Collaboration: the key to success in the digital economy

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Panelists from left to right Mr. Dan Simmons, Presenter and Senior Producer, Click, BBC World News, United Kingdom; Mr Stian Westlake, Executive Director of Policy and Research, Nesta, United Kingdom; Ms Alline Kabbatende, Chief Operating Officer, RwandaOnline Platform, Rwanda; Mr Isidro Laso Ballesteros, Head of Startup Europe Sector, European Commission, Belgium; Ms Jaqueline Pateguana, Advisor to the Minister for Mozambique MEGCIP, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mozambique; and, Mr Ron Sege, President and CEO, Echelon Corporation, USA (ITU, 2015)

Where does a Kenyan SME building a platform for local smallholders meet a startup from Korea specializing in iris recognition technology? Where could they both connect with ministers, ICT industry leaders and investors, potential partners and international media? And then join the debate on 5G, AI or digital financial services with a UNICEF director, the head of a Singaporean investment company, a BBC World News presenter and the Russian ICT minister?

The answer is: ITU Telecom World. An annual global technology event for the ICT community, ITU Telecom World is organized by ITU, the UN specialized agency for ICT matters, which is what enables it to draw together such a unique and influential audience from across the globe.  From public and private sectors, emerging and developed markets, and from right across the ICT industry ecosystem

ITU Telecom World 2016 is taking place from 14 – 17 November at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Center in Bangkok, Thailand.  Its international platform for governments, corporates and SMEs includes an exhibition for digital solutions, a forum for knowledge-sharing, an Awards programme for ICT innovation, and a networking hub for nations, organizations and individuals.

With its focus on growing the digital economy and fostering SMEs in the ICT ecosystem, the event is superbly located in Bangkok, the cosmopolitan heart of the ASEAN community and a hub for business, trade and the digital ecosystem throughout South East Asia. Small and medium businesses are the lifeblood of Thailand’s vibrant economy, making up over 99% of companies and creating more than 10.5 million jobs across the country. Hosting ITU Telecom World 2016 will provide an invaluable opportunity for Thailand to showcase the best of its digital ideas, talent and solutions – and for the rest of the world to access regional SMEs and explore investment and partnership potential.

Those Thai companies will join exhibitors from countries, organizations, big industry players, associations and SMEs from around the world showcasing innovative digital products, technologies and projects in Industry Stands, National Pavilions, Thematic Pavilions and SME pods at ITU Telecom World 2016. The exhibition provides global visibility, networking and business development opportunities for developed and developing markets like no other comparable tech event.

In its exciting world-class programme of interactive debate, the Leadership Summit and Forum will address key industry issues on the theme of “Collaborating in the Digital Economy” from the differing perspectives of technology, strategy and policy.  Expert speakers, public and private sector leaders, consultants and digital thinkers will explore topics such as the future of 5G, the impact of AI, collaborative regulation, connected cars, smart sustainable cities, fostering SME innovation, new roles for the satellite industry and digital financial services.

Sharing ideas, best practice and case studies, exchanging knowledge, and meeting new contacts: whether in the Forum or on the Exhibition floor, ITU Telecom World 2016 is all about networking.  Making the right connections is, after all, essential for success in business and partnerships. A programme of specially-designed networking events, spaces and online tools put participants in touch with the right people from across the industry and the world.  From the high-profile Opening Ceremony and high-level LeaderSpace to coffee breaks, networking lunches and dinners and the ever-popular event app, the event brings together decision-makers, ministers, SMEs, visionaries, investors and industry-players to make the connections that matter – and work together to accelerate growth.

Understanding the importance of SMEs in driving innovation and economic growth within the ICT sector, ITU Telecom World 2016 is working in particular to foster and support SMEs at a global level – by bringing them together with government and industry leaders to exhibit, share knowledge, discuss challenges and solutions in the targeted B2B and B2G Dialogues, explore partnership options, and take part in the ITU Telecom World Awards programme.

The Awards programme recognizes the most innovative, promising SMEs and initiatives using ICTs for social impact. Winners gain global recognition as an ICT4D, visibility on an international stage and the prestige of a major UN award. Open to all exhibiting and sponsoring participants, the Awards will be presented in a number of categories, including the Global SME Award for the most promising and innovative solution from a small enterprise; the Thematic Award for the best solutions with social impact from SMEs or corporates working with a specific vertical sector such as education, health or disaster communications; and the Partner Award presented by ITU Telecom World partners to innovative ICT initiatives with positive social impact.

It’s the combination of audience and activities that really makes ITU Telecom World so special. The authority and expertise of ITU ensure the presence of heads of state and government, ministers and regulators, as well as leading industry CEOs, organizations, associations and consultants. As a UN event, it delivers a truly international perspective from emerging and developed markets from around the world. The increasing presence of SMEs, and the focus on driving their success to ensure the success of the industry, is critical to deliver socio-economic development for all of us – accelerating innovation to make the world better, sooner.

Join ITU Telecom World 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand, this November to be a part of it.

Further information at telecomworld.itu.int

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