Caring Communities for the 21st Century: Imagining the Impossible

“Age of Connectivity”

International Conference on Wednesday February 12, 2003 10am – 6pm
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Room # 4

Join experts from the fields of urban planning, information communication technology, finance, government, business, health, real estate development, and tourism to discuss your ideas.

Addressing the following questions:

  • How can global connectivity assist in resolving the complex challenges of a Graying Society?
  • What “blueprint” is needed?
  • How can partnerships be developed which incorporate older person’s experience and augment their capacities?
  • How can ICT (information communication technology) boost economic development for a Society for All Ages?
  • What new roles will technology play?
  • How can innovative solutions be stimulated?
  • How can leapfrog technology contribute to multi-generational communities?

The “Age of Connectivity” examines the role of information and connection technology in influencing the quality of life of older persons in the world; it stipulates a framework of how to think about ICT as an agent of change — offering a quality blueprint for an enriched
“Society for All Ages.”

When perceived with an open mind, these interrelationships offer endless opportunities for us all.

Keynote Address:

Mr. Danilo Piaggesi, Chief, Information Technology for Development Division, Inter-American Development Bank

“The Knowledge Economy: Creating Conditions for the Caring Communities of the 21st Century”

Conference Speakers include:

  • Mrs. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General & Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
  • H.E. Mr. Bob Jalang’o, Chairman, ECOSOC Working Group on Informatics, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the UN
  • Mr. Manuel Felix, Alternate Permanent Representative of the Dominican Republic
  • Mr. Sarbuland Khan, Director, ECOSOC Support and Coordination
  • Mr. Johan Scholvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development
  • Mr. Alexandre Sidorenko, UN Focal Point on Ageing
  • Mr. Sergei Kambalov, Deputy Executive Coordinator, Secretariat of the United Nations ICT Task Force
  • Mr. Li Bao Ku, President of the China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA), China
  • Ms. Ester Proveller, Secretaria de Estado Da Crianca e Assuntos Da Familia, Brazil
  • Dr. Blossom O’Meally-Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, Jamaica Postal Corporation of Jamaica, Ltd.
  • Dean Urs Gauchat, New Jersey School of Architecture, NJIT
  • Professor Jan Wampler, School of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,USA
  • Ms. Kristine Hughes, Manager, International Public Policy, Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Ms. Stella Hughes, Chief, Media and Society Section, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO
  • Mr. William P. Underwood, Executive Director, Business Council for the United Nations

Highlights include: ICT Case Studies and Exhibition.

As part of a series of Interlinked Congresses addressing the “Age of Longevity” held in cities around the globe, this conference is being held during the 41st Session of the Commission for Social Development. It is organized by the International Council for Caring Communities (ICCC) in collaboration with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), UN Programme on Ageing, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UN ICT Task Force, Department of Public Information, the private sector, other NGOs, and the NGO Committee on Ageing, United Nations/NY.

“Public-Private Partnership” Benefit Luncheon

West Terrace Dining Rm., UN 1:00 – 2:30pm (registration fee)

Luncheon Speaker:

Ms. Lilia Clemente, Chairman, Clemente Capital, Inc.

ICCC Caring Award Presentations to International Leaders

Caring Communities for the 21st Century: Imagining the Possible

“Age of Connectivity’ International Conference

Recommendations for World Summit for the Information Society


On 12 February 2003, United Nations representatives, NGOs, and private sector participants met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to explore ideas and programs promoting inclusive accessibility of information and communications worldwide. The focus was on how connectivity can help people of every sort –the young, the old, women, the poor, etc., to become meaningful parts of a global society based on sustained human, social and economic development.

Moderated by Dean Urs P Gauchat (New Jersey School of Architecture, New Jersey Institute of Technology); and designed as part of the International Council for Caring Communities’ ongoing series of Interlinked Congresses aimed at Imaging the Possible in the Age of Longevity and Connectivity, the event was also part of the 41st Session of the Commission for Social Development. Presentations particularly emphasized the need for older persons to have access to knowledge, with many speakers pointing out that progress is sorely lagging in this area..

The broader context for this daylong discussion was provided by the Secretary-General’s report “Strengthening of the United Nations: An Agenda for Further Change,” in combination with the International Conference on Financing for Development, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The daylong series of presentations was organized by the International Council for Caring Communities ( ICCC ) in close cooperation with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT); UN Programme on Ageing; Department of Economic and Social Affairs; UN ICT Task Force; Department of Public Information; members of the private sector and other NGOs including the NGO Committee on Ageing at the United Nations in NY.

Conference recommendations:

  • Encourage cooperative public/private efforts to make it possible for the benefits stemming from the digital revolution to be accessible to all persons — including older persons, the young, the poor, and those who have been marginalized. Strong, active NGO participation was proposed to better facilitate these partnerships. Examples: Hewlett Packard, the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and COPEL Energy Corporation.
  • Find effective ways to harness the ICT revolution to make a real difference in helping to empower and accelerate development of all generations. These efforts should include bold, innovative and inclusive educational policies that will make the idea of lifelong knowledge a reality.
  • Design ICT /social/economic/developmental initiatives that reflect specific needs and local conditions—all policies must be country- and region-specific and should help to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals.
  • Promote the concept of investing in human capital by updating skills throughout life as well as to make new information available and as part of the fabric of human rights. Examples: UNESCO’s Global Knowledge Partnership and multimedia centers using radio stations as an interface and China’s CNCA pilot project in Shanghai to develop information connectivity using NGOs and volunteers to communicate information on all social services for older persons.
  • Stimulate international support for developing new programs that reflect and match new conditions reflected in such initiatives as the ICT Innovation Program for e-business, the SMR Development Program and the Media Convergence Program.
  • Expand policies to link early education with labor force transformation through a variety of “classrooms” including virtual learning on PCs at jails, community centers, the workplace, and by using new funding methods such as vouchers, alternative accreditations, and telematics.
  • Acknowledge that older persons are among those who have not yet fully benefited from the potential of ICT and focus on solutions and projects for their inclusion, retraining and skill rehabilitation—encourage cross-generational opportunities within communities.
  • Eradicate the habit of mental passivity that leads to information stagnation by defining education as more than what is learned in the classroom. Define education as information that is needed for and about life and include this kind of sustained education concept in the Summit’s Priorities along with protecting the environment and social development. Example: the Modern University of the Humanities in Russia that is equipped with 372 branches in 328 cities and has its own planetary satellite teleport.
  • Explore new directions and ways of introducing and using ICT through regional initiatives such as the already existing diaspora network models in Africa and the Caribbean.
  • Promote new forms of dialogue and collaboration among private, public and governmental entities enhancing transparency and accountability such as Digital Era Parliament; Digital Regulation Program; an e-governmental model program; and the promotion of Telecasters.
  • Focus on the appropriate and effective types of interfaces that need to be employed to make information connectivity possible anywhere and everywhere in the world, which is another aspect of inclusiveness.
  • Establish an overall and comprehensive “Society for All Ages” blueprint for connectivity.
  • Integrate local and global perspectives to provide connectivity for older persons through programs like UNESCO’s Global Knowledge Partnership.
  • Eliminate e-homelessness for older people through ICT facilities.
  • Create “New Families” by using ICT to connect refugees or abandoned youth with older persons without children.
  • Consider how lifelong learning, multi-generational dialogues, oral histories and easy access to information can help shape a common future.
  • Adapt successful projects to local cultures that can provide safe-living urban environments at minimal cost. Consider the ingenious use of ICTs in Harbin, China, and expand initiatives and applications accordingly.
  • Stimulate new ICT solutions that include the needs and experiences of older person at universities worldwide. Example: ICCC proposes a 2004 Student Communication Competition to inspire students to analyze their local communities/regions to find ways to achieve inclusive technology connectivity. These proposals should have the effect of focusing global attention on the importance of ICTs in achieving sustainable human development. The winners of the Competition will present their solutions at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia, November 2005.