Building Knowledge Societies: Spotlight on Kuala Lumpur
Second Global Knowledge Partnership Conference (GKII)
"Information at the speed of light. Instant communication. Satellite services can place information on any spot with the precision of a surgeon's knife.
Our planet is ringed with data that practically circles the globe, binding one continent to another.
We have become a global village, where a sneeze in the Tundra can be heard in Antarctica."
-The World Development Report 1999
They came to Malaysia from over 90 countries some 1200 participants to explore avenues of collaboration. Thousands more had been involved in the electronic dialogues that were managed two months in advance - all in preparation for the Global Knowledge Forum and 2-day Action Summit. This provided the opportunity to convert concepts and dreams into plans, policies and programs - building the foundation for a future that does not exist today.
The Canadian government and The World Bank offered to host the first Global Knowledge Conference, which was held in Toronto in 1997. The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) http://www.globalknowledge.org - now numbering over 60 organizations was formed in the wake of that meeting. Three years later, members of the GKP and other interested parties continued the dialogue for a week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Several major events preceded the Forum and Summit in Malaysia. They focused on the three major content themes of the agenda: Access, Empowerment and Governance.
Some Key Messages
There is no way to do justice to the wealth of information shared and knowledge created with such a vast worldwide initiative. Speeches delivered by those in positions of leadership and influence was both insightful and inspirational. Here are a few snippets:
Developing nations can exchange knowledge and become equal to industrialized nations. (Jim Wolfensohn, World Bank)
Equitable access to information and knowledge on a global scale is crucial to bring about true empowerment and good governance at the local, national, regional and global levels
A GKP action plan must address 1) Poverty Alleviation; 2) The Digital Divide; 3) Global governance; 4) Human resource Development.
The KnowNet website has become a very rich and diverse repository of resources forwarded by its over 20 remote volunteers. At the moment it has a list of about 75 case studies, over 130 articles, 185 links to different ICT related projects/initiatives, and over 40 events and conferences relating to ICT and Knowledge Networking. See http://www.knownet.org
There has been considerable progress in building something called the Development Gateway Project "Where the worlds of Knowledge Meet" - designed to provide the "value added" to audiences in developing countries and to other stakeholders. Check out the wide variety of topics, including e-government, e-learning, SME's and more - http://www.developmentgateway.org/all-topics.
This is just a flavor of the richness of dialogue at the conference. Read a fuller report at http://www.entovation.com/whatsnew/knowledge-societies.htm
Email: Debra M. Amidon
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