Tangible and intangible impact of information and communication in the digital age discussed in Khanty-Mansiysk

The international conference “Tangible and Intangible Impact of Information and Communication in the Digital Age” organized in cooperation with UNESCO/IFAP was held within the X International IT Forum in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russian Federation, from 4 to 8 June 2018.

It was a first-ever event on this topic and a new significant contribution by Russia to the implementation of the Information for All Programme (IFAP).

The conference aimed to contribute to balancing the pace of development in the field of information, communication and related technologies and the ability of science and the society to comprehend the changing reality and thus influence the vector and nature of progress.

The interdisciplinary conference brought together academicians and researchers from the fields of ICT and media, cybersecurity, social and political science, philosophy, linguistics, library services, museum and archival studies, as well as diplomatic officials, policy-makers, representatives of public authorities, NGOs, businesses and media from 40 countries.

The event was organized by the Russian Committee of the Information for All Programme, in cooperation with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) and with the support of the Government of the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Ugra and the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.

Participants in the conference discussed the problems and trends of the technological expansion in the information and communication field – both those that have come into focus in the last decade and those that are less evident today, but might significantly impact the socio-cultural landscape in the nearest future.

Mr Evgeny Kuzmin, Chair of the Russian IFAP Committee and Vice-Chair of UNESCO IFAP Intergovernmental Council said that due to the high speed of changes, the society did not have time to interpret and thoroughly understand them, nor to respond adequately and progressively. Most studies focus on the receding reality; those trying to describe and analyze the current state-of-the-art and to forecast possible development lines and their consequences follow out-of-date models and approaches. In this context, the promotion of competencies, skills, knowledge and attitudes, incorporated in the term “media and information literacy” and providing a safe and responsible critical use of networks and digital services, is gaining great importance. The need for such competencies is becoming ever more urgent.

The Conference also recommended that UNESCO’s Member States, relevant intergovernmental and public organizations, UN agencies and other stakeholders should reach a consensus on the preparation of a global report on sociocultural transformations accompanied and influenced by the penetration of digital technologies. Also, all stakeholders, academics and experts from the scientific and educational community, should in every way contribute to the elaboration of educational and learning programmes, especially for young people, concerning the ethical, legal, cultural and social aspects of living in a world saturated by digital communication and media.