The Global Future: WDF emphasises societal impact of
London, UK - 18 March 2005, 00:01 GMT - The preliminary session in
London on Monday, 21st March, of the Wolfsberg Digital Future (WDF) forum
organised by the mi2g Intelligence Unit, seeks to highlight the impact
of modern technology on present and future society, government and the global
economy in the context of new opportunities and emerging threats. The event
is now fully subscribed.
The WDF forum recognises that traditional divisions between robotics, nanotech,
biotech, rapid manufacturing, Internet & ICT, adaptive home automation,
lasers & optic technology as well as telecommunications are withering
away as one field increasingly impacts the other. The WDF forum fulfils the
need amongst Chief Executives and senior decision makers because a lot of
quality events look at each of these specialist areas and none embrace the
holistic impact completely. WDF participants from a select set of professional
backgrounds - banking, insurance, government, defence, energy, health care,
applied science and general management - can gain a unique perspective and
insight into future challenges and key developments in all important technologies
and their combined impact on society, government and the global economy. Not
only that, WDF also debates what the latest developments mean for ethics,
family-life and the evolution of leadership.
Chair and Panel
The round table will be chaired by Prof Prabhu Guptara, Executive Director,
Wolfsberg, Switzerland and the Guest of Honour will be His Excellency Ferej
Al-Owedi, Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London. The
exclusive event will be attended by senior decision makers from banking, insurance
and reinsurance as well as the Houses of Parliament, government agencies and
centres of excellence. The panel of speakers includes:
1. Dr Patrick Dixon, Futurist, Chairman, Global Change;
2. Prof William Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute, University of
3. Prof Jim Norton, eBusiness and eGovernment Adviser - Institute of Directors
(IoD), Board Member - Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology (POST)
and Council Member of the UK Parliamentary IT Committee (PITCOM); and
4. DK Matai, Executive Chairman, mi2g & Chairman, Asymmetric Threats
Contingency Alliance (ATCA).
His Excellency Ferej Al-Owedi - Guest of Honour
"Saudi Arabia is a conservative Islamic society. Mixing between different
genders is controlled by strict laws and regulations. As a result, very hot
debate has broken out due to the introduction of the Internet and Mobile phones,"
said His Excellency Ferej Al-Owedi, Deputy Head of Mission,
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London. "Many
people consider these communication resources will break into the privacy
of society and it will be a bridge between the Saudi Female and Male groups.
The Internet and Mobile phones are important and a necessary part of the Saudi
Society irrespective of their influence on the tradition and beliefs of the
Educational institutes and universities have carried out a lot of research
to record scientifically the effect of the Internet on the Saudi Society.
In a study conducted by Dr Neven Mustafa Hafez & Elham Ferej Al-Owedi
(2004) at The College of Home Economics and Art Education, Jeddah, it was
found that: the effect of the internet on the personal relationship between
the husband and wife is so far low and only 0.7% of husbands and 7.3% of wives
in Saudi Arabia thought that the influence of the Internet is high.
Saudi Arabia based ideological hackers are already one of the rising perpetrators
of politically motivated global Internet hacker attacks since 2001. They are
often observed to collaborate with hacking groups based in Kuwait, Morocco,
Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia on the one hand and the Russian Federation
and Central Asian Republics on the other, according to data collected by the
mi2g Intelligence Unit.
Prof Prabhu Guptara - Chairman
"We have greatly appreciated mi2g's valuable and wide-ranging co-operation
and advice over the last two years, specially - though not only - in relation
to the Wolfsberg Digital Future (WDF) forum which is fast becoming the global
meeting point for senior decision makers," said Prof Prabhu
Guptara, Executive Director, Organisation Development, Wolfsberg. "DK
Matai's speech on digital security issues last year was outstanding, and we
look forward to his update at the next WDF."
The main WDF event takes place annually at the Wolfsberg centre - with the
Napoleonic Castle - in Switzerland and is dedicated to looking at the impact
of digital technology and networks on society in the 21st century.
Dr Patrick Dixon - Speaker
Patrick Dixon comments, "New technology continues
to develop faster than most corporate boards realise, and the next phase of
the e-world will produce a new set of winners and losers. Wolfsberg's Think
Tanks and other events are vital opportunities for senior business leaders
to debate these issues, led by Professor Prabhu Guptara."
Dr Patrick Dixon has been described as a "Global Change Guru"
by the Wall Street Journal. He has been ranked as one of the world's 50 most
influential business thinkers alive today, and is widely sought after as a
key-note speaker at international conferences.
Prof William Dutton - Speaker
Professor William Dutton noted that the WDF event, "provides
an excellent opportunity to share hopes and concerns with key leaders from
business, industry and government. My thanks to the organizers for making
Prof Jim Norton - Speaker
"We have seen exponential growth in performance per unit price of all
the key ICT components - processing, storage and basic communications capacity
for many years now. This is set to continue for many years to come. We have
reached the point were it is no longer necessary to force people into the
moulds required by technology. Rather technological capability is so potentially
inexpensive that it can be tailored instead to accommodate the individual
demands of all the key groups in society, whether visually, hearing or mobility
impaired or indeed with multiple disabilities. That should be a key goal for
the ICT industry in this opening decade of the 21st Century," said
Prof Jim Norton. "I warmly welcome the work of the Wolfsberg Digital
Forum in placing the rise in our technological capability firmly within the
context of how society more generally can extract the maximum benefit.
DK Matai - Lead Organiser and Speaker
"The Wolfsberg Think Tanks and Distinguished Speaker events elegantly
Chaired by Prof Guptara are well recognised by Executives concerned about
emerging global trends, and the WDF is becoming a landmark event in this respect,"
said DK Matai, Executive Chairman,
mi2g. "This well timed event will
analyse the holistic impact that technology is having on the perception of
risk and reward within the global society and economy. Other WDF events are
also being planned in world class cities in conjunction with Wolfsberg."
DK Matai is Executive Chairman of mi2g which won the Queen's Award
for enterprise in the category of innovation and DK also Chairs the Asymmetric
Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA) that brings together members from the
House of Lords, House of Commons, European Parliament, US Congress, Senior
Government officials from G10 nations and outside, and over 500 CEOs from
banking, insurance, defence and computing.
mi2g is at the leading edge of building secure on-line banking, broking
and trading architectures. The principal applications of our technology are:
2. Digital Risk Management; and
3. Bespoke Security Architecture.
mi2g pioneers enterprise-wide security practices and technology to
save time and cut cost. We enhance comparative advantage within financial
services and government agencies. Our real time intelligence is deployed worldwide
for contingency capability, executive decision making and strategic threat
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Full details of the February 2005 report are available as of 1st March 2005
and can be ordered from here.
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