New partners and networks supporting innovation in ICT4D

5 May 2016 16:45h

Event report

[Read more session reports and live updates from the WSIS Forum 2016.]

This session discussed the mechanisms to nurture new collaborative networks and access to markets, new initiatives to support scaling and competitiveness of innovation ecosystems, and the changing roles of stakeholders.

The question on roles and practices of new networks fitting in the ecosystem was raised by Mr Joseph Gaylord (BDT, INV, ITU). Mr Endri Mataj (Regional Director, Eastern Europe, Startup Grind) responded that successful stories of entrepreneurs are shared within the local communities. Free education is also offered for the entrepreneurs to prevent previous mistakes caused by the entrepreneurs and establishing partnerships globally in order to empower the local communities. Ms Sophie Huber (Director, UNIGE Center for Continuing and Distance Education) mentioned what the Geneva Creativity Center does in helping small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The centre welcomes innovative ideas from SMEs and tries to foster their move forward.

Gaylord asked how new networks can change existing stakeholder practices. Mr Ahrmad Riad (ITU Telecom World) talked about offering networks to SMEs and providing awards from the ITU to pitch their business to the government. Mr Drasko Draskovic (Research Scientist, CERN) mentioned that sharing understanding of how technology is shaping our life is crucial. Huber talked about a glossary of terms being needed for a better understanding between the SMEs.

To minimise the gaps and to bring new collaboration to reach the new steps, Riad said that SMEs pitching for funding is not sustainable. To make it sustainable, the link between the impacts and revenues of SMEs is needed. Mataj looked at the local perspective and discussed how remote areas in countries lack education and a proper mindset. Thus the global world and big cities need to communicate resources to the remote areas.

The issue of education and training to foster entrepreneurship was discussed and partnership with global or local actors suggested. The power of thinking should be developed in primary level at schools in order to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Gaylord summarised by saying that encouragement of SMEs by listening to and answering the needs of the local community is vital.

by Aye Nya Myein