The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies (ICT). ITU promotes the collaboration of the public and private sectors to develop global ICT networks and services. From March until September 2015, ITU engaged a team of seven UN Online Volunteers to research new trends and global best practices in ICT innovation.
The results of this research were used in preparation of the ITU Telecom World 2015 event in Budapest. Bringing together over 4,000 participants from 129 countries to connect and share views, challenges and experiences, the conference provided a space to hold meaningful dialogues on how innovation in ICT can help deliver solutions globally. Industry leaders, governments, international organizations, entrepreneurs, accelerators, incubators and academics exchanged ideas and forged new relationships in diverse areas related to technology for development and disaster management, to improve the lives of millions of people across the globe.
In the conference’s planning phase, the UN Online Volunteers mapped over 700 relevant initiatives undertaken by governments, universities and the private sector to promote ICT innovation hubs, clusters and parks in 115 countries. “The team was always present for ITU's needs, so work never stopped in this period. This was true teamwork and full of new ideas that enhanced our way of doing things. The volunteers did extensive research that was invaluable for the ITU,” says Jose Maria Diaz Batanero, who coordinated ITU’s collaboration with the volunteers.