WITFOR 2009 arrow Commissions arrow Economic Opportunities Commission arrow Parallel Sessions: Speaker Profiles
Economic Opportunities Commission

Speaker profiles


Alan Greenberg, Canada

Alan Greenberg

Alan Greenberg has over 40 years of experience as an ICT professional, and has worked with developing countries for nearly 15 years. Recent assignments have included the analysis of how ICTs can really support development, and in particular poverty alleviation, the analysis of Swedish ICT4D policies and implementation, the development of a position paper on ICT4D for Germany, and a critique of current ICT4D for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD).

Jonathan Metzger, USA


jonathan metzger


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Jonathan Metzger, Vice President and Director of the Information Technology Applications Center (ITAC) at the Academy for Educational Development, has been actively using information technology for development purposes for twenty years and has worked or run projects in more than sixty countries. In his current role as Director of ITAC, Metzger oversees using ICTs as tools to enhance the education system such as the pioneering work in Macedonia to wire the entire country, bring connectivity to every school, and a new project to introduce critical thinking skills into the classroom as well as focusing on Math and Science curriculum reform.

Prior to directing the Center, he created a regional ICT for development program for USAID Asia and Near East Bureau and served as its Internet for Development Advisor from 2000-2006.  In that time period, twenty USAID Missions across the Middle East and Asia were part of the regional Bureau’s effort to utilize the Internet as a tool for education and socio-economic development. During this time, over $300 Million was invested in using IT development tools. From 1995-2000, he designed and implemented USAID Africa Bureau’s Leland Initiative which focused on introducing and capitalizing on the Internet in twenty-three sub-Saharan countries.

Metzger started actively promoting the Internet across emerging market economies in 1989 when he was a founding member of the organization SatelLife with their worldwide HealthNet Program, the world’s first multiple low-earth orbiting satellite email service. The HealthNet Program introduced some of the first email networks in developing countries and was designed for health professionals to gain access to the latest medical information. 


Michael Gurstein, Canada


Michael Gurstein


Dr. Gurstein is currently Executive Director of the Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training (Vancouver BC),; Research Professor in the School of Management at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark); and Research Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of Quebec (Ouatouais). 

A Canadian, he completed a B.A. at the University of Saskatchewan and a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Cambridge. From 1995 to 1999 Dr. Gurstein was the NSERC/SSHRC Associate Chair in the Management of Technological Change at the University College of Cape Breton, where he pioneered in the development of sustainable community-based technology applications.

His edited book "Community Informatics: Enabling Communities with Information and Communications Technologies: (Idea Group, 2000) provided a focal point for the development of “Community Informatics” as the discipline concerned with enabling communities with Information and Communications Technologies. Dr. Gurstein has served on the Board of the Vancouver Community Network, the British Columbia Community Networking Association, and Telecommunities Canada. He is currently on the Steering Committee of the Global Telecentre Alliance, and on the High Level Panel of Advisors of the United Nation’s Global Alliance for ICT for Development. He is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Community Informatics http://ci-journal.net and Foundation Chair of the Community Informatics Research Network. He currently has a continuing Advisory relationship with the (Canadian) Northern Indigenous Communities Satellite Network in the creaton of its Research Consortium.

He has consulted to the governments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Nepal and Jordan and to the Ford Founation, the UN Development Program, and the European Union among others.

His most recent book is "What is Community Informatics (and Why Does It Matter)?", Polimetrica, Milan (2007) http://eprints.rclis.org/12372/1/WHAT_IS_COMMUNITY_INFORMATICS_reading.pdf

Additional information may be found at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Gurstein


Nguyen Thu Hue, Vietnam

Nguyen Hue


Nguyen Thu Hue is a lawyer by training and plays active role in the development of Vietnam's Internet. She has a degree in Economic Law from Hanoi Open University  and a Masters in International Business Administration from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). Nguyen also studied Internet Law at Harvard Law School, and held a position at the Hanoi office of Baker & McKenzie, an international law firm.

For two years, Ms. Nguyen was country coordinator for the Global Internet Policy Initiative (GIPI), an EU-funded project on internet policy reform in Vietnam. She was also program coordinator for the USAID-funded project  "Internet Training for Female NGO Heads and Female journalists in Vietnam".

Ms. Nguyen is currently working as advocacy specialist for the Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communication pilot project “Strengtherning the computer usage and public Internet access in Vietnam”. The project is funded by the the Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ms. Nguyen serves as a nominating member of the At Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) for the Internet Cooporation for Assign Names and Numbers (ICANN) for 2008-2009.

Ms Nguyen is the founder and Director of the Vietnet Information Technology and Communication Center, a Vietnamese non-governmental organisation.

She is married with two children and lives in Hanoi, Vietnam.>


Dominique Hazael-Massieux, France

Dominique Hazael-Massieux


Dominique Hazaël-Massieux works for W3C where he leads the Mobile Web Initiative, coordinating the mobile-related activities in the standardization consortium.

Dominique has been working in W3C for the past 8 years, and has put his Ecole Centrale Paris engineering degree to use in the various technologies developed by W3C. Most recently, Dominique organized and chaired a workshop on the future of social networking where participants looked at the impact, opportunities and challenges of making the Web a platform for social exchange.



Katrin Verclas, USA


katrin verclas


Katrin Verclas is a world-recognized expert in mobile communications for social impact.  She is a principal at Calder Strategies, focusing on mobile strategy, impact evaluation, effectiveness and ROI assessment, and interactive capacity building.


She just completed an analysis for a publication on mobile use in civil society with the UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Group. Katrin has written widely on mobile phones in citizen participation and civil society organizations, mobile phones in health and for development. She is currently advising several high-profile mobile social marketing campaigns.


Katrin is the co-founder and editor of MobileActive.org, a global network of practitioners using mobile phones for social impact.  She was, until recently, also the Executive Director of NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network, the national association of IT professionals working in the more than one million nonprofit organizations in the United States.


Katrin has a strong background in IT management, IT in social change organizations, and in philanthropy.  She has led several nonprofit organizations, and served as a program officer at the Proteus Fund for six years, focusing on the use of technology in civic and democratic participation, and in government transparency.

She is the editor of a forthcoming book on IT Leadership in organizations published by Wiley & Sons, and is the author of an essay in a book to be published in 2008 on the use of technology in engaging young people in democratic movements. She is a frequent speaker on ICTs in civil society at national and international conferences and has published numerous articles and publications on technology for social change in leading popular and industry publications.


Katrin serves on the boards of Mobile Voter

Mr. Nguyen Si Dung, Viet Nam

Mr. Nguyen is a senior official of Vietnam. He is working as the Deputy Head of the Office of the National Assembly. His reputation is widely known across Vietnam not only for his contributions for the elective office reform but also for his participation in the forums presenting the socio-economic reforms.

Mr. Nguyen attended the University of Foreign Language and the University of Politic Science at Russia and gained degrees: Bachelor of Foreign Language, Doctor of Pedagogy and Doctor of Politic Science.

He started his career as an official at the Department of International Cooperation under the Ministry of Foreign Trade, then he served as an assistant for the high ranking officer at the Office of the National Assembly. He has taken the position as the Deputy Head of the Office since 2003 till now.

Mr. Nguyen is also an experienced expert on projects related to the information technology issue. He was the senior consultant for the project “Communication technology supports for Vietnam Development” and “e-Government supports for Vietnam Development”.

Mr. Tran Huu Linh, Vietnam

Mr. Tran Huu Linh is now taking the role of Deputy Director General of the Vietnam E-Commerce and Information Technology Agency (VECITA). At the age of over 30, he is considered one of the youngest leading officers in Vietnam. Simultaneously, he is leading the E-Commerce Development Centre (Ecomviet) under VECITA. Ecomviet is a famous brand name in the E-commerce application area in Vietnam. Before taking his current position, Mr. Tran is a senior expert of the Project “the National e-Commerce Portal” known as ECVN. The project was established under the idea to create a reputable online trading marketplace for Vietnamese enterprises. With the consultation from Mr. Tran, ECVN was successfully set up and officially operated in 2005.

Mr.Tran is also an active member to call for establishing Vietnam E-commerce Association (VECOM) and the mission of VECOM is to create a forum representing the voice and the rights of the e-commerce enterprises. Mr. Tran also participates in the international forums on e-Commerce such as APEC working group meeting on data privacy and paperless trading; Vietnam – Japan E-Commerce Project; Vietnam E-Trade Bridge funded by ITC and UNDP, etc,.

Aside his management duty at VECITA, Mr. Tran is also a lecturer at e-commerce training courses at Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Foreign Trade University, etc.

Mr. Nguyen Dong Long, Vietnam

Mr. Nguyen is famous among the Vietnamese Youth not only because he is the member of Centre Committee of Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, but also because he is an active leader of the Youth Union of Vietnam Post and Telecommunications Group (VNPT), a famous social entrepreneurship in Vietnam. Together with youth strength in VNPT, VNPT as well as Mr. Nguyen has a lot of meaningful supporting activities for youth and minority children at the remote provinces of Vietnam.

Mr. Nguyen is the ex-student of Hanoi University of technology, a very famous university in Vietnam and has participated in some training courses on business management. At the moment, he is attending Ivrine-HSB, University of California (USA). Within the framework of WITFOR, Mr. Nguyen has just accompanied with the Organizing Committee to the Central Provinces to present the gifts for the poor people.

Mr. Steve Chang, Chinese Taipei

Steve Chang is a familiar name among the Asian and information technology community and moreover, he is also called “Bill Gates of the Asian”. He found TrendMicro in 1988 with the mission of developing antivirus software for personal computers, the company‘s focus evolved to address antivirus and content security software and services. At the moment, Mr. Chang is a foreign investor in Vietnam, however, the field he is attracted is planting trees and the forest. He is pursuing the desire to have his reputation in mind of everyone not for his prosperity but for his contribution to the society.

Due to that idea, Mr. Chang actively engages in speech delivery to enhance the society’s consciousness about the economic issues as well as the way to escape from poverty. He used to deliver speeches at famous forums such as Harvard University, regional and international forums, etc...

Mr. Pham Minh Tuan, Vietnam

Mr. Pham is known both as a well-know young professor and a successful businessman. He has experienced a long time living, studying and working abroad. He has attained degrees: Master of Science, Information technology (MSc), Master of Business Administration, Finance and Management (MBA), and Doctor of Philosophy, Information Management (PhD). Under the World Bank support for finance, Mr. Pham successfully organized the CRC-TOPIC Business Incubator to be one of the most successful incubators in the world.

The CRC-TOPIC included 9 Incubated companies with 5 generating fast-growing revenues and 3 venture capital deals closed, and 64 training centers in 64 provinces with an 80% sustainability rate and 87,000 students trained. Recently he has just launched TOPICA, a pioneering online bachelor’s degree program in IT, Business and Accounting.

Anthony Wong
President, OLPC China and South East Asia

Anthony Wong has three decades of experience in the telecommunications and technology sectors. He is also well connected with Governments and private sector organizations in Asia and in the international arena. Before retiring from the Hong Kong Government he was the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology and prior to that the Director General of Telecommunications in Hong Kong. He is now helping OLPC to promote and develop its mission in China and South East Asia. Anthony holds a Bachelor degree in Engineering, a Master of Philosophy and a Master of Social Science.

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens is an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation. He is the founder of the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives and works in collaboration with a global group of researchers in the exploration of peer production, governance, and property. He has been an analyst for the United States Information Agency, knowledge manager for British Petroleum, eBusiness Strategy Manager for Belgacom, as well as an internet entrepreneur in his home country of Belgium. He has co-produced the 3-hour TV documentary Technocalyps with Frank Theys, and co-edited the two-volume book on anthropology of digital society with Salvino Salvaggio. Michel is currently Primavera Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and external expert at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (2008). Michel currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand. In February 2009, he joined Dhurakij Pundit University's International College as Lecturer, assisting with the development of the Asian Foresight Institute.

Jayantha Fernando

is Program Director & Legal Advisor at the ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA). He shares responsibility for the operational management of the multi donor funded “e-Sri Lanka Development Project”, with which he was involved from 2002 through the design phase as a member of the counter-part Steering Committee, and remaining as an executive staff member during the implementation phase. He is a key strategist and advocate for policy and institutional reform and was one of the architects who helped establish the country’s apex Govt ICT Agency, which has now become a model for policy reform and implementer of development programs (www.icta.lk ). He also helped establish the country’s national CERT (www.slcert.gov.lk)

He has over 14 years ICT legal experience in Sri Lanka and overseas, covering Software licensing and IPR issues, IT legal reforms, Internet governance, Domain Name Systems and negotiating & drafting large value Information Systems contracts. He has been a key advocate for ICT legal reforms since 1995 and was instrumental in drafting the Sri Lanka’s Electronic Transactions Act No. 19 of 2006, the Computer Crimes Act No. 24 of 2007 and advised the formulation of the Payment Devices Frauds Act of 2006 and Payment & Settlement Systems Act of 2005.

He commenced his career as a Judicial Intern to the Senior Judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, appointed by the Council of Legal Education, before venturing into the field of ICT law. Jayantha is an attorney and holds a specialized Masters Degree (LLM) in IT & Communications Law from the University of London. He is also a Board member of Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI), LKNIC and Sri Lanka CERT and lectures widely on ICT Legal issues at the Sri Lanka Law College, University of Moratuwa and University of Colombo.

In 2008 he elected as a Vice Chair of ICANN’s Government Advisory Committee (GAC).



Abdul Waheed Khan speaker
Abdul Waheed Kahn from UNESCO will be speaking at one of the plenary sessions.....




Post WITFOR events
There will be a post WITFOR event on free open source software. This event is specifically meant for WITFOR participants. For details and registratio....



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