With the overarching themes of Emerging Markets, Emerging Technologies and Emerging People, the Third Global Knowledge Conference (GK3) held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 10-13, 2007 became the meeting ground for the information and communications technologies community. Three key associated events, viz., i4d Film Festival, the World Electronic Media Forum, and telecentre.org's Telecentre Leaders Forum preceded/ were held parallelly, providing further opportunity for learning, sharing and showcasing. The GKP members met; several organisation's conducted their own business, stakeholder, and board meetings; demonstrations of innovative solutions showcased; announcements and inauguration of products and alliances held; books and publications released; etc.
Putting together this current issue on GK3 is a tribute to the partnership of Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies, who are knowledge partners to the GK3 conference. As a part of the commitment to make this event the most valuable and memorable one, CSDMS engaged in the last two years, showcasing the conference, mobilising participants, highlighting the core theme, serving on the international advisory committee, and contributing its bit for the preparations for this fantastic conference. Three special thematic issues were released in 2007 on the theme of the conference.
Two key objectives of GK3 were: Expand and build partnerships, and grow the global knowledge community. Both objectives were overwhelmingly fulfilled and the sense of solidarity among the participants, the renewed friendships and alliances built showed the ability of the organisers, the supporters, sponsors and most importantly, the participants to unleash new and creative energies to take forward the Global Knowledge Community to strive better for fulfilling their objectives.
Walter Fust, Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland, and visionary leader of the GK3, highlighted the key outcomes of the conference. “During these days we have witnessed the initiatives, youthfulness and drive of the 100 young social entrepreneurs. They showed us that investing in them leads to a great return on investment. What they need is the proper skill, access to networks, dedicated mentors and financial resources. We have to increase our efforts to provide young people with opportunities. They simply deserve it, and they are our future.”
The most successful aspect of the entire conference remains the networks and the partnerships forged over the 3-day experience. A majority of the audience whole-heartedly raised their hands when asked to show whether they have fostered partnership. Many of them also concurred and stated that they had received valuable knowledge and advice given by the experts during the 3 days of talks. The CSDMS contingent came back, as did many of the over 1500 delegates, from the conference satisfied, renewed and thank the GKP and the organising committee, including all the sponsors for making it a once in a lifetime learning experience.
We wish our readers a very happy new year as we renew our commitment to bring the best of global ICT4D experiences, theories and methodologies for research.