Life After WSIS: Lessons Learnt and Implications for the Information Professions
Leslie Chan, Bioline Int'l and University of Toronto at Scarborough; Robert
Guerra, Privaterra; Sheri Webber, Florida State University; Johannes Britz,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Nadia Caidi and John Gathegi (moderators)
ASIS&T Annual Meeting - 2006 (ASIS&T 2006)
Austin, Texas, November 3-9, 2006
In November 2005, the World Summit on the Information Association (WSIS) “concluded” with the second phase meeting in Tunis. The goal of WSIS was to garner global attention, devise effective policies, and identify promising applications and business models for capturing the promise of ICTs for all. The International Telecommunication Union paved the way, along with a vast number of players and stakeholders, for the two-phase summit (the first phase was held in Geneva in 2003). Countless numbers of preparatory meetings and submissions from a diverse set of stakeholders have gone into the making of the WSIS. The outcomes of the two WSIS phases were more limited than one would have expected or hoped for. Nevertheless a number of important developments are in the works, such as the Internet Governance Forum, the Digital Equity Fund, the global alliance on IT4Dev to name a few. Thus increased attention to and involvement in these developments are still, if not more, necessary. The aim of this session is to gather leading individuals who have been actively engaged in the WSIS discussions and can shed light on the lessons learnt from the Summit, as well as what the implications might be for the information science community. Indeed, the Summit did not engender the expected buzz within the information science community: why is that so? This session aims to generate a broad discussion about the opportunities and challenges afforded by having a World Summit on information-related issues.
Participants in the roundtable will be asked to reflect on:
- What has been achieved or not at the two rounds of WSIS
- The major issues addressed and the issues of contention
- The participation of and implications for information professionals.
Fostering a debate on the WSIS issue is essential in order to assess what we have learned from the WSIS process and discussions, and where the future of information societies seem to lie.
WSIS needs not be "dead" and gone already. Rather it seems to be more essential than ever to reflect on the lessons we can learn from it. The aim of this session is to enable discussion around WSIS and the after-WSIS landscape to take place within the ASIST community.
Potential speakers include: Michael Nelson, ISOC VP and IBM; Michael Gurstein , NJIT, chair of CIRN; Jan Servaes & Nico Carpentier, editors of “Towards a Sustainable Information Association: Deconstructing WSIS”; Hans Klein, Georgia Tech; Michael Best, MIT; and Janice Brodman, EDC.