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Regional Information Society Forum

The Regional Information Society Forum started as a joint initiative of ARC Fund and the Greek Innovation Relay Centre Help-Forward back in 1998. It was conceived to be a periodic meeting of senior government officials, representatives of national and private telecom companies, the IT business communities, academics and non-governmental organizations from countries in the region, with the goal of:

- Promoting consensus in societies across the region about the role of Internet and other digital technologies for economic growth and democratization;
- Contributing to the design of a comprehensive policy agenda for increased ICT/Internet access and use across the region;
- Supporting development of a conducive legal and regulatory framework encouraging a faster uptake of ICT applications in business, government and civil societies across the region;
- Promoting cooperation among SMEs in the sector of information and communication technologies and encouraging the conclusion of trans-national cooperation and technology transfer agreements.

The RISF follows a specific format which features a combination of a high-profile international conference, usually attended by cabinet ministers, members of parliaments, leaders of industry associations and academics, and a more practical Technology Brokerage and Business Partnership event, which provides additional opportunities for business contacts and bilateral meetings, many of which have evolved into fruitful business collaborations.

Three such meetings have taken place to date. The RISFs have attracted prominent public figures from practically all countries in the region, as well as renowned international experts working in the field of ICT policy, industry leaders and entrepreneurs from Europe and the U.S. Some of the following international institutions and organizations have been represented: the European Commission, United States Information Agency, European Union Process for Stability and Good Neighborliness in Southeastern Europe (the Royaumont Process), United Nations Development Program, World Bank infoDev Program, the Global Internet Policy Initiative, Initiative for Technology Corporation in the Balkans, and Southeast Europe Telecommunications and Informatics Research Institute, among others.

Follow the links below to more detailed information on each event:

  • 3rd Regional Information Society Forum on "e-Development in Southeast Europe", 27-28 March 2002, Sofia

  • 2nd Regional Information Society Forum, 7-8 October 1999, Thessaloniki (Greece)
  • 1st Regional Information Society Forum, 25-26 September 1998, Sofia

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