From Open Software to Open Culture - Opportunities and Challenges of Open Source to Support the UN Mandate

As stressed by the UN Secretary-General, "The advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including those brought on by a combination of computing power, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence, are generating revolutions in healthcare, transport and manufacturing. I am convinced that these new capacities can help us to lift millions of people out of poverty, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and enable developing countries to leapfrog into a better future". Recognizing their potential, Member States are also increasingly interested in ways to better leverage open source technologies for sustainable development. Promoting open source technologies is thus critical to ensuring that technologies' full benefits are harnessed to achieve the United Nations' mandates, goals and perspectives. The objective of this event is to explore the potential of open source technologies in the work of the United Nations, particularly to help exemplify and develop new ideas on how open source can be used as test bed for co-creating new solutions to global challenges. The event show-cases concrete examples of new modes of co-creation and innovation based on the open source culture. The panel discussion provides a forum for UN Secretariat Staff, experts, and practitioners to discuss and share ideas on how to increase the understanding and awareness of the opportunities and challenges of open source, so as to create the needed mindset shift to fully realize the potential of these technologies within the United Nations system. The event also begins a dialogue with external entities on how to support collaborative platform(s) to facilitate the sharing of the best ideas and innovations to inform policy, including building the needed capacity within the United Nations, through and Open Source Programme Office (OSPO) in OICT.

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