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3rd Regional Information Society Forum (3RISF) took place in Sofia

The 3rd Regional Information Society Forum was held in Sofia on March 27-28, 2002. Co-organizers of the event were ARC Fund, the HELP-FORWARD Network of the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas and Romanian Center for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (CRIMM). Financial support was provided by the German Agency for Technical Cooperation - GTZ, the European Commission DG Enterprise, the Initiative for Technology Cooperation in the Balkans (ITCB) and the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.

The central theme of this year’s Forum was e-development – the role of information and communication technologies in socio-economic development of countries in the region. This topic was be approached from a variety of angles, including the policy and regulatory framework, the ICT’s impact on economic growth, employment and social cohesion, the implications for EU enlargement, and the risk of exclusion for those countries and economies that do not catch up. Participants discussed ways to promote “digital opportunities” in Southeast Europe via policy reforms, region-wide cooperation and specific cross-border initiatives in the context of eEurope+, the Stability Pact’s eSEEurope initiative, and others.

The Forum’s agenda featured plenary sessions, which included presentations by keynote speakers on global issues of ICT development, as well as thematic workshops on key topics, such as e-Security, e-Government, and E-Readiness.

The Forum attracted renowned international experts and academics working in the field of ICT policy, as well as industry leaders and entrepreneurs. Speakers included, among others, Professor William H. Melody of Delft University of Technology and Managing Director of LIRNE.NET, Mr. Peter Wolfmeyer, General Manager of ZENIT GmbH of Germany, Prof. Nicholas Ashford of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Co-Chairman of the Initiative for Technology Corporation in the Balkans, Mr. George Sadowsky, Executive Director of the Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI), Ms. Diana Voicu, Deputy General Director of DG Strategy and Information Society Development at the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Pantelis Angelidis of the Southeastern Europe Telecommunications & Informatics Research Institute (INA) in Thessaloniki (Greece) and Mr. Vivek Chaudhry, Work Program Administrator of the infoDev Programme at the World Bank.

The 3rd RISF featured several concurrent events, including a Transnational Technology Transfer and Business Partnership Event for ICT companies, and conference on the Role of Women in Technology-Based Business.

A total of 182 participants attended the various RISF events. The Forum brought together participants from Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Macedonia, Turkey, the U.K. and USA.


Narrative Report on the forum - includes also the List of participants and Forum Agenda
Forum websites
- with links to speaker biographies and presentations


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