Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS)


INFORMATION by Stephen Ibaraki

Speaking at United Nations General Assembly WSIS+10 High-Level Meeting

United Nations Update: WSIS + 10 United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting - Invitation to speak at the UN July 2, 2015.

IFIP News release: IFIP IP3 Chair Global Industry Council Speaks to UN General Assembly

The story behind the news

Right after chairing the CIO CITY EU CIO Of the Year session (video in link) in Brussels, as founding Chair Global Industry Council (GIC) and Vice-Chair of IFIP's International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3), I received this invitation (excerpts quoted below) to speak Thursday July 2nd, from the UNITED NATIONS. Thursday was a historical unprecedented UNITED NATIONS event—the first time external non-governmental stakeholders were given this extended ability to inform the United Nations through three panels (speakers are assigned as speakers or respondents) and unique with live streaming and Twitter for questions. Areas of discussion included WSIS+10 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

"We have the pleasure to invite you to serve as a speaker during the UN General Assembly informal interactive consultations on WSIS+10. The hearings are organized by the President of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. The arrangements are supported by UN DESA, ITU, UNCTAD, UNESCO and UN-NGLS. These hearings will provide an opportunity for representatives of the different stakeholders to exchange views on the overall review of the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society."

On Thursday, representing the global partnership of IFIP IP3 and the tremendous work of Brenda Aynsley Chair, I did five or six interventions including official speech (given the floor for comment/speeches) for panels 1 to 3 where the day was broken up into three panels or themes. As an invited speaker I was officially assigned to panel 3 as respondent, "Congratulations on your selection as a speaker for this historic event at the United Nations."

My intervention speeches and follow-up centered on these underlying themes and topics:

  • the resources inherent in the national and international organizations that are within IFIP (example, ACM, CIPS, ACS, IITPSA, IPSJ, SI, NGI/VRI, KIISE,…) that can implement WSIS + 10 action lines and SDGs; IFIP programs supporting themes in WSIS +10 and SDGs (WITFOR, World CIO Forum, World Computer Congress, WGs, TCs)

  • IFIP roots with UNESCO and the first report on the economic benefits of computing for developing nations (in the 1960s') coming from authorities in the IFIP family (co-author Kelly Gotlieb who is also the coauthor of the first book on the social impact, at the founding of IFIP, a founder of IFIP society CIPS and early pioneer of IFIP society ACM).

  • Professionalism in ICT, ethics in ICT, (see panel 3 speech)

  • engaging youth and women into STEM, providing educational resources, mentorship and much more such as with YouthSpark where I chaired a session this year for YouthSpark Live and Maria Klawe provided support; the expertise and mentorship available from over 35 million professionals (many certified) such as from the Microsoft community (1 billion+ users, tens of millions of professionals, Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs)). Here is more where Carolyn Nguyen, Microsoft Director Telecom and Internet Governance, provided compelling insights in support of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) action lines and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • women inclusion through IFIP programs (ACM-W, ACS—Brenda Aynsley is the first woman top leader)

  • investment for innovation/joint ventures supporting WSIS + 10 action lines and SDGs can be found in CIOs (IFIP World CIO Forum, CIONET (5000 CIOs, CIO CITY Summit)), CEOs/investors (young presidents organization YPO with over 20,000 members); seek out and speak at their events (UNESCO director provided a top ranked keynote at CIO CITY where I chaired the session with the EU CIOs of the Year); work with top global entrepreneurs and investor networks such as Exponential Partners where the partners are leaders with YPO and CEO organizations and who are catalysts for significant entrepreneurship and start-ups

  • engage all citizens encouraging diversity, respecting cultural context into innovation, entrepreneurship, start-ups, invention starting early thus supporting SDGs and WSIS + 10 action lines; examples include International Science and Engineering Fair (past ACM chief special awards judge), Imagine Cup and World online Imagine Cup (current judge), ACM student chapters (current judge for student chapter awards), CES Appreneur Awards (current judge), … be involved by mentoring/judging/investing

  • innovation is much more than new and improved products and services; there are 35 elements for innovation involving 5 types of innovation and 7 development phases yielding a matrix of 35 elements and illustrated in this article

  • prior UN planning did not fully anticipate the impact of the Internet, broadband, mobile (smartphones); there is a digital quake coming which will disrupt culture, society, the economy, industry, education, innovation – machine learning/deep learning; what is being done about this? [I talked with Tom Mitchell of Carnegie Mellon who is leading the Never Ending Language Learner or NELL project which is learning to read the Web and will understand it all in ten years. I also talked with Andrew Ng, director of AI at Stanford, founder of the Google Brain Project, and now head of research at Baidu, who talks about deep learning, where computers have human like capabilities and learn on their own. Then there is Microsoft Bing and their prediction engine, which successfully predicted the final 15 matches at the World Cup, and the recent Scottish independence referendum vote. There is an impending digital quake where over 80% of jobs will change and companies will fail if adjustments are not made? What are the social and economic implications of Big Data and the advances in machine learning, deep learning on Big Data and its usage? How are you planning for these advances?]

  • sharable scientific resources are sought and IFIP and IFIP societies are the greatest repositories of research (ACM digital library is one example)

  • the local context and respect for culture and diversity (IFIP consists for national organizations to provide this bridge to the local context)

  • academic programs supporting youth engagement into STEM; IFIP societies have youth programs and there is the IFIP Young IT Professional initiative; I just finished judging the ACM Student Chapters program as an example; there are MOOCs for developing nations (example CommonWealth of Learning who has their technology chief sitting on the IFIP IP3 Global Industry Council)

Four draft guiding questions for the consultations were:

  1. To what extent has progress been made on the vision of the people-centred, inclusive and development-oriented Information Society in the ten years since the WSIS? Do you think this evolution has been sufficiently addressed during the previous WSIS+10 reviews?

  2. How best can ICT's be integrated in capacity building and as a means of implementation of the post-2015 development agenda?

  3. What are the policy frameworks to create enabling environments for innovation?

  4. What are the priorities, gaps, achievements and challenges and areas for continued focus?

In support of professionalism in my speech, representing IFIP IP3 for panel 3, here are excerpts of thoughts and proposals put forward:

"Representing IFIP IP3 (the International Federation for Information Processing, International Professional Practice Partnership), we actively support the presentations of the panel. IFIP, founded in 1960 by UNESCO, is the federation of national and international ICT official organizations with a professional member reach in over 100 countries.

We feel the panel presentations align with the strong support we provide to the WSIS+10 vision for WSIS beyond 2015, outcomes from WSIS Forum 2015, SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the WSIS/SDG matrix. WSIS themes, SDGs, youth and women engagement, cultural diversity are addressed at the IFIP World Computer Congress in South Korea in 2015, and upcoming IFIP World CIO Forums, past IFIP World IT Forums, (TCs, WGs).

Harnessing ICT for Development and Capacity Building, the IFIP International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3) is focused on providing a platform to shape and implement relevant policies to foster professionalism in IT worldwide and support skills in using and implementing ICT for Development.

An outcome from our 2015 WSIS workshop was the following: Given the reach of ICT in our lives, it is important for an ICT professional to be technically strong (in order to use the right technology for the relevant problem), ethically grounded (to ensure that technology is put to the right use), socially conscious (so that the technical solution takes into consideration elements of sustainability) and business savvy (to ensure commercial viability which is required for social prosperity and funding of new developments). [GIC 2020 Skills report, quote Tan Moorthy GIC Director]

These are grounded in professionalism much like accounting where ICT professionals’ exhibit demonstrated professional development, adherence to a code of ethics, personal responsibility, public accountability, quality assurance and recognized credentials.

An outcome from our 2012 WSIS workshop was the following: The common denominator for sustained growth in economic development, GDP, innovation, sustainability and security is a professional workforce supported by internationally accredited industry relevant education, demonstrated skills development, recognized ethical conduct and adherence to proven best practices and standards. This involves the collaboration of business, industry, governments, academia, and professional societies.

The journey from Geneva 2003 to Tunis 2005 to WSIS +10 demonstrated addressing different aspects to ensure confidence, security, privacy and personal data protection, safety and trust in the use of ICTs. Not only these but also a commitment to capacity building in those who operate, manage and create ICTs that we all use.

IFIP's International Professional Practice Partnership is committed to continuing the WSIS journey, enabling SDGs, engaging youth, closing the gender gap and cultural diversity."

Added Thoughts

Quoting Vint Cerf co-creator of the internet.

"...I know that many of my colleagues don't like this idea very much, but I think with the degree of software that we're surrounded by everywhere, that at some point we may be called to task for failing to do something that protects people's interests and there may be liability, and as soon as that happens I think that some point of accreditation will be inescapable."

We must address the trend that we are in a "Second Machine Age" as illustrated in a book by MIT professors, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (fine review by Pearlstein in the Washington Post), with dramatic economic growth driven by smart machines, artificial intelligence, networked communication, digitization of just about everything due to exponential growth of computing power, digital information, cheap IoT communicating, Big Data, unlimited speed, data recombination, ubiquity. The evidence is clear with driverless cars, robots scanning and understanding environments, augmented reality (Hololens), Skype language translation, computers interacting with consumers, object/face recognition. An example of the Second Machine Age is Facebook (FB) with a market value greater than 240B, more than 10 times Kodak at its peak (example of first machine age company) and exceeding Walmart market value in June; FB generating 5+ billionaires each 10x greater wealth than George Eastman the founder of Kodak. With the First Machine Age (evidenced by Kodak): rising productivity is related to increasing employment, jobs and income. With the Second Machine Age (evidenced by FB): productivity exists separately from jobs/income; with few employees/jobs you have products/services for virtually unlimited customers, at little cost. Thus there is a future need driving greater demand for high-level programmers; education system focussed on ICT PROFESSIONALISM E-skills for the second machine age of smart machines. Ethical conduct, accountability, credentialing, professional development, quality assurance,...EQUALS ICT PROFESSIONALISM E-SKILLS

Live streamed while in session, this is the on-demand recorded session for the first panel (deliberations with example interventions at 1.34.57 and 2.18.55):

Panels 2 and 3: (sample interventions at 1:06:22, 2:10:10)

Post-event action items:

  • A written report for the UN with July 31 due date which is being prepared by IFIP IP3.

  • Article(s) about the event.

  • Interviews and/or discussions with two UN officers (who founded the UN electronic governance program that supports government CIOs), a UN chief and possibly with the director at UNESCO.

  • Discussions and/or interviews with added delegates and officials at the Thursday UN event.

Aligned with the UN invitation, in late 2014, I moderated, chaired and was a keynote at the opening of the United-Nations supported Global e-Government Forum International Scientific Practical Conference:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Aligned with industry and the UN, in November 2014, as WCF vice-chair, I chaired the plenary session with top CEO/CIOs at the 2014 IFIP World CIO Forum (WCF) and served as vice-chair/spoke at the 2011 IFIP World CIO Forum (contains links to articles on the WCF).

Upcoming global conferences supporting the UN agenda:

Keynote 38th International Conference on Software Engineering:

Speaker/keynote 3 global conferences IFIP World Computer Congress conferences in Education, Youth, Industry:

About IP3

Part of IFIP (International Federation for Information Processing), the global professional federation of societies and associations for people working in ICT, IP3 was established to encourage development of ICT professionals, define standards and to recognise professional excellence. See for more details.

About IFIP

IFIP is the global professional federation of societies and associations for people working in Information and Communications Technologies and Sciences. Established under the auspices of UNESCO in 1960 and recognised by the United Nations, IFIP represents ICT professional associations from more than 50 countries and regions with a total membership of over half a million.

It also brings together more than 3,500 scientists from industry and academia, organising them into over 100 Working Groups and 13 Technical Committees to conduct research, develop standards and promote information sharing. Based in Austria, IFIP organises and supports over 100 conferences each year, fostering the distribution of research and knowledge to academics and industry practitioners alike. See for more information.

IFIP Website: