow.

Visitors will able to interact with the displays to receive information in all six official UN languages – English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian. Exhibits showcase the work of some of our members, and there are also physical objects to examine – which you are allowed to touch! I am sure that the multimedia exhibits and games in particular will prove to be very popular.

The ICT Discovery is also an excellent education centre for students. All of the content here in the ICT Discovery is presented in an easy-to-understand and interactive way – so that anyone can easily understand how different technologies work to help people around the world in their daily lives and work.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The construction of ICT Discovery has been made possible through the patronage of the founding partner, the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of the United Arab Emirates – represented here today by Mohammad Al Ghanim, the Director General. We are most grateful for your support.

Let me also give special thanks to Samsung, which also sponsored ICT Discovery as a Technical Partner, through providing video screens, for example, as well as the tablet computers that will help to guide and inform visitors.

To find a name for this interactive space and exhibition / museum, a competition was opened to ITU staff and their families. The winning entry came from Nethmi Karunajeewa, a 12-year old girl and daughter of a radiocommunication engineer at ITU, for her suggestion of the ICT Discovery.

In collaboration with the City of Geneva, the ICT Discovery features a temporary exhibition called ‘Ville Vivante’ which consists of images and a video visualizing the digital traces created by our mobile phones. The objective of this exhibition is to make this data visible and to allow visitors to explore these streams of connected people around the city, in their everyday life.

ICT Discovery is open to any interested parties – ITU membership, Geneva local communities, schools and individuals. If you have your own story to tell on how ICT is transforming the world, please come to us with suggestions of how to make use of our temporary exhibition space (15 by 9 metres) to share your story with visitors, schools, the Geneva public and tourists.

With a gaming area, a cinema, and in-house catering, the ICT Discovery can also provide an original backdrop for social events and presentations – so please feel free to contact us to discuss venue hire or to arrange an exclusive viewing for your guests.

In closing, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to let you know that WSIS participants are invited to an exclusive preview of the ICT Discovery tomorrow, Wednesday 16 May, from 10am to 5pm.

Please do feel free to take advantage of this excellent opportunity – noting that WSIS participants visiting tomorrow will have the chance to win a very special prize, in the shape of a brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab!

The ICT Discovery will then be opened to the public from this Friday, 18 May.

Thank you for your attention.