WSIS Flash
WSIS Forum WSIS Stocktaking Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development UNGIS: United Nations Group on the Information Society

July 2017, Geneva, Switzerland

WSIS Forum 2017: Outcomes

WSIS Forum 2017

The WSIS Forum builds upon the outcomes of the UN General Assembly Overall Review of the Implementation of the WSIS Outcomes (UNGA Resolution A/70/125) that recognized the necessity of holding this Forum on an annual basis and called for a close alignment between WSIS and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this context, the WSIS Forum leverages on the WSIS-SDG Matrix and serves as a key forum for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of SDGs, with due regard to the global mechanism for follow up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda (UNGA Resolution A/70/1). The WSIS Forum is coordinated by ITU and has been co-organized since 2006 by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD with the engagement of other United Nations Agencies, including WIPO, UNDESA, FAO, ILO, UNIDO, ITC, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNODC, UNEP, UPU, WMO, WHO, WFP, UN Women, UN Regional Commissions.

WSIS Forum 2017 photos

WSIS Forum 2017 was held from the 12-16 June at the ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. This year the Forum attracted more than 2000 WSIS Stakeholders from more than 150 countries. Thousands followed remotely while more than 500 were engaged by intervening remotely. More than 500 high-level representatives of the wider WSIS Stakeholder community graced the Forum with more than 85 ministers and deputies, several ambassadors, CEOs and Civil Society leaders contributing passionately towards the programme of the Forum. Building on the outcomes of the multitakeholder open consultation process, over 200 content rich workshops were organized clearly showcasing the linkages between the WSIS Action lines and SDGs. In addition, 18 WSIS Prizes winners and 70 WSIS Prizes champions were acknowledged for their excellent work in implementation of the WSIS Action Lines on the ground.

The Chairman of the WSIS Forum 2017 was H.E. Mr. Jean Philbert Nsengimana, Minister of Youth and ICT, Rwanda. The high-level policy sessions were moderated 14 by High-Level Track Facilitators nominated and identified by the different WSIS Stakeholders types

With the objective of strengthening the alignment of WSIS and SDG processes, the overall theme for WSIS Forum 2017 was Information and Knowledge Societies for SDGs . In particular, in order to highlight the contribution of the WSIS Action Lines in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs, the ITU coordinated, with the UN Action Line Facilitators, UNDESA, UNESCO, UNCTAD, ITU, UPU, WHO, ILO, WMO, UNEP, a document that focuses on the impact of the respective Action Lines on the HLPF 2017 theme "Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world" . It further seeks to encourage and promote effective multistakeholder cooperation in implementation of WSIS Action Lines and the SDGs. The report is available here: .

WSIS Forum 2017 resulted in several concrete outcomes that will enable stakeholders to strengthen implementation of WSIS Action Lines and the alignment of the WSIS and SDG processes :

  1. WSIS Forum 2017 Outcome Document
  2. WSIS Action Lines / Sustainable Development Goals Matrix Flyer
  3. WSIS Forum 2017 High Level Track Outcomes and Executive Brief
  4. WSIS Forum 2017: WSIS Action Lines—SDGs Heatmap: Building on the WSIS-SDG Matrix developed by UN WSIS Action Line Facilitators, a mapping tool was made available to emphasize the linkages between the Action Lines and the SDGs identified by WSIS Stakeholders in their respective sessions and workshops:
  5. WSIS Stocktaking Report 2017
  6. WSIS Stocktaking Success Stories 2017
  7. WSIS Forum 2017: Report – Implementation of WSIS Action lines for Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world
  8. A Special SDG9 Session was co-hosted by ITU and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) during the WSIS Forum 2017 and explored a variety of themes linked with SDG9 to ensure collaborative action in achieving SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) ( read outcomes here)

WSIS Forum 2017 Outcome Documents
WSIS Action Lines / Sustainable Development Goals Matrix Flyer


Videos, Interviews and Highlights:

WSIS Forum 2017: Key Achievements (Announcements, Launches, Agreements, Commitments)

UNGIS reiterated commitment to the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines and alignment of the WSIS and SDG processes. ITU was appointed as the Chair of UNGIS for the year 2017-2018 and the UN Regional Commission for Africa was appointed as the rotating Vice Chairman to strengthen the regional perspective.

UN Regional Commissions committed to strengthen the action at the regional level, providing the platforms for connecting the dots, i.e. all relevant stakeholders, with the aim of strengthening implementation of the WSIS Action Lines and alignment of WSIS and SDG processes. Series of regional face to face meetings were announced. It is anticipated that WSIS will be included in the UN Regional Coordination Mechanisms and WSIS4SDG will become one of the pillar of the regional SDG Forums.

Ministerial Round Table emphasized on the importance of the WSIS Action Lines framework that remains the key UN framework to the work on the information and knowledge societies, and reiterated that many national digital agendas were built upon it. Value of the WSIS Forum as the only UN platform for exchanging best practices and advancing implementation of ICTs4SDGs was emphasized. Many Ministers expressed their continued support and strengthened commitment to the WSIS process.

ITU, WHO and IEEE organized first Hackathon held at WSIS Forum on the issue of e health. Hack for Health was a successful event which brought together 42 participants from 16 different countries across all five UN regions and diverse educational backgrounds ranging from computer science, mathematics and electrical engineering through chemistry, epidemiology and business.
FAO, ITU and IEEE committed to work on e Agriculture for WSIS Forum 2018 Hackathon - hack against hunger.

ARM announced that within the framework of the BeHealthyBeMobile initiative, ARM will strengthen its focus on a global goals based behaviour change technology focussing on chronic disease, and a wide variety of other issues, that affect low resource settings. The details of the programme will be launched in the context of the 2030Vision partnership, a U.N. wide initiative looking at how technology can support the achievement of all 17 goals.

A new toolkit, Bridging the Digital Innovation Divide, has been developed by ITU to help countries develop a Digital Innovation Framework, a set of policies and projects that foster national innovation.

ITU and Rwanda launched The Rwanda Country Review on the ICT Innovation Ecosystem

ILO and ITU launched a campaign to train 5 million young people globally by 2030. The ‘Digital Skills for Decent Jobs Campaign‘ is part of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, the first-ever, comprehensive United Nations system-wide effort for the promotion of youth employment worldwide.

ITU Launched the Global Cybersecurity Index

The Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development launched a Task Group on ICT for SDGs, that will prepare a thematic list of ICT indicators that aims to complement the monitoring framework for measuring progress towards the achievement of the SDGs. The Agenda 2030 recognizes that ICTs have great potential to accelerate human progress, but only includes 7 indicators in its monitoring framework. The thematic list to be prepared by the Partnership Task Group will try to capture the cross-cutting and multi-faceted contribution of ICT to the SDGs.

Launch of the Global E-waste Statistics Partnership to increase the availability and quality of e-waste data. This Partnership is made up of ITU, UN University and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA).

Assistance by Japan: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan handed over equipment for emergency telecommunications so-called MDRU (Movable and Deployable ICT Resource Unit) to the ITU-D
Announcement of the GEM-TECH Awards 2017 that will be renamed as Equals in Tech will be held during the IGF here in Geneva, call for nominations will be launched next week.

In February 2017, ARM joined the Be He@lthy, Be Mobile initiative to collaborate on innovations in health technology for low-resource settings. Under this partnership we are focusing on scaling up behaviour change programs, looking at how different technologies can reach the largest number of people and deliver the greatest impact at the lowest cost. Details of the project portfolio will be announced shortly. The work will also link with the 2030Vision partnership, a U.N.-wide initiative looking at how technology can support the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

ITU presented the Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2017, the first of an annual series of reports tracking market and regulatory trends in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector and their implications across the economy

Several Multistakeholder Agreements during Workshops: to work together in the field of ICTs for SDGs by Multistakeholders - eg

  • Agreement Signed by eWorldwide Group (eWWG) & Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID)on ICTs for SDGs,
  • Learning Foundation announced two major initiatives:
    • The #DigitalScholar education initiative to develop new skills and leadership for the digital transformation of learning
    • The #DigitalScholar call for proposals to develop projects to tackle complex challenges around one or more SDGs
  • Grenoble École de management, in follow up, will launch a new research project "Cybersecurity as competitive advantage for companies" in line with the SDGs
  • At the workshop on Regional Engagement in Internet Governance a key announcement was made an internet governance event in Johannesburg, South Africa in 23 and 24 june.
  • Announcement was the setting up of links between digital humanities, social science, anthropology, linguistics on one side and the scientific community and experts for ICT on the other side. This will be effective at the World Conference on Humanities in Liege, 6-12 August 2017, for WSIS FORUM 2018 and other events, through appropriate channels like Semantis, ISCC-CNRS, LACITO-CNRS, (Paris), Cecua Academy (EU), etc

Hackathon - Hack for Health

WSIS Forum 2017

ITU and IEEE in collaboration with Be He@lthy, Be Mobile (ITU-WHO)

Main outcomes

The hackathon resulted in the development of innovative digital solutions addressing four challenges relevant to middle-and lower-income population in cities.

Over the course of two days, 42 students (17 female, 25 male) from 16 different nations representing all five United Nations regions competed as teams to develop a technological innovation to address one of four challenges. These challenges addressed the following areas:

  • Clean water access

  • Urban Environmental Quality

  • Managing Non-Communicable Diseases for Healthy Living

  • Promoting Health Behaviors

Hackathon Winners

  • ITU Acceleration Award: Team Norway

    SAGA: Bridging the Gap Between Folklore and Fact

    • Challenge: Improve citizen awareness of healthy behaviors and promote healthy habits, such as increased physical exercise, proper nutrition and stress management.

    • Solution: An interactive kid-friendly media (ebooks, games, cartoons) presented on a website which incorporates local folklore with a factual twist to help teach children healthier eating habits.

  • ITU Acceleration Award: Team Poland

    NCD Management for Healthy Living

    • Challenge: Allow for self -diagnosis, treatment, and greater disease awareness in those individuals with non -communicable illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease .

    • Solution: An application that gathers air pollution data using sensors and feeds it into an algorithm that provides relevant information for government and citizens to incite healthy practices. Citizens participate in change by installing sensors at their homes to provide more accurate data. This allows them to draw benefits in return.

  • IEEE Excellence in Ethics Award: Team Tunisia

    Urban Environmental Quality

    • Challenge: Air pollution is increasing exponentially and serves as a major contributing factor to a wide-variety of global health issues .

    • Solution: A two -sided application to analyze eating patterns for better health. The mobile patient app cquires basic medical data, physical activities, allergies, environmental conditions, and more, which gives context to the user's eating behaviors and includes a product scanner for supermarket use to evaluate purchases. The doctor side web service monitors the patient data and makes recommendations for food intake and physical activity for best health. The data will allow for the use machine learning and a classification algorithm to improve the system with less human input.

Hackathon Winners

For additional Photographs please visit: ITU Pictures | Flickr

For additional Information please visit: ITU News and ITU Podcast

WSIS Forum 2018 Hackathon

Topic: Hack Against Hunger.

Organizers: ITU, FAO and IEEE.

Participation: We invite all interested participants to contact us at

Virtual Reality for SDGs

WSIS Forum 2017

Pursuing a first partnership in 2016, WSIS and World VR Forum join forces to be at the forefront of Virtual Reality for advancing development. A shiny new Virtual Reality Track was held at the WSIS Forum 2017 bringing together high-level personalities, world class VR experience and a very special focus on education.

Experience a Live Demonstration on Virtual Reality for Development

a class of Le Regent College pupils were on Stage. Led by a Teacher, the class had a geography lesson via TeachVR system.

Virtual reality is the next big thing for education. It engages students, enriches subjects and brings the wonders of the world into the classroom. Currently, the potential of virtual reality is limited by the (technical) possibilities. TeachVR solves this problem with a great, user-friendly solution for education.

Users can create virtual reality lessons and present them to the whole class. The lessons are made up of 360-degree photos which users can upload or find using Google Street View. The lesson can be presented to smartphones using our mobile application and a simple Cardboard VR viewer.

For the WSIS event It was shown just how fun and easy TeachVR is. In a live setting students and teacher created and presenedt a VR lesson. The students gave input on which city/place they wanted to visit. The Teacher then quickly made a presentation and then took the students on a virtual field trip.

Hackathon Winners

Main Outcomes

  • How to use virtual reality in remote areas, what are the possibilities, advantages.

  • Broadband Wireless network Project for Africa and socio-economic developments-Broadband Policy and building on Broadband Infrastructure is the way-forward to enable the use of ICT Applications in order to improve lives in Developing countries

  • Mapping high speed broadband infrastructure is key to find connectivity gaps and opportunities. The ITU interactive transmission Map is an example of a web map for terrestrial and submarine optical fibre and microwave transmission backbone networks

  • The challenge of providing ICT services to the unconnected can be overwhelming in terms of cost, infrastructure and the delivery of state-of-the art products.

Main linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Emerging Trends related to WSIS Action Lines identified during the meeting

  • Information and Communication Infrastructure is the backbone of today‘s digital economy. They have enormous potential to fast forward progress on the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improve people‘s lives in fundamental ways

  • Connecting rural areas is a need using new affordable technologies

Suggestions for Thematic Aspects that might be included in the WSIS Forum 2018

Follow-up on new infrastructure placed in countries (including remote area) since this workshop to take stock on how the adoption of new technologies for mapping (e.g. GIS applications, virtual realitity) and access (e.g. 4G) has contributed to eventual evolutions

WSIS Forum 2017: Prize Winners

WSIS Forum 2017

WSIS community recognizes 18 winners from around the world for achievements in supporting the SDGs

Geneva, 14 June 2017

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao has announced the 18 winners of the WSIS Prizes at WSIS Forum 2017, taking place at the Geneva International Conference Centre. WSIS Prizes provides a platform from which to identify and showcase success stories across the 11 WSIS Action Lines defined in the Geneva Plan of Action. This year‘s theme focused on initiatives that also supported the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

WSIS Prizes

"The rich variety of winning projects recognized by WSIS Prizes 2017 demonstrates the varied roles that ICTs can play to support the SDGs," said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. "These Winners and Champions represent the most innovative and successful ICT for development initiatives around the world, and exemplify the diversity of the WSIS multi-stakeholder community."

WSIS Prizes 2017 winners include government departments, international organizations, private sector companies, NGOs and academia. In addition to the 18 category Winners, there are 72 Champions (the first four runner-up projects in each category).

WSIS Prizes winners 2017

In line with the inclusive, multi-stakeholder character of the WSIS Process, the prizes recognize the outstanding achievements of a wide range of organizations. This year's 18 Winners, by WSIS Action Line, are: Learn more

WSIS Forum 2017: Exhibition

WSIS Forum 2017

The WSIS Forum 2017 Exhibition took place at the ITU premises, having a great presence during the whole week of the Forum.

More than 20 exhibitors from diverse sectors: civil society, NGOs, governments, universities held a stand in the exhibition to showcase their project during 5 days, where they were able to exchange, communicate, and share synergies to develop their network.

The Exhibition in WSIS Forum 2017 reflected the spirit, where this platform encouraged the international community and all stakeholders to share global initiatives for a more effective Information Society.

A number of ground-breaking and innovative projects as well as concrete solutions to specific issues related to Information and knowledge societies were showcased along the exhibition. The topics range from egovernance, inclusive access and e-education to the relevance of information and knowledge for the implementation of the Action Lines and Sustainable Development goals were present.

The Exhibition provided an opportunity to network, learn and share knowledge about their WSIS related projects and activities.

Exhibition photos

The Inauguration Ceremony took place on Monday 12 June, started at 10:45 am with the ribbon cutting with Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary- General and special company of Mr. Akif Gilalov, Chairman of World’s Global Telecom, strategic partner of the WSIS Forum 2017, with the continuation of a tour at the exhibition, where the exhibitors had a special moment to interact, talk about their projects and take photos with them. Also they enjoyed the entertainment provided at the place such as the experience of watching WSIS welcoming video in 360, Virtual Reality and taking pictures at the WSIS Photo booth.

WSIS Forum 2017 had the presence at the Exhibition of a Strategic Partner World’s Global Telecom, as well as ICANN and IEEE as contribution Partners, and as supporting partners ICANN, ISOC, GeSI, Japan, Swiss Engineering, Poland, Veon and World Virtual Reality Forum who presented ground-breaking technology.

More than 2.000 people came to WSIS Forum and enjoyed the exhibition at the ground floor entrance.

WSIS Forum 2017: Photo Contest

WSIS Forum 2017

Information and Knowledge Societies for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

For the WSIS Forum 2017 Photo Contest, people were invited to picture how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs ) are playing an enabling role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to participate in building a collage of ICT for Sustainable Development photographs from around the world.

The contest had run from 2 March to 22 May 2017. During this period, people were sending photos of their projects, people, and organizations that are leveraging the power of ICTs to make difference.

Photo Contest

The three winning entries in the WSIS photo contest were awarded and presented at the WSIS Forum 2017 12-16 June 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition the winners were invited to join ITU’s #ICT4SDG campaign. A dedicated poster and other campaign materials highlighting their work were created and shared within ITU and its stakeholders.

WSIS Forum Photo Contest Winners

  • Digitally Yours:

A group of women of Baintala village is participating in a disaster preparedness training at night after a long day of domestic works. Parts of Baintala still have no electricity but that did not affect their training as solar powered Tablet devices were used.
Baintala Village, Rampal, Bangladesh

WSIS Forum Photo Contest Winner

  • Summer Holiday Camp:

During the summer holidays, MindAfrica organizes an enrichment camp for about 120 underserved students from across schools in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. This is a fun, interactive and engaging program that is interdisciplinary and collaborative in its approach. The main objective is to get students to develop problem solving, critical thinking, teamwork, and communications skills. Instructors lead students through a range of hands-on demonstrations and problem-solving designed to show the real-life applications of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

WSIS Forum Photo Contest Winner

  • ICTs give us equal opportunities for a better future (Punto Mexico Connectado Project):

An interactive session on robotics, which aims to give children insight and develop their ICTs skills from an early age. Puntos Mexico Conectado Program seeks to bridge the digital divide in order to increase the access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and maximize the endless possibilities they have to offer. The PMC program achieves this objective by installing one center in each state of Mexico, generally located in areas that are highly marginalized with elevated poverty rates. In this way, the program benefits those who are less likely to have access to either connectivity or computers in their everyday life.

WSIS Forum Photo Contest Winner


WSIS Forum 2017

Future Crossroads

We are each living through these crossroads, together. This event brings our humanistic approach into focus with speakers and participants at the nexus of these crossroads, each with vastly different experiences drawn from the private sector, civil society, cyber world, and international governance. TEDx is devoted to spreading ideas. During WSIS Forum 2017, We-this diverse network-have spent an immersive evening at the crossroads, forging our experiences together to understand our world.

We see the interplay between speaker and network, between experience and debate to be integral to transcending reaction and living change.

TedX photos

WSIS Forum 2018

WSIS Forum 2017

The WSIS Forum 2018 will be held at the ITU Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. The dates and the phases of the Open Consultation Process will be announced shortly.

ITU - WSIS Flash