ICT is an important enabler of growth and development. This is true in the context of socio-economic development with the well-worn correlation between broadband development and GDP growth. It is also true in the area of business improvement where ICT supports innovation, engagement, service improvement and client retention. Technology for the sake of it is a poor investment and Top down solutions designed for perceived problems are often ill received and unused leaving a disconnect between vendors/ service providers and consumers/ citizens.
‘Smarter Thinking’ can be applied to the development of Smart Cities, Smart Infrastructures, Smart Services and Smarter Organisations. ‘Smart’ is a generic term which conjures up a variety of images depending on individual experience but when we talk of ‘Smarter Thinking’, in the context of IAD 2017, we talk of connected thinking. We talk of Engagement, Collaboration, Innovation and Feedback loops. We talk in terms of co-created solutions to actual needs and we talk of feedback mechanisms to ensure we adjust technologies to evolve alongside solution needs. Three themes will prevail throughout the IAD summit:
Day One – EXPOSE, will incorporate sessions designed to expose African best practices and case studies across a range of ‘Smarter Thinking’ themes including Smarter Policy, Smarter Infrastructure, Smarter Data, Smarter Connectivity and Smarter Security. 3 case studies will be invited for each theme and audience members will be encouraged to vote for their favorite case study in each category with the winner of each category receiving an ‘IAD Smarter Thinking’ award.
Day Two – ENGAGE, will employ session formats which will encourage and enable peer to peer connections, solution sourcing and direct engagement between solution providers and those sourcing solutions.
Day Three – EVALUATE, will provide an opportunity to evaluate differing perspectives on key and contentious issues such as the value, opportunities and risks of employing Open Data strategies? Where are the risks and threats in Data Security? How can Public Private Partnerships accelerate growth? And how important is the development of a national Innovation strategy?
See the programme here