The Young ICT Leaders’ Forum 2017, organized for its fourth time by ITU and Busan Metropolitan City, opened today at ITU Telecom World 2017. Following the opening remarks by Mr Ki-won Han, Special Advisor on Investment Policy of Busan Metropolitan City, Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary General, welcomed over 200 participants from more than 30 countries worldwide. He thanked Busan city for its commitment in implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed three years ago by ITU and Busan city and is aimed to establish a framework of cooperation on the “Busan Initiative”.
“About 830 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are online today. They represent more than 80% of the youth population in 104 countries. They, young leaders, are at the forefront of Internet adoption. And that’s true everywhere, in developed and developing countries.”, said Mr Zhao.
The Young ICT Leaders’ Forum 2017 also incorporates ‘Busan Global Smart Cities Challenge’ which is an idea competition focusing on innovative approaches and solutions for making cities smarter. 20 ideas from 16 countries will be pitched to a panel of judges on the last day of the event. In addition to the ideas presented, Busan Metropolitan City also supported 10 more participants from across the globe to participate in the Young ICT Leaders’ Forum 2017.
Mr Zhao said, “Tech SMEs and digital startups have a critical role to play. They are vital to the digital economy in terms of jobs, innovation and growth — both in developed and in developing countries.”
The first day of the forum addressed topics on ‘building smart cities: transforming lives’ and artificial intelligence (AI) and FinTech for smart cities. The Forum will continue on the last day of the event and discuss about startups and entrepreneurs, as well as see idea presentations for Busan Global Smart Cities Challenge. Four winners will be awarded tomorrow.