Not formally part of LIRNEasia’s work, but relevant to the theme of knowledge based economies. Protected economies are not knowledge based. In addition, I start off from what was stated by Michael Spence at Harvard Forum II. This was a LIRNEasia activity. My slideset is here.
In September 2009, LIRNEasia Chair and CEO, Rohan Samarajiva, participated in the second Harvard Forum on “Connection and human development” held at Harvard University, USA. Harvard Forum II was convened by Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Michael Spence, in collaboration with Randy Spence and theInternational Development Research Centre. Its aim was to bring together leading thinkers in the area of development to discuss how ICTs could contribute to poverty reduction in developing countries, both now and in the future. It was a follow-up to the Harvard Forum I held in 2003, where several needs in the ICT for development (ICT4D) area were identified (including ICT governance and regulatory reform, especially in the telecommunication sector). One of the outcomes of Harvard Forum I was the funding of organizations such as LIRNEasia that seek to remove policy and regulatory barriers to the use of ICTs.
That is the phrase I brought back from Harvard Forum II that I attended on behalf of LIRNEasia a few weeks back. In 2003 they held Harvard Forum I (which, among the LIRNE.NET group only Alison Gillwald attended). One of the results was the funding of organizations like LIRNEasia that seek to remove policy and regulatory barriers to the use of ICTs. This time the focus was on “what next.
Dr. Randy Spence spoke of his experiences in Somalia, where there isn’t much government to speak of. But people are using ICTs. However, he emphasized that ICTs must drop in cost for the investments of the 1990s to bear fruit. “I’m involved in nanotech and biotech, and fairly rapid diffusion of this technology will be very important.
The LIRNEasia Launch Party went well – with plenty of eating, drinking and dancing (and minimal photo-taking). Here are a few: Bill Melody, Milinda Moragoda, and Michael Spence Lighting of the lamp in gale force winds The view from a Mount Lavinia Hotel Room It was an auspicious launch with the personal message from Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa delivered by Mr. Lalith Weeratunga, Secretary to Prime Minister (see previous post for tea with the PM) and a message delivered by MP Milinda Moragoda. Also in attendance were Manju Hathotuwa, CEO of the Information Communication Technology Agency. There were also 3 generations of Samarajiva’s including Ainsley and Evelyn Samarajiva.
Today is the official start of the LIRNEasia Expert Forum on Regulation and Investment. Rohan Samarajiva is enamoured of ‘real-time updating’, hence you will be getting a plethora of information. Dr. William Melody delivered the commencement address, beginning with a simple question: “What are the characteristics of 21st Century Network Economies and Information Societies?” He also answered the question ‘What does LIRNE do?