WSIS Reflections

So, as my previous post already told you all, I was at the Kram Palexpo, as it’s now being called, for the World Summit on the Information Society; One of the greatest events that have ever been held in my dear country Tunisia.

I’d like to talk about the organization a bit before I move on. I think Tunisia has done a really good job organizing this event. The badging process was really smooth and practical even though there were a lot of people. Security is really high. The Kram palexpo has been extended to cover the space needed for the summit, the ICT4ALL expo and all the parallel events. In short, I’m really proud of Tunisia’s organization of the summit.

Now back to the summit itself…
One of the main points everyone was talking about and wondering about going into the summit was Internet Governance; Will it remain in the hands of the US or will a world governing body take it over.
As expected, things will remain as they are with the US holding on to full control of the internet.

News reports chose to put it this way: “the delegates reached to an accord that leaves the supervision of domain names and other technical resources unchanged. They agreed instead to an evolutionary approach to Internet management.”
Which is a nice way to say that the US told everyone to buzz off and keep their hands off the internet.

As I said earlier, I took a quick tour of the ICT4ALL expo, which I will certainly have to go back to in these coming days.
I met a number of old friends (offline ones as well as online ones), as well as some new great and interesting people.

Now, some of you might be asking what I was doing there and how I got in.
Well, today was mainly part of my participation in a really exciting project called ReachOut which is organized by the British Council and CholertonShand, in partnership with the WSIS Youth Caucus.

The project’s idea is to encourage and enable open discussion between young people from Arab countries and the United Kingdom about issues raised by the United Nation’s World Summit on the Information Society.

So a group of really interesting people came together today from different Arab countries (Libya, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Syria, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia), and we got to know each other, visited the Kram palexpo together, and then went back to the British Council where we had a live video conference with another group of equally interesting people at Oxford University in England.

The topics discussed revolved around the different uses of ICT as a tool for development and its role in globalization, culture, dialogue, e-learning, …etc.
It was a very rich discussion that we all hope to build upon and create projects out of the ideas we’ve been brainstorming about.
The event was and will continue to be blogged live here.

I’ll be going back to the Kram palexpo tomorrow, and will hopefully meet some more interesting people that I’ve gotten to know online and get to talk more to the people I met today.
I will also be taking a lot more pictures and trying to get some good quality ones, as the ones I took today were rushed and ended up not so good.
Anyway, I put some online on my flickr here.

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