ITU Telecom 2014 debates explore potential scenarios
December 10 2014 12:22 AM

The ITU Telecom World 2014 Leadership Summit on the Future has launched debates in “an eye-opening and inspiring journey into the future of the ICT industry”.

Renowned futurists and international experts from a range of disciplines have gathered to explore potential scenarios of the future with leaders of public and private sectors from across the global ICT sector.

Participants and attendees are also expected to gain an understanding of how policies, strategies, business models and regulatory approaches may need to adapt.

Futures Agency CEO Gerd Leonhard said people should be aware of the challenges and opportunities ahead amid the advent of modern technology.

“We need to determine the balance between humanity and technology – and go beyond fear to find our way forward,” he said.

International expert in intelligent robotics Rolf Pfeifer (Prof em, University of Zurich), introduced Roboy, a new breed of robot designed to provoke an emotional reaction.

It also encourages human-robot interaction and re-evaluate often negative perceptions of robots.

Rita McGrath, professor, Columbia Business School, spoke on the need for telecom companies to adopt a new strategic approach in the new era of cross-sector partnerships, moving competition from individual industries to arenas of activity.

Yuri van Geest, managing director at Singularity University Summit Europe, explored singularity, the concept of machines becoming more powerful than humans and the need for exponential organisations in exponential times.

Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future Research, has tackled the transformative drivers of change over the next decade and how governments can prepare for a hyper-connected future, emphasising the importance of education in the digital economy.

Simon Torrance, CEO of Metaflight, called for creative co-innovation and a new approach to partnerships in an era defined by convergence with broadcasting and the blurring of boundaries with vertical sectors.

ITU secretary-general Hamadoun I Touré highlighted the extent of the positive disruption the industry and the world are facing.

“The opportunities are immense: trillion-dollar new markets, social and economic development, sustainable economies, green cities, life-enhancing apps and services, convenience, ease, access to knowledge and new ways of doing things we cannot currently conceive of,” he said.

Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, Minister for Youth and Information and Communication Technology, Rwanda, said: “It has been a roller-coaster in terms of discovery, learning and impressions.

“It is challenging to realise that technology is changing much faster than government and the public sector, it is exciting to feel and touch the future of robotics and hear about exponential organisations.”

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