“Access to information, participation & inclusion in the Digital Age”

In recent times, technological advances have been one of the central factors in the transformation processes that are going through different areas of public life, including the realtionship between citizens and its government. This process has enabled new collaboration, participation and openness schemes, but it has also given rise to new areas of opportunity to improve the relationship between government entities and people in the management of the problems that each and everyone corresponds to.
Beyond the Internet and the widespread use of Information and Communication Technologies, technological advances often arise and modify our activities, interactions and procedures in various fields, such as artificial intelligence, the intensive use of data mining, in addition to the production, accumulation, exploitation and opening of information without limits or barriers, to name a few.
In this way, new technologies are changing the paradigms with which public policies are usually planned, implemented and evaluated. In this new context, the digital is breaking into different spheres of government work, including those related to access to information produced and protected by the authorities. This growing incorporation of digital equipment, as well as the widespread use of Internet access, has fostered an increasingly interconnected environment, in which the population has the opportunity to learn about and evaluate a decision-making processes.
However, despite the progress achieved, there are still pending challenges and obstacles to make the participation and inclusion of all, at a global level, a reality. The citizens of the world encounter barriers to exercising their right to information due to the prevalence of structural restrictions that include the lack of connectivity and the digital divide, as well as the absence of public policies focused on the matter or of infrastructure that favors the opening of government data, among others.
 Overcoming these problems requires the establishment of a high-profile strategy for economic, political and social sustainability that brings about progressive change based on strong creation and interaction between people and its governments through more and better technological mechanisms. In this framework, it is unavoidable to contribute to the debate and action for the deployment and use of digital technologies at the national, regional and global levels, in order to support these new processes.
Thus, it is essential to encourage a debate on the perspectives that access to information in the digital age entails for people and specifically for those groups in a situation of vulnerability. For this reason, from the Chair and the Secretariat of the ICIC, we propose for our 13th Edition the main theme “Access to information, participation and inclusion in the Digital Age”.
From our vision, as a Global Forum, it is essential to debate, exchange experiences and propose solutions to include all people in a truly sustainable, fair and equitable development. Consequently, our program is designed to detect and discuss the best practices on this matter, from the perspective of decision makers, but also from academia and civil society.
From the ICIC, we are opening a space for dialogue to strengthen our societies and propose new schemes that allow us to strengthen our actions as a Conference that has an impact both locally and globally.