A six-day Youth Forum alongside ITU Telecom World will enable students from around the world to debate global ICT issues with industry leaders and policy makers.
About 300 university students from 150 countries worldwide will attend the even from 4 to 9 October.
The Youth Forum, sponsored by the state of Geneva and the ITU, brings together students with the vision and talent to take on key leadership roles in the future within the global ICT sector.
“Once young people are equipped with information and know-how, they will be able to use their ingenuity and resourcefulness to develop their potential. Helping them to realise their personal goals through ICTs will also drive their country’s socio-economic development,” says ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun Touré.
During the course of ITU Telecom World, Youth Forum Fellows will follow a packed programme of discussion and debate, with opportunities to interact and develop mentor relationships with senior members of the ICT sector – government officials, industry executives, technology leaders, content providers and strategists.
Fellows will elect their own leadership and, as a culmination to the week, will draft and present a Declaration and Action Plan conveying their global vision for expanding the benefits of ICT.
They will also have the opportunity to involve themselves in the main ITU Telecom World 2009 event, learning about the array of new technologies on display on the show floor as well as taking part in key sessions of the forum programme.
This year’s Youth Forum Fellows have been selected on the basis of their written responses to the question: “What is the biggest problem facing your community and how would you use ICT to solve it?”
Essay submissions discussed a broad range of topics — from ICT’s role in tackling child slavery, the spread of disease, famine and drought, to innovative applications of mobile, GPS and virtual technologies that can improve transport systems, manufacturing processes, health services and education. One of the key issues under discussion this year will be how public-private partnerships can promote school connectivity.