Welcome to OCCAM

The Observatory on Digital Communication was established in 1996 by UNESCO in Milan, with the Agreements signed by the Director General, Federico Mayor and Mayor Marco Formentini in June 1996. The acronym stands for Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication in the Mediterranean.

Since 2003, OCCAM has been associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information, while in 2005 it received Special Consultative Status at the UN’s Social and Economic Council (ECOSOC). Since 2006 OCCAM is leader of the e-service for development Community of Expertise within the Global Alliance for Information and Communications Technologies and Development (UN – GAID), initiative launched by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Kuala Lumpur.

OCCAM was founded with the mission to fight poverty as effectively as possible using the new technologies and to promote sustainable development actions in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), and works to support the UN strategies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), former Millennium Development Goals (MDGs, 2000-2015).

OCCAM’s actions, besides its function of Observatory on Digital Communication with studies and research, focuses also on two other main initiatives:

– The Infopoverty World Conference that has been held annually since 2001 in the UN headquarters in New York; it takes stock of the phenomena of the digital revolution as it can be employed to strengthen the fight against poverty;

– The Infopoverty Programme that collects the operational suggestions emerging from the conference to turn them into projects realized in various parts of the world.

As part of the Infopoverty program, OCCAM promoted the foundation of the Infopoverty Institute at the University of Oklahoma in 2004, to spread the Infopoverty vision in the American academic world, having as its scope to improve the living conditions of the population with ICT.


Friday, 4th December 2020, 10 am (NYT) – 4 pm (CET)

The XX Infopoverty World Conference will be held virtually and can be viewed on the UN Webcast. Focused on the theme Should the Digital Society evolve according to the SDGs, it is the fifth and final initiative among the others realised during this year.

Please visit the XX Infopoverty World Conference section for more information.



Friday, May 29 2020, 3 pm (CET) – 9 am (ET) 

We are delighted to present Infopoverty First Webinar “Towards a Digital Society Inspired by SDGs”. We will discuss about the advantages and disadvantages of this “New Digital Way of Life” and how SDGs can help determine our future “digital” society. 

Complete the Google Registration form and partecipate in our First Infopoverty Webinar on Friday 29th 3 pm (CET).   



In the occasion of UN Earth Day, OCCAM is relaunching its movie The Earth: Our Home created for the Shanghai Expo of 2010 and presented at the UN Pavilion. Please click here to see part of the movie. In collaboration with ICFT UNESCO, OCCAM is also promoting movies presented by its partner UNAFF: ANGEL AZUL and DIRT RICH. 




The XX Infopoverty World Conference was supposed to take place today, 17th April 2020, but due to the current circumstances, we postponed to 4th December 2020! Please visit the XX Infopoverty World Conference section for more information. On the occasion, here’s a message from the President of OCCAM, Mr. Pierpaolo Saporito:


Dear friends

The 20th Infopoverty World Conference was scheduled for today, April 17 2020, to be held at the UNHQ as tradition dictates. Unfortunately, the current events forced us to postpone it to December 4, 2020, on the UN Webcast and streaming from our office in Milan. 

This edition was particularly and long-awaited as it dealt with the interesting topic of the new digital society and its functional features activated through the digital services, namely e-learning, telemedicine, food-security and e-commerce. OCCAM has played a pioneering role in the promotion of such services as it has been implementing them since 2000; starting from their successful testing in the ICT Villages of Africa and South America, OCCAM has developed scenarios based on e-welfare for all, enabling new generations to secure the values of the UN-promulgated SDGs. 

As for today, the ever-growing turmoil involving humanity as a whole is revealing the most deep weaknesses of the system, as well as highlighting how the digital revolution has created many possibilities for all and applications disclosing themselves as tools of salvation and construction of the new world. 

Nothing will ever be the same, and the new generations will be called to manage this process, already started successfully in universities and research centers. 

These forced experiments, aimed at finding solutions to be consolidated in a new digital anthropology, will involve us all.

It will be up to all of us to evolve, abandoning obsolete decision-making systems and socio-political structures that can no longer guarantee the well-being of the people. 

We must move towards an “Entelechia” of the digital society that has already manifested in the past, for example in the cases of Athens, Florence or New York, which flourished again after the upheavals of war and epidemics that shaped its formation. This process of Entelechia (envisaged in the four sessions in which the conference is held) will be monitored by us through monthly seminars that will be activated on our platform (please check our website or social media for updates). These seminars will be attended by both top experts and minimal protagonists of these events. 

OCCAM will also endeavor to report possible negative deviations that may occur due to chaotic pressures in such tumultuous events. In doing so, OCCAM will consolidates its mission as Observatory on Digital Communication, a useful reference for all those who care about the fate of humanity, for the first time threatened in its entirety, and which not only has to face epidemiological contrast, but needs also to affirm more strongly the fight against poverty in a greater respect for the environmental values of our planet, our home.

Hoping to meet all of you very soon, I wish you to stay safe and healthy in this challenging time. 


Arch. Pierpaolo Saporito

President of OCCAM


Please visit our XX Infopoverty World Conference section under Infopoverty World Conference for further information. 



 Relaunch of the UN MILLENIUM VILLAGE of SAMBAINA: Notwithstanding the current and severe global situation inflicted by the Coronavirus, OCCAM is fully engaged in the relaunch of the ICT Village of Sambaina. Please click here to have further information or visit our section IN ACTION > Project ICT Villages > ICT Village of Sambaina. 


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