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Leading Policymakers Demand Available, Affordable Internet

Leading Policymakers Demand Available, Affordable Internet

Participants at Global Forum IT summit highlight the need for decisive government actions for ensuring the potential of internet for global business and society is fully utilized.

Oulu, Finland, 29 September 2015 – Global Forum, the notable gathering of policymakers and thought-leaders in the IT field, concluded today in Oulu, Finland. Often dubbed as the “Davos of IT”, the 350 participants from 37 countries at Global Forum this year debated several IT-related issues that have the potential to initiate significant global change in business, politics, media, and society.

Prime Minister Calls for Cutting Red Tape

The two-day event was opened by Mr Juha Sipilä, Prime Minister of Finland. Hailing from Oulu himself, Mr Sipilä welcomed the guests to the Capital of Northern Scandinavia and reminded them that he used to be an entrepreneur in the IT field before entering politics.

“Digitalization is high on my government’s agenda”, said Sipilä. “We have set a long-term objective to ensure that Finland makes the best of the opportunities offered by digitalization. An important aspect of this is to dismantle regulation and cut excess red tape. This will result in more effective public services and will help the private sector at the same time.”

Prime Minister Sipilä was followed by Mr Matti Pennanen, Mayor of the host city Oulu. Highlighting the IT credentials of his city, Mr Pennanen also emphasized Oulu’s unique connection to the Arctic region.

“Oulu is one of the youngest cities in Europe. Of our population of 250,000, we have nearly 40,000 students. More than one third of our inhabitants hold an academic degree. There are more than 500 startup ventures in ICT and other fields in Oulu, and we were the first city to test the new 5G mobile network”, said Mr Pennanen.

The keys to sustainable digitalization

The sessions of Global Forum gathered together thought-leaders from various fields to discuss future visions of global digital strategy from different angles. The main themes of this year's event were sustainable digitalization, 5G networks, connected health, IoT, digital society, and cybersecurity. Among others these questions were discussed:

  • How can we ensure available, affordable connections for everyone?
  • Who owns all the data generated by the myriad of connected people, devices and applications?
  • How are privacy and security guaranteed in future's networked society?
  • What new business models do the upcoming 5G networks open up?
  • How can we improve healthcare with open data and collaboration?
  • How do we address cybersecurity threats in a completely networked society?

The Global Forum event was organized for the 24th time. Following the successful events in New York, Stockholm, Brussels and Washington, D.C., this year's event was held in Oulu, the capital of Northern Scandinavia.

You can watch recordings from Global Forum 2015 press conference here: (5G future development) (Role of Digitalization)

Media contacts:

Pauliina Pikkujämsä, + 358 40 7434 362,

Elina Piskonen, +358 40 5955 271,

The City of Oulu

Oulu is the capital of Northern Scandinavia and blends a creative atmosphere with high technology, entrepreneurship and highly skilled people, the unique culture of a modern seaside town and a vibrant countryside.

Oulu has a strong portfolio of globally focused technology companies and universities combined with young and creative citizens. The area has proved to be an excellent environment to create new innovations. Oulu’s unique ecosystem enables utilization of the latest radio technologies, like 5G.

Global Forum

The Global Forum/Shaping the Future is an internationally recognized think-tank for exchange and networking among governments at national, regional & local levels, private & public organizations and research & development experts.

The Global Forum is an independent, high profile, international, non-for-profit event dedicated to business and policy issues affecting the successful evolution of the Digital Society. The Global Forum brings each year in a different city around the world more than 300 key policymakers and public/private stakeholders from more than 30 countries from all continents, often considered as the Davos for ICT.