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UNCTAD to hold eWeek to shape digital future, calls for proposals

15 May 2023

The event will be held in Geneva from 4 to 8 December to explore the key trends, opportunities and challenges that will shape the future of the digital economy.

© Shutterstock/metamorworks | A graphical user interface allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicators.

UNCTAD eWeek 2023 will bring together ministers, thought leaders, industry experts, civil society representatives and practitioners from around the world to discuss the latest developments and strategies for driving the digital transformation in a sustainable way.

A call for proposals to organize a session at the event (formerly known as eCommerce Week) is now open. To qualify, all proposals must be submitted via this online form by 30 June 2023. Relevant instructions and selection criteria are provided on the form.

“Digitalization is the most influential mega-trend of our times. The UNCTAD eWeek will offer a unique opportunity for constructive and inclusive dialogue to generate insights and prompt actions for global efforts in determining our digital future,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan said.

A digital future for all

The digital economy has grown at an unprecedented pace, with digital technologies transforming the way we live, work and do business.

With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the adoption of digital technologies, it has become more important than ever to understand how digital solutions can play a pivotal role in tackling economic, social and environmental challenges.

Despite these advances, digital and data divides are widening. Artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud computing and other technologies are increasing the risk of greater inequalities between and within countries.

For everyone to benefit from the digital future, Ms. Grynspan said, the international community needs to find new ways to close digital and data divides and create frameworks that enable the digital economy to generate inclusive, equitable and sustainable development.

She said digitalization is now firmly ingrained in the wider discourse on development, including in the context of Agenda 2030, the UN Secretary-General’s “Our Common Agenda” and preparations for the 2024 Summit of the Future.

Key topics

Through interactive sessions, panel discussions, and keynote speeches, UNCTAD eWeek 2023 participants will gain a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the digital economy and contribute with fresh perspectives on the digital future that we want.

To be considered, session proposals should include:

  • Innovation to offer a unique and fresh perspective to the discussion on the future of the digital economy.
  • The identification of scalable good practices and possible policy avenues.
  • Concrete actions and actionable steps to help shape an inclusive and sustainable future of the digital economy.

The UNCTAD-led eTrade for all initiative will foster comprehensive, cross-cutting and multi-stakeholder discussions and debates.