UN WSIS Contributory Conference on ICT & Creativity:
Hosted by the Government of Austria - A UN WSIS Thematic Meeting
? Strategies for a better Information Society

Why is ICT and Creativity a burning issue?

The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) aims at taking a critical look at what has been happening worldwide since the beginning of the Digital Revolution. This process of analysing is to be followed by agreeing on measures to shape the further development of the Information Society.

Austria?s contribution to the WSIS is to focus on an area of the Digital Revolution often overlooked.

Getting access to quality e-contents and applications is an issue just as important to people all over the world as improving ICT infrastructure and network access. And these contents need better promotion.

Putting this thought into action is the World Summit Award (WSA), an Austrian initiative. In 2003, a total of 803 projects from 136 countries were handed in to compete for an award for best practice in e-content creativity.

40 of those projects, which had been evaluated and selected by an international expert jury, were honoured and celebrated in the framework of the World Summit ceremony in Geneva.

Another Austrian initiative, the World Summit Contributory Conference on ICT & Creativity, has the same aim.

The Aim of the Conference

ICTs in themselves are just useful for some people. But using and working with them creatively can improve the lives of many ? by bridging the Digital Divide and Content Gap. Because creativity is not bound to being rich in terms of material goods, of infrastructure and access to networks. Creativity is a ?natural resource? of the human mind, everywhere in the world. It is a matter of content.

What is the Digital Divide?

Digital libraries, new ways of storytelling and flash information have come to the living room. But what about people who are offline or do not speak English? Who don?t even know what Web or Internet mean?
No, the problem is not that they don?t have a computer. The problem is that they don?t have access to high-quality contents that could change their lives.

What is the Content Gap?

As world economies focus on creating and improving technological products, the issue of content is considered insufficiently. Technology and what technology produces belong together ? one cannot exist without the other. The ?what? however, the core of it all, remains a fraction of what it could be ? due to an appalling lack of underfinancing.

The aim of the WSIS Contributory Conference in Vienna is to produce a truly optimistic statement, the Vienna Declaration, for bridging the Digital Divide and Content Gap. This document shall be presented by the Conference Chairman at the Plenary Session on the Second Part of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis 2005.

Additionally, it is planned to implement the Vienna Declaration into the official Annex of the final Tunis Declaration.

Writing the Vienna Declaration

One of the key outcomes of the World Summit Contributory Conference on ICT & Creativity will be the Vienna Declaration.

A first draft version will be created by
- Peter Sloterdijk, Professor of Philosophy, Germany/Austria
- Sergei Kambalov, Deputy Executive Coordinator UN ICT Task Force, UNO
- Peter A Bruck, Professor of Communication, Chairman of WSA

This draft version will be worked on in a number of workshops. All conference participants are welcome to discuss, give their opinions and work on finalising the declaration.

© 2005 International Centre for New Media