Building the Information Society

A Global Challenge in the New Millennium

The "SIS On-Line Stand" at ICT-4D is being put together through a CERN & Caltech partnership. The stand is located on the "Enhancing Human Capacity & Empowerment" street that runs from the central cafe in northern direction (Stand 750, Hall-4, Palexpo, Geneva, Switzerland).

Media Events at SIS-Forum
Wednesday 10 December 2003
Palexpo, Hall 4, Stand #620, Science Tree

Inauguration & Kofi Annan Event

The SIS On-Line Stand at the ICT4D World Summit Exhibition demonstrates how the internet connectivity and technology has the potential to bring substantial benefits to a wide range of human activities, thus...

turning the digital divide into a digital opportunity for all

The stand uses the widespread communications technology provided by collaborating partners from a large part of the scientific community, especially from CERN and particle physics. In particular, the DataTAG Project# has extended its ultra-high speed trans-Atlantic testbed especially for this event to ICT4D in Palexpo [].

The SIS On-Line Stand features VRVS technology for high quality video-conferencing over the Internet using IP from Caltech and CERN. On the stand we will attempt to show how this video-conferencing technology - used daily by the particle physics community - can bring benefits in a variety of scenarios, including medical diagnostics and imaging, e-learning, distribution of video material including teaching lectures, and distributed conferences and discussions around the world community [].

The Canadian Communications Research Centre, CRC, is generously sharing some of its demonstrations with the SIS On-line Stand. In particular a demonstration of live haptic “touch and feel” feedback will show its potential use in remote medicine. A demonstration of MusicGrid will feature a jazz ensemble from the Geneva Conservatory playing with performers in another jazz ensemble in Newfoundland.

Northwestern University will demonstrate their high speed video server with a variety of material including medical images and high definition television and their use in a number of scenarios. The SWITCH research network in Switzerland will feature their “Tokyo lectures” as a successful example of distance teaching. The United Nations UNOSAT satellite operations will demonstrate a “fly-throughof 3D terrain constructed virtually by combining satellite images.

Caltech will show worldwide GRID and network monitoring using their MonALISA software, and also their GRID-enabled Physics Analysis, demonstrating the potential of the GRID for collaborative work [].

A number of video conferences, discussion sessions and presentations by distinguished speakers are being arranged and are announced in the detailed Stand Programme. The presenters will focus on the benefits that this technology has brought to their communities.

Finally the SIS On-Line stand will participate in the Internet2 Megaconference V: The Largest Worldwide Videoconference over Advanced Networks, which will run for 24 hours from lunchtime on 10th December [].

#DataTAG is a joint project of the European Union, the US Department of Energy and the US National Science Foundation. The mission is to establish a very high bandwidth bridge between the European and American scientific communities. The current testbed is running at 10 Gigabits/second, and has been specially extended from CERN to the ICT4D exhibition. Two partners in DataTAG - Caltech and CERN - currently hold the Internet2 “Land Speed Record for Data Transmission” in which the equivalent of a full length DVD was transmitted to Los Angeles every 7 seconds over this testbed.


The World Summit on the Information Society will be held in two phases. The first phase of WSIS will take place in Geneva hosted by the Government of Switzerland from 10 to 12 December 2003. The second phase will take place in Tunis hosted by the Government of Tunisia, from 16 to 18 November 2005.


The ICT for Development Platform (ICT4D Platform) aims to enrich the political core segment of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), held December 10-12, 2003, by showcasing the development dimension of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in a unique multi-stakeholder gathering. As the largest Summit Event the Platform is organised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) jointly with the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP).

The Platform brings together ICT4D specialists, best practices, innovations, and experience from around the world and raises broad awareness on the importance of ICT for development. It is the largest ever such event and covers an area of 16'000 m2. It consists of a unique combination of an exhibition as well as a series of panels and workshops.


In March of this year, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a Challenge to the world's scientists. While "recent advances in information technology, genetics and biotechnology hold extraordinary prospects for individual well-being and humankind as a whole," he wrote in Science magazine, "the way in which scientific endeavours are pursued around the world is marked by clear inequalities." Annan called on the world's scientists to work with the United Nations to extend the benefits of modern science to developing countries.

The Role of Science in the Information Society (RSIS) conference is in part a response to that challenge. Together with the International Council for Science, the Third World Academy of Sciences, and UNESCO, CERN is organising the event on behalf of the world's scientific community. Held at CERN in Geneva on the 8th and 9th of December, 2003, RSIS will review the prospects that present developments in science and technology offer for the future of the Information Society, especially in education, environment, health, and economic development.  This event will bring together scientists, policy makers and stakeholders from around the world to develop a vision for how information and communication technologies can be applied for the greater benefit of all.  The conference will produce a declaration and an action plan, which will feed into the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held 10-12 December in Geneva.

As an international, intergovernmental physics laboratory with 20 European member states and formal cooperation agreements with over 30 nations around the world, CERN is ideally suited to host RSIS. Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while at CERN to enable scientists around the globe to work together effectively, and CERN then made the technology freely available to the global community, an enormous step toward democratizing the flow of information. One component of the RSIS discussion will be how to apply lessons learnt from the history of the Web and other information and communication technologies.

Last Modified by Daniel Davids on Tuesday 16 December 2003