Today is the first day that I have been able to attend some parallel events at the WSIS, with my major responsibilities completed. Lots of interesting things going on around the Kram Centre.
I spent the morning at a panel organized by UBUNTU and the CRIS campaign with the unwieldy title of “Which Reforms of International Institutions for Another Possible Information and Communication Society.” Gilberto Gil, international pop superstar and Minister of Culture of Brazil, was a featured speaker, with Sean O Siochru of the CRIS Campaign. It was an interesting discussion of the various initiatives related to communications rights, free software, and alternative media. Gilberto did not perform, unfortunately.
Then I went to a panel discussion sponsored by the Swiss government on “ICTs for Peace,” an initiative they launched last year. Led by Ambassador Daniel Stauffacher and William Drake, president of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the project has sought to collect information on applications of ICTs for peace, conflict prevention, resolution and reconstruction. Apparently the project will continue beyond Tunis.
Right now I’m at a meeting on e-Democracy sponsored by the Council of Europe. Phil Noble, founder of the website Politicsonline.com, gave an informative and entertaining speech on the most innovative developments in e-democracy, from the rise in Chinese cybernauts to the $100 laptop.
It’s nice being just a participant for once.