Organized by Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF), Telecentre-Europe (TE), Consorcio Fernando de los Rios-Red Guadalinfo and the National Information Society Agency of Korea (NIA), the conference is expected to bring together over 1.300 participants from the information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) sector as well as private and public agencies from around the globe.
The conference will also serve as a meeting point for key figures and operators in the Global Telecentre Network, which has an estimated total of 500.000 telecentres that cater to approximately 1 billion users worldwide (figures provided by Consorcio de los Rios-Red Guadalinfo).
Miguel Raimilla, TCF's Executive Director says:
"We are the largest social network in the planet and have the capacity to create incredibly meaningful impact across so many places. We are looking to transform Spark into a leading ICT4D event where stakeholders, corporations, and social investors can gather and establish strategic alliances, create business opportunities, and develop and share solutions and services for underserved communities, minorities, emerging markets, and others that remain without access to the benefits that ICT provides today."
Spark is the first Global Forum on Telecentres to be held in Europe, with the first Global Forum (previously called the Telecentre Leaders Forum) held at the World Summit on Information Society in Tunis in 2005, followed by the 2nd and 3rd forums in Malaysia (2007) and Chile (2011), respectively.
Gabriel Rissola, Managing Director of Telecentre-Europe, expressed his pleasure as a co-chair of Spark, saying,
"We are really very happy that this year, we are co-chairing this major international event that TCF organizes bi-annually for all the regions around the world…We hope that this collaborative spirit that has been enhanced by Telecentre Europe and that is promoted across networks is still stronger in the future and that we will manage to make great strides in our efforts towards eInclusion, not just across Europe, but for the rest of the world as well.”
The two-day event also coincides with Granada’s millennium celebration, which takes place throughout the year. Juan Francisco Delgado, Managing Director of Consorcio Fernando de los Ríos, and President of the Telecentre Network of Spain says,
"Spark will serve to raise awareness of the important work being carried out to create a new economic and social model linked to innovation and empowerment of citizens, social enterprises, and the creation of new opportunities for participation. Andalusia has pioneered much of this work that is taking place and so it is fitting that the event will take place in Granada.”
Talks in the conference will revolve around the theme of “People, Social Innovation, and Sustainability”. Among the anticipated events in the program are the launch of the 1st Global Telecentre Awards and a special focus on initiatives that contribute to women empowerment through the meaningful use of ICTs, including TCF’s Telecentre Women Program.
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