Culture and ICTs as Drivers of Sustainable Development

UNESCO Culture Sector

UNESCO Panel Discussion for Action Line C8

How are culture and ICTs jointly fostering cultural exchange and entrepreneurship to drive sustainable development forward?

Action line 8 of the World Summit Information Society (WSIS) is “Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content".

UNESCO has long advocated and demonstrated that culture, in its diverse manifestations - from tangible and intangible cultural heritage to cultural and creative industries - is a driver and enabler of the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainable development.

In this context, ICTs, insofar as they have a direct impact on the way cultural expressions are created, produced, disseminated and accessed and play an increasingly pertinent role in the safeguarding and transmission of cultural heritage, can respond to major global challenges through the exercise of freedom of expression and the promotion cultural diversity (SDG 4).

ICTs are progressively incorporated into the cultural and creative sectors, which in turn creates employment and boosts trade and economies, while also promoting social cohesion, mutual understanding and self-esteem. With the active participation of government, academic and civil society partners, as well as local communities, ICTs applied to the cultural and creative sectors have the potential to contribute to more effective and sustainable development policies that can yield enhanced, inclusive and equitable development outcomes (SDG 8, 11 and 12).

This panel discussion will address questions such as:

  • How are ICTs fostering cultural entrepreneurship in the cultural and creative industries, notably in developing countries and at the local level?
  • How are new forms of media and technologies strengthening platforms for dialogue, exchange and building capacities of local populations to overcome the challenges faced by communities worldwide? Which good practices models should be highlighted?
  • What measures should be taken to strengthen policies and strategies to safeguarding cultural heritage and promote cultural diversity via ICTs, including for more efficient documentation, protection, transmission, and accessibility?
  • In view of the new modes of creation, production, dissemination and consumption of cultural goods and services by and for youth in the digital age, what policies and strategies should be put in place to generate social and economic development?​
Speakers / panellists


  • Ms. Milagros del Corral, International Expert for UNESCO


  • Ms Leyla Bartet, Permanent Delegation of Peru to UNESCO
  • Ms Silja Fischer, Secretary General, International Music Council
  • Dr Jenny Mbaye, Lecturer in Culture and Creative Industries, City University London  
  • Ms. Michele Woods, Director, Copyright Law Division, World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 
Session's link to WSIS Action Lines
  • C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content

Session 261
  • Thursday 28 May,
  • Popov Room (Room B), ITU Tower
  • Interactive Action Line Facilitation Meeting

WSIS Forum 2015 | Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development
25–29 May 2015, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland