Organizers of a large international technology conference, to be held in Yerevan in October, have been negotiating with former President Barack Obama to attend the event, which is dubbed the World Congress of Information Technologies.
The congress organizers, the Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises President Alexander Yesayan told briefed reporters Saturday on efforts to secure Obama’s participation, but did not elaborate further, saying “surprises are expected.”
The WCIT 2019 will host three sets of “Lightning Rounds,” open to all, showcasing flash-forward technologies from start-ups, big companies, universities, and more.
The Lightning Rounds will provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists to present their ideas to international venture funds and world famous businessmen, in order to attract investments for their implementation. Fifteen ideas and startups will be selected by a jury of international specialists from submissions received from around the world. “We invite Armenian and foreign startups to register now on WCIT’s official website and submit their ideas,” UATE President Yesayan and Syuzanna Azoyan, WCIT 2019 program director said at the meeting with Armenian and European journalists.
More than 2,500 participants from 70 countries are expected to attend WCIT 2019. The agenda will include discussion of the hottest topics in the industry. ICT industry leaders and innovators, government and global policy leaders, startups, and investors will exchange ideas in sessions such as “Black Swan,” “Innovation Meets Capital,” “Artificial Intelligence in Genomics,” “How ‘Green’ is Silicon,” “Rise of the Machines,” and many others.
WCIT 2019’s program will also feature a panel of ICT ministers from nations across the globe, who will discuss the challenges in moving toward greater delivery of and distribution of enhanced public services and their nations’ best practices in dealing with those challenges.
Another panel will feature the mayors of “smart” cities from around the world, who will discuss the use of ICT in the municipal context and explore both its positive and negative impact on people’s daily lives.
The government of Armenia has declared ICT a strategic goal for economic development. Armenia actively promotes the development of high-tech innovations, ecosystems, and startups, and facilitates foreign direct investment in the ICT sector. There are more than 900 ICT companies in Armenia, including Picsart, Renderforest, Betconstruct, Joomag, and others. Forty-five percent of Armenia’s ICT-related exports go to the USA and Canada, 25% to Europe, and 11% to Asia.
The congress will be preceded by a concert at the Republic Square in downtown Yerevan at 8 p.m. on October 6.
“The world forum has been held in 16 countries, and we have invited musicians from all those countries to form an orchestra under the baton of conductor Sergey Smbatyan. There will be 70 musicians from 16 countries and 30 musicians from Armenia,” Yesayan said.
He noted for the first time in history an orchestra will play a piece of music arranged by artificial intelligence online.
WCIT is an annual congress where the world’s leading technology thinkers and innovators gather to advance the conversation on the key questions facing the industry and the world.
According to Yesayan the theme of the Congress will be “Fulfilling the Promise of the Digital Age – The Power of Decentralization.”