Had some conversations yesterday, and I thought I would share what I have found out in terms of some cost of participating in this event….I am wondering how much the total cost of building up these sprawling white tents cost, or hiring of the buses for the shuttle service, the planting of the trees, the printing of the Tunisian President’s picture to grace the streets… and I wonder how the payment for this eventually trickles down to you, me and the countless people who have no idea of what WSIS is about, nor have a chance to care.
Highway Africa runs the Highway Africa News Agency. (Interestingly, its work is put out under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License.) They’ve got some interesting stories in their e-despatch which just reached mailboxes earlier today.One story is about African delegates boast of ICT success stories. Perhaps the most catchy title is No teeth but can still chew the fat and it’s a radio script for a radio report on the Internet Governance Forum and who controls the internet…You need to login to access these stories, but there’s no commercial barrier (or, unvoluntary sign-up fee) needed to gain access.
Am sitting in Goa, at one of those fast cybercafes scattered across India, that charge about US 50 cents per hour, an am accessing a set of links sent across by the Unesco about their webcasts on events held in the WSIS at Tunis. It’s very slow in downloading, and the speech is jerky, but it works. See the links below….The links are to a Workshop on ICT and persons with disabilities, Case presentations: ICT and people with disabilities, UNESCO High-Level Round Table on the occasion of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). All of these can also be viewed at this site.
Prototypes for a $100 laptop for Third World schools are out… what does it look like? What can it do? Is there a catch? And, hangon, there is still discussion on whether the internet is a friend or foe of education….
The US delegation to WSIS expressed disappointment with Tunisia’s failure to secure rights of expression and assembly
I was quite impressed by the many side events women participated in, on Wednesday and Thursday. I’m particulary impressed by the Tanzanian women forum held in the afternoon with a highly led delegation of women in leading ICT and government position in the country. Of particular importance are the women-led event at the APC stand and APC-related talks. Keep it up!
The official online press service of WSIS is available for Microsoft users only. The password protected photos download facility of the WSIS press centre is customized for Microsoft only. The setup of the official media-service site was done so that no software other than Internet Explorer can be used. Thus, journalists using non-proprietary software are effectively prevented from using the official UN service. The service is supposed to be available to all journalists accredited for WSIS.
Oneworld Southeast Europe team choose to contribute to the event translating some of the articles, comments, opinion coming from APC WSIS Blog, in its language edition: Albanian, Macedonian and Southslavic language group. The reason is simply that we belive that what is happening in Tunis is about us.
My day started with a failed attempt to check in at the APC stand in ICT4all. Crowds of people were queuing to make it inside in time for the opening of the Summit. Having read Jac’s diversity blog I cast an analytical eye over them. Only one category stood out. Suits.
There are so many different caucuses and groups and everyone leads their own WSIS process. It’s a pity that civil society couldn’t find its way to consolidation for stronger influence on the process. As a result such an important issues as environmental sustainability, impact of the ICTs on the human health, unification of standards in different parts of the world, different systems compatibility are barely covered by the WSIS process. For the full text of the BlueLink’s impressions from the WSIS in Tunis so far see the link below at the Bulgarian ICT policy monitor.