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Please Submit Session Ideas Now: Global Digital Development Forum 2023

By Wayan Vota on January 11, 2023

GDDF 2023

Please Submit Session Ideas Now for the hybrid Global Digital Development Forum on April 26-27, 2023. We are expanding on the virtual GDDF format that spans the globe from 4:00 GMT to 20:00 GMT to include in-person watch parties in Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Argentina (with more coming) and an exclusive in-person Washington, DC event.

GDDF 2023 builds on three years of successful global virtual forums that engage over 3,000 participants each time and feature keynote speakers from USAID, tech companies, and across the digital development ecosystem. Do not miss out on GDDF 2023!

sessions gddf 2023

Submit Your Session Ideas Now

The Global Digital Development Forum is a highly participatory, community-driven event. We encourage you to submit ideas for different session types:

  • Thoughtful keynote presentations on transformative digital development topics of global importance
  • Exciting lightning talks that showcase new ideas or focused learning on ICT4D successes and failures in short, fast-paced presentations
  • Captivating breakout sessions featuring lively debates on key contested issues or interactive roundtable discussions that explore complex deployment challenges
  • Interactive learning workshops with practical, hands-on exercises and innovative approaches
  • Enlightening solution demonstrations of new services, approaches and key innovations ready for rapid deployment

When you submit your session idea, you can tell us if you want your session as part of the exclusive in-person Washington, DC event. Please email Kristen Weymouth if you’d like to host a Watch Party with your local ICT4D community.

We are focusing on three key areas of digital development – exploring transformative questions,  industry-defining discussion, new voices, creative ideas for each area:

  • Emerging Technologies: Do the risks of generative AI outweigh its benefits? Where are we with quantum computing? Are blockchains still relevant to developing countries? Will sensors and Internet-of-Things improve geospatial data accuracy? Can 5G bridge last mile digital divides? How can emerging tech be useful in the most challenging settings? Who is iterating on the leading edge?
  • Locally-led Development: Where are the innovative locally-created digital solutions? What role do global tech companies play? How can digital development harness local digital ecosystems? What does locally-led ICT4D mean for international development? Who is successful with local digital solutions? How can digital development foster greater diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility?
  • Climate Change: What are innovative climate tech solutions? How do we respond to this mega-threat today? Where are digital development practitioners contributing to climate adaptation? How can we measure impact? Who is helping people mitigate change? What is working? What are they learning & doing?

We are actively seeking session ideas  from around the world with special consideration for sessions led by practitioners from low- and middle-income countries.

Please Submit Your Session Ideas by January 27th. We’ll respond by mid-February. If selected, you will be asked to submit the final session title, summary and outline by March 3rd. All session leads will receive dedicated training in presenting online from TechChange to ensure an engaging virtual event.

Suggested Session Construction

GDDF 2023 sessions are different from the usual ICT4D conference events. Please propose engaging conversation topics with lead discussants from different organizations. The idea is to foster lively debate on key questions with multiple viewpoints, not listen to rote presentations on implemented projects.

Here are several session topic ideas to guide your session design:

  • What is the role of digital technology in international development and humanitarian efforts? How to use artificial intelligence, blockchain (not crypto!), remote sensing, and other emerging technologies today?
  • Who understands the ethical implications of digital development in rural and underserved contexts? When does privacy, security, and local context take precedence?
  • Where are the opportunities and issues of using ICT4D in challenging environments like disaster zones, conflict areas, and remote or rural locations?
  • How can digital solutions support inclusive and sustainable development through digital financial services, e-commerce, and other commercial applications?
  • Who is building capacity and fostering local ownership in technology for development programs? Why are they succeeding and what are they learning?
  • When is technology supporting climate change mitigation and adaptation with data analytics, machine learning, and other ICT4D tools?

See past Technology Salon sessions for further inspiration on how to develop your session theme and recruit diverse discussants. Session ideas that focus on one solution or with discussants from one organization will not be accepted.

GDDF 2023 Session Tracks

We seek a wide range of ideas and viewpoints across the international development and humanitarian relief sectors – especially those coming from local communities – within these broad session track categories.

  • AgriTech: Smallholder Farming, Animal Husbandry, Aquaculture, Value Chains
  • Climate Change: Climate Adaption, Clean Tech, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Green Transport
  • Digital Democracy: Community Engagement, Elections, Activism and Human Rights
  • Digital Economy: Digital Financial Services, Digital Identity, Agency and Inclusion, Fostering Inclusive Digital Innovation
  • Digital Health: COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, Mother & Child, Family Planning, Health Workforce, Supply Chain
  • Digital Transformation: Personalized Service Delivery, Predictive & Proactive Outreach, Omnichannel Engagement, Focused Customer Experience
  • EduTech: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Adult, Informal and Digital Literacy Skills
  • Emerging Technology: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Remote Sensing, Digital Identification, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Virtual Assistants,
  • eGovernment: Citizen Services, eProcurement, Social Payments, Public Administration, Land Registration, Anti-Corruption
  • Humanitarian Response: Tech Deployed During Natural Disasters, Conflict, Post-conflict
  • Information Integrity: Media, Disinformation, Misinformation, Social Accountability, Information Literacy
  • Responsible Data: Collection, Analysis, Interoperability, Presentation, Dashboards, Risks, Privacy, and Protection
  • Safeguarding and Protection: Cybersecurity, Digital Safety Technologies, Policies, Guidelines and Training

Each session should include underlying concepts like data privacy and security, constituent protection and safeguarding, inclusion, the role of gender and how to monitor, evaluate and learn from success.

sessions gddf 2023

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Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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