World Summit on the Information Society
Geneva, Switzerland, December 10-12, 2003
Chairman of the CIS Interstate Committee on Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education,
President of the International Association “Znanie”,
Academician, Professor Efim Malitikov
Thank you, Mr. Chairman! Thank you for your democratic and talented management of the squeezed time of the Summit.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Just as it is not possible to comprehend, much less to plan for the future century in one week, it is just as impossible to formulate in detail in one decade the tasks of the millennium, in which, as we see it, even the concepts and terms of the previous century have not yet taken root.
Humanity follows with hope and trust the systematic efforts of the UN, which, consistently and vigorously, is shining beacons in the international and intermental, financial and political diversity of the attitudes and interests of the planetary world order.
The recent Johannesburg Summit on Sustainable Human Development, the Mountain Peoples’ Summit in Bishkek, and dozens of other international events and initiatives are in the same context.
This World Summit on the Information Society is a direct instrument to the Future, whose solutions are the Dangers and Prospects of the Global World.
Today it is impossible to act locally outside the context of responsibility for global consequences. Political and even financial interests should not take precedence over the global construct in thinking and acting, overshadowing even the national Law of Value.
Marginalization, Poverty and Poverty, which as elements of Mendeleev’s table make up the Sustainable Development of Mankind, will continue until we become a community of equal distribution and equal use of planetary Knowledge as given by God.
And it does not matter who was the first to extract, excavate, comprehend and apply them, as long as it is the Knowledge of the Earth, of Man, of the Environment.
Because of different starting conditions of development Knowledge is not spread evenly over the Earth, like butter on bread. And modern technologies of their dissemination are mainly based on the E-mail formula. The trendsetters and dominant users in the world are the developed countries of the United States and Europe.
For developing countries and underdeveloped nations – the Law of Value, Geographical Inaccessibility and Remoteness, Climate and Nature and Financial Inaccessibility are expressed by well-known statistics: most half of humanity lives on less than two dollars a day, and more than 2 billion live on less than one dollar. And these are average figures, for many people in different countries the figures are even lower. This is because almost a billion of them are completely illiterate, that is, can’t read or write. The rest do not have enough modern knowledge.
The INTERNET dominates over other information technologies, but it doesn’t reach the better half of the illiterate and therefore doomed humanity.
After all, a fifth of it lives in the mountains, a significant part lives in the remote corners of the planet that are hard to reach, not covered by civilization, where the Internet, for natural, climatic and cost reasons, is not and will not come.
Hot spots on the planet, prisons, where millions of people lag behind the “train of life”, which can not be sent to the moon, is also a white spot on the map. The final planetary balance, then, is not coping with the challenges of the information society with the cable Internet as a tool. By relying on the Internet alone, our Summit will fail.
Nevertheless, we do not take into account the many examples we have given of the effective dissemination of knowledge through modern satellite technology, where every corner of the planet is accessible, with no transport, no electricity, no communications, no palaces of Knowledge, no schools, no teachers, whose deficit in the world exceeds 15 million people out of 60 daily lagging behind in modern knowledge.
What is not taken into account is that with the large, much-needed reach, satellite technology becomes 100 times cheaper than the Internet and, as the number of users increases, becomes accessible even to poor people. At the same time, the productivity of the already scarce modern teacher and lecturer increases by a necessary and sufficient amount to bridge the digital divide.
The language barrier is disappearing, and finances for expensive travel to the world’s university centers and uniquely talented schools are becoming cheap and accessible to everyone on earth.
400 cities in various countries are covered by our university centers from the Moscow Teleport, the number of students exceeds many times the number of traditional classroom-based educational centers and universities.
In the old days, during more than 50 years of classic lecture-based knowledge dissemination, 4.5 million of our lecturers and scientists – members of the All-Union Society “Znanie” – did this work, giving 25 million lectures a year, which is absolutely insufficient today at the current rate of knowledge updating.
Today, without the cost of stone palaces for schools, right in the shepherd’s aul, in the deep countryside, in Chechnya, in other hot spots of the Planet and in prisons, our 2500 professors work effectively without danger to their own lives, without mental stress and without reducing the synergetic effect of interaction with students. At the same time, the autonomy and creativity of both increases.
It is time to shift the focus, to accept the obvious and to include our proposal in the Declaration of Principles and the Summit Action Plan, so that by the Tunis phase of the meeting there will be new statistics on the effectiveness of our work.
Thank you for your attention.