The XX Infopoverty World Conference
On December 4, 2020, the final session of the 20th Infopoverty World Conference will take place. This event represents an outstanding achievement for OCCAM, as the twentieth anniversary of the Conference falls in an unprecedented moment in history. This year, the event – usually held in April at the UN Headquarters – was not cancelled, but rather adapted to the new dynamics. The discussion has been multiplied, following the emergency whilst trying to understand how the ICTs could help the people to survive.
Hereby, a brief description of the five steps of discussion taken throughout the whole year, in order to clarify the Entelekia process to the next digital society.
First Step – Davos, 29 January
Could the Digital Society overcome poverty? (SDG 1)
OCCAM organised the first session of the Conference during the 2020 edition of the World Economic Forum in Davos, focusing on the implementation of SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere. It was underlined how only 2% of the total world population holds the vast majority of the global wealth, and how endemic inequalities lead to three quarters of the planet to live in absolute poverty. After few weeks, the Coronavirus begins its insane expansion, inducing salvific practices until then used only by “digital natives”, always fully interconnected. The perception is that of a new reality where obsolete structures and governance, socio-economic imbalances and self-referential élites fade, prefiguring an imminent kind of global reset of the current paradigm.
Second Step– 29 May
Worldwide webinar: “Smart Cities Need to Eliminate the Slums: the New 3D Building Solutions” (SDGs 8-11)
In light of this new reality, the second session of the Infopoverty World Conference took place online. It featured prestigious institutional actors and experts including Mr Ivan Shumkov, CEO of Build Academy, Mr. Makoto Okubo (Nippon Life Insurance Company, General Manager) and Dr Dodjevic from IDLO (International Law Organization) who discussed digital innovations for the development of a sustainable architecture, a concept in perfect coherence with SDGs 8 (Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) and 11 (Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable), looking to define a new paradigm that includes the delineation of a new digital way of life.
Third Step– 15 July
Worldwide webinar: “e-Learning and Telemedicine – Relaunch of the UN Millenium Village of Sambaina” (SDGs 3-4-6-7)
The ICT village of Sambaina was founded in 2006 by OCCAM, following the invitation of the Malgasy Republic, S.E. Marc Ravalomanana, the main purpose was to create a sat-hub and to provide adequate technologies and computers, in order to assure digital services such as e-learning, tele-medicine, and food security assistance to the community. The school started to operate with more than thousand students, the health care centre operate in maternal care more than hundred women and the community centre is important for the whole inhabitants. In 2007 was proclaimed UN Millennium Village by Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor of the Secretary General, Kofi Annan; In 2017, after the political crisis, OCCAM received an appeal for relaunching the project. In 2019, with the help of the ST Foundation and Telma Foundation, important results have been achieved. This step promotes further actions and explained how this model could be replicate successfully in order to empower all the rural villages accelerating the development thanks to the remote assistance and the creation of job for young and women.
Furthermore, this third session was also centred on SDG 11 while considering SDGs 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and 7 (Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all). During this webinar, speakers such as Dr Hassan Ghazal (Founder and Director Moroccan Society for Telemedicine), Dr Aliye Celik (Chair of the Board, Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization) Mr. Francesco Sicurello (Director of Telemedicine centre) presented their contribution.
Fourth Step– 17 September
Worldwide webinar: “Expanded cinema enriching new social cultures for gender equality” (SDG 4)
OCCAM has played a pioneering role in the promotion of technologies such as e-learning, telemedicine, food-security and e-commerce, it has implemented it since 2000. As for today, the ever-growing turmoil involving humanity as a whole is revealing the deepest weaknesses of the system as well as highlighting how the digital revolution has created many possibilities to all and applications disclosing themselves as tools of salvation and construction of the new world.
Nothing will be the same as before and the new generations will be called to manage this process, already started successfully in Cinema and Audio-Visual world. These forced experiments aimed at finding solutions that will 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.
The main focus of this fourth step is how Cinema could express these elements, the conversation was enriched by important experts such as Ms Lola Poggi, secretary of CICT-IFCT; Dr Rizwad Ahmad, Director of Instructional Media Centre (MANUU), Vittorio Giacci (Italian film critic), Ms. Jasmina Bojic (UNAFF Founder).
Conclusive Event – 4 December
Hybrid event: Should the Digital Society evolve according to the SDGs?
Held virtually and viewed on the UN Webcast and from the European Parliament Information Office in Milan
The peak of this successful series of discussions and results leads us to the final step, a way to reset but also to further investigate how digital technologies can and should further the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, we are pleased to present the fifth and last session of the 20th Infopoverty World Conference, to be held virtually and can be viewed on UN webcast.
The discussion in the first session: How to overcome Covid creating a better Digital Society means to reflect on how the UN principles could induce a positive evolution in this dynamic process, considering Covid-19 to be a factor of change affecting the whole planet, and the ICTs as global tools to save our social lives.
New paradigms are prevailing in all structured systems: now in a quite chaotic way, where the strongest could impose solutions not always oriented to social wellbeing in all fields of human activity, with a lack of interest towards social inequalities and injustice, physical & mental health assistance, poverty and hunger elimination, climate change.
What would the situation after Covid-19 be like, if the flow of innovations were not oriented to a better use for humanity?
Many solutions are ready or easily available for all, such as the e-services which allow knowledge transfer, and assistance for people in need. A deeper participation is necessary to contrast the risk of a new hegemonic digital class, which imposes its own vision, practices, and control systems, oriented only to increasing its enormous accumulation of resources and related power, excluding not only communities but entire nations.
It is a crucial moment for the International Community , whose mission must be must affirmed by involving everybody in order to accelerate the achievement of SDGs.
The second session focuses on SDG 2: How the new technologies and digital services could improve the food security system in order to promote sustainable e-agriculture best practices, with new holistic approaches, such as the EWA-BELT – a EU H2020 project – involving six African Countries, with local universities and research Centres in partnership with European Academic and Scientific Institutions, operating in 37 rural villages.
A final roundtable will evaluate the destructive/creative process accelerated by Covid-19, in order to understand how to orient it towards a sustainable construction of the new digital society where everybody, and especially young people, can ignite an impulse towards a collective action/reaction based on new technologies, valorising solidaristic principles for a more equitable redistribution of wealth.
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