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The Impact of New Technologies and ICTs on Sustainable Development

Time: 11:30 - 13:00
Date: 18 Jun 2012
Room: T-5

Organising partners

  • Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID)
  • Office of Information and Communications Technologies

The intersection of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), with the challenges of environmental, social and economic sustainability forms a critical nexus for the future of sustainable development and poverty eradication. Technology has long played a crucial part in economic and social development, and its evolution has continually raised the thresholds of possibility. In order to unleash the full potential of technology as an enabler for sustainable economic and social development throughout the developing world, a global strategy leveraging the power of technology is needed.

The importance of sustainability has been recognized in development policy since the United Nations first Summit on that theme in the early 1990s and today it is being revived with the RIO+20 Summit that aims at securing renewed political commitment. A sustainable development approach must be holistic and analyze its three pillars: economic, social and environmental trends, and the interactions between them. The link between ICT and sustainable development recognizes the existence of both significant opportunities and threats.On the one hand, there is optimism that the ?new economy? will bring ?dematerialization?, a reduction in movement of goods, and a general decoupling of economic growth and resource use, on the other hand, there is fear that current unsustainable trends will be worsened. Without a holistic approach, the sustainable use of ICT alone will not deliver the goals of social and environmental sustainability. Common efforts from governments, civil society and businesses alike are needed.

Detailed programme
The Panel

The Panel will look at two main themes:

  1. Exploring the potential of ICT as a major tool in addressing the current challenges of sustainable development; and
  2. Identifying key actors, governments, NGOs and the private sector that are implementing the ICT aspects of sustainable development, and understanding their approaches and challenges.

An opening session will kick off the Panel outlining the role of ICT in implementing sustainable development; each panelist will have a 5 to 8 minutes presentation on concrete examples in addressing the two questions above. The opening session will be followed by interactive discussions proposing solutions in the above thematic areas.

A closing session will ask participants to chart a path to strengthen the contributions to sustainable development efforts and to put forward collective recommendations for actions.

The Panel will give a chance to participants to meet many constituencies and to generate new ideas. The objective is to spur ideas, innovation and action and to bring greater scale and quality in the discourse to recognize ICT as one of the major cross-cutting drivers of sustainable development.


  • Mr. Daniel Stauffacher, Chairman ICT4Peace Foundation and Co-Chair Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID)


  • Mr. Soon-hong Choi, ASG, Chief Information Technology Officer, United Nations
  • Mr. Nitin Desai, former USG Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations
  • Mr. Marcelo de Andrade, Earth capital Partners
  • Mr. Paul Hengefeld, Senior Director International Organizations, Microsoft.
  • Mr. Nathaniel Manning, Ushahidi
  • Mr. Quinn Sutton, Executive Director, Digital Alliance Foundation
  • Ms. Carmelle Terborgh, Team Lead, Global Affairs, ESRI