Global Forum 2012: Stockholm, Sweden November 12 &13

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Organizations and People in an Interconnected World

Monday, November 12th & Tuesday, November 13th, 2012


Items International and VINNOVA along with the Foundation Sophia-Antipolis are organizing the 21st Global Forum 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden

The GLOBAL FORUM is as an independent high profile international think tank event dedicated to Business and Policy issues affecting the successful evolution of the Information Society.

The Global Forum brings together industry leaders, senior policy-makers from national, regional and local governments, civil society leaders, European & International companies, institutions & organizations, European Commission delegates as well as academic specialists.

Since its inception, the Global Forum is pulling together each year, more than 300 diverse and talented experts from more than 30 countries from all continents.

The Global Forum fosters new international initiatives, help the creation of public/ private partnerships and contribute to the dissemination of information on ICT crucial issues shaping a sustainable Digital World.


Organizations and People in an Interconnected World

Key challenging topics to be debated

–       Vision For A Smart Future

–       Towards Smart Networks

–       New Usages: what requirements for Privacy & Security?

–       Smarter Governments

–       Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities

–       Smart Grids: The New Coopetition Field

–       Open Innovation

–       Medias & Usages

–       eHealth and Cloud Computing

–       Developing Women Talents

More info

Global Forum 2011 Wraps Another Successful Year

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Thank you to everyone who made Global Forum 2011 in Brussels, Belgium such a success. All conference presentations can be found on the blog: Day 1 and Day 2.

Looking forward to seeing everyone next year in Stockholm!

Elena Bonfiglioli, Microsoft, at the Global Forum in Brussels, Belgium on Women and Innovation

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William Shuffstall of Penn State on Helping Rural Communities Get Connected

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Ali Kone, Co-Founder, Coders4Africa, on Funding

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More at

Ball State in Indiana Offers Intense MS-CIS, Requires Blogging

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Dr. Jay Gillette, Professor of Information and Communications Sciences at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, stopped by ActiveMedia‘s desk on Tuesday to share a unique degree program relevant to many Global Forum attendees.

According to Dr. Gillette, a Master of Science in Information and Communication Sciences is a unique and intense degree program where students complete  38 graduate credits in 11 months straight.

All students are required to blog and there are more than 60 active blogs, making the Ball State program program the most prolific bloggers in information systems education in the U.S. Check them out at: Follow the Ball State University Center for Information & Comm. Sciences on Facebook or on Twitter @bsucics.

Women in Government and Education and Global Forum 2010 Conclusion


The last session of Global Forum 2010 also included female speakers from the Public Sector.  Kathleen Turco of GSA, who had also been a panelist at the Collaborative eProcurement session, stated that her entire career has been in the Federal government.  She has worked for 4 American federal government agencies and in most of these positions, she was the first woman to fill it.   She obtained these positions because she sought advice and did mentoring.  As a strong woman, Turco in turn likes to hire strong women!

Dr. Rachelle Heller of GWU, the host institution, jokingly thanked the panelists before her for making all of her points already.  Dr Heller stated that IT is “value and gender-neutral,” and research has shown that women are collaborative, can multi-task, and enjoy networking; IT is supported by these traits.  Furthermore, IT helps women’s voices be heard.  Studies have also been done where the same blogs were published with men’s, women’s, and neutral names (with initials).  Sadly, readers preferred the blogs of male writers over women writers.

In conclusion, chair Thaima Samman and President of the European Network for Women in Leadership, asked the panelists to give a 30 second conclusion.  Some panelists ended with a challenge.  Sharon Numes of IBM asked participants to think of the necessary and scarce resource of water: even if women in developing countries have access to cell phones and the internet, they will not have the time to use such technologies if they must spend have the day fetching water.  Linda Zecher of Microsoft encouraged women and men alike to contact local organizations and become a mentor to young girls.

Thaima Samman, Chair of Women's Innovation and Entrepreneurship session, as well as Kathleen Turco and Melanne Verveer

Women in Technology- Corporations side

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Following an inspiring speech by US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, panelists from corporations such as IBM and Microsoft spoke on their experiences of women in technology and how their companies are contributing to this growth.

Linda Zecher, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector, pointed out that women are over 50% of the world’s consumers.  Microsoft, being the consumer business that they are, understands that diversity of ideas, as well as ethnicities, is vital for success and growth in the workplace.  She noted that unfortunately, the number of women studying Computer Science has dropped in recent years.  Studies show that girls drop out of math and science because they feel it isn’t “cool” or experience teachers’ favoritism toward boys in these subject matters.  Zecher went on to explain Microsoft’s Digigirlz program, where mentors talk to girls about the jobs they can have in the IT field.

Sharon Numes, VP Smarter Cities of IBM, started that she has been involved in women in technology for 20 years and that in general, women like to work in areas where they will make a difference.  At IBM, she and colleagues focus on hiring and retaining women at their corporation.  Studies of why women don’t enter the tech/IT fields included perceived barriers.  When polled in 1997, American women said they thought barriers were, in order of importance, “male culture, work-life balance, lack of mentors, and access to key positions.”  In 10 years, women’s priorities have changed and barriers cited were “access to positions, male culture, exclusion from decision makers, and work-life balance.”

Microsoft's Linda Zecher