Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Thematic Conference: Ubiquitous Network Society

The Japanese government will hold a WSIS thematic meeting on Ubiquitous Networks, 16-17 May, 2005, Tokyo, Japan.

Conference registration is now open. A limited number of fellowships for travel and accommodation are available. Please see http://www.wsis-japan.jp/

Conference organizers describe the conference theme as:

Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Conference WSIS thematic meeting "Toward the realization of the Ubiquitous Network Society" - anytime, anywhere, by anything and anyone -

The "ubiquitous network society", which will make it possible to connect anytime, anywhere, by anything and anyone, is now rapidly becoming more than just a concept. In a ubiquitous network society, everyone and everything can be connected, and new innovations that will completely change the current dimension of ICT are anticipated. In the ideal ubiquitous network society, smooth interaction, reflection of users' needs and points of view as well as the tapping of individual energy are set to be realized.

(for more on the ubiquitous network concept, see http://www.nri.co.jp/english/opinion/papers/2003/np200366.html)

GLOCOM is helping to arrange civil society participation in the conference. The conference will be in Japanese and English.

There will be 4 main sessions during the conference, one organized by a local Japan civil society committee. Draft outline of the themes for the civil society session are:

Outline of the Civil Society Session
Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Conference

1) Overall Theme: Designing a People-Centered, Inclusive, and Development-Oriented Ubiquitous Network Society

2) Topics for discussion:

a) Access for All
- How to ensure equitable ubiquitous access to all persons
- Consideration for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and socially marginalized groups
- Design for All: from responding to specific needs to designing a common overall system
- Ensuring access in disaster situations such as Tsunami, earthquake or other natural or social disaster and make use of ubiquitous network for disaster reduction
- Ensuring access for less developed parts of the world
- Establishing the safe and reliable geographic and online community

b) Human rights including privacy protection

- Ubiquitous Network Society to help enhance human rights
- How to protect human rights in the highly networked society
- How to ensure privacy of citizens against misuse of information in the ubiquitous network environment

c) Principles of Technology dependent society: Ethics, social responsibility and accountability of ICT experts

d) The roadmap for ideal ubiquitous society for the citizens

- Civil Society perspective on how to build the ideal ubiquitous society
- Education, Technology, Information Infrastructure and other elements of social design should be considered in such a roadmap

3) Speakers:

A total of five speakers will be selected. Each speaker will make 10-15 minute presentation and the discussion will be open to floor. The Civil Society preparation committee will work on finding and selecting the speakers both from overseas and Japan. Speakers for the civil society session will be announced shortly.


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