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The workshop aimed to show why a professional ICT workforce is a prerequisite for meeting ICT-related sustainable development goals (SDGs).
In his introductory speech, Mr Leon Strous (President, IFIP) introduced the work of IFIP IP3 (International Federation for Information Processing / International Professional Practice Partnership), and outlined how it contributes to the achievement of selected SDGs. Strous defined professionalism and mentioned related SDG action lines. The introduction was followed by Mr Stephen Ibaraki (Vice-Chair, IFIP IP3) who mentioned details of concrete activities of IFIP IP3 in respective action lines. Ibaraki then examined key megatrends that impact SDGs by focusing on physical, biological, and digital clusters of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Ms Brenda Aynsley (Chair, IFIP IP3) introduced IFIP IP3 activities. She focused on IP3’s global partnerships and on a description of its community. She then focused on how governments can help in the field of professional standards. Aynsley concluded that professionalism is related to trustworthy computing and sustainable industrialisation.
Ms Moira de Roche (Deputy-chair, IFIP IP3) focused her speech on SDG 17.18 (Building capacity by creating an ICT workforce which comprises certified ICT professionals). De Roche suggested that there was an opportunity to develop online learning for professionals and other users. Online learning should be a free and open platform, mobile friendly, and game based. She placed special emphasis on the mobile friendly aspect which is crucial for developing countries. There is a certain level of content that can be used globally. As an example, de Roche mentioned eight core digital skills people need in the twenty-first century: working with documents, project collaboration and management, attention management, communication, digital etiquette, search and research, platform flexibility, and security and privacy. According to de Roche, IT professionals also require these digital skills because these are often neglected in their education.
The last speaker Mr Raymond Morel (Director, IFIP IP3) highlighted some negative sides to current development in the world. Morel suggested that the approach of companies has not changed much since the beginning of WSIS. In this respect companies are more focused on investing in infrastructure rather than in education, professionalism, security, etc. Morel recommended the book The collapse of complex societies, written by Joseph A. Tainter. The book studies the context of why some societies have disappeared. One of the reasons mentioned is that some societies collapsed because they had a massive unique information system that failed. Morel warned that our society could be very close to this point. He ended by suggesting that the SDG matrix is too complicated and it should be simplified.
The final part of the workshop was dedicated to a Q&A session. The debate concentrated on digital literacy and skills in less developed countries. One discussant from the audience stressed again the important role of online learning that is free and mobile friendly.
by Radek Bejdak