IEEE Joins WSIS Forum in Geneva, Supports UN Sustainable Development Goals

IEEE’s participation includes high-level presentations and organizing first WSIS hackathon

PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY, USA, 31 May 2017 – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity, today announced its participation at the upcoming World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Forum 12-16 June in Geneva. The annual Forum gathers global multi-stakeholders to discuss the role of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) as a means of implementation for the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals.

The WSIS Forum focuses on making the information society accessible to all citizens of the world. In its recent position statement, “Building a Sustainable Global Information Society,” IEEE shared the organization’s common vision of a people-centered, inclusive and development-oriented information society as outlined by the UN through WSIS. As part of its commitment to working with all categories of stakeholders to implement the WSIS vision, IEEE will participate in the following WSIS Forum 2017 programs:

High Level Policy Segment

IEEE President Karen Bartleson will deliver IEEE’s intervention at the High Level Policy segment of the meeting on 13 June. Policy Statements are delivered by high-ranking officials of the WSIS stakeholder community, representing the government, private sector, civil society, academia and international organizations. Bartleson will share IEEE’s support for the WSIS process and working together with stakeholders to develop tangible and actionable programs.

In addition, IEEE Technology Policy Programs Senior Manager Justin Caso will serve as a High Level Track Facilitator representing the Technical Community for the 13-14 June WSIS Forum High-level Policy Sessions, which are organized around themes identified as important by the WSIS stakeholders.

WSIS Prize Ceremony

The IEEE SIGHT (Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology) Tawasol project will be recognized during a 13 June WSIS Forum ceremony as one of 90 Champions in the prestigious WSIS Prizes contest. WSIS stakeholders voted for nominees to honor outstanding projects that leverage the power of ICT to accelerate socio-economic development. IEEE Tunisia, IEEE Internet Initiative, International Connector and People Centered Internet are collaborators with IEEE SIGHT on the project. Tawasol was designed to create an internet-empowered next generation throughout Tunisia – starting with schools and scaling to reach surrounding communities to increase awareness among families, businesses and local community leaders.

“IEEE is proud of the success-story-in-progress in Tunisia that exemplifies the shared goals of WSIS stakeholders to allow all of us to enjoy the benefits of a society powered by information,” said Bartleson. “Across IEEE we are committed to working towards increasing trust in the internet and its underlying technologies through transparency, ICT education at all levels of expertise, technical community building, partnership across regions and nations, and service to humanity. We congratulate all WSIS Prize nominees, and hope the Tawasol project can serve as a model for accelerating social and economic growth and sustainable development in other regions.”

WSIS Forum Hack for Health

IEEE is co-sponsoring the WSIS Forum 2017 Hack for Health on 11-12 June. At the first-ever WSIS hackathon, student teams will develop innovative technology solutions to reduce exposure to common risk factors for non-communicable diseases in middle- and lower-income countries and to promote smart, healthy cities. The WSIS Forum Hack for Health is presented by WSIS Forum, organized in association with ITU and IEEE in collaboration with Be He@lthy, Be Mobile (ITU-WHO).

About IEEE Internet Initiative

The IEEE Internet Initiative promotes thought leadership and innovation and advances solutions for a trustworthy and inclusive internet by contributing technology expertise and resources to the policy ecosystem and providing a collaborative development platform and community to produce action-oriented and implementable outputs. Learn more at, and follow @IEEENetPolicy on Twitter.

About IEEE
IEEE is the largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at

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