WSIS Forum 2019
The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum is a global United Nations (UN) multistakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line co-/facilitators and other UN organizations (UNDESA, FAO, UNEP, WHO, UN Women, WIPO, WFP, ILO, WMO, ITC, UPU, UNODC, UNITAR, UNICEF and UN Regional Commissions). It represents the world's largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for development’ community. It provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies. In follow up to the outcomes of the UN General Assembly Overall Review of the Implementation of WSIS Outcomes (Res. A/70/125) and with the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Res. A/70/1), the WSIS Forum is constantly evolving and strengthening the alignment between the WSIS Action Lines and the Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2019, WSIS will celebrate its 10th anniversary of the establishment of WSIS Forum from April 8 to 12, under the theme “Information and Communication Technologies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals”. WSIS Forum thereby continues to provide a platform for a “just and equal information society” for all WSIS Stakeholders as set by the Geneva Plan of Action.
The WSIS Forum will serve as a key forum for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets, with due regard to the global mechanism for follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (UNGA Resolution A/70/1).
At with the WSIS Forum 2019, High-level Policy Sessions of the High-level Track will take place on 9 and 10 April. The Policy Sessions will be moderated by High-Level Track Facilitators (HLTFs) nominated and identified by each stakeholder type i.e Private Sector, Civil Society, Technical/ Academic community and International Organization. The main task of the HLTF is to capture the vision, Identify emerging trends, opportunities and challenges shared by the leaders of their session.
The concluding session of the High-level Track will take place on 10 April. During the concluding session, the WSIS Forum 2019 Chairman will provide an Executive Summary, giving a platform for all the HLTFs to submit the outcomes of their respective policy session. A publication entitled “WSIS Forum 2019: Policy Statements and Executive Brief” will be issued to encapsulate these outcomes.
Open Consultation Process
The WSIS Forum is the only event of its kind where the program and agenda are completely crowdsourced. Therefore, as organizers, ITU, UNESCO, UNCTAD and UNDP, are pleased to announce the Open Consultation Process on thematic aspects and innovations on the format of the WSIS Forum 2019. The process aims at ensuring a participatory and inclusive spirit of the Forum, scheduled to be held from 8-12 April at ITU in Geneva. This process actively engages governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, the technical community and intergovernmental organizations in the preparatory process to ensure broad ownership and further improvements of the Forum.
The Agenda and Program of the WSIS Forum 2019 is designed in collaboration with the multistakeholders on the basis of official submissions received during the Open Consultation Process on the thematic aspects and innovations of the format of the WSIS Forum 2019. Involving all WSIS Stakeholders (governments, civil society, private sector entities, academia and international organizations), this process aims to ensure active participation of different sectors during the event. The process began in July 2018 and is structured in five phases that include online submissions and physical meetings.
In support of the WSIS Implementation and Follow-up, all WSIS Stakeholders are invited to update and submit new entries online to build the agenda with us! Submitted activities are reflected in the WSIS Stocktaking Report 2019, which will be released at the WSIS Forum 2019.
WSIS Prizes 2019
The WSIS Prizes contest, an integral part of the WSIS stocktaking process, serves as a mechanism to evaluate and recognize individuals, governments, civil society, local, regional and international agencies, research institutions and private sector companies for outstanding success in implementing development-oriented strategies that leverage the power of ICTs.
WSIS Photo Contest
Following the successful first and second edition, we invite the community to picture how ICTs are playing an enabling role in achieving the SGDs. Engage in creating a collage of ICT for Sustainable Development, with images from around the world by promoting the Photo Contest within your networks and communities.
ICTs and Sports
The impact that technology has had on sports is vast. No matter the use, technology is taking sports to new heights. From the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), Electronic Performance and Tracking Systems (EPTS), Ultra High Definition video (UHD), Virtual Reality (VR), to the realization of 5G. Take part in ICTs and Sports track to discover and learn about sports and technology in an innovative way.
Extended Reality for SDGs
Pursuing the first partnership in 2016, WSIS and World VR Forum join forces to be at the forefront of Virtual Reality for advancing development. A shiny new Extended Reality (Virtual + Augmented Reality) Track will be held at the WSIS Forum 2019 bringing together high-level personalities, world class VR experience and a very special focus on education.
WSIS Innovation track
The vital role of ICTs as a catalyst for development is acknowledged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, stating “the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and develop knowledge societies.”
Youth in ICTs
Young people can play an important role in leveraging ICTs to help achieve the United Nations SDGs. Continuing a successful track in 2018, WSIS Forum 2019 will feature a special track on youth engagement, which include hundreds of students and young professional participants. WSIS aims to include youth perspectives and engage young people in discussions about how technology can provide opportunities to address some of the world’s most pressing issues and provides a platform where youth can offer their insights and understanding of the information society, its challenges and opportunities, and where they can raise questions but also propose solutions to harvesting the power of ICTs towards equally distributed social impact.
As a continuation of the discussions initiated at the 2016 WSIS Forum, first ever Hackathon was held successfully in 2017 on e-Health and in 2018 on e-Agriculture. Focusing on e-learning, the 2019 Hackathon will partner with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to hold a Hackathon on Hacking Solutions for Lifelong Learning and Livelihoods at the WSIS Forum 2019. We invite all interested coders to participate in the WSIS Hackathon.
ICT Solutions for SDGs
Robots, Drones, and Virtual Reality are more than just “cool gadgets and tools” they can be used to contribute added value to humanity. Participate in the ICT Solutions for SDGs special track to learn and engage with individuals and organizations that are using technology to contribute specifically to one or more of the SDGs.
WSIS Accessibility Day
WSIS Accessibility Day at the WSIS Forum 2019 will focus around five (5) key accessibility issues: Security, Communication, Mobility, Education and Emergency.