ITU Telecom World 2015 opens for business
Doors opened in Budapest for ITU Telecom World 2015, the global ICT innovation event for SMEs, corporates and governments. The event kicked off with a spectacular Opening Ceremony, in the presence of H.E Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao, and a host of other distinguished high-level participants spanning government, industry and representatives of many global SMEs and start-ups.
The event will comprise over 230 exhibitors, sponsors and partners from over 40 countries, with the Forum and Leadership Summit including 200 speakers and 44 panel sessions, workshops and sponsored sessions. Over 250 leaders – split evenly between the public and private sectors – from 88 countries across the globe will take part in the week’s proceedings. The event’s Young Innovators Competition will also celebrate 6 winning young social technopreneurs, selected from a total of 493 entries from 74 countries. Some 100 accredited international media are expected onsite at Budapest’s HUNGEXPO to cover the event.
Launching the ceremony and acknowledging the critical role which SMEs and start-ups play within the ICT ecosystem and how this forms the cornerstone of a new and exciting direction for ITU and ITU Telecom, ITU’s Zhao stressed his personal commitment “to ensuring we implement this new focus in response to the needs of the countries, industry and national and international socio-economic development.”
Expanding on this vision he added “We wish to reform ITU Telecom to create such an international platform where we can share knowledge, exchange ideas, best practice, and inspiration, and facilitate networking and partnerships with SMEs.”
Addressing a packed auditorium, Hungary’s Prime Minister H.E Viktor Orbán spoke of past and present Hungarian innovators, and outlined plans for Digital Hungary, noting that “Hungary can be as proud of its role in the ICT sector today as it was in the past. We have grounds to be proud of the fact that the digital economy of Hungary is one of the fastest developing in the EU.”
Speaking via video message, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon encouraged government and technology industry leaders gathered in Budapest to “foster greater innovation and entrepreneurship in the ICT sector, especially among small and medium sized business.” He urged participants to “consider what more you can do to ensure universal connectivity, close the digital divide, open doors to knowledge and ensure the full participation of women and girls in the ever growing digital economy in support of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.”
Kerstin Günther, Managing Director of Deutsche Telekom’s Pan-Net and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Magyar Telekom, said “I think it is a powerful message and feedback for Hungary and the whole region that ITU brought its jubilee world conference to Budapest. The future is present in Hungary, and Hungary is a hub of the European ICT industry right now.” Echoing a core theme of the event, she also noted that “Digital Hungary will be a real European success story that may serve as a role model for any country in the world also as a blueprint of how government and industry work together.”
Marina von Neumann Whitman, daughter of the late John von Neumann, a founding figure of computing, told participants via a video message that “All of the ingenuity that characterized my father continues to be found in Hungarian citizens of the 21st century, and the best way today to exploit this creativity is through promoting the use of ICTs.”
The Opening Ceremony marked the start of an action-packed few days of high-level debate, dialogue between long-established business, SMEs and governments, showcasing and networking.
ITU Telecom World is an Exhibition for digital solutions, a Forum for sharing knowledge and a Networking hub for governments, industry – from established players to SMEs to start-ups – and academia. Its aim is to help ideas go further, faster and to promote the innovative, transformative ICT-enabled solutions that will make the world better, sooner.
Through an interactive programme of debates, the Forum will tackle central issues affecting the ICT ecosystem today, opening with a top-level Leadership Summit on accelerating digital innovation for social impact. Discussions comprise panel debates, workshops, high-level round tables and keynotes. The full Forum programme is available here and the speaker listing is here.
The event also comprises an Exhibition for digital solutions from emerging and developed markets, showcasing the smartest ideas and entrepreneurial spirit of start-ups from countries, regions and top industry names from across the world. It also includes a host of key networking opportunities, including activities enabling delegates to engage on a B2B or B2G level, such as B2G and B2B Dialogues & Lunches bringing together government, industry and SMEs.