WSIS Forum: ICC BASIS urges creation of a global information society
Speaking at the WSIS 2013 action lines Forum in Geneva this month, Subramanian Ramadorai, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS )initiative and Vice-Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services, highlighted the urgency for achieving greater participation from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Internet policy discussion and in the formation of a sustainable information society.
As innovators and primary Internet users, Mr Ramadorai stressed that businesses must continue to play an integral role in shaping the Internet and that the voice of business as a whole should be heard in policy-making discussions, at national, regional and global levels, not least because the consequences of failing to speak out could mean that changes to the way the Internet is governed could begin to work against the interests of all business in the long-term.
Mr Ramadorai also stressed the concern that there is not sufficient representation of SMEs in the discussions that directly feed into the formation of Internet policy and that the Internet governance community as a whole would like to see a greater representation of SMEs in Internet-related debate, given the unique and crucial role these businesses play in today’s economic landscape.
In his address to forum delegates Mr Ramadorai said: “All businesses touch the Internet and the Information society today, regardless of sector. And all businesses – micro, small, medium and large – play an important role in the information society and are major contributors to opportunities around investment, innovation and economic growth.”
Highlighting how ICC BASIS works together year-round with representatives from civil society, academia, the Internet technical community and government to shape policy and best practices that support the evolution of the Information Society, Mr Ramadorai stressed that the participation of SMEs is needed to convey the small business viewpoint. This brings diverse perspectives to the table and enables smaller enterprises to talk about what matters to them.
Referring to WSIS goals, Mr Ramadorai illustrated how the programme champions the dreams of millions who remain untouched by the benefits of technology. He reiterated that the multistakeholder approach to developing policies relating to the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs) is the only way to ensure that informed policy choices are made, and that the information society continues to grow.
Mr Ramadorai’s message was that there is a critical role for businesses of all sizes to partner and invest in the information society infrastructure and to create and implement technology solutions that aid sustainable development across the world.
Read Mr Ramadorai’s call for greater representation of SMEs in the discussions that feed into the formation of Internet policy
For more information visit WSIS 2013 action lines Forum and ICC BASIS